Australia, also known as “The Land Down Under” is full of some of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse underwater environments on the planet. While it is also known for its beautiful coastlines and white sandy beaches, it is also home to some of the best marine life and dive sites. These sites contain various wonders such as shipwrecks and caves, to living coral reefs (Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef, etc.) that are vibrant with colored sea life. So, let’s take a look at some of the best places to go scuba diving in Australia.
Fish Rock Cave
Located two kilometers off the Smoky Cape at South West Rocks on the coast of New South Wales, Fish Rock Cave is a must-do on the diving menu. It is the home to a critically endangered species, the grey nurse shark, where there is an estimated population of about 100-1500 left in Eastern Australia. They typically gather at the Fish Rock Cave to feed, mate, and give birth and watching their gentle giants swim in their natural habitat is a privilege for any diver. This site also boasts a 125-meter cave, making it the only true ocean cave in Australia. One of the best times to visit Fish Rock Cave is from April to November because that is when the ocean is home to the migrating Humpback whales and their calves.
Located off the coast of central Western Australia is Ningaloo Marine Park which is a World Heritage-listed site and within the park is Ningaloo Reef. Ningaloo Reef is the largest fringing reef in the world at 260 kilometers long. This beautiful coral reef is home to many turtles, tropical fish, humpback whales, and whale sharks. In fact, it is the best place in the world to swim with these whale sharks that can reach up to 12 meters in length. If you want the best chance to swim with these gentle giants, you should look to visit Ningaloo Reef from mid-March to mid-September.
SS Yongala Wreck
The SS Yongala ship was traveling from Melbourne to Cairns in 1911 when it was caught in a cyclone and sank off Cape Bowling Green which is just south of Townsville in Queensland. There were 122 people on board at the time. The shipwreck was not found until 1958 and is now Australia’s largest and most intact historic shipwreck. It is one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions along with being one of the best dive sites in the world. More than 10,000 divers visit the SS Yongala wreck every year. Plus, it is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which is home to an array of beautiful tropical marine life.