Home to the Great Barrier Reef, divers in Australia can spend time with giant potato cod, walking sharks, whales, dolphins and whale sharks.
Australia is home to the largest barrier reef in the world, a place which is known all round the world for its natural beauty. Legions of divers make the pilgrimage here to experience the reef and the diverse range of marine life that lives there. Australia is a big country though and The Great Barrier Reef isn’t the only amazing dive spot. Rowley Shoals is a fantastic place for reef and shark diving from a diving boat. Depending on where you go liveaboard itineraries in Australia last from 1 to 7 nights.
In the Cod Hole area, the Spoilsport takes divers on a whirlwind tour with a personal touch and spacious cabins. From Cairns you can choose based on style and budget. There are the luxurious Spirit of Freedom or the Pro Dive Cairns and Coral Sea Dreaming sailing boat for those on a budget. In Rowley, the MV Great Escape is a real adventure boat with its own helicopter on board and a hot tub for relaxing after all that excitement.
Most of the liveaboard diving in Australia is focused around The Great Barrier Reef. The 1240 mile (2000 km) of coral reef is very diverse with 1500 different species of fish living there. The corals are spectacular with over 400 different species in this area alone. There are many fascinating creatures living on the barrier reef that you won’t see elsewhere, like the ornate wobbegong a type of carpet shark and tame giant potato cod which can weigh up to 200 pounds (90 kg).
Sharks are also a common sight on the barrier Reef in Australia. On the reefs there are black and white tipped reef sharks and the world’s only walking shark, the epaulette shark. There are plenty of bigger sharks too, bull sharks can be seen on The Great Barrier Reef and in Rowley. Great whites have also been spotted passing by, so keep a keen eye out for them. There is also a chance of seeing the biggest fish in the ocean the whale shark. Also on the very big scale, whales can be seen when you are diving in Australia with humpbacks and minke whales migrating every year.
BEST TIME TO GO
August to December
Australia is a year round diving destination although The Great Barrier Reef is at its best for liveaboard diving between August and December. It is worth noting that due to cooler temperatures, down to 73° F (23 °C) from 86° F (30° C), visibility is much better in June. Rowley Shoals on the other hand is at its best during September and October.
The season for whales in Australia depends on the type of whale, from June to September humpback whales migrate to warmer waters near The Great Barrier Reef. From May to September dwarf minke whales can be seen migrating as well.
Departures for The Great Barrier Reef are usually from Cairns which has its own international airport 5-10 minutes’ drive from the town itself. Most diving liveaboards will offer transfer for free or a small additional charge. If you are diving in Rowley, then you can fly to Broome from some of the larger cities in Australia. The MV Great Escape offers free transfer from Broome airport to the diving boat.