If you’re a diver travelling on Australia’s East Coast, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy some of the world’s best scuba diving sites. Here’s my personal list of the best dive sites in Queensland and New South Wales with quick notes on why I believe they deserve a spot on the list.
I have dived most of them (in bold), sometimes multiple times, and loved it. I’d be happy to dive there again.
Top Dive Sites in Australia (East Coast)
The order is from North to South in reference to the map below – and not by order of preference.
- Osprey Reef: Amphitheatre shark frenzy, rare Osprey Nautilus, pelagics
- Cod Hole: Meet friendly giant potato cods (up to 100kg)
- Cairns/Outer Great Barrier Reef: The world’s largest coral reef system
- SS Yongala: A wreck dive on the Great Barrier Reef with amazing marine life
- Heron Island: One of Cousteau’s top 10 dives on the Great Barrier Reef
- Lady Elliott: Manta rays and turtles in pristine waters on the Great Barrier Reef
- Wolf Rock: Manta rays, grey nurse sharks, giant Queensland grouper and other big species around pinnacles
- HMAS Brisbane: Easy open wreck fun to explore even for beginners
- Stradbroke Island: Manta rays and leopard sharks in summer, grey nurse sharks in winter and turtles all year round
- Julian Rocks: Grey nurse sharks in winter, leopard sharks in summer and turtles all year round.
- Fish Rock Cave: One of the longest caves you can dive with a basic open water certification; grey nurse sharks wait for you at the exit. Hammerhead sharks are sometimes spotted.
- Lord Howe Island: An unspoiled island with rivers of fish
- Fly Point: A paradise for macro-photographers with opportunity to also see giant slugs (sea hare) and even dolphins sometimes
- The Steps: A shore dive with 99% chance of seeing weedy sea dragons
- Broughton Island: Plenty of grey nurse sharks hidden within schools of smaller fish
- Jervis Bay: Seals and Port Jackson sharks in winter, weedy sea dragons
- Montague Island: Seals
Have you dived any of these sites? Is there one I should add to my list? I’d love to hear feedback from fellow divers. Please share your experience in the comments below!
Where are the best dive sites on Australia’s East Coast?
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