The Best Dive Sites On Australia’s East Coast: The Ultimate List (Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney)

Best Diving Sites in Australia - Sydney - Brisbane - CairnsIf 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.

  1. Osprey Reef: Amphitheatre shark frenzy, rare Osprey Nautilus, pelagics
  2. Cod Hole: Meet friendly giant potato cods (up to 100kg)
  3. Cairns/Outer Great Barrier Reef: The world’s largest coral reef system
  4. SS Yongala: A wreck dive on the Great Barrier Reef with amazing marine life
  5. Heron Island: One of Cousteau’s top 10 dives on the Great Barrier Reef
  6. Lady Elliott: Manta rays and turtles in pristine waters on the Great Barrier Reef
  7. Wolf Rock: Manta rays, grey nurse sharks, giant Queensland grouper and other big species around pinnacles
  8. HMAS Brisbane: Easy open wreck fun to explore even for beginners
  9. Stradbroke Island: Manta rays and leopard sharks in summer, grey nurse sharks in winter and turtles all year round
  10. Julian Rocks: Grey nurse sharks in winter, leopard sharks in summer and turtles all year round.
  11. 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.
  12. Lord Howe Island: An unspoiled island with rivers of fish
  13. Fly Point: A paradise for macro-photographers with opportunity to also see giant slugs (sea hare) and even dolphins sometimes
  14. The Steps: A shore dive with 99% chance of seeing weedy sea dragons
  15. Broughton Island: Plenty of grey nurse sharks hidden within schools of smaller fish
  16. Jervis Bay: Seals and Port Jackson sharks in winter, weedy sea dragons
  17. Montague Island: Seals

 

 Your underwater pics don’t look that good? Check out my tips for beginners to take underwater photos that aren’t blue!

 

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?

 

Save this for later, add it to your Pinterest board:

Australia-East-Coast-Best-Dives-Cairns-Brisbane-Sydney-scuba diving 

AUSTRALIA EAST COAST the best dive sites in cairns sydney brisbane

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

I am a part-time traveler: I combine a full-time job with a passion for traveling. I love to share my trips and tips to inspire others to explore what’s around them. Before moving to Australia, I lived in France, England and Turkey. I’ve finally found my balance in Brisbane.

4 thoughts on “The Best Dive Sites On Australia’s East Coast: The Ultimate List (Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney)

    1. Hi, Amy! You can check some out while you’re on the Gold Coast: Byron Bay, the HMAS Brisbane and Stradbroke Island aren’t far away! And if you like turtles… maybe you could add Cook Island to the list ;)

What do you think?