Scuba diving Australia is amazing. If you’re travelling on the East Coast, you’ll have opportunities to enjoy some of the world’s best scuba diving sites. Here’s the ultimate list of the best diving sites in Australia (Queensland & New South Wales) with quick notes on why they made it to the list.
If you’re after the map of the best diving sites in Australia (for the East Coast), scroll down to the end of the article.
I have dived most of these scuba diving sites (in bold in the list), sometimes multiple times, and loved it. I’d be happy to scuba dive again on any of these sites.
The Best Scuba Diving Sites on Australia’s East Coast: Cairns / Brisbane / Sydney
The order is from North to South in reference to the map below – and not by order of preference. Luckily, scuba diving Australia provides a great variety of diving sites. Hence, these sites are very different from each other so it’s hardly impossible to classify them by order of preference. It all depends if you prefer coral reefs, sharks, manta rays, seals, seahorses or macro photography.
Scuba diving Australia: the best scuba diving sites on the Great Barrier Reef
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
6. Lady Elliott: Manta rays and turtles in pristine waters on the Great Barrier Reef
Scuba diving Australia: the best scuba diving sites in South East Queensland
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
If you cannot make it to the Great Barrier Reef, add Flinders Reef to your list.
Scuba diving Australia: the best scuba diving sites in Northern New South Wales
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
If you love turtles and cannot make it to the Great Barrier Reef, add Cook Island near the Gold Coast.
Scuba diving Australia: the best scuba diving sites in New South Wales Central Coast
13. Fly Point: A paradise for macro-photographers with the opportunity to also see giant slugs (sea hare) and even dolphins sometimes
14. Broughton Island: Plenty of grey nurse sharks hidden within schools of smaller fish
Scuba diving Australia: the best scuba diving sites in Sydney and further south
15. The Steps: A shore dive with 99% chance of seeing weedy sea dragons
16. Jervis Bay: Seals and Port Jackson sharks in winter, weedy sea dragons
17. 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 scuba diving sites in Australia (East Coast)?
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