Australia offers unique opportunities to explore the incredible diversity of life that lives in its surrounding ocean. In no other single country in the world can you dive with whale sharks and sea dragons and swim & snorkel along the world’s largest reef system.
So in a country as big as Australia, where do you start? Here’s our guide to the standout dive spots in each state.
1. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
So big it can be seen from space, the Great Barrier Reef lures snorkelers and diving enthusiasts from all over the world. At almost 2,000 kilometers long, there are numerous ways you can explore the reef: from sailing around or staying on one of the gorgeous Whitsunday islands or by taking your pick from several dive sites, reef gardens and shipwrecks.
2. Ningaloo, Western Australia
Ningaloo is home to the world’s largest fish: the whale shark. While you can only swim with this incredible creature between April and June, Ningaloo Marine Park is busy all year round thanks to the amazing diversity of sea life that inhabits its fringing reef (the world’s largest!). Expect to see turtles, manta rays, dolphins, dugongs, clownfish and over 250 species of coral.
3. Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
The cooler waters of the southeast attract stingrays, seahorses, urchins and the weedy sea dragon among others. You can also learn to dive, explore drop-offs, wall dives and submerged WWI submarines.
4. East Coast Dive Trail, Tasmania
Tasmania’s gorgeous east coast has 11 fantastic dive spots in crisp, clear water. Big-bellied seahorses, seals, weedy sea dragons and butterfly perch inhabit the coast here.
5. Baird Bay, South Australia
Swim with a colony of endangered sea lions and then cage dive with their nemesis, the great white shark, at nearby Port Lincoln.
6. Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory
Every second week, the tidal currents in Darwin Harbour reveal underwater wrecks sunk in WWII. Discover the incredible variety of sea life and invertebrates that inhabit these luke-warm waters.
7. Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay, New South Wales
The rocky gardens of Clovelly and Gordon’s Bay lie just 8 kilometers from Sydney’s city center. Swim among kelp forests, weed fish, and Port Jackson sharks.