Scuba Diving in Australia

Australia is a country which occupies a continent with the same name, and its shores are washed by multiple waters by the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Coral Sea, the Timor Sea (Indonesian: Laut Timor, Portuguese: Mar Timor), the Arafura Sea and the Tasman Sea. Therefore, the country has become one of the most popular places among divers. One can say that it's a dream of many people who are fascinated with underwater world, that dazzles with a variety of views and beauty. You can even meet a crocodile here! Having arrived to the continent you can order a diving safari or you can choose daily diving. Whatever you chose you will surely enjoy the beauty of the underwater world. You can not only look at fish and algae but also unravel mysteries of a variaty of shipwrecks, which can be found all over in the waters surrounding Australia.

Reasons to Visit

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Each diver should visit Australia, first of all, to dive to the Great Barrier Reef. It is stretching along the North-Eastern coast for over 2,300 km and contains more than 400 species of corals. For hundreds of years the group of islands of the Great Barrier Reef has been home for six species of endangered marine turtles. You can also find the sea cow here and catch a glimpse of humpback whales from August to November.
One of the most unusual representatives of the underwater world of Australia is the telescope eye fish, which hasn't been studied completely yet. And in 2000, people heard about the running fish, the so-called Handfish. Now it's listed in the Red Book. There are also funny flying fish that can travel at speed of 75 km/h. The sunfish is just as interesting: its shape resembles Earth's satellite, the Moon. The pegasus-fish are incredibly beautiful and they look like fairytale creatures.
Multi-day dive tours are popular in Australia. Along the coasts of the continent, standard diving and snorkeling, which enables to have a closer look at the minke whales, are available. In summer, from May till August, these whales can be found not far away from Ribbon Reefs. One more advantage is to see one of the most rare mammals in the world, the dugong. It is a distant relative of the sea cow.
Diving with sharks. Many people would shiver at just the thought of this but an experienced diver can not be scared of anything. There are several types of such a dive. Everything depends on courage and drive for adrenaline. You can dive to the bottom in a metal cage or without any safety. To attract sharks, bait is used but some divers take a risk and serve it themselves. To meet this 4-meter Big Mama one would have to travel to Port Lincoln, South Australia.
Not far from the mainland, there are other sights of interest for divers – shipwrecks. About 8,000 ships in total went into the sea off the coasts of Australia. The Yongala, which run into a gale in 1911, and the Brisbane, which took the bottom in 2005, are among them. The Handran wooden vessel, which sank in 1901 near the Western coast in 10 km to the North from the Cape Peron also leads in the polls.

Diving Destinations in Australia

In Queensland, you could visit the Great Barrier Reef and New South Wales offers year-round diving. There are about 30 sites in this region. The waters off the coast of the Victoria state conceal many shipwrecks. If you are interested in beauty of the underwater world, then you should go to South Australia; and in West Australia you can meet sharks. Tasman Island will amaze you with abundance of algae, grottos and rock structures, and the waters of the Northern Territory are full of corals and coral reef fish.

Memo Notes
Currency AUD - Australian Dollar
Languages English
Timezone UTC +8 - UTC +10
Phone code 61
Emergency Help 112
Electricity

Type I - 230 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Australia

The most popular dive shops are located at Lizard, Heron and Whitsunday islands. They are focused on the Great Barrier Reef. One more point of attraction of divers is the Ningaloo Reef on the Western coast of Australia and the South in general. Want to try a diving safari? Go to Cairns.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

When it's autumn in the Northern hemisphere, warm spring starts in the Southern hemisphere. The air warms up to +24 ˚С during the day. Then the diving season could be declared opened. The water temperature contributes to this very much – it's +25 ˚С, and November is the ideal time to meet the giant oceanic manta rays.

Summer

In Australia summer stretches from December to February. The air heats up to +30... + 45 ˚С. Summer here is the rainy season, and the northern part of the continent it can be stormy. The water temperature is comfortable but there are a lot of sharks.

Autumn

March to May is Australian autumn. Up to the middle of April, the water temperature is +20 ˚C. The average ambient temperature is 25 ˚C, but by the end of May it decreases. During this time sharks leave coastal waters. It's happy time for those who would like to avoid these predators.

Winter

It's winter in Australia from June to August. The water temperature rarely exceeds +20 °C and the "dry season" starts. The average ambient temperature in Sydney is +16 °С, and in the desert there are frosts at night. It's not the best season for diving.

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The Best Dive Sites

The best dive site in Sydney is the Magic Point. A dive to sharks at the depth up to 16 meters is offered there. Those who enjoy exploring shipwrecks are going to like diving on the Adelaide destroyer, while cave amateurs will like a dive to the underwater cave Fish Rock Cave.

Health & Safety

In general, Australia is a safe country for tourists but you should remember to follow some rules.
Prior to your trip, you should get yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria and rubella vaccinations.
Due to high sun activity, for the first few days you should avoid direct sunlight, drink plenty of water and use sunscreens. Also, It is not recommended to walk barefoot on the grass in the evening in order to avoid poisonous snakes and insect bites. If you are planning on going to the Queensland state and the Northern Territory, it is advised to pack insect and mosquito repellents. These insects transmit dengue fever and Ross River fever.
Don't drink water from streams and rivers.
Upon arriving to the country, the tourists are recommended to get private insurance certificates for foreigners which would cover the costs of the most necessary medical services. But during the "waiting period" you would have to relay on your own finantial resourses to cover them.

Dangerous Marine Life

In the waters of Great Barrier Reef lives the Conidae, one of the most dangerous dwellers of Australia. You should also avoid the tiger sharks, the whiptail stingrays, the Dubois' sea snake, the blue-ringed octopus, the sea wasp, the great white shark and the saltwater crocodile.

Eat & Drinks

In Australia, the legendary tortoise soup is no longer offered, however, every adventurer will surely try the medium rare steak from kangaroo meat, as well as emu dishes. With the arrival of the British, they began to breed and eat rabbits on the mainland. A traditional tasty and rich soup is made from a kangaroo tail. A traditional local small-sized pie (they are more like savoury pasties) stuffed with roasted meat and vegetables with cheese is an integral part of the serving. And a favorite dessert of Australians is the Pavlova cake, named after the Russian ballerina.
The most non-squeamish and curious can try the aboriginal dishes: all kinds of larvae, eggs of amphibians, fried monitor lizards and crocodiles. In Australian cities and towns the water is safe, but there are still villages on the continent where there is no running water and only bottled water is consumed.