Beyond Ningaloo and the GBR: 5 of Australia’s Lesser-Known Dive Sites

Dive site

Ningaloo Reef and the Great Barrier Reef may be the first places you think of when it comes to Australian dive spots, but in fact, there are plenty of other, amazing sites.

And with data from global diving association PADI showing that domestic diving certifications have accounted for 96% of certifications earned by Australians in 2021, up a whopping 31% from 2018, it seems many of us are now ready to tick those sites of our diving bucket list. Read on to find out where those places are.

Wolf Rock, QLD

Located just off Double Island Point, Wolf Rock has long been considered one of the best dives in Australia and a must-do for your itinerary if you intend travelling up or down the East Coast of Australia.

Keep an eye out for grey nurse sharks and manta rays, which are spotted here year-round, and in the summer months, expect to potentially be joined by leopard sharks. Experience this through Wolf Rock Dive Centre.

Julian Rocks Byron Bay, NSW

Byron Bay’s only 5 Star PADI dive centre, Sundive will take you to experience the Julian Rocks dive site. Temperate and tropical waters meet here, resulting in an incredibly diverse and abundant array of marine life. Look out for all sorts of species of tropical and non-tropical marine life, including turtles, leopard sharks, wobbegongs and more.

Blairgowrie Pier, VIC

The abundance of macro life makes Blairgowrie Pier a photographer’s dream. See different species of rays, as well as octopus, squid, giant cuttlefish and more. Dive in May or June to see thousands of spider crabs gather in the shallow waters. The site’s sheltered position and manageable depth range makes it an excellent spot to get certified. Experience this through Academy of Scuba.

Blizzard Ridge Lighthouse Bay Ningaloo Reef, WA

While we are all about the lesser-known beauties, when it comes to the best dive sites in the country, Ningaloo Reef does indeed at least deserve a mention. Though it has become synonymous with the phrase “home of the Gentle Giant”, due to its population of mighty whale sharks, it has a lot more to offer, too. Dive with Exmouth Dive for the adventure of a lifetime.

Rapid Bay, SA

Rapid Bay is one of the prettiest shore dives in Australia and a reliable place to see the rare and mesmerising leafy sea dragon. Here, at Rapid Bay Jetty, you’ll spot soft corals, sponges, leatherjackets and cowfish. Experience this through The Dive Shack, a family-owned and operated PADI 5 Star dive centre.

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