Brianne West is an Australian environmentalist and a keen diver who has travelled all over Australia diving. She says she’s adored the experiences.
“Because Australia is so vast, there are completely different dive options, from the genuinely breathtaking, but shallower fringing reef of Ningaloo, where you might see a whale shark, reef shark or dugong, to the deeper stretches of the outer Great Barrier Reef,” she says.
“Then, you’ve got the colder areas, like where you can dive with Great Whites off the coast of Southern Australia. So, there’s just a good mix of everything.”
As for what else you can expect to see, in terms of marine life, West says she’s spotted all kinds of sharks, like tigers, black tips, and grey reef sharks, as well as manta rays, reef-dwelling fish, and smaller wildlife like nudibranchs, which she describes as “so cool”.
Ningaloo Reef, WA
“There are some stunning dive sites on Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. There is loads of biodiversity and it’s great for newer divers as most sites are shallow (~12m) and have little current.
“I did a liveaboard called Shore Thing, which was a small catamaran that could access the shallow areas. I highly recommend it. The area is a tropical paradise that is exactly like a postcard. Ningaloo is great all year round but if you want to see whale sharks, go sometime between March and September.”
The Exmouth Navy Pier, WA
“Navy Pier is off Exmouth in WA, near Ningaloo Reef. It’s a nice, easy dive and a must-do if you’re a diver and in Exmouth. It’s beautiful all year round but again if you want to see whale sharks, go from March to September.”
HMAS Brisbane, Brisbane
“This is a great wreck dive off the Sunshine Coast where you’re almost guaranteed to spot lots of turtles. You can dive all year round easily, but if you want to see certain wildlife that of course varies with the season. It’s 9km off Mooloolaba, which is a great place to spend a couple of days.”
SS Yongala, QLD
“SS Yongala is another wreck dive, featuring a massive ship. It’s said to be one of the best wreck dives in the world. Deep and strong currents, but a great example of a wreck. Recommend diving with Yongala dive and they even have a place you can stay.”
Great Barrier Reef, QLD
“The Great Barrier Reef is made up of hundreds of dive sites of course like Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef and Lady Elliot Island. I have only dived fewer than 10 times on the Great Barrier so far, and it’s always left me a little sad. Ningaloo is a better example of a healthy reef in my experience, but GBR is still beautiful. If you want sharks, go to North Horn. You really are spoilt for choice on the GBR as it’s so big. For the best diving, go to the Outer Reef, so, in my opinion, a liveaboard like Mike Ball Dive Expeditions is your best option.”