World’s Largest And Healthiest Coral Reef System
Single Structure Comprised Of Living Organisms
When people say they want to dive Australia, what they usually mean is that they want to scuba dive Queensland's Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest and healthiest coral reef system. The Great Barrier Reef is the only living structure on earth that can be seen from outer space. Made up of nearly 2900 individual reefs, 600 continental islands and 300 coral cays, it’s the world’s largest single structure comprised of living organisms. Every day divers from around the world visit the reef either on liveaboards or day charters. Divers revere the reef for its biodiversity and the local aboriginal peoples hold it as a sacred component of their spirituality. It's fitting reverence for a truly magical place. Queensland takes up almost a quarter of Australia and offers more diving adventures beyond just the Great Barrier Reef. The Sunshine Coast, southern Queensland, has purpose-sunk wrecks, sandstone formations covered with corals, ledges, caverns and pinnacles to explore. Topside, Queensland offers kangaroo-filled bush, lush green tropical rainforest, stunning white sand beaches, urban experiences and just about everything in between.
Locate a PADI Dive Shop on the Great Barrier Reef
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Visibility – Tides, current and surge all affect water clarity inside the Great Barrier Reef, but it averages 15-21 metres/50-70 feet and can hit a high of 30 metres/100 feet. Outside the reef, visibility averages a reliable 18-30 metres/60-100 feet and often soars to more than 46 metres/150 feet in the Coral Sea.
Water Temperature – Expect water temperatures around 30° C/85° F during the summer throughout the central and northern Great Barrier Reef. Expect around 24° C/75° F in winter and cooler water off the Sunshine Coast.
Weather – In tropical Queensland, daytime air temperatures vary from the mid 20°sC/80°sF in winter to the mid 30°sC/90°sF in summer. Diving is great year round, but different seasons offer different rewards. December through February mean great visibility and warmer water, while June through November pays off with minke and humpback whale spotting and coral spawning.
Featured Creatures – Everything from dwarf minke whales, sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, carpet sharks, sea snakes, cuttlefish, bumphead parrotfish, leopard moray eels, potato cod and macro life. It's the world's largest reef system so you can truly expect to see a bit of just about everything.
Recommended Training – The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer and PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy courses will help you capture images that show the beauty of the reef. PADI Enriched Air Diver is a good idea because enriched air nitrox is widely available. The PADI Wreck Diver course will prepare you to visit the iconic wrecks of Queensland.
Language – English, although dive center and liveaboard staff often speak various languages.
Currency – Australian Dollar. Credit card are accepted almost everywhere.
Major Airports – Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville Airports receive international flights. Smaller regional airports service the smaller cities and the reef islands.
Electricity – Electricity is 240 volts, 50 Hz. Internet access is available almost everywhere.
Topside Attractions – Visit the tropical rainforests of Daintree, Cape Tribulation or Mossman Gorge and marvel at the waterfalls of the Atherton Tablelands. Stop by one of the many zoos or parks to learn about saltwater crocodiles, koala, wallabies, cassowaries and other indigenous creatures. Raft the Barron River or head deep into the outback for Aboriginal rock art and kangaroos.