With nearly 3000km of reef, the hardest part of planning a scuba dive in Queensland is picking where to blow your bubbles. Its blend of kaleidoscope reefs, caves and shipwrecks teem with tropical marine life.
There's more to glorious Queensland than the Great Barrier Reef. For rugged underwater landscapes, head south of Cairns. You won't be alone as you cruise along the reef; eagle and manta rays in large colonies swoop elegantly alongside octopus and reef sharks. Migrating humpback whales descend on Queensland each year to escape the chilly Arctic waters.
If that's not enough, hammerhead sharks and dogtooth tuna are among the other larger fish you can swim fin-to-fin with. Wherever you go diving in Queensland, you'll find endless amounts of underwater joy.
Diving in Queensland can be split into two climate zones: tropical in the far north and temperate in the southeast. Diving is good all year. Water temperatures range from 71- 87°F (22-29°C). A rashie or 2mm shorty will be suffice in summer, while a 3-5mm wetsuit will keep you toasty in winter.
In June-November visibility soars to 20m and chances of seeing rays, whale sharks and minke whales are high. Divers who slip beneath the surface in October-April can gaze up at groups of manta feeding on plankton.
During these months, spot leopard sharks, wobbegong sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and a sprinkling of tropical fish drifting through the blue. Between July and November scuba divers are likely to catch a glimpse of migrating humpback whales, so keep your ears tuned in for their song.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
To go scuba diving in Queensland, the three main international airports to fly to are Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns. From Europe most flights have a stopover in Asia to break up the 24h journey.
Travelers from the US and South Africa usually fly into Sydney (15h), then take a connecting flight from Sydney to Queensland (1h 15m). Once in Queensland, hiring a car is a great way to explore the roads winding from rainforest to reef, through the Outback and up into the hinterland.
An added bonus of hiring a car is that you can explore some of the more unique dive sites - like diving with platypus in Mackay's rainforest. These waterfall-fed lagoons hold a large variety of turtles, some as small as a 20 cent piece.