Great Barrier Reef ~ Ribbon Reef Diving
Great Barrier Reef
To the north of Cairns and Port Douglas lies a 120 km ‘string’ of 10 individuals coral reefs that collectively are called ‘The Ribbon Reefs’. Well beyond the reach of the day boats, the Ribbon Reefs remote location and Green ‘No Take’ zoning, is home to some of the best dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef. The Earth’s only living organism visible from space, it is undisputedly the planet’s most complex and extensive reef system. Declared a World Heritage area in 1981 and added to the National Heritage List in 2007, the Great Barrier Reef is indeed one of the wonders of the natural world.
The Ribbon Reefs
Starting to the north of Cairns, and finishing to the east of Lizard Island, the Ribbon Reefs are a stunning turquoise chain of 10 individual reefs. Fringing the edge of the continental shelf, this 200km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef lies in a remote region of North Queensland and is only accessible by a few liveaboards. Relatively isolated, these reefs support a huge range of biodiversity from the giant clam with it’s violet fluorescent interior, to the vividly red flame file shell and the elusive leafy scorpion fish. Reef formations include beds of huge plate corals, isolated pinnacles crowned in delicate corals and anemones, walls, channels, caves, canyons and shallow coral gardens.
At the very top of the Ribbon Reefs lies the famous Cod Hole, home to a family of resident Potato Cod (Grouper). Like large docile puppy dogs, these magnificent fish are easily approachable and appear ever eager to pose for the camera. The best diving on the Ribbon Reefs is generally at a depth of less than 20 metres. Warm, sheltered waters and usually little current, make the Ribbon Reefs a great dive destination for divers of any experience level, while the diversity of marine and macro life provides endless subject matter for photo enthusiasts.