ribbon reefs - Dive Sites
The Cod Hole
The world famous Cod Hole is home to numerous Potato Cod. These huge fish are quite used to divers, offering the chance to get up close and personal, and are quite willing to pose for a photo whilst visiting one of the many cleaning stations. Whilst usually docile and relaxed, the Cod feed allows divers to see the spectacle of these fish feeding in action. The shallows of Cod Hole offer excellent coral life to explore and the chance to search for many hidden treasures. Follow the terraced reef down for the chance to witness pelagic fish on their way past. Though susceptible to current on an incoming tide, this makes for an excellent drift dive.
|Giant Potato Cod||Flowery Cod||Spine Cheek Anemonefish|
|Lionfish||Pygmy Sea Horse||Reef Sharks|
|Red Bass||Nudibranchs||Lacey Scorpionfish|
Get the tides right and you are in for a thrilling drift dive along the reef wall of Cormorant Reef. Sit back, enjoy the ride and let Dynamite Pass blow your mind as a plethora of marine life passes right in front of your eyes.
|Reef Sharks||Lagoon Rays||Flounder|
The Snake Pit
An isolated reef between Lizard Island and # 10 Ribbon Reef
Living up to its name, this site is famous for the Olive Sea Snakes found here. These snakes tend to be curious of divers entering their domain and have been known to be fascinated with their reflection in a camera lens. As such it is not uncommon to encounter more than one in a single dive. This site ranges from 10 to 30 metres and a range of invertebrates can be found including clams, sea stars, nudibranchs, and sea cucumbers. The isolation of this patch of reef brings many larger fish to the area including trevally, barracuda, sharks and eagle rays. A little exposed, this reef is only accessible in reasonably good conditions.
|Olive Sea Snakes||Green Turtles||Nudibranchs|
|Eagle Rays||Batfish||Reef Sharks|
An isolated pinnacle in deep water, Lighthouse Bommie rises from about thirty metres at the base ascending to five metres – the perfect location for an impressive safety stop. The Lighthouse attracts schools of Trevally, Barracuda, and Fusilliers. A resident turtle is home on most dives and baths in the attention of photographers. This pinnacle abounds with hidden macro treasures for those with a keen eye. During June and July Lighthouse Bommie becomes a popular playground for the very inquisitive Dwarf Minke Whales as they pass through the area on their Southward migration.
|Gorgonian fans||Sea Whips||Spotted Eagle Rays|
|Manta Rays||Green Turtles||Pipefish|
Challenger Bay has an amazing variety of marine life and is a great dive – day or night. The site has a sandy bottom, scattered with bommies, sloping up from thirty metres to meet the reef platform at about five metres. Huge schools of Batfish and Sweetlips are commonly seen, along with pelagic fish like Mackeral, Tuna and Barracuda. Night dives at this sight also provide divers with the opportunity to see some of the reefs nocturnal inhabitants as the octopus come out of hiding and moray eels swim freely throughout the reef. The Giant Trevally come out to hunt and steal the show at night, accompanying divers for the duration of the dive.
|Giant Clams||Reef Sharks||Moray Eels|
The lesser-known neighbour of Challenger Bay, Monolith is a remarkable wall dive not to be overlooked. With an impressive field of fist coral cascading down the reef and a vast array of marine life calling this site home, you will not be disappointed. A lucky few may also glimpse the resident Hammerhead known to patrol the blue water off the wall.
|Rock Lobster||Fist coral||Giant Clams|
Pixie Pinnacle is a small isolated bommie rising from thirty metres to just below the surface allowing divers to view a cross-section of reef environments. An abundance of schooling fish allows divers the awe-inspiring experience of being in amongst them. This bommie is also littered with many hidden creatures waiting to be discovered by those with the patience to look - a macro photographer’s dream. This pinnacle can get strong currents on certain tides.
|Octopus||Flame File Shell|
This dive site begins as a gentle reef slope with scattered coral outcrops progressing into an impressive wall as you proceed north. This site is home to a widely varied cross-section of marine inhabitants. Whether exploring the sandy fields of garden eels, looking amongst the coral outcrops, or gliding along the reef wall, there is something for everyone.
|Garden Eels||Moray Eels||Star Boxfish|
When the winds shift from the prevailing South-east around to the North-west for a short window around October/November, we are lucky enough to visit this gem. A reef wall descending to forty metres comes in to form as sheltered recess for divers to explore. The picturesque wall is covered with undulating soft corals swaying with the movement of the water. Nudibranch enthusiasts will be blown away.
|Soft Corals||Nudibranchs||Lacey Scorpionfish|
|Pink Anemonefish||Reef Sharks|
A large coral mound growing out of depths approaching forty metres, ridges and channels leading off into the blue surrounding Wonderland. Exploring the wall or gardens that form this structure will lead to divers being met by pristine coral growth on all sides and a widely varied range of marine life.
Two bommies rise in tandem from the sandy seabed at twenty-five metres up to approximately five metres. A deeper coral ridge running down one side serves as a cleaning station at various times of the year. Weave your way between these impressive pinnacles and you are likely to be approached by the inquisitive sea snakes that are this site’s local residents. The isolation of these bommies has led to many critters establishing homes amongst the patches of rumble on the weatherside. Whilst conversely, come around to the other side and you will be amazed by the quantity of life sheltering behind these two structures.
|Olive Sea Snakes||Bull Rays||Green Turtles|
|Reef Sharks||Moray Eels||Nudibranchs|
|Anemone Fish||Mantis Shrimp|
Steve's Bommie never fails to impress even the most discerning diver. There is not a better way to spend a Sunday morning. Rising up from thirty-five metres to its apex at around five metres. All you need to do is open your eyes to be astounded by the sheer quantity of schooling fish and the pristine condition of the corals. Look a little closer and you will find more of the reef’s masters of camoflage including Stonefish, Leafy Scorpionfish and Wobbegong Sharks. Located at twenty-two metres is a marble plaque commemorating the site's namesake - 'Steve'.
|Big Eye Trevally||Barrucuda||Leafy Scorpionfish|
|Stonefish||Wobbegong sharks||Mantis Shrimp|
|Flame File Shells||Anemonefish||Reef Sharks|
Flare Point offers a relaxing site at which to conclude your trip aboard the ‘Spirit of Freedom’. A beautiful sloping reef wall to explore, and scattered with deeper outlying bommies to discover. Flare Point offers classic images of unspoiled coral reef abundant with marine life and covered in a diverse range of brightly coloured tropical fish.
|Mantis Shrimp||White Tip Reef Sharks||Unicorn Fish|
Joanie's Joy is a wall dive with a number of scattered bommies ranging in depth from thirty metres up to three metres.
|Sweetlip||White Tip Reef Sharks||Trumpet Fish|