Coral Sea Diving

Queensland, Australia

Coral Sea Australia

Beyond the continental shelf that harbours the Great Barrier Reef, lie the isolated reef systems and crystal clear waters of the Coral Sea, Australia. The region covers some 1 million square kilometres – three times the size of the neighbouring Great Barrier Reef and is one of the world’s largest marine park. Here, ancient mountains provide an undersea landscape of sheer walls rising from the ocean’s floor, where sharks and massive schools of pelagic fish emerge from the depths. 

In this oceanic wilderness, where human influence is relatively insignificant, pelagic fish populations abound including grey whalers and white tip reef sharks, hammerheads, tuna, barracuda, big eye trevally, mackerel and manta rays. Rare sea creatures such as the nautilus and lacey scorpionfish inhabit these waters, alongside an incredibly diverse range of corals, including massive soft corals and gorgonian fans far from land. Coral Sea diving is on another level. 

With the seafloor far below, the Coral Sea is also known for its clear blue waters and underwater visibility, which ranges between 30 and 100 metres.

Our 4 Night and 7 Night Liveaboard Dive trips visit the following Coral Sea Australia dive sites: 

North Horn

An awesome dive for anyone wanting a close encounter with a variety and great number of sharks. Consequently this site is being used to monitor shark behaviour as part of a university research project. One of the best known Coral Sea diving locations, North Horn has a natural amphitheatre on the edge of the main reef, with a wall that steps down from near the surface to over a thousand metres deep. There is an abundance of huge soft corals at 25 to 40 metres. There is a commemorative plaque located at 32 metres in honour of a well-loved local Marine enthusiast. Our famous “Shark Feeding” dive is conducted here as well.

MARINE LIFE: Grey Reef Sharks, Schooling Humphead Parrotfish, White Tip Reef Sharks, Hammerheads, Silver Tips, Tuna, Parrotfish, Potato Cod

Shark Dive - Great Barrier Reef

North Horn Wall

An amazing Drift dive along a 1000 metre vertical wall starting along Osprey Reef’s Western Wall and finishing at North Horn. A diverse Coral Sea diving location, consisting of shallow caves, drop off’s, deeper overhangs with colourful soft corals, and a large variety of fish life both large and small.

MARINE LIFE: Grey Reef Sharks, Soft Corals, White Tip Reef, Sharks, Hammerheads, Manta Rays, Maori Wrasse, Barracuda, Dog Tooth Tuna

maori-wrasse

Half Way Wall

As the name suggests, Half Way Wall is midway between North Horn and False Entrance and another favourite Coral Sea diving site. The mooring is on the edge of the wall, with a number of bommies rising from around twenty metres. The main wall drops away under the boat to over a thousand metres.

MARINE LIFE: Grey Reef Shark, Big Eye Trevally Schools, White Tip Reef Sharks, Dog Tooth Tuna

trevally

Admiralty

Situated at the Southern End of Osprey Reef’s lagoon entrance, Admiralty is a popular afternoon and night diving spot. There is a reef maze amongst which a large variety of marine life make their home. From around thirty metres the reef drops off to depth in excess of a thousand metres. The area has many large caves and swim-throughs and an amazing series of sand bottom gullies leading up into the shallow lagoon area. Admiralty is so-named as it is the resting place of an old marine anchor, which can be seen in one of the many swim-throughs.

MARINE LIFE: Grey Reef Sharks, Black Trevally, White Tip Reef Sharks, Silver Tips, Octopus, Garden Eels, White Mouth Moray Eels, Gobies and Blennies, Manta Rays, Lion Fish

Two divers seen from below

False Entrance

A large divide in the reef gives the dive site the name “False Entrance”. A large U-shaped gully starting in the reef lagoon area gradually descends deeper to around 30 metres. A large selection of bommies rising up off the gully floor make this an architecturally spectacular dive. This is a popular destination in the summer months, when the prevailing winds are from the north-west.

MARINE LIFE: Soldier Fish, Grey Reef Sharks, Trigger Fish, Big Eye Trevally Schools, Maori Wrasse, White Tip Reef Sharks, Silver Tips, Blennies and Gobies

Grey Reef Shark

Around The Bend

This dive has it all. Normally a drift dive it starts on a 1000 metre wall enabling you to drift “around the bend” and back to the mooring line. For the experienced diver there is a isolated bommie at 32 metres off the wall which is a manta ray cleaning station and attracts some big fish life. Towards the end of the dive you can explore the shallow grotto near the mooring line, a trench which is carved into the reef, making it a fantastic for the safety stop and to find a myriad of little critters to end this Coral Sea diving experience.

MARINE LIFE: Hammerheads, Dog Tooth Tuna, Manta Rays, Silver Tips, Grey Reef Sharks, Gorgonian Fans, White Tip Reef Sharks, Soft Corals

fan-coral

Castles

Situated along the Western Wall Between “Admiralty” and “North Horn” this dive has an unusual profile as it consists of a large numbers of gullies and trenches weaving between the “Turrets and Towers” of the reef. The shallow lagoon area gradually descends to 30 metres where it meets the edge of the 1000 metre wall. It is known for a combination of interesting terrain and diverse marine life. The area is abundant with caves both large and small and home to an amazing overhang filled with gorgonian fans.

MARINE LIFE: Soldier Fish, Giant Queensland Grouper, Clown Trigger Fish, Garden Eels, Painted Crayfish, White Tip Reef Sharks, Moray Eels, Blennies and Gobies, Scribbled Puffer Fish

cave

Silver City

Only a few hundred metres from the “Castles” mooring lies this popular Coral Sea diving site. A 45-degree sloping wall, that descends down into the depths towards the 1000 metre wall. There are a series of volcano-style bommies rising just before the drop-off, that extends along the length of the dive site. Some fantastic caves can be found along the sloping wall and there are regular breaks in the reef, allowing you to swim up into the shallow, sandy lagoon area.

MARINE LIFE: Soldier Fish, Grey Reef Sharks, Trigger Fish, Big Eye Trevally Schools, Maori Wrasse, White Tip Reef Sharks, Silver Tips, Blennies and Gobies

Secret Caves

Situated at the Northern End of Osprey Reef’s lagoon entrance, Secret Caves is a great afternoon and night diving spot, when summer’s north east winds prevail. It consists of a vertical wall that extends to the North along the outside of the reef and also a sloping wall that continues up the channel and into the shallow lagoon area.

MARINE LIFE: Manta Rays, White Tip Reef Sharks, Barracud, Grey Reef Sharks, Many small reef fish varieties, Anemone Fish

Diver photographs a barracuda

Rapid Horn

Situated at the Southern Tip of Osprey Reef, Rapid Horn can only be dived in the summer months when northerly winds prevail. It consists of a 1000 metre vertical wall which the diver drifts along, eventually leading to a plateau on the Southern Tip, which is home to an amazing array of dense fish schools both large and small. Another great Coral Sea diving site to explore.

MARINE LIFE: Grey Whalers, Bump Headed Parrot Fish, White Tip Reef Sharks, Silver Drummer, Barracuda, Maori Wrasse, Big Eye Trevally Schools, Scorpion Fish, Sweetlips

sweetlips

What to learn more about the Coral Sea Australia? Visit the Australian Marine Parks website for more information.