Scuba diving in Australia
Australia is a country like no other, the culture, the climate, the nature and the people. Almost everybody who comes to Australia fall in love, maybe not with a Sheila or Aussie, even though they´re nice too, but with the country.
Australia is the smallest continent and the biggest island in the world. It is divided into 8 parts, 6 states, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania and 2 territories, Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory.
One of the Seven Wonders of the Underwater World is the Great Barrier Reef, the reef stretches along almost all of Queenslands coast, it is 3000 km long and in some places 65 km wide. Here you can meet some endangered species like the sea-cow and the big green sea turtle. The flora and fauna is enormous, in the Great Barrier Reef you can find the biggest variation of coral species in the world. Some parts of the reef are over 18 million years old!
Outside the coast of Queensland in the Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsunday island group is situated. Here you can dive at the Bait Reef and Garys Lagoon, a great place for snorkeling or dive for the first time due to its protected location. You´ll meet wobbegongs, reef fish, turtles and sometimes manta rays. In Hook Reef you find the Caves and Canyons whit a 60m wall. 20m down the wall there´s a shelf, where the gorgonians sway with the currents. Tuna, Indian Steephead Parrot Fish and an occasional whale will keep you company.
The Yongala, built 23 April 1903 in Newcastle, is one of the most attractive dive sites in Australia due to its history and diverse marine life. During a cyclone on 23 March 1911 the ship SS Yongala sank south of Townsville, killing all the 122 people aboard. The mystery around the ship increased as it was not found until 1958 since then the SS Yongala is considered an internationally regarded dive site and tourist attraction.
Western Australia is the biggest of the Australian states, but has not got the most inhabitants. Would you like to dive with the biggest fish in the world? Diving with whale sharks is possible in Western Australia at Ningaloo reef between April and June. Ningaloo reef is one of the very few places on earth where you can swim straight out from the beach to the reef. If you like wall diving we recommend you to visit Christmas Island with some of the longest drop-offs in the world.
South Australia is a paradise for scuba divers who like a big and varied marine life, South Australia has one of the most diverse marine life in the world. If you like wrecks there are over 50 from different times around the Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Endemic to the waters around West and South Australia is the Leafy Sea-dragon, so if you´re looking for something amazing, go to Kangaroo Island! Between the years 1865 and 1910 over 800 ships wrecked outside the South Australia coast.
A very famous place in New South Wales is Byron Bay, not only for its diving and snorkeling, but for whale watching and the surfing culture. If you want to dive with sea turtles, rays, wobbegongs and over 500 other fish species, Cape Byron Marine Park just outside the city of Byron Bay is the perfect place! The more south in New South Wales you travel, the cooler the water gets. A fun fact is that Sydney harbor has the most marine life of all harbors in the world. The Grey Nurse Sharks swims outside Sydney in the cave of Magic Point, why not visit them?
In Northern Territory the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock) is. Around Uluru, there´s mainly the amazing outback that can only be seen in Australia. But, on the coast, outside Darwin, there are eight shipwrecks from WW2 to visit.
Due to Tasmanias different terrain and nature it has many species that are endemic to Tasmania, both on land and in the water. Tasmania has something for most kind of divers, wrecks, reefs, canyons and caves, overhangs, swim throughs and a wide spectra of marine life. The SS Nord wreck is the most famous dive site in Tasmania. The Ship is in good condition ad lies at a depth of 42 meters, so this is mostly for experienced divers. For you scuba divers who like wall diving Hippolyte Rock is a 40meter steep wall. While you´re at the Hippolyte Rock, why not take a look at the inhabitants of the rock, the Australian fur seals.
Tourist information in Australia
A visa is needed to visit Australia, apply on the internet or at the embassy in your country. The Australian government recommends you to have a health and travel insurance, if case of an accident.
The customs regulations in Australia are very strict. If you´re bringing plants or food, you must declare it. Otherwise you´ll get a fine or, in worst case scenario, even jail. Better safe than sorry!
The currency in Australia is Australian dollars(AUD). Exchanging money is possible in banks, hotels and airports. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Australia uses three pin plug with 240V 50Hz power supply.
Since Australia is such a big country flying is the fastest way getting across the country. Looking at the map the distances will fool you. By renting a car you can reach places and beaches you shouldn´t have seen going on a bus. Renting a car is easy, it´s a good idea hiring a four wheel drive car, then you could drive in the outback. A good way to discover the country is to rent a camper van, campings are found all over the country and are often very nice, the price is reasonable. Just remember that Australia uses left hand traffic!
Boats are not a common way too travel to other cities. A very common way for tourists to travel is by bus. Many companies have hop on hop off tickets where you can hop off and rest a couple of days halfway to your destination. Going by bus is relatively cheap.
If you have a diving accident, call this number: 1800 088 200
Public holidays in Australia
Public holidays in Australia is different in every state.
|New Years Day||January 1|| |
|Australia Day||January 26|| |
|Royal Hobart Regatta||February 13 ||Tas|
|Labour Day||March 5||WA|
|Adelaide Cup||March 12||SA|
|Eight Hours Day||March 12||Tas|
|Canberra Day||March 12||ACT|
|Labour Day||March 12||Vic|
|Good Friday||April 6|| |
|Easter Sunday||April 7|| |
|Easter day||April 8|| |
|Easter Monday||April 9|| |
|Easter Tuesday||April 10||Tas*|
|Anzac Day||April 25|| |
|May Day||May 7||NT*|
|Labour Day||May 7||QLD*|
|Western Australia Day||June 4||WA*|
|The Queen´s Diamond Jubilee||June 11||QLD*|
|Queen´s Birthday||June 11|| |
|New South Wales Bank Holiday||August 6||NSW*|
|Northern Territory Picnic Day||August 6||NT*|
|Royal National Agricultural Show Day ||August 15||QLD*|
|Labour Day||October 1||ACT*, NSW*, SA*|
|Queen´s Birthday||October 1||QLD*, WA*|
|Family & Community Day||October 8||ACT*|
*Tas (Tasmania) *NT (Northern Territory) *QLD (Queensland) *WA (Western Australia) *NSW (New South Wales) *ACT (Australia Capital Territory)