Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, Australia
Ask 10 experienced divers about the best regions in the world for scuba diving and you will have 10 different lists, but surely the northeastern Australian coast will be in all of them. Note that I didn’t write “spot” but “regions” because it’s in Queensland that there is the world’s largest barrier reef, with an incredible 2,200 km (1,367 mi)!
The Great Barrier is in fact not a continuous reef, but a multitude of reefs that are not always connected, allowing navigation between them. Some are only 20 km (12 mi) from the coast, such as in Cairns region, the city with more options for those looking for a diving operation, but others are more than 200 km (124 mi) away in an area called Coral Sea.
To dive on the Great Barrier it’s possible to take a day-trip tour, but for diving on the Coral Sea you’ll have to put your hand in your pocket and book a live-aboard, usually a week long with six days of diving . If it’s worth it? For sure! In the Great Barrier the water is warm and clean, with 15 to 30 meters (50 to 100 feet) of visibility, usually. But in the Coral Sea the water is also warm and the visibility can easily be beyond 50 meters (160 feet) and eventually reaching more than 100 meters (330 feet).
Both regions there is plenty of life, there is no boring dive, but as the Coral Sea is more protected from mass tourism due to the distance, it’s easier to find large animals such as stingrays and sharks. Speaking of sharks, be sure to click here to see how it is a shark dive in the Coral Sea.