Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, Australia

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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.

O navio Yongala, que afundou em 1911 durante um ciclone, é um dos mais belos naufrágios do mundo. Hoje sua estrutura está totalmente coberta por corais, algas e esponjas.

The Yongala shipwreck, which sank in 1911 because of a cyclone, is one of the most beautiful wrecks in the world. Today its structure is totally covered by corals, algae and sponges

A água morna e com grande visibilidade proporciona o ambiente perfeito para o crescimento dos corais.

The warm crystal-clear water provides the perfect environment for coral growth

No Yongala é fácil encontrar serpentes marinhas, que mesmo sendo um dos animais mais venenosos do mundo, não oferece perigo aos mergulhadores.

In Yongala it’s easy to find marine snakes, which, although being one of the most poisonous animals in the world, offers no danger for divers

No meio do azul, a mais de 200 km da costa australiana, surgem recifes como o Flinders.

In the middle of the blue, more than 200 km (120 mi) of the Australian coast, emerge reefs as Flinders

A visibilidade é impressionante: essa foto foi feita a 40 metros de profundidade!

The visibility is impressive: this photo was made 40 meters (131 feet) deep

Muitos mergulhos no Mar de Coral são feitos descendo direto para os 40 metros e subindo lentamente, observando a espetacular vida marinha.

Many dives in the Coral Sea are made straight down to 40 meters (131 feet) and going up slowly, watching the spectacular marine life

Peixe cangulo palhaço no recife Flinders

Clown triggerfish at Flinders reef

Peixe anjo real no recife Flinders

Emperor angelfish at Flinders reef

Moréia nadando entre os corais do recife Flinders

Moray eel at Flinders reef

Um dos melhores pontos se chama Shark Zoo, clique aqui para ver um artigo sobre esse local

One of the best spots is called Shark Zoo, click here to see an article about this dive

Siba fotografada em um mergulho noturno.

Cuttlefish in a night dive

Peixe papagaio em mergulho noturno no recife Flinders

Parrot fish in a night dive at Flinders reef

À noite as lagostas são facilmente avistadas.

At night it’s easy to find lobsters

Recife Wheeler, na Grande Barreira, já próximo à costa australiana.

Wheeler reef, on the Great Barrier, close to the australian coast

Este é Elvis, uma barracuda enorme que habita o recife Wheeler.

This is Elvis, a gigantic barracuda that lives at Wheeler reef

Peixe anjo imperador no recife Myrmidon

Emperor angelfish at Myrmidon reef

Estrela-do-mar no recife Myrmidon.

Seastar at Myrmidon reef

Macrofotografia de anêmona no recife Myrmidon

Macrophotography os an anemone at Myrmidon reef

Peixes-palhaço no recife Wheeler.

Peixes-palhaço no recife Wheeler

Os mergulhos noturnos no recife Myrmidon oferecem excelentes opções para macrofotografia, como esse hidrozoário.

Os mergulhos noturnos no recife Myrmidon oferecem excelentes opções para macrofotografia, como esse hidrozoário