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The best dive spots in Australia



Australia has some of the most widely acclaimed top diving spots on the planet. This is partly due to the stunning and diverse underwater habitats available in this country. Whether it is a coral reef, old shipwreck, or underwater cave, you will see amazing sea life and uncommon aquatic plants and animal species. Here are some of the best places to dive and explore life under the sea in Australia:

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island, located in South Australia, offers cool waters and is the home of the leafy sea dragon. Other creatures found here include a variety of sponges (white, orange and red), diverse kinds of fish such as boar fish, coral fish, harlequins, and blue devils. This is also one of the very few places where you can find a combination of fur seals from New Zealand and the Australian sea lion. The sea lions are extremely playful, friendly and entertaining underwater creatures. Bear in mind that the leafy sea dragon is quite shy, so you should not move too close to it if you want to enjoy its colourful displays.

Photo: Tungkyhandoko

Byron Bay

At Byron Bay, the cooler waters of the south meet with warm tropical water from the northern part of the country. There are two small islands encompassed by a marine park called Julian Rocks. At Julian Rocks, new divers can learn the basics of diving while the more experienced divers practice their diving skills. Beneath the water, you will see wobbegong sharks, humpbacks, grey nurses and leopard sharks. You will also see may colourful sponges and corals as well as manta rays, sea stars and turtles. To see the leopard sharks, you should come here in mid-summer and you can also see whales during their annual migration from May to September.

Ningaloo Reef

Australia’s largest fringing reef – Ningaloo Reef – is located on the West Coast of the country. This beautiful coral reef stretches for more than 250 kilometres along Northwest Cape. One of the most popular inhabitants of this reef is the whale shark – the world’s biggest fish, which can grow up to 18 metres in length. In addition, you may also see hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, manta rays and humpback whales. To see the whale sharks, you should endeavour to come here between March and June when they draw close to the reef in search of food.

Photo: Shek Graham

Photo: Shek Graham

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular dive sites in Australia and indeed the entire world. Renowned as the world’s largest reef system (even visible from outer space), this expansive system has several popular dive spots including Lizard Island in the northern part and Heron Island and Osprey Reef in the south. If you dive at Cod Hole on Lizard Island, where beginners love to dive, you can see white tip reef sharks, giant clams, potato cods, feather stars and manta rays.

Off the coast of Heron Island in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, you may take a brief ride from the jetty and gain access to about 30 popular dive spots including the Blue Pools, Heron Bommie and the Coral Cascades. Underneath the water, you will have a chance to see some stunning coral banks, tunnels and overhangs as well as turtles, octopus, moray eels, parrot fish and wobbegong sharks.

Yongala Shipwreck

The SS Yongala was caught up in a cyclone over a century ago in 1911. Over 120 people died on the shipwreck at that time. But today, this shipwreck has become one of the most popular diving spots on earth. Located about 90 kilometres south of Townsville, you can see how bustling marine life has transformed this shipwreck into a unique habitat for various species of aquatic plants and animals. For instance, you will see extremely bright coral species, many snakes, eels, clown fish, sharks, turtles, and potato cod. In the winter months, you can spot humpback whales and manta rays while in summer you will see a large school of bait fish. Virtually every diver who comes here wants to return to explore this amazing dive site again.

Photo: Chris Davey

Photo: Chris Davey


These are just a few of the unique dive spots in Australia. All around the continent from the north to the east to the south to the west and then up north again, you can never run out of amazing diving spots.

Marine Life & Conservation

Silent Reef Keepers: The Fight to Save the Caribbean Reef Shark



Caribbean Reef Shark

The Kingdom of the Netherlands will ask for increased protection for the Caribbean reef shark during next month’s Conference of Parties for the Cartagena Convention (COPs) on Aruba.  Caribbean reef sharks play a critical role in maintaining a healthy reef ecosystem and building resilience within the oceans. This increased protection is critical for ensuring a sustainable future for this iconic species.

The Caribbean Sea is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and a dazzling array of marine life. Among the charismatic inhabitants of this underwater paradise is the Caribbean Reef Shark (Carcharhinus perezii), a species that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of coral reef ecosystems. In the Dutch Caribbean, these apex predators face mounting threats, but there is hope on the horizon. At the upcoming Conference of Parties for the Cartagena Convention (COPs), the Kingdom of the Netherlands will seek increased protection for these magnificent creatures by listing this species on Annex III of the SPAW Protocol.  Annex III includes plant and animal species which require additional protection to ensure this species is able to adequately recover their populations in the Wider Caribbean Region.


Caribbean reef sharks thrive in warm, tropical waters of the Caribbean region, with a distribution range that stretches from Florida to Brazil. This species is one of the most encountered reef shark species throughout the whole Caribbean Sea.  Growing up to 3m (9.8ft) in length, this shark is one of the largest apex predators in the reef ecosystem and is at the top of the marine food web, having only a few natural predators. 

In addition to being of great economic value, as shark diving is a major draw for divers from around the world, this species is also critical for maintaining balance within the reef ecosystem. Their presence helps regulate the population of smaller prey species, which in turn, prevents overgrazing on seagrass beds and coral reefs and eliminates sick or weak fish from the population. This balance is essential for maintaining the health and diversity of the entire coral reef.


Despite their ecological and economic significance, Caribbean reef sharks in the Caribbean face numerous threats that have led to a population reduction estimated to be between 50–79% over the past 29 years. In the (Dutch) Caribbean this is mainly caused by:

Habitat Degradation: The degradation of coral reefs and seagrass beds due to climate change, pollution, and coastal development has a direct impact on the availability of prey for these sharks. Loss of habitat reduces their ability to find food and shelter.

Overfishing: Overfishing poses one of the most immediate threats to Caribbean reef sharks. They are often caught incidentally in commercial fisheries, where fishermen are targeting other species, or intentionally, where they are sought after for their fins, used in shark fin soup.

A Call for Increased Protection

There are different organizations and individuals working to protect sharks and their habitats in the Dutch Caribbean. A significant milestone was the establishment of protected areas such as the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary between Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.  Another milestone was in 2019 when the Dutch government adopted an International Shark Strategy. The strategy sets out which protective and management actions for sharks and rays are to be taken by the government in all seas and oceans where the Netherlands has influence (including the Dutch Caribbean).  Additional efforts are still needed to create more marine protected areas, enhance enforcement, reduce pollution in the ocean, and promote sustainable fishing practices.  These species know no (political) boundaries and their protection requires broadscale conservation efforts within the Dutch Caribbean and beyond.


The Caribbean reef shark is a species of paramount importance to the (Dutch) Caribbean’s coral reefs. With the extra protection being requested during the next COPS meeting in Aruba, there is hope that this species will have a healthy future. By recognizing their ecological significance and the challenges they face, we can work together to ensure a brighter future for the Caribbean Reef Shark in the Dutch Caribbean and beyond.



The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports science communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature-related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and the press. This article contains the results from several scientific studies but the studies themselves are not DCNA studies. No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.    


Photo + photo credit: Jim Abernethy-all rights reserved

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Dive Pirates Foundation nominated for DEMA’s Community Champion Award, asking for DEMA Members to vote now!



Dive Pirates Foundation is proud to announce it has been nominated for DEMA’s 2023 Diving Community Champions award. The Foundation is asking all DEMA members to support the crew and vote to recognize the great efforts achieved in 2023!

Specifically, DPF is being recognized for this year’s “Find Your Inner Treasure” effort, which brought the world of scuba diving to 6 adults living with disabilities. Through this effort, the recipients – 5 of whom are military veterans – were equipped fully and trained by their local dive shops before enjoying a week-long dive trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort. While at the resort, DPF provided additional volunteer instructors and adaptive buddies for all participants to dive adaptively alongside industry professionals and returning adaptive divers alike. For many of the new divers, these dives were their first open water diving experiences. By the end of the week, all new divers had completed more than a dozen open water dives, with some also earning their open water diver certification.

However, Dive Pirates’ “Find Your Inner Treasure” effort also provides something much more than a scuba diving trip: freedom. The new divers frequently used this word to describe the feeling of scuba diving, with many expressing that they thought diving was unattainable for them with their disability. For them, this trip was much more than a vacation. It was a confidence boost and validation of their ability.

New participants also found themselves welcomed into the Dive Pirates family and the dive community at large. Throughout the trip, DPF provided its participants new and old with fun events at the resort in order to build camaraderie and to promote a welcoming, inclusive environment for the 6 new divers. With the new members eager to return for future dives, as well as 8 past recipients, one stowaway adaptive diver, and other divers making this their vacation volunteer effort resulting in 64 travelers,  2023 marked another successful year for the Dive Pirates Foundation.

Now, DPF needs you to vote so they can be recognized for their amazing work! Voting closes October 12, 2023, at 4:00 pm US Pacific Time. DEMA members can vote for DPF here.

The Dive Pirates Foundation a 501(c)3 organization, positively impacts the lives of its recipients; injured military, first responders, law enforcement and others with mobile disabilities, by welcoming them into adaptive scuba diving which fosters accomplishment, self-worth and community. The Foundation trains, equips and conducts dive trips year-round to calm, warm-water locations for the safety of those with spinal cord injuries, networking with facilities willing to empower all participants with compassion and adaptation for a positive experience diving, team building and networking.

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Jump on board the newest addition to the Emperor Fleet! Seven Seas is a very impressive liveaboard boasting 12 spacious cabins. It offers 5-star service and is perfect for exploring the waters with its spacious dive deck and 75HP zodiac tenders fitted with ladders. Enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic introductory special offer.   Price NOW from just £1625 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including: Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage 7 nights in shared cabin 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees Free Nitrox Airport transfers More information on Seven Seas Booking deadline: Limited availability at this price! Subject to availability. Alternative departure airports are available. Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email More Less

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