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Dive the Whitsunday Islands

Updated Thu 22 Dec 2022

Group of scuba divers and instructor on a chase boat on the Great Barrier Reef

Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef should be at the top of everyone's bucket list, as it is an experience like no other!

The Whitsundays offers the ideal conditions for learning how to scuba dive on the East Coast of Australia, and it is the most recommended destination for first-time divers. While sensationally rewarding and enjoyable, the task of learning how to breathe underwater can be nerve-wracking and intimidating for some; you should feel comfortable in your learning environment.

The Whitsunday Islands feature an array of coves and bays that are fully protected from rougher seas and have sandy beaches of shallow depths. These beaches allow you to learn new skills in a comfortable and controlled setting. Once familiar with your gear and skills, you are merely a 5-metre swim to the magnificent coral reefs. There is no better way to learn how to dive than to do so in the safe setting of the inner Great Barrier Reef.

Certified Diving in the Whitsundays

For the avid and experienced diver, the Whitsunday Islands is a destination not to be missed! The fringing reefs in the area offer some of the most spectacular dive sites; they are sure to rank high in your most memorable dive experiences. Venture through swim-throughs and caves, explore one bommie to the next, get up close and personal with exotic fish and marine life and even listen to the whales sing underwater (June through to October). What are you likely to see? Here is a list of the most commonly sighted marine life:

  • Colourful corals: soft and hard corals (boulder coral, brain coral, elephant ear coral and more)
  • Parrotfish, coral trout, reef fish, sweetlips, angelfish, surgeonfish, fusiliers, rabbitfish, giant trevallies, anemone fish, cleaner wrasse, barracuda
  • Napoleon Maori Wrasse, Hump-headed Parrotfish
  • Moray eels
  • Nudibranchs, feather stars, sea slugs
  • Blue-spotted lagoon rays, cow-tail rays, Manta rays
  • Black and white-tipped sharks, Wobbegong sharks
  • Sea turtles: green turtles, Hawksbill turtles, leatherback turtles
  • Lionfish, puffer fish, cuddle fish
  • Potato cod, flowery cod, grouper

Turtles swimming amongst corals in the Great Barrier Reef

Overnight Tours with Diving in the Whitsundays

The most popular and advised way of experiencing the underwater world of the Whitsundays is through overnight dive charters. There are a number of tours to meet different budgets and desires that cater for onboard diving. On these tours, your Dive Instructor is onboard at all times and offers you the chance to dive multiple dive sites. In addition to diving, you will also have the chance to visit other World Heritage Listed destinations, such as the famous Whitehaven Beach. Check out our best overnight charters with diving below!

1.   Kiana

Taking a maximum of 14 passengers onboard, Kiana is one of the only overnight sailing vessels that visits the inner Whitsunday Islands and stunning Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy one free dive and endless snorkelling at uncrowded reef sites, with the opportunity to add on more dives if you wish.

2.   Atlantic Clipper

Renowned as the party boat of the Whitsundays, Atlantic Clipper is a social megayacht taking up to 53 passengers per trip. Grab your mates and make a splash on the abundance of thrilling aquatic extras, from paddleboards to a giant waterslide. To explore the reef deeper, book a dive.

3.   New Horizon 

Combining aquatic fun with a brimming itinerary, New Horizon is one of the only social overnight tours to offer diving onboard. Taking 32 passengers around the Whitsunday Islands, enjoy a giant waterslide, dive plank, paddleboards, snorkelling and the chance to dive.

Two divers making the 'okay' sign on the Great Barrier Reef

However you choose to explore the Whitsunday Islands, don't miss out on the chance to dive amongst world-class reefs!

Call us on +61 7 4914 2425 or live chat with a local expert to check out our latest deals on overnight dive charters!

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  • Our experts are Based in Airlie Beach
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