Drift Diving in Australia

Thanks to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is firmly on the map when it comes to diving. However, diving in Australia isn’t limited to the northeast coast, with incredible dive spots all over the country, including Lord Howe Island on the east coast and Ningaloo Reef on the west. The country’s diving is primarily characterised by stunning coral reefs, but numerous ocean currents, seasonal upwellings and eddies make the waters off Australia fantastic for drift diving too. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite spots for drift diving in Australia, from North Horn Wall on the Great Barrier Reef to the Muiron Islands in Ningaloo…

North Horn Wall, Great Barrier Reef

North Horn Wall, on the remote Osprey Reef atoll, is one of our favourite places for drift diving in Australia. This acclaimed site is found on the northern tip of the reef, featuring a sloping coral wall between 12 and 40 metres, which abruptly drops over a kilometre to the sea floor. Although this far-flung spot is only reachable via liveaboard, it's well worth the extra effort. When the current is working, North Horn Wall is a thrilling drift dive with an abundance of sharks and pelagic creatures. Silvertips, white tips and grey reef sharks are common in the area, and lucky divers might even spot a passing hammerhead shark, manta ray or eagle ray. Aside from sharks and rays, the site boasts a large variety of pelagic fish, from potato cod to giant trevally.

The Gap, Muiron Islands

The Gap, off the Muiron Islands, is part of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area and a must-visit when drift diving in Australia. The site is located between the North and South Muiron Islands and is a great drift for anyone seeking vibrant coral reefs and colourful fish. The healthy reef is made up of hard corals, soft corals and sponges. It's home to the usual suspects including turtles and nurse sharks.

Balls Pyramid, Lord Howe Island

Balls Pyramid on the southern end of Lord Howe Island is a spectacular dive site and a unique spot to go drift diving in Australia. At 552 metres tall, Ball's Pyramid is the world's tallest sea stack. It is also currently the only place to see Ballina Angelfish while diving. The currents surrounding the stack are strong, making this site suitable for experienced divers only. While the shallower parts of the rock are devoid of life due to the turbulent current, caves and crevices deeper down are adorned with coral. Divers can expect to encounter large schools of amberjack, rainbow runners, violet sweep and more, as well as small Galapagos sharks, turtles and stingrays.

Whether you choose to visit the world-famous Great Barrier Reef or take the path less-travelled over to Ningaloo or Lord Howe Island, Australia has some of the best drift diving on Earth. If you're thinking about drift diving in Australia for your next holiday, our expert team can help you create your dream itinerary.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Drift Diving in Australia' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972