Muck Diving in Australia

While you’ll be hard-pressed to find a diver that has never heard of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), some of Australia’s other superb dive locations may be a little less known. And if you’re looking to find the best muck diving in Australia, the lesser-known locations and the more out-of-the-way spots on the Great Barrier Reef may be just what the doctor ordered. ‘The Land Down Under’, in addition to having healthy reefs and big pelagic zones, is also home to a few muck diving sites that will keep keen macro photographers nose-down in the sand until their batteries run dry.

Lord Howe Island

One such location, home to some of the best muck diving in Australia, is Lord Howe Island. This small island in the Tasman Sea sits at the crossroads of five major oceanic currents and serves as a 'dumping ground' for the myriad juvenile fish and larvae that hitch a ride on the currents. In addition to some rare fish that are seldom seen elsewhere - Lord Howe Island butterflyfish and Ballina angelfish - Lord Howe Island's Lagoon dive site will keep muck divers happy. The shallow site is perfect for scouring the sand in search of Spanish dancers, shrimp and juvenile reef fish...

Ribbon Reefs

For those who have had the Great Barrier Reef on their bucket lists for a while, the Ribbon Reefs around Lizard Island will allow you to tick the GBR off that list and enable you to enjoy the wide variety of dive sites in the region. The Ribbon Reefs are located along the continental shelf in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef and are in pristine condition due to being less dived than the reef closer to Cairns. The area has sloping coral gardens, pinnacle dives and macro hotspots, with sites such as The Snake Pit and Flare Point offering good muck diving. In Australia, size does matter, though, and there are plenty of sites on the Ribbon Reefs to dive with bigger fish, such as The Cod Hole's famous huge groupers and the silvertips at Osprey Reef.

Ningaloo Reef

If you want to escape the madding crowds and hunt for all creatures great and small, then a trip to the Ningaloo Reef on Australia's west coast between March and July will have you snorkelling with whale sharks and critter hunting under the Navy Pier at nearby Exmouth. The 1,000-ft-long pier is still in active use by the Royal Australian Navy and is not accessible to the general public unless diving with a licenced company. The marine life enjoys the shelter afforded by the pier, and you can find nudibranchs of all shapes and colours, flat worms, scorpionfish, frogfish, moray eels, toadfish, shrimp and octopuses hiding among the soft corals and sponges. The Navy Pier is one of the best sites for muck diving in Australia.

While a trip to Australia will involve a long flight, you can make the most of the airmiles by combining these destinations into one longer itinerary to ensure you get to see the best of the muck diving in Australia. Our dive travel experts have travelled extensively throughout this vast country in search of the choicest hotels in the best locations to ensure your trip to Australia is as magical as it is memorable...

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Muck 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