Today is World Ocean Day, a day to celebrate our life-giving oceans and raise global awareness.
One Ocean, One Climate, One Future - Together!
As we celebrate World Ocean Day today, here at Ocean Armour we’re excited to share some of our favourite, incredible diving and snorkelling destinations around Australia.
From the pristine coral reefs to the diverse marine life that call them home, our oceans are truly a treasure trove waiting to be explored. By celebrating the incredible marine ecosystems that grace the Australian coastline, we hope to inspire you to jump in, discover them for yourselves, and make waves of change together to protect them.
Let’s embark on a journey through five remarkable destinations in Australia - each with its own unique charm!
1. Nyinggulu / Ningaloo : A window to the Underwater World
First, we venture to Ningaloo Reef, nestled on the Western Australia coast. This idyllic location, encompassing Exmouth and Coral Bay, is a World Heritage-listed site offering awe-inspiring experiences for ocean lovers.
It’s most famous for the annual visitation of majestic whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea.
Usually solitary creatures, Ningaloo Reef is one of only a few places in the world where whale sharks appear regularly in number. The fringing reef becomes a feeding ground for between 200 - 400 whale sharks between early March and the end of August.
Snorkelling or diving alongside these magnificent creatures is an experience of a lifetime. A top reason to put a trip to Exmouth and Ningaloo on your bucket list, right?
And, that’s not all! You’ll be able to dive or snorkel alongside graceful manta rays, colourful tropical fish, turtles and sharks, to name but a few. You may even be able to spot our favourite - the Leapord Shark.
Plus, if you time your trip between July and October, you’ll be able to swim with humpback whales and their adorable calves.
We recognise and acknowledge Baiyungu, Thalanyji and Yinigurdira people as the traditional owners of Ningaloo Marine Park.
2. Gimuy / Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef: A Vibrant Underwater Wonderland
No celebration of Australian oceans would be complete without mentioning the crown jewel of marine wonders - the Great Barrier Reef. Encompassing 344, 000 square kilometres, it’s larger than Victoria and Tasmania combined! We are fortunate to live and work on the Great Barrier Reef, and we pinch ourselves every day!!
Today, we’ve focused on the area off the coast of Cairns. Snorkelling or diving in the Great Barrier Reef unveils a kaleidoscope of vibrant coral gardens, playful sea turtles, and mesmerising shoals of fish.
Our absolute favourite finds are when macro diving! Have you heard about macro diving? It’s all about spotting the tiniest critters in the ocean through the large lens needed to capture them.
Nudibranch, Ribbon Reef - @spiritoffreedomcairns
From nudibranchs to whip coral shrimp, discovering these small critters truly feels like discovering the intricacies of marine ecosystems, with every creature serving a purpose.
Life isn’t all small on the reef! If you book a trip in June / July, you may spot the Minke whales, who migrate from Antarctic waters to the Ribbon reefs, and between May and September you’ll be able to spot the amazing humpback whale migration.
Snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef is a journey into an underwater paradise that leaves us breathless and profoundly connected to the delicate balance of life beneath the waves.
If you’d like to experience scuba diving for the first time, book a day trip with Divers Den to ‘Discover Scuba’, and if you’re looking to go a little further afield, check out the amazing liveaboard experiences with Spirit of Freedom.
We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef and their continuing connection to their land and sea country.
3. Byron Bay and Nguthungulli / Julian Rocks: A Marine Biodiversity Hotspot
Moving along the eastern coast, we arrive at Byron Bat and the nearby Julian Rocks where a marine biodiversity hotspot awaits!
We haven’t had the opportunity to dive Julian Rock as yet; here is why it’s on our bucket list!
Julian Rocks is a group of islets where warm and cold currents collide, creating a mesmerising mix of tropical and cold water marine life. It’s often credited as one of the most abundant fish dives in the world.
You can snorkel at Julian Rocks and experience this amazing marine playground, but most divers say it’s best enjoyed beneath the waves. Whether you’re a novice or experienced diver, the variety of dive sites at Julian Rocks offer something for everyone. From ‘The Needles’, where you’ll see shoals of fish, nudibranchs and leopard sharks, to ‘Cod Hole’ which is home to the critically endangered grey nurse sharks, blue groupers and moray eels.
Leopard Shark, Julian Rocks - @sundivebyronbay
You may also be able to spot loggerhead turtles, dolphins, manta rays, wobbegong sharks and scorpion fish, as well as an awesome display of soft and hard coral.
There are 5 unique dive sites, meaning you can book multiple trips and be guaranteed a unique experience each and every time.
Check out Sundive who offer small group tours to help you explore this underwater paradise. We’re booking, who knows… perhaps we will see you there!
We acknowledge the Arakwal people and the wider Bundjalung Nation as the traditional custodians of the land.
4. Naarm / Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay: Urban Ecosystems Worth Protecting
Heading south to Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay lies a temperate ecosystem worth protecting.
A stone’s throw from the city, the bay boasts stunning marine life, including the famous Weedy Sea Dragon - a unique creature found only in Southern Waters. From seahorses to sea stars, the bay is teeming with fascinating creatures. And if you’re a fan of cephalopods, you’re in for a treat! Melbourne’s waters are home to the world’s largest variety of octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. You may need to head night diving to see them, but if you do you might catch a glimpse of giant cuttlefish, southern keeled octopus, and the highly venomous blue-ringed octopus, just to name a few!!
Seahorse - Port Philip Bay, Melbourne @scubabodivevictoria
Keep an eye out for trips in June and early July to see the incredible Spider Crab migration, where thousands of crabs come together for a synchronised moult. Usually solitary, no one quite knows why they come together for the mass moult event, most probably for protection. Whatever the reason, it’s an unforgettable experience!
From shore and pier dives, wrecks and reefs, and deep wall dives, you’ll be blown away with what Melbourne diving has to offer!
Are you in Melbourne and eager to try diving for the first time? Or, a tropical diver eager to dive into this different, diverse world? The Scubabo Melbourne team can help you dive into this diverse world.
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin as the traditional owners of the land.
5. Adelaide, Jetty, Reefs and Wrecks: An Underwater Playground
Just like Melbourne, divers flock to Adelaide in search of the mesmerising Leafy Sea Dragon, which is exclusive to the region. They’re elusive creatures, masters of camouflage and blending seamlessly with the kelp and seaweed. You’ll have the best chance of spotting them around the jetties and sea grass beds at Rapid Bay and Edithburgh. The best time to visit is from January to March when the males are incubating the eggs, providing a captivating sight.
Leafy Sea Dragon, Rapid Bay Adelaide @divingadelaide
Throughout the year, the Adelaide waters offer marine shows that won’t disappoint. Keep an eye out for the Port Jackson shark, known for its gentle nature. In November, these sharks congregate in sheltered waters south of Adelaide to bury their egg cases in the reef.
Whether you’re a snorkeler or a diver, Adelaide is a must-see destination. Dive into a world of stunning blue devils, blue swimmer crabs, magical schools of juvenile snapper, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of a wobbegong.
While the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo often steal the spotlight, the Southern waters around Adelaide and Melbourne hold their own treasure trove of wonders. If you're in Adelaide and eager to experience diving or are already a certified diver looking to book a trip, make waves today by reaching out to the team at Diving Adelaide!
We acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional owners of the land.
Let's continue to celebrate the wonders of our underwater world together!
Did you know Australia has such diverse diving and snorkelling experiences? People travel from all over the world to experience them firsthand. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or new to the underwater world, we hope these amazing destinations will captivate your imagination and find ther way onto your bucket list.
Only a small percentage of people will ever witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the marine ecosystems firsthand. That’s why we believe in bringing these experiences to life and sharing the stories that unfold beneath the waves. By forging connections with others through these narratives, we can ignite a shared passion for protecting our oceans and the incredible marine life they harbour.
Join us in spreading the word about these extraordinary destinations among your fellow ocean enthusiasts. Follow us on instagram @ocean.armour to see the mesmerising marine life in each location. Do you have a favourite diving or snorkelling spot in Australia? Share them with us - we always love to hear from you!
Let’s continue to celebrate the wonders of our underwater world together, and keep their conservation top of mind!