The Best Dive Sites in Tropical North Queensland


Best Dive Sites in North Queensland


Where are The Best Dive Sites in Tropical North Queensland?


That’s a great question and what we are going to answer now.


We will assume you are a certified diver (Already have your dive license) with maybe around 20 dives or more under your belt. This article will relate to you.


With less than say 20 dive’s or you are only just newly certified, we will write another section for you at a later date.


This article we really only want to show the very best dive sites in Tropical North Queensland, and for most of these, you really should be an experienced diver.


Ok so let’s begin,


Number – 07 – Barracuda Bommie, Agincourt Reef 2, Port Douglas.

Sitting at number 7 is Barracuda Bommie at Agincourt Ribbon Reef – 02. As the name suggest large schools of Barracuda both adult and juvenile barracuda are often seen relaxing and living in and around Barracuda Bommie. Most dives start with your guide taking you all the way to the bottom which sites around 22meters. From the sandy bottom, most dive masters will guide you around and around the bommie slowly ascending all the way to the surface. As your dive gets shallower the coral gets brighter and brighter with a large variety of beautiful reef fish and corals to finish your 5-meter safety stop for 3 minutes. Keep your eyes peeled for large adult Barracuda. Usually, small schools of 7 or more can be seen up close and personal. This is a great dive! Check out diving from Port Douglas for day trips diving at Barracuda Bommie from Port Douglas.


Number – 06 – Flynn Reef, Tracy’s Dive Site

Sitting at number 6 is Tracys dive site at Flynn Reef from Cairns. Beautiful walls, caverns, small swim through caves and large open coral gardens. Really easy nice diving. Sometimes large schools of juvenile barracuda can been seen hanging around in the shallows. Most of the diving at Tracy’s is around 14 meters and under. This is where you see most of your color in the coral reefs.


Number – 05 – Flynn Reef, Gordons Dive Site

Gordon’s dive site at Flynn reef, beautiful coral gardens located in only about 14 meters of water but bright healthy coral and thousands of smaller reef fish. The main event at Gordon’s are small to medium sized Hawksbill Sea Turtles. That’s right Gordons is one of the best-known spots for interacting with Hawksbill sea turtles. Gordan’s dive site has allot of red sea cabbage growing amongst the coral gardens. Guess what Hawksbill sea turtles love more than anything else in the whole world? Red Sea Cabbage! Silverswift Dive & Snorkel operate a day snorkel / dive boats that visit Flynn Reef on a daily basis. Excellent crew and fantastic vessel to dive from.


Number – 04 – Three Sisters, Milne Reef Cairns.

The place to take photos of Yellow Sweetlip. These 3 bommies attract large schools of Yellow sweet lips that hug the top of the bommies and make for excellent photos. The top of the shallowest bommie sites in around 5 meters depending on the tide and if you catch a nice sunny day your photos will be spectacular. TUSA T6 Dive & Snorkel has a permit to dive at 3 sisters so check them out. TUSA also allow you to go off and dive in your own buddy pair, perfect for experienced divers and underwater photographers.


Number – 03 – The SS Yonagala

The SS Yongala could actually be regarded as the number one dive site in North Queensland, the only reason we didn’t make it number one was the ease of access to get to it. You must travel to the small little town of Ayr. From Ayr take a small little run about nearly half an hour to the amazing Yongala. You must be an advanced diver for this dive takes you down to 30meters. But it is well worth it if you love your ship-wrecks. Due to the large volumes of very large fish, snakes, rays and sharks that inhabit the SS Youngala, this dive is definitely a must do if you are traveling up or down the East Coast of Australia.


Number – 02 – The Cod Hole North of Ribbon Reef 10

The Cod Hole is the second top dive site in Tropical North Queensland. This site has earned it’s reputation as one of the best dives in Australia. This site has been a famous dive site for many years with divers encountering very large potato cod that are not shy and will really come in and take a very clse look at you. The Giant Potato Cod are actually attracted by the food they are given from the Dive masters. This has been a common event for the last 20 years or more so the local Giant Potato Cod know what’s going on and visit the site regularly for a quick bite to eat supplied from the weary dive masters that get to feed them. Spirit Of Freedom Cairns offer a liveaboard dive boat that embarks on a 3-day liveaboard dive trip to the Cod Hole. Departing on Mondays and retunring by low level flight back to Cairns on Thursdays.


Number – 01 – Osprey Reef, North Horn Dive Site.

Osprey Reef is located nearly 100 miles East/North East of Cooktown in the Coral Sea. Osprey Reef is by far the number one dive site in North Queensland. A dormant volcano sitting in 1000meters of water. Osprey reef is a pinnacle reef the stems all the way to the surface. Large deep coral walls the disappear into the abyss. The famous North Horn shark feed happens at Osprey Reef, this is an underwater amphitheater where divers will sit with their backs to the rocky wall. A drum line with tuna fish heads is pulled down to about 26 meters. Once everyone is in position the bait is released from its container and all the sharks found in the local area go into a feeding frenzy. Grey whalers, white tip, black tip and sometimes Hammerheads sharks will come in for a bite. Also, not o be missed are the courageous giant potato cod that mix in with the sharks and also hussle and busle there way ito the feed for there fare share.



There are many more great dive sites than the ones mentioned above. But these top 7 are stand out locations that you can access on either a day snorkel / dive boat or a multi-day liveaboard dive boats from Cairns. For more detailed information on how to visit the Best Dive Sites in North Queensland send us an email: or give us a call PH: 0740411635.

Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll - Chief Travel writer and Scuba Diving enthusiast at Cairns Tour Info. Follow him on Twitter.

Do you need help choosing?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.


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