Gold Coast Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Few cities in the world have better scuba diving (and snorkelling) conditions at such easily accessible locations than the Gold Coast. Couple these wonderful sites with spectacular weather and you'll see why the Gold Coast truly is a scuba divers paradise.
From the natural diversity of the Gold Coast seaway, to the numerous wrecks and reefs sitting just off the coastline, there's more coral, marine life, and general intrigue in the Gold Coast waterways than you'll find just about anywhere. The local diving infrastructure caters for every level of experience, so whether you want to do a hardcore, deep water night dive around sharks or jump in the shallow end of a swimming pool for beginner's lessons, this is your place.
Scuba Diving Tours
This great value full day tour will take you to waters of Moreton Island just off the coast of Brisbane for some snorkelling and scuba diving around the Tangalooma Wrecks, one of South East QLD's most popular diving locations. Starting at 7am, you'll get up close with a variety of marine live and get the chance to swim with sea turtles, dolphins and dugongs. With a friendly crew & luxury catamaran, this tour is suitable for both intro and certified divers.Book Online
Enjoy this 3 hour snorkelling experience just off the picturesque Wave Break island and see over 50 species of fish, coral and other marine life. Go down to depths of anywhere between 1 and 15 metres to get a view of the colourful world that lies beneath the surface. This experience is great for all ages and with all equipment provided, all you have to do is bring your swimmers (and yourself) along. Don't forget a waterproof camera!Book Online
Ideal for beginners, this 3-4 hour scuba diving experience will take you to Wavebreak Island for an introductory dive. No experience is necessary and you'll be in great hands with a certified instructor to show you the ropes of the equipment and techniques before hitting the water. See a variety of marine life and colourful coral just off the coast of the island, in a fun and safe environment. Be warned, once you start you'll be hooked on diving!Book Online
This tour is for qualified, licensed scuba divers and includes all of your diving equipment and courtesy pick up and drop off to and from your hotel. Taking you to Wave Break Island, you'll see a large selection of marine life including coral, tropical fish and Wobbegong sharks. One of the best sheltered dives, you can even hand feed the fish! Departing from Mariners Cove in Main Beach, make sure you bring an underwater camera with you.Book Online
Is becoming a certified diver on your bucket list? Gain the knowledge and skills you need with this wide range of courses. Become a fully licensed PADI diver and choose between a 2 day scuba diver course (up to 12m), a 3 day Open Water Diver course (up to 18m), advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver Certification or the PADI Dive Master, taking 10 days. Some courses have a few requirements to meet so check these with the operator.Book Online
Enjoy a double dive at two of the Gold Coast's best reefs and wrecks. All diving equipment is supplied as well as complimentary snacks, fruit and hot soup. This is for certified divers, and the diving locations are determined on the day depending on dive conditions. You have the option of seeing Migaloo Reef, Greta's Reef, Mermaid Reef or the Scottish Prince wreck. You'll see an assortment of marine life like fish, octopus and more.Book Online
Gold Coast Scuba Diving Locations
The most popular diving spots on the Gold Coast are located around the seaway and the southern reefs off the Tweed River. Many of the providers operate dive tours and training in these primary locations:
Gold Coast Seaway
Featuring an abundance of marine life and an average water temperature between 18 and 27 degrees celsius, the Seaway offers five dive sites for varying degrees of experience, skill level and conditions. Some are accessible from the beach while others require boat access. Depending on which site you visit, you can see an array of fish species such as lionfish, trevallies, flathead, and many, many more, wobbygong sharks, turtles, seahorses, tiger prawns, rays, octopie, the list is endless! The Seaway also allows for drift and night diving for the more experienced diver. The different sites you can dive at are:
- South Wall Dive Area
- South West Wall Dive Area
- South East Wall Dive Area
- North East Wall Dive Area
- Wave Break Island Dive Area
Narrowneck Artifical Reef
This artificial reef is located 100 metres from shore heading directly in front of the lifeguard tower at Narrowneck Beach. See an abundance of marine life here like crayfish, burse and wobbygong sharks, octopus, various stingray species and schools of fish.
The Scottish Prince Wreck
One of the Gold Coast's numerous wrecks, the Scottish Prince sank in 1887 and while only the hull remains on the sand (about 800 meters from the Southport Spit beach), it's coral and sponge-covered remains attract plenty of fish, stingrays and some species of shark. Other wrecks include the Dragin II and the Aquarius.
Palm Beach Reef
Very popular with divers, this is a large reef where you can spot a few different shark species depending on the season, all different kinds of fish as well as coral and sponges on the rocky shelves.
This reef is about 100m in length and consists of scattered rock, soft corals and plenty of varying species of marine life to check out.
Another location that has been known to accommodate those wanting to try a night dive, the Tweed River Shore is considered a great spot for practicing due to its lower average depth (8m) and the array of varying marine life. You might spot eels, stingrays, dolphins, turtles, octopus and a range of other marine life.
Just south of the border you'll find Cook Island which offers divers a variety of creatures to observe in their natural habitat like wobbygongs, sting rays, turtles and numerous different fish. There's plenty to explore around this island with 13 mooring points that each offer varying underwater terrains and species to spot. Just north of the Gold Coast off the coast of Brisbane, Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island are incredibly popular locations with many different wrecks and reefs to explore.
For a complete run-down and loads of photos, videos and heaps of other useful info on Gold Coast scuba diving check out the 'Diving The Gold Coast' website. Anything you could possibly want to know is on this site.
Scuba Dive operators on the Gold Coast:
Gold Coast Dive Centre
2/56 Paradise Ave, Miami
Phone: 07 5572 0511
Unit 40 Southport Trade Centre, Jackman St, Southport
Phone: 07 5528 0655
Gold Coast Divers
32 Strathaird Road, Bundall
Phone: 0421 837 127
Queensland Scuba Dive
Berth 91, Mariners Cove Marina, 60 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Phone: (07) 5526 7722
U1/133 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
Phone: (07) 5536 6622
Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast & Getty Images