Diving Hamilton Island / Whitsundays area

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Messages
2
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Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
0 - 24
Heading to Hamilton Island and the Great Barrier Reef next month. Although, I’m noticing a lot of dive companies only offering snorkel at the moment and that their diving is unavailable until further notice. Is it a COVID thing? Managed to find one way to scuba (from the Reefworld pontoon), but would love some advice if anyone knows more.

Are there dive operators that pick up from Hamilton Island or that I could get to easily from HI?
 

stiebs

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Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
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I've been to Hamilton Island quite a lot over the years, and TBH, although they offer diving, it's not a really a great diving destination. You really want to be further north for the good diving. I stayed on Hammo in April, and did the Reefworld trip - mainly for the experience and snorkeling for the kids, but I packed my regs and did a dive there. My partner also did a try dive (she'd done a discover scuba in Melbourne a couple of weeks prior, but is not yet certed.

She absolutely loved it! I was a bit meh. There were a lot of fish around, and a couple of large resident groupers, but there was also a fair amount of coral bleaching.

On the trip out there, they'll do a massive spruik on the try dive. I was in the "experienced" group, which included 3 other cert'd divers, all who hadn't dived for a couple of years. It was very much a follow-the-leader dive, and none of the DMs came across as particularly experienced.

There were about 30 people doing discover scuba.

If your diving has been in Melbourne, there is different stuff to see, but not necessarily more interesting. IMO, even the likes of Blairgowrie, Rye and Flinders piers keep me more interested.

But having said all that, with less than 25 dives under your belt, I'd say go for it - just for the experience.

My dive was max depth 14m, with most of it spent around the 7m mark. It's possible to go deeper, but most of the interesting stuff is in the 5-15m range.
 

stiebs

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745
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Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
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Sorry, didn't answer your last question.

There are two operators out of HI. One is the dive centre on Marina Drive (opposite Romano's). They have a dive boat that leaves on dive trips from the marina straight to the dive site. You'll probably end up somewhere like Cateran Bay, still in the inner reef just on the other side of Whitsunday Island. It's about a 1hr boat ride.

If you take the Reefworld trip, you just book the trip at the tour desk in the Marina (opposite Pirate Pete's). It's a 3hr boat ride out to the Reefworld on a large catamaran -there were about 100 guests plus staff and crew on our trip. During the trip they'll take booking and deets for diving. All the gear is on the Reefworld pontoon. You can snorkel off the side of the pontoon, and scuba is from a semi submerged platform underneath it.
 

stiebs

Contributor
Messages
745
Reaction score
204
Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
500 - 999
Here are the GPS markers for some context.
The mouse pointer is Hamilton Island.
The highlighted dive flag is Cateran Bay. The light splotch between the two is Whitehaven Beach.
The dim dive flag is Reefworld.
The trip across the channel can be hairy if the wind is up - there were a lot of chuck bags put to use!

upload_2021-7-9_23-28-14.png


And here's the Google Maps ref:
Google Maps
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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