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First time to Australia. Dive resort recommendations?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Jasonmh, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Jasonmh

    Jasonmh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Mexico
    Hi All,

    My wife and I are going to Australia in Sept (very excited!). We are planning on getting some diving in on the GBR, and we're thinking of staying on Hamilton Is. or in Cairns (but am open to suggestions). I'm having trouble finding a dive resort similar to something like Palau Pacific Resort or Wakatobi, with an on site dive shop.
    The only info I could find about diving at Hamilton Is. is that there was one dive shop but it closed.
    I am wondering if the primary option is to stay at any hotel, and find a dive operator that would pick up/drop off at the island?

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

  2. Dive Repairs

    Dive Repairs Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gold Coast
    Hi Jason,

    I have been to Heron Island a couple of times and I think it would be worth checking out. The Island has one resort and is situated in a marine park and with lots of dive sites nearby. The place is alive with marine life and the resort is very relaxing and great for a couple.

    Here is a link to their web page: Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling | Heron Island Diving | Heron Island

    Have a great holiday!

  3. MA

    MA Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Or lizard or lady Elliot island. Diving in the whitsundays isn't the best option. I would not dive off Hamilton. If you're wanting a dive holiday consider the options mentioned or a liveAboard to the ribbon reefs and coral sea. Mike ball or spirit of freedom.

  4. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    Agree about Heron Island, quite good diving and very nice place. Lady Elliot Island is also supposed to be okay. Avoid Cairns if you can and certainly do not go to Hamilton if you want to dive.
  5. Wobbegong wannabe

    Wobbegong wannabe Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Queensland, Australia
    +1 re the MB/SOF liveaboards if you have the time.
    The other NQ option is Port Douglas (north of Cairns); it's a nice place to stay with some good resorts and several operators who do day trips to the outer reef.
  6. Andyoak

    Andyoak Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Perth
    Another +1 for this
  7. Aquapro Dive Services

    Aquapro Dive Services Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Cairns, Australia
    Have to agree with the above. If looking for an actual dive resort Heron, or better still Lizard would be the best. Lady Musgrave or Elliott Islands are OK too.

    If in Cairns then has to be Mike Ball or Spirit. If more on a budget then look at the new Taka trip which combines Outer with Ribbon Reef.

    Port Douglas is a nice place t stay but only offers day trips for diving.
  8. Peter69_56

    Peter69_56 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    Lady Ellioit Island was very enjoyable for us. We loved it and would go back again tomorrow, and we have been diving all over the Pacific. Be aware though that there is a limit to the weight you can carry on the light plane to the island, think its 15 kg.

    Avoid the cattle boats from Cairns or Port Douglas to the inner barrier reef. I know it costs more to dive the outer reef up at Cod hole on a live aboard but much better diving. If you are flying all the way from USA spend the extra money to go out there. The inner reef is a poor dive by comparison. Don't trust any of the local cairns travel shops, they advise you on what they have the most markup on.
  9. ErikGrayson

    ErikGrayson New

    Australia is a magnificent place with large exposure to sea. There are lots of places nearby Australia where one can go for diving and enjoy the incredible marine life existing at the depths of the sea. Solomon Islands, Fiji, Malaita etc are some of the famous islands near Australia which are famous for scuba diving. I have spent couple of vacations with my family and friends at Solomon Islands. The splendid landscape of the place is enough to give an out of the world experience. It has a vast range of hotels and beach resorts from where one can enjoy the beautiful beaches and breathtaking sunsets.
    ozzydamo likes this.
  10. Jasonmh

    Jasonmh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Mexico
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. The place we were planning on staying filled up for the week we are going to be there so I will have to keep looking. I really wanted to do one of the Mike Ball boats, but it looks like we will have to save that for another trip. We arrive just too late to leave on the first boat of the week, and we are leaving the area before the next boat returns.
    Thanks again,

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