Where to dive in Queensland in January?

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I'll be traveling to Australia from Seattle mid-December to early January. Probably I'll stay on a few days longer to dive while the others go home. I'm looking for suggestions for a 3 or 4 day diving itinerary. Current plan is that I'll be separating from them in Brisbane, then flying out of Sydney for Seattle, so convenient connections to those airports are key (presumably flying on Quantas). Other than that, I have few preconceptions as to location, and live-aboard vs. day boats. Pitch me a plan!

We'll be spending most of our time near Sydney or a few hours drive south. Any good day trips in that area would also be of interest.

Thanks,
Mike
 

clownfishsydney

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NautilusCairns

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I live in Cairns, however I would agree with Michael that if going from Brisbane to Sydney anyway, diving along the way at spots in NSW makes sense.
 

Aquapro Dive Services

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Most of the live aboards are north to be honest and go to the GBR. Cairns is the centre so unless you are willing to fly up do the trip then fly Cairns to Sydney then look at NSW.
 

mathauck0814

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Better diving in New South Wales. Get a car, drive from Brisbane to Sydney. Stop at Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and South West Rocks. Excellent diving at these locations, far cheaper than going to Cairns. See my web site and links to those locations. Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site

I completely agree with this sentiment. New South Wales is one of my most favorite diving locations, period. Queensland has pretty reef fish and all that but the nanny state has choked all of the fun from diving. To say nothing of the truly unique and awesome experiences you can have with the less ubiquitous wildlife in the temperate waters.

You can see pretty reef and colorful fish in a lot of places. You can see shipwrecks in a lot of places. There just aren't many places you can come across a weedy sea dragon and a giant cuttlefish on a dive. And that's before I get going about the sharks... so many sharks. I really love NSW diving.
 

ozzydamo

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Sometimes I got to laugh!

If you were in Brisbane at that time of year, I would agree in the prejudicial sentiment that cockóroach land is better diving at that time of year. But most of that is Byron bay, Coffs and S/W rocks not Sydney', too many people flushing the toilet in Sydney to have great viz!!

If the viz is good on your dive in Brisbane(its been a funny year, I would bet this summer will be good viz!). Flinders reef off cape Moreton is a full coral reef- something NSW doesn't have, Bio-diversity NSW doesn't have.....

I never saw a Maori wrasse 60kg in Sydney- I have in Brisbane(shy from spearos, lucky to see it really) I never saw a 40kg Spanish Mackerel in Sydney! or a 300kg+ giant grouper.......fun Sydney/nsw is better diving- well you boys keep tell yourselves that stuff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_WDKFIIhmI
http://vimeo.com/25394241 (lots of Brisbane diving in that collection.) ask for Sydney videos????

I did see a weedy sea dragon dead on the shore one time in cidney, great diving to see sweep and striped butterfly fish feeding on human effluent.

A guy from Seattle??? a temperate water dive- I reckon you'd like to dive coral reef instead of kelp and sandstone boulders.
You have options to do a dive here in brisso, go to Flinders reef, also Hmas Brisbane at the sunshine coast.

Pm me when your here- if the conditions are good at that time maybe you could hop on board of my little boat for a dive or two....then you can compare it to NSW.....on the way to mascot to get out of cidanee.

---------- Post added August 6th, 2014 at 05:27 PM ----------

I completely agree with this sentiment. New South Wales is one of my most favorite diving locations, period. Queensland has pretty reef fish and all that but the nanny state has choked all of the fun from diving. To say nothing of the truly unique and awesome experiences you can have with the less ubiquitous wildlife in the temperate waters.

You can see pretty reef and colorful fish in a lot of places. You can see shipwrecks in a lot of places. There just aren't many places you can come across a weedy sea dragon and a giant cuttlefish on a dive. And that's before I get going about the sharks... so many sharks. I really love NSW diving.

So will those sharks be there in January?
 

mathauck0814

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Sometimes I got to laugh!

Me too. Per your profile, I have done more diving in Australia than you have dives total. If the OP were looking for great reef, there's a lot of that out there. In fact, because he's from Seattle and quite used to dark and cold water, the NSW and VIC waters would be warm for him and offer a more unique experience than QLD. To say nothing of the scuba police in QLD which quite literally ruins any fun you'd be likely to have. For something really special, get out to Lord Howe Island or New Caledonia (for something tropical).

If really set on Queensland, I'd steer the OP to doing something very far offshore, a liveaboard out to the Coral Sea or Cod Hole - if you have the time and the budget. But even then, you can see the same things with less effort from PNG. Heron Island is beautiful and a nice escape if you have a non-diving travel partner to consider. If you had more flexibility in your schedule I'd point you toward the northwest of Australia as there's more of a unique experience to be had there. The GBR is exactly what you think it is. The ubiquitous south pacific aquarium fish - which is fun and easy, but not something I'd travel 8,000 miles for.
 

ozzydamo

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Me too. Per your profile, I have done more diving in Australia than you have dives total. If the OP were looking for great reef, there's a lot of that out there. In fact, because he's from Seattle and quite used to dark and cold water, the NSW and VIC waters would be warm for him and offer a more unique experience than QLD. To say nothing of the scuba police in QLD which quite literally ruins any fun you'd be likely to have. For something really special, get out to Lord Howe Island or New Caledonia (for something tropical).

If really set on Queensland, I'd steer the OP to doing something very far offshore, a liveaboard out to the Coral Sea or Cod Hole - if you have the time and the budget. But even then, you can see the same things with less effort from PNG. Heron Island is beautiful and a nice escape if you have a non-diving travel partner to consider. If you had more flexibility in your schedule I'd point you toward the northwest of Australia as there's more of a unique experience to be had there. The GBR is exactly what you think it is. The ubiquitous south pacific aquarium fish - which is fun and easy, but not something I'd travel 8,000 miles for.


NSW??? you wouldn't even know where south durras is!

Your comments are generalistic and assumptive, they show you up to anybody that knows the east coast of Australia, even remotely......

As for your dive experience and advise, I wouldn't believe your words, they are worth their cost.

However I am flattered you looked at my profile, I can't say I be bothered to look at yours. I've seen enough in your post here to determine what you are.

NSW??? you wouldn't even know where south durras is......let alone when Grey Nurse shark season is at south west rocks or wolf rock.

bye dude!
 

clownfishsydney

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Ozzydamo, pretty sure that I never mentioned diving in Sydney nor did anyone else in this topic. But since you raised it, we have just had two months of 20 to 40 m visibility in Sydney. No, we do not see fish like you have mentioned, but we do have seals, huge bullrays, grey nurse sharks and many unique creatures you will not see in Brisbane or even the GBR. I have done well over 2,000 dives in Sydney (and over 1,500 elsewhere, including most Pacific Ocean dive locations) and I can assure you that the diving in Sydney is as good as anywhere I have dived.

You also claim that there is a grey nurse shark season at SWR. No, there is not. They are there in large numbers all year round. There was a season 25 years ago, but since numbers have increased they are seen all the time.

OP, have a look at the link I have previously supplied and read about the places I mention. There are photos as well to give you a better idea. Any questions, message me.
 
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Wobbegong wannabe

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Time to take it outside fellahs? :wink::wink:
Byron is lovely and South West Rocks is apparently one of the best dives in Australia, though I haven't made it down there yet. :depressed: Brisbane has some great diving off Flinders Reef, though the main operators only go there on the weekend so that may not suit your plans. As an ideal plan, you could dive Flinders on a Sunday from Brisbane, drive down to Byron that night (160km, though add another 20 from Redcliffe which is where the Flinders Reef operators berth and it's a full day trip, so you'd get back to Redcliffe at 5ish and start driving from then), overnight at Byron, dive Julian Rocks the following day with Sundive (0900 and 1130), drive to SWR (340km), overnight there, dive the following day then drive to Sydney (450km) and dive there the following day. You would then need to have 24 hours before you flew out, but there's plenty to do in Sydney.
That's all a bit of a rush, but if you're happy to dive, drive and sleep you could manage it. Obviously if you have more time you could add some overnight stops, or take a day trip from Sydney down to Jervis Bay.
P.S no u in QANTAS :dork2: (in more ways than one :wink:); acronym for Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services. Can help with upgrades and all-round better treatment.:D
 
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