Posted by: Colin Battersby | November 22, 2010

Scuba around Stradbroke Island


North Stradbroke is the big island, and it’s off the north ocean side that the best scuba diving happens. This is like an underwater zoo. There are manta rays, dolphins, whales, leopard sharks, the fantastic, incredibly colored sea slugs, barracuda and divers who spend their whole holiday underwater if they can.

There are no less than nine great diving spots on Stradbroke:

* The Nursery – Flat Rock This is a marine park area, with a no-fishing zone within 1.2km of the reef. It’s a real reef area, full of tropical fish, octopus,

* The Bowl – Flat Rock A geological feature, The Bowl is a fish paradise.

* Shark Alley – Flat Rock A sandy channel, with some of the 300 of the remaining endangered Grey Nurse sharks, Queensland’s famous groupers, crayfish and the strange Wobbegong sharks.

* Amity Point This place could be called “The Reef’s Revenge”. It has a lot of man made wrecks like car bodies, being converted into reef. This is a sheltered spot, away from the ocean swells, considered good for training dives.

* South Gorge For advanced divers, this is an underwater cliff. Entry is from the beach, but it’s naturally subject to strong currents and big waves. Ocean power and fabulous underwater scenes, it’s a diver’s place in any sense of the words.

* Boat Rock Boat Rock sprouts from the ocean floor like a natural lighthouse, 30 metres tall. Another site for advanced divers, it’s exposed, and has big schools of ocean fish.

* Middle Reef Yet another quite different habitat around the same island, Middle Reef has moray eels, and strong currents, with deep water. It’s also a big fish zone, for that reason, with the deep water fish approaching close.

* Manta Bommie This is where the big ocean manta rays drop in for a clean from the reef fish. These big rays are bigger than the divers, and there are turtles, eagle rays, bamboo sharks and the fascinating lionfish.

* Shag Rock A more sheltered spot, Shag Rock is a rocky reef with a population of resident and seasonal inhabitants, stonefish, hard and soft corals, bull and manta rays and a range of grey nurse and leopard sharks.

via Scuba around Stradbroke Island, Australia | Image Gallery.

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