Australia Diving News
Here you’ll find any Australia diving news that we come across. Anything from marine conservation news to launches of new cruises and new destinations, dive site news, marine life sightings, trip reports and more.
Useful Australia Diving Links
- Australia Diving – Special Offers and Last Minute Deals
- Australia Scuba Diving Videos
- Australia Dive Destinations
Scroll down to read all Dive The World’s current Australia dive news in chronological order.
Australia Creates World’s Biggest Marine Park
Australia is set to create the largest network of marine parks in the world which will give protection to waters covering an area as big as India. This is great news for Australia diving enthusiasts! All oil and gas exploration will be banned and commercial fishing will be limited in some of the most sensitive areas.
The project will increase the number of Australia’s marine reserves from 27 to 60, covering more than 3 million sq km, or one third of the country’s waters. New reserves will be established from the Perth Canyon in the southwest to Kangaroo Island off the southern coast, but the highlight will be the protection of the Coral Sea area which surrounds the Great Barrier Reef in the northeast.
“The Coral Sea marine national park … combined with the Great Barrier Reef area, becomes the largest marine protected area in the world,” said Environment Minister Tony Burke. The protection plan will ban oil and gas exploration in all of the marine national parks, including the Coral Sea. Earlier this month, a United Nations report said Australia’s world-famous Great Barrier Reef was under threat from industrial development and may be considered for listing as a world heritage site “in danger” within the next year, so this protection plan is a much-needed one.
However the plan has attracted criticism from some environmental groups, as well as opposition politicians. Rachel Siewert, marine spokeswoman for the minority Greens party said the government had been bowing to oil and gas interests in drawing up the boundaries for non-exploration areas. “The boundaries the minister has determined have been very strongly determined on oil and gas prospectivity, and clearly determined by lobbying from the oil and gas sector,” she told reporters.
Wildlife and environmental groups also said the steps did not go far enough to protect marine mammals from the impact of oil and gas exploration in many areas. “Offshore petroleum exploration hasn’t been addressed properly by this process,” said Matthew Collis, a campaigner for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “This is bad news for whales and dolphins because many of the areas where industry operates or wants to operate are also important habitats for whales and dolphins,” he said.
So while the creation of the world’s biggest marine park is a step in the right direction for protecting Australia’s diverse marine life, the issues of industry still need to be addressed in the long-term. You can show your support by taking a Australia liveboard cruise, which demonstrates to the government how important Australia’s underwater world is to you.
Watch our Australia diving video footage.
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Rebranded Strategic Airlines Offers Low Fares To Phuket
Are you an Aussie dreaming about a Thailand diving holiday? Well here is some great news for you! Australian Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Strategic Airlines launched its rebranding as Air Australia recently. To mark the occasion Air Australia have emphasized a commitment to affordable air travel and are offering special rates to Phuket from as little as AUS$ 329!
Founded in 2009, Strategic Airlines has now replaced its red, white and blue brand, former name and full service business model with the Australian-owned LCC. Gradually its website, uniforms, in-flight products and airport facilities will be changed too. The airline will continue to serve existing routes flown by Strategic Airlines out of its bases in Melbourne and Brisbane, and it will take over the international leisure route to and from Phuket. Currently the LCC operates two weekly flights each from Brisbane and Melbourne to Phuket.
CEO Michael James said, “Simplicity, value, operational integrity, genuine fares and service are our promise and all that we believe many Australian travellers want in order to get safely and enjoyably from A to B. Air Australia will avoid the massive product complexity of larger airlines as we do not want to be strapped down to charging our passengers ever higher fares to cover ever escalating costs.”
“Many of our staff and advisers have extensive airline backgrounds and we have seen it all before. We understand the challenges of the industry and we understand the market. We also believe that there is mounting nostalgia in the consumer market and in the industry for an airline which offers genuine value and makes it readily possible for families and Australians of all ages to have the chance to fly,” he added.
So if you’re thinking of treating yourself to that longed-for diving holiday in Thailand then take advantage of LCC’s great value Phuket flights from Melbourne and Brisbane. You could soon find yourself finning along with leopard sharks on a Phuket diving day trip or enjoying the amazing scenery both above and beneath the waves on a Similan Islands liveaboard cruise.
Huge Support for Coral Seas Marine Park
Does saving the Coral Seas mean something to you? You’re not alone! Protect Our Coral Seas has over 30,000 Australians supporting their efforts to declare this spectacular area as the world’s largest protected area.
Among these supporters are over 2,500 recreational fishers.
Says recreational fisherman Sean Marler, “I’ve recreationally fished along the Queensland coast for 30 years. Even in that brief time I’ve noticed a huge decline in the fish stocks. Let’s be honest – those who enjoy fishing want to preserve our assets and fish stocks. That’s the reason I support the creation of a very large fully protected marine national park in the Coral Sea“.
“Ninety percent of large fish lost from our oceans in the past fifty years is a frightening figure. We need a place such as the Coral Sea, where these large fish can have a safe home“, said Terry Spackman, retiree and occasional recreational fisher.
Visit our New Australia Diving Video Gallery
Do you feel like taking a virtual dive into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef right now? Visit Dive The World’s new Australia Scuba Diving Video Gallery and imagine yourself diving easily accessible dive sites at Milln Reef, Cairns to the spectacular “must-do” sites at Cod Hole and the superb Osprey Reef.
Have you decided to book a cruise in Australia, but still haven’t chosen a liveaboard? Why not watch the videos that introduce you to our 3 very different liveaboards: Spirit of Freedom, Spoilsport and Scubapro.
You will be able to compare the accommodation, dive platforms and sundecks. Meet the staff, have a peek at the dive briefings and check out the dive sites on their itineraries.
Watch the Australia dive site and liveaboard videos here:
After watching these videos you will probably want to book your Australian liveaboard holiday right away! So keep our contact details handy: call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or you could send us an email to make your holiday surpass your expectations.
Minke Whale Diving Season Is Here!
Luckily for divers, these whales are amongst the most friendly and curious creatures, thus guaranteeing you many photo opportunities and ensuring you return home with many moments to treasure.
Find out more about Minke Whale cruises here:
Liveaboard Diving in Australia – Trip Reports
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is renowned for some of the best coral reef diving in the world, but the liveaboard you choose will make or break your holiday. We like to give you the lowdown, so Gavin Macaulay set out to test the waters on 3 very different liveaboards and produced these entertaining, yet in-depth reports on: Spirit of Freedom, Spoilsport and Scubapro.
Want to know which liveaboard got the thumbs up for diving procedures, dive deck and safety? Or are you more interested in the overall “fun-factor”?
Often you only discover the downside when you’re already on the cruise far from shore and the only way back is to swim! So we are hoping our 3 trip reports will help you find out which is the best boat for your next diving vacation.
Dive The World offers you the following 3 virtual Australian diving tours with Gavin Macaulay:
Coral Sea Campaigner Dives Into Remote Lihou
Would you like to dive into the fray and help Protect Our Coral Seas? You Bet Your Wrasse! Nicola Temple is a Coral Sea Campaigner and has made it her life’s work to get into her scuba gear and find reasons to save our priceless marine heritage on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Here is news from her latest trip to the remote Lihou Reef.
When I heard about a research expedition that was headed to Lihou Reef in the Coral Sea, with berths for paying customers, I knew I had to go. For me, this would likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had no idea how special it would be.
We spent 4 days travelling to Lihou Reef, stopping along the way to dive in the Great Barrier Reef and Marion Reef, and it was well worth the journey. The next 4 days we dove around Lihou Reef, one of the world’s largest atolls. I had no idea water could be so clear. When we anchored off Kathy Cay, I watched the anchor drop 20m to the sand bottom and it was still as clear as the moment it hit the water.
4 Days of diving in crystal clear waters, with abundant and diverse coral cover, large pelagic fish including grey reef sharks, black-tips, and silver-tip sharks, it is hard to single out a highlight. However, the dive that remains vivid in my mind was off of Anne Cay. We dove a wall we spotted on the marine charts and when we dropped down 30m, the sheer wall continued into the inky darkness, 500m further. Huge fan corals, 2m in diameter jutted out of the wall just below us. Curious grey reef sharks cruised by and a school of giant trevally gave us a look as they swam by.
I snapped photos continuously, trying to capture the immense diversity of life. As we came to the end of the dive, we were in about 6m of water when I caught sight of a Maori Humphead Wrasse – male and about 1.5m long. My dive buddy pointed to another 1, while I caught sight of a 3rd. We spent our safety stop surrounded by no less than 9 Maori Humphead Wrasse! Of course, my camera had long-since run out of batteries, but the memory is forever ingrained in my mind.
The Coral Sea, beyond doubt, is one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. There is a visionary campaign right now to protect this incredible marine environment, check it out and become a Sea Guardian today!
Nicola Temple, Coral Sea Campaigner
Protect Our Coral Seas? You Bet Your Wrasse
A new campaign has been launched to Protect Our Coral Seas by declaring this spectacular area as the world’s largest marine park.
Meet their spokesfish, Barry the wrasse and hear it from the fish’s mouth:
The Coral Seas is an important nursery and habitat for pelagic and reef fish, whales, dolphins and turtles. All set against magnificent flora and fauna: sponge gardens, starfish, feather stars and coloured algae.
Marine life forms are carried by currents between the Coral Sea and The Great Barrier Reef making their continued health and abundant marine life mutually dependent.
Enough reason for you to sign their petition?
Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or you could send us an email.
Aussie In The Mood For Coral Spawning
Divers in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are in for a treat this evening: the annual mass coral spawning very possibly begins tonight.
Evocatively described by marine researchers as “the world’s biggest orgasm” or “sex on the reef” it is a sight not to be missed.
“I’ve been out there when it’s been spawning and it’s just been absolutely awe-inspiring,” says Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators ED Col McKenzie.
As with all rendezvous of this nature, the evening has to be perfect: water temperature of 27º, peaceful wave action, a few days after the first full moon in November … and all the coral in the reef release their sperm and eggs in one simultaneous symphony of colour.
Divers are guaranteed lots of night dive action on Flynn Reef this weekend. The overwhelming profusion of fertilised eggs ensures that many will survive the onslaught of bumphead parrotfish and other predators that race to gobble them up.
Australian Divers’ 350 protest to save coral
A group of creative scuba divers took their protest underwater off the coast of Port Douglas in hope of sending a clear message that the Great Barrier Reef desperately needs global leaders to reach consensus on a meaningful climate change treaty that will effectively cut carbon emissions to below 350 ppm before the year 2020.
Scuba divers in Australia have many reasons to care about the effect global warming has on our oceans. The Great Barrier Reef is a living work of art made up of 350 different types of coral.
How appropriate that the International Day of Climate Action on 24 Oct 09 is promoted by 350.org.
Visit the Great Barrier Reef and contribute towards the survival of 1 of the natural wonders of the world. The best way to dive with the over 30 species of dolphins, 125 species of sharks and rays or discover clownfish is from a liveaboard. October is coral spawning season so now would be the perfect time to experience the vibrant mass of marine life flourishing in this awe-inspiring undersea wonderland.