Best Diving sites in Whitsunday Islands

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If you have dived in Whitsunday Islands before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Whitsunday Islands.

Best Dive Review

When diving in the Whitsunday Islands you have two possibilities: the local spots or going further out on the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the dive centers are located on Hamilton Island but there are also good dive operators in many of the isolated resorts.

Whitsunday Island Whitehaven Beach

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Whitsundays Local dive sites

Here you can spot turtles, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks, dolphins, all the superb Reef fishes, big cods and many Green Sea Turtles. It is also possible to spot the rare and strange Wobbegong Shark. Pelagic fishes are not rare too so look to the blue for the Barracudas and trevallies patrolling the area.

The dives are mostly easy with good conditions and the Whitsundays are a good place to take Padi scuba diving courses.

Great Barrier Reef

You can dive the Great Barrier Reef on a day trip but as it is quite far away the best may be to take a short liveaboard for 2 or 3 nights. You can also take a longer Liveaboard to explore remote areas of the reef. I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in Australia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.

Due to the remoteness, diving there is more suitable for experienced divers. The main attractions are the superb coral formations, the big fishes action with lots of pelagic hunting around and the many species of Sharks you can encounter! The gentle giants of the sea, Manta Rays, are commonly spotted too.

During the right season you might even spot a majestic Humpback Whale, a Minke Whale or a whole pod of dolphins. Dugongs are a possible encounter too.

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Whitsunday Islands, Australia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Whitsunday Islands

The Weather in the Whitsundays is great all year round. During Summer, it is hot weather with the air temperature around 30°C. During the winter, the weather is warm with air temperature being around 23°C. The water Temperature is generally the same year round with 25°C. It is possible to dive all year round in the Whitsundays.

  • The Wet season runs from January to March with heavy rain short episodes
  • The Minke Whales season runs from June to August.
  • The humpback whales season is from June to November.
  • The Coral Spawning occurs in October and November

The best scuba diving season on the Great Barrier Reef runs from mid-August to mid-December with excellent conditions.

Hot Tip:

  • The Peak Season is in September and October as well as December and January. During these periods, accommodation prices tend to increase meaning you should book well in advance!

Top liveaboards in Whitsunday Islands according to divers reviews

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Scuba Diving conditions

Conditions are good all year round around the Whitsundays.

The water temperature on the Great Barrier Reef usually ranges from 24°C to 29°C and around 25°C on the local dive sites.

The current is generally gentle on the local dive sites but can be strong if you dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

The visibility on the local dive sites is good and ranges from 8 to 30 meters. However if you take a Liveaboard dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef you can expect very good to excellent visibility up to 50 meters.

The depth ranges from 5 to 30 meters but most of the dive sites are suitable for beginner divers and don’t go below 20 meters deep.

Snorkelling in Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays Islands features dozens of kilometres of healthy and beautiful shallow coral reef which is easily explored from the beach in front of your resort or your campsite. However, if you want to explore the best of the best of the reefs on offer, it is better to book a snorkelling day tour. It can be around the Whitsundays or even on the Great Barrier Reef.


  • The Box jellyfish is sometimes present around the islands. A Box Jellyfish sting can be fatal! All the resorts and dive centres will provide full wet suit to avoid any danger!

Whitsunday Island Flight Air Airlie Beach

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Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Whitsunday Islands, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Photos Whitsunday Islands

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Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Whitsunday Islands Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

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Dive spots reviews in Whitsunday Islands

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Liveaboard Reviews in Whitsunday Islands

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Diving centers in Whitsunday Islands

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  1. We just moved to the Gold Coast, Australia two months ago from USA. I have never scuba dived before but getting ready to take classes. Our friends who have dive alot are coming over to visit after Christmas and want us to take them to G.B. Reef. Would it be just as good if we dive from Whitsundays or do we need to go all the way to Cains?? I have no idea about all the dive spots. What would you suggest to go, stay, dive, who to dive with, etc? I will have my three kids with me that will only snorkel so my husband and I will take turns diving with our friends. I will love some real informative info from someone who really knows. I don’t want them to leave without seeing some great beaches and dives. I hope you can help! I would love the info on what resort/dive company we know nothing and you get alot of bad info from travel agencies.

    Thanks for your time. Mindy

    • Cairns is the go. I live and dive the whitsundays all the time and visibility because of currents is an issue. Cairns you will see what you expect without needing Lady Luck on your side.
      I hope this helps.

      • I know this a REALLY old post but I am hoping someone will still see this. I am traveling to AUS in mid November this year and diving the GBR is a must! I am a certified diver. The issue is that I have time restrictions and unfortunately can’t make it all the way up to Cairns, which was my go-to destination. I have to dive from Whitsunday area (or within reasonable driving distance from Proserpine) and only have 2 days. After reading the reviews about poor visibility and diving conditions, I’m nervous to dive in the Whitsundays and not have a great experience. This is a trip of a lifetime for me so I want to have the very best experience possible. I would consider a live aboard if it would be worth it for the $$ as I am trying to budget. Any info would be welcome! I need to book asap THANK YOU! :-)

  2. Hi
    My name is sanaz jeibar
    I’m open water instructor my padi member number 324296
    I’m living in Kish Island in southern Iran
    I’m here 2 boat dives and a lot of equipment
    But the women in this occupation do not care
    I would love a job where I could fulfill my progress and ideas that I
    If you need to force you’ll be happy you’re able to go scuba diving club
    If you have questions email me I’ll be happy
    Pleas follow my instagram

Have you been travelling or scuba diving here? Rate it!
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(108 votes, 2.89/5)

Have you dived in Whitsunday Islands?

Have you been diving or snorkelling in Whitsunday Islands? Consider sharing your experience with the diving community by leaving a comment below!

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