A gem off South-East Queensland, North Stradbroke Island are home to a multitude of dive sites, where close to shore divers are able to descend onto reefs where sharks, dolphins, whales, mantas and many species of reef fish reside. Ideal for snorkelers and divers alike, a plethora of lodges and dive operators will allow dives to try an array marine activities during their stay on North Stradbroke Islands.
A site that can be appreciated at all times of year, Shag Rock, with depths between 6 and 20 metres is complete of rocky reefs and coral gardens where turtles, catsharks, electric rays and species of pelagic fish are plentiful. During certain times of the year leopard sharks and manta rays can be spotted passing the site during their migration periods.
The site has several spectacular features including a swim through cave and a sunken reef.
Shag rock is also a mecca for smaller critters such as nudibranchs, octopus, anemones, frog fish and even porcupine fish. For macro enthusiasts shag rock is a site that will excite beyond measure with plenty of colourful and unique micro creatures.
Fortunately due to its relatively shallow depths and warm waters, Shag Rock is manageable for all certification levels, from Open Water up. Additionally Shag Rock is an exceptional location for snorkelers to indulge in one of North Stradbroke Islands best marine environments.
Flat Rock – Turtle Caves
Reaching depths between 12-30 metres, Turtle Caves, despite its name is not only home to Australian turtles, but also one of the icons of Australian marine fauna, the grey nurse shark. While the deeper section of the dive can pose a more challenging adventure where currents bring a myriad of ray species such as bull rays and mobula, the shallower sections are tranquil and easy for beginners.
Flat Rock – Shark Alley
An opportunity to spot another of Australia’s most notorious sharks, the grey nurse shark. Shark Alley is a more advanced dive than either Turtle Caves or Shag Rock as the dive begins deeper and with up to 15 sharks circling around you, it is better to be an experienced diver. With gulley’s and canyons like veins in the rock strata Shark Alley is a perfect area to spot these ‘toothy’ sharks in winter months as they swim from one alley to the other during the months of June to November each year.
Flat Rock – The Nursery
Another gem around Flat Rock is this dive site. It gets a mixture of marine life and possesses beautiful coral gardens. The lucky ones may get to see the occasional hammerhead shark passing through. The depth ranges between 4m and 20m and the shallow parts are ideal for snorkelling.
A world renowned dive site, and perhaps one of Queensland’s most famous, Manta Bommie is a cleaning station for the magnificent Manta Ray. Between November and April, with visibility at times exceeding 15 metres, Manta Bommie is home to leopard sharks, wobbegongs, bull rays, and a myriad of other pelagic fish that feed in the nutrient rich waters. With sandy bottoms as well as rock strata, the dive is achievable for many qualifications and ages.
Gold Coast Dive Adventures runs regular day trips to North Stradbroke Island as part of our dive club.