Migaloo Reef – untouched dive site discovered by Gold Coast divers 

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 5.47.08 pm

With an average winter temperature hovering between 16.9 and 25.4 degrees, there’s no place on the globe better equipped for scuba diving and snorkeling than the East Coast city of the Gold Coast.

http://www.australia.com/en/facts/weather/gold-coast-weather.html

The coastal mecca has a bustling underwater world as lively as that which exists on the dry land and the 57-kilometer-long coastline offers easy access to the wonders that the deep blue ocean holds.  Divers of all abilities from all over the world flock to the Gold Coast in droves to experience the diverse underwater experience that the area can offer, and there are some very good reasons for this.

As a location that isn’t affected by stinger season, the region also attracts people who would otherwise venture to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef, and other stunning sites in far north Queensland.

The pristine waters of the Gold Coast, combined with the near-perfect weather conditions the majority of the year means that on the Gold Coast, diving is a popular activity. It’s popular with residents, it’s popular with tourists to the region, and for those not adept at diving the local seas, there’s an abundance of diving companies who are passionate about experiencing the official dive sites on the Gold Coast with everyone who visits.

According to Destination Gold Coast, there are nine recognised dive sites on the Gold Coast spanning from Main Beach in the north down to Kingscliff in the south. Each dive site has its own unique array of reef and diverse marine wildlife and regardless of how often you visit those sites, it’s a guarantee that no two experiences will ever be the same.

https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/inside-stories/posts/postid/30/where-to-dive-and-snorkel-on-the-gold-coast

But, there’s more…

With so many popular dive sites identified on the Gold Coast, imagine our surprise when – as a keen and frequent divers to the Gold Coast reefs –  we noticed a previously unrecognised potential dive site on aerial photography.

We quickly determined the GPS coordinates and have since checked the area with our onboard structure scan and in fact, discovered quite a large reef on the Gold Coast just off Main Beach.

Being familiar with all the well-known commercial dive sites in the region, we already knew that this wasn’t a site popular with other divers.

Destination Gold Coast’s publications mention nine popular reefs up and down the Gold Coast, but none with these coordinates.

To confirm this finding, we have already sent divers down as part of an exploration dive who all had an amazing dive. This beautiful large dive site is located right in between the Scottish Prince Shipwreck and Greta’s Reef in close proximity to the Gold Coast Seaway entrance.

It’s approximately 250 metres long and 150 metres wide. The rocky reef is about 16-18m deep and consists of boulders and bommies with sandy patches separating them. There are two sections to the reef.  The large main area and a smaller isolated section to the east separated by sand. The marine life is diverse and includes huge amounts of small fish, coral, lots of wobbies, rays, nudis and turtles. It’s our belief that this reef was undiscovered until recently, and is true treasure.

This reef doesn’t feature in any Gold Coast dive tours, it’s not recognised in any Gold Coast official records and isn’t known as a fishing spot or marked on any map. As this reef doesn’t appear to have an official name, our diving community have decided to unofficially name the dive site Migaloo Reef. This is, of course, in honour of the astounding white whale who visits the area every year without fail.

migaloo 5

While all Gold Coast dive sites are extremely diverse and beautiful, Migaloo Reef isn’t any less so than the rest and stands on equal footing as dive sites that are already recognised.

We wholeheartedly believe that the astounding piece of natural beauty should be recognised as such by the officials at the Gold Coast and we are actively pursuing this avenue.

Today, we invite you to join our dive tours to the previously unidentified Migaloo Reef to experience diving at the Gold Coast’s latest dive site.

Some of the most popular sites to dive on the Gold Coast include the Wreck of the Scottish Prince which can be found 800 metres from the Southport Spit, Greta’s Reef, Palm Beach Reef, Wavebreak Island and of course the Gold Coast Seaway.

While all of these popular sites guarantee an excellent diving experience, they also guarantee that there are many other divers trying to get to them at the same time as this has been the case for years.

As the first dive group to identify Migaloo Reef, we’ve added it to our already popular charter tours and can attest that due to this recent finding, The Scuba Coach and Gold Coast Dive Adventures can now offer a point of difference and increased variety of diving options.

Migaloo Reef is encouraging visitors in their droves to use our service and visit the wonderful city of Gold Coast for a diving experience that very few before them have had.

The area is known for passing dolphins and sharks so to add further appeal, a surprise once-in-a-lifetime encounter could be on the cards for lucky visitors to the site!

Please join one of our first tours to this intact and untouched reef and visit our website for more information or to make your booking today.

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 5.22.37 pm

Gold Coast Dive Sites – Good times ahead for local divers

When people visit the Gold Coast, they often ask what the diving is like and what options there are. Surprisingly, many local divers only know their shore diving hot spots such as the Gold Coast Seaway and probably the wreck of the Scottish Prince. The most likely reason for this is that there was no commercial diving operator in at least 10 years that has offered a consistent and reliable charter service to all Gold Coast dive sites. Based at Runaway Bay Marina, Gold Coast Dive Adventures has launched its vessel Blue Manta in February 2017 and offers offshore diving trips every weekend and on requests for groups of 5 or more. We continuously explore new local dive sites and try to inform the local diving community of the additional magnificent diving options right at our door step. From that point of view, being a local Gold Coast Diver is a great thing as the need to commute to other diving destinations such as Byron Bay or Tweed Heads becomes less of a requirement with a charter boat just a few minutes down the road and many sites to explore.

The Gold Coast is very fortunate to have access to several dive sites within close proximity to the Gold Coast Seaway. The areal picture above provides and overview of the major sites that we recommend for scuba and free-diving. Greta’s Reef, Migaloo Reef and the historic wreck of the Scottish Prince are only minutes apart from each other and therefore present fantastic options for multi-dive boat trips. As the photograph indicates, the travel distance is little hence, ideal for people that suffer from the occasional motion sickness.

Mermaid Reef, Palm Beach Reef and Kirra Reef require a longer boat ride of up to 30min depending on sea conditions. We only visit these sites on days without major swell and seas. The longer ride is however well worth it. Palm Beach Reef is the Gold Coast’s largest reef system. It is more than 900m long and up to 450m wide in sections.

On days where weather conditions are against us, we are able to dive the Gold Coast Seaway and Wave Break Island on high tides.

Going to the north, not shown on the aerial photograph, we have sites available such as the wreck of the Sea Dragon and the wreck of the Aquarian, both within the Moreton Bay Marine Park bounderies. These sites are rarely visited as they require a certain combination of environmental conditions.

In conclusion, the diverse options for diving are unique in our regional area. Where else do you have 12 different dive sites only minutes apart from each other? Keen to check it out? Book a trip online by browsing our calendar.

Bull Sharks in the Gold Coast Seaway – Should I be worried?

This picture has been taken in the Gold Coast Seaway by Ian Banks from Diving the Gold Coast. It reminded us that approximately 20 surfers in average paddle across the Gold Coast Seaway each day right over the spot where this picture was taken. It’s a common spot where bull sharks happily hang out. We are not aware of any recorded shark attack in this area over the last decades which gets to show that the presence of sharks does not necessarily mean danger to humans. It’s a big ocean and sharks are there all the time, busy with all the things that sharks usually do all day long. Hunting for humans is not one these things. Shark attacks are accidents, often due to mistaken identity and very very rare in the scheme of things.

We will not get into the detail surrounding the shark net debate, however it is one more opportunity to express that shark nets have no purpose and are a psychological measure to take away the fear from tourist that our media has created.

(Photo Credit: Ian Banks – Diving the Gold Coast)

Gold Coast Freediving Courses

If this interests you, Gold Coast Dive Adventures and The Scuba Coach have collaborated with Freediving Gold Coast to provide you with AIDA International (International Association for Development of Apnea) certified instructors to conduct freediving courses. The courses run every weekend and can be conveniently booked online through us without any additional booking fees. If you like to find out more or to book online please click here.

Course Outline
This 2.5 days Open Water Freediving Course runs every weekend and will certify you to dive safely up to 20m of depth. The Scuba Coach has partnered with the amazing team of Freediving Gold Coast, the largest and only freediving school on the Gold Coast with their own vessel and class room.

Prerequisites
To enrol in this course a student must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older(16 years with parent or guardian consent).
  • Be able to swim at least 200m non stop without fins and at least 300m non stop with mask, fins, and snorkel.
  • Have completed the AIDA Medical Form.
  • Have completed the Liability Release form.

Purpose
This weekend course is our foundation freediving course covering the necessary skills and knowledge for a recreational freediver to safely freedive up to a maximum depth of 20 metres. This course is for students already confident in the water especially the ocean.  It is ideal for people who are confident swimmers, surfers, and scuba divers. The course consists of three components. The first component is on knowledge and theory development of approximately 4 hours. The second component is pool based practicing the freediving skills of static apnea, dynamic apnea and rescues. This is approximately 4 hours. The third and final component is in the open ocean practicing the freediving skills of free immersion, constant weight, equalisation and safety. This is approximately 5 hours including the boat trip to and from the dive site (included in the price).

Certification

On successful completion of this course the student is awarded the AIDA 2 Star certification and is registered on the AIDA website Education Online System (EOS).

Medical Conditions

If you tick “Yes” to any medical conditions on the medical form you must see your General Practitioner prior to attending your course. Download Medical Form Here. Please complete the Medical Form and present to your Instructor at the beginning of your course.

Equipment

We provide basic scuba equipment (wetsuit, mask and slip on fins). If you wish to purchase a high quality mask, wetsuit and free diving fins, you can do so on the next page after you clicked on ‘book now’.

Enrolment and Payment

  • Book conveniently online
  • Once booked we will email you your student materials

 

Meet our Dive Boat ‘Blue Manta’

Blue Manta is a 6m custom build semi-inflatable vessel. It is in commercial survey and fully set up for diving with a tank rack, ladder, shad canopy, audio system and a powerful engine. The vessel is moored at Runaway Bay Marina, Gold Coast where all our local trips depart from. Check it out and book a dive online. We are the only offshore diving operator on the Gold Coast that offers frequent boat dives to the local Gold Coast reefs and ship wrecks.

Gold Coast Seaway – Social Dive & BBQ

The Gold Coast Seaway is often referred to as the best dive site of any Australian city. It allows shore diving with easy access to the water via the newly built diver access stairs. This project was delivered in 2016 by our Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA). The site is easy to dive at high tide. Check out our latest video clip and make sure you browse our dive site page for more information.

The adjacent park is ideal for a picnic or BBQ before or after the dive. The Scuba Coach conducts a monthly social dive with BBQ to bring together local divers to meet, greet and catch up.

Wave Break Island – Scuba Diving & Snorkelling

Wave Break Island’s northern rock wall is an ideal back-up site on days where offshore diving is challenging or even impossible. It is also an ideal playground for training and introductory diving as it is fully protected and calm. Even a drift dive is possible on an outgoing tide.

Gold Coast Dive Adventures runs single dives and night dives to Wave Break Island. Check out our little video clip and let us know what you think.