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.
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)
The Gold Coast Waterways Authority continues to amaze us with their engaging approach towards making the Spit a great place for the community. A second set of diver access stairs is being constructed west of the existing stairs. These new stairs will first be an alternative whilst pipeline works are carried out at the location of the first set of stairs.
This now allows us to safely drift-dive along the south west wall of the Gold Coast Seaway. Fantastic initiative. Well done GCWA. We love your work. keep it up!!
(Photo Credit: GCWA)
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’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.