Diving the Coral Coast

Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth diving sites on Western Australia’s Coral Coast are internationally recognised as some of the most ecologically diverse marine environments in the world. Local tour operators offer many different expeditions, ranging from reef dives and snorkelling excursions to swimming with whale sharks and interacting with dugongs and manta rays.

The best time for diving on the Ningaloo Reef and around Exmouth is autumn and winter, which on Western Australia’s Coral Coast runs from March until September. It's during this time (mid March through to mid July) that the whale sharks visit these waters on their annual coastal voyage.

If you time your trip correctly, you can also witness the extraordinary phenomenon of coral spawning. The reef’s annual breeding ritual occurs during March, precisely seven days after the full moon at times of minimal tidal disturbance. For marine enthusiasts it’s a truly amazing spectacle as the coral creates an iridescent blanket of light on the surface of the water.

For those seeking the thrill of open water diving experiences, courses are available through local operators in the Exmouth region of Western Australia’s Coral Coast. They provide training, equipment and trips to the Ningaloo Reef where you can put your skills to the test. Operators cater for the travelling diver, with many providing multilingual services.

Ningaloo diving

Diving in Coral Bay

There are a number of excellent dive sites on Ningaloo Reef in Coral Bay and the best way to experience them is with Sail Ningaloo. Live-aboard the cruising yacht and enjoy all their secret spots on a dedicated dive trip for 3 or 5 days.

Diving at Navy Pier

The Navy Pier is rated by many world famous diving figures as one of the best pier dives on Earth. At the last count, there were at least 200 different species, including big schools of trevally, snapper and barracuda, as well as graceful firefish, angelfish, moorish idols and large Queensland gropers. Take a closer look and you’ll also find a variety of nudibranchs, flatworms, cheeky goby fish and delicate anemones with families of clown fish.  As the pier remains a working defence facility, diving here can only be conducted with Dive Ningaloo, and numbers are limited to protect the site. Read more about the Navy Pier dive and how to access it.

Diving the Muiron Islands

Just 9.8 nautical miles off the tip of the North West Cape on Western Australia’s Coral Coast, the tranquil tropical waters of the Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life and provide an unforgettable Ningaloo Reef diving experience. As well as offering a variety of dive sites, you’ll find soft and hard coral gardens just off the shoreline, at depths of 3 to 20 metres.Contact Exmouth Diving Centre to experience the Muiron Islands.

Diving at Lighthouse Bay

There are a number of excellent dive sites in the Lighthouse Bay area, including Blizzard Reef, the Labyrinth and Helga's Tunnels. Along with pristine coral formations and an array of beautiful tropical fish, you’ll encounter reef sharks and schools of pelagic fish. Depths at Blizzard and Labyrinth range from 12 to 18 metres, while Helga's has a maximum depth of 30 metres. Contact Exmouth Diving Centre to experience Lighthouse Bay.

Other Exmouth dive sites

  • Gullivers Navy
  • Pier Blizzard Range
  • Exmouth Gulf
  • Bundegi Sanctuary
  • The Fish Pit
  • Nor-West Reef
  • Sponge Garden Drift
  • The West Coast and Mandu Wall

For further information, contact Exmouth Visitor Centre or Carnarvon Visitor Centre.

Shark Bay diving

Dirk Hartog Island and Shark Bay surrounds

This World Heritage Listed Area is home to dugongs, manta rays, whale sharks, stromatolites and of course the dolphins at Monkey Mia. It also features the largest seagrass prairie in the world, while Dirk Hartog Island and Steep Point offer interesting coral diving with many caves.

Shark Bay Dive and Marine Safaris is now offering scuba diving, snorkeling and scenic boat tours to Steep Point and Dirk Hartog Island. Full day tours visit areas populated by species including Queensland grouper, turtles, crayfish, cuttlefish, stingrays, mackerel, trevally and species of sharks! Species that can be seen include grey nurse, tawny nurse, hammerheads, tiger sharks, sandbar whalers, dusky whalers and wobbegongs. Humpback whales, dolphins and dugongs are also residents of this area depending on the time of year. Ancient tectonic activity has created huge underwater caverns encrusted in stunning soft corals. Worth travelling to the edge of Australia for! Book direct via Shark Bay Dive or contact the Shark Bay Discovery & Visitor Centre for tour times.


Geraldton and Abrolhos Islands diving

South Tomi shipwreck dive

The confiscated Patagonian toothfish fishing vessel was scuttled three nautical miles from Geraldtonshores in 2004, to serve as an artificial reef and dive attraction. Its hulls and holds now boast newly growing corals and a profusion of fish life. Permits are required.

Batavia shipwreck dive

The Abrolhos Wallabi Islands were the scene of the infamous Batavia mutiny in 1629. You can dive the wreckage of the Dutch East Indies Trading Ship and view the outline of the hull, fully equipped with cannons and anchors.

Contact the Geraldton Visitor Centre for tour times.

Jurien Bay diving

Jurien Bay Marine Park

Limestone reefs, caves and swim throughs provide a haven for many temperate and tropical marine species. Lion fish, western blue devils, soft and hard corals, sponges, ascidians, nudibranch and rock lobster make the Jurien Bay Marine Park area surprisingly colourful.

If you’re a keen snorkeller, check out snorkelling the Ningaloo Reef and Coral Coast.

Search the Coral Coast tours list for diving tour operators. For information about current diving conditions on the Ningaloo Reef and Western Australia’s Coral Coast, contact our local visitor centres.

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