When you plan to dive the the Ribbon Reefs you will dive the the outer edge of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.known as the Ribbon Reef, and is named after the thin, long reefs that are about 450 meters wide.
Between each of the reefs, you’ll also find sandy stretches that have their own show to entertain you. One thing is certain: there’s no shortage of interesting marine life that thrives in these waters.
Get On a Liveaboard to Dive the Ribbon Reefs
To really enjoy the Ribbon Reefs, it’s highly recommended that you join a Liveaboard. This will provide you with the very best chance of exploring more than one site and having enough time to really take it all in.
Just be sure that you book your trip far enough in advance to have a spot set aside for you, as the Ribbon Reefs are extremely popular among divers from around the world and you may not be able to find a Liveaboard with enough room if you wait too long.
When to Dive the Ribbon Reefs
Like the rest of the Great Barrier Reef, the Ribbon Reefs are a great place to dive throughout the entire year. Water temperatures tend to range from 22°C to 29°C. Also, while visibility is also nearly perfect throughout the entire year, the clearest water can be enjoyed between the months of September through November in particular.
When it comes to rain, you can expect the most during the summer season, however it still isn’t enough to really impact the visibility or get in the way of diving expeditions. The winter months, therefore, tend to be a lot more popular with divers because there’s a very small chance of rain to begin with.
Dive Sites Perfect for All Levels
No matter what level of diver you are, you can enjoy the sites throughout the Ribbon Reefs. While you won’t find wreck dives there, you’ll enjoy plenty of colorful reefs that are teeming with life. Myriad fish species and small creatures make their home there, and some larger mammals and sharks can also be seen.
The Ribbon Reefs are also well known for the opportunity to take some stunning underwater photos and videos, so be sure to bring your camera along to capture some memories you’ll never want to forget, and which you’ll certainly want to show off to your friends.
Photo Credit: richard ling
The Most Popular Dive Sites in the Ribbon Reefs
Cod Hole – This is one of the most well known dive sites within the Ribbon Reefs. What makes this spot particularly unique and fun are the giant potato cod fish that swim right up to you and are ready to pose for cameras as they wait for divers to feed them. There are also many other fish species that surround you, as well as lovely corals to view.
Clam Gardens – Four coral bommies rise from the sandy floor to a height that’s just a few meters below the surface of the water. The seabed below is only about 15 meters deep as well, making this a perfect site for beginners.
This is also an area that receives plenty of sunshine, so if you bring along your camera, you’ll get some stunning underwater shots. Just be sure to take in the clams that abound here, some of which can grow to an incredible 2 meters in size and can live over 100 years.
There’s a large wall with overhangs and small caves to explore as well. And in addition to schooling fish, you may even catch a glimpse of a sea turtle while leisurely swimming through this site.
Challenger Bay – This site is particularly great for night dives. There are plenty of gorgeous fish and colorful corals to take in.
Temple of Doom – Take in all of the sea life that surrounds the bommie at this site, but also take a look at who is swimming over the sand. You may be lucky enough to spot large rays and sharks.
Pixie Gardens, Pinnacle, and Caves – Large and small bommies are perfect for macrophotography at these sites. Because they’re relatively shallow, they’re also great for beginners.
Try to spot one of the elusive leafy scorpion fish, who do a masterful job at hiding amidst the reefs. If you’re a lover of wildlife, you’ll be amazed at every type of life you find, from corals to crustaceans and plenty of diverse fish species.
Descend the massive wall and take in all of the sea life on your way down. You’ll eventually come upon some caves that you can explore too. Steve’s Bommie – Yet another really famous site, this is the place for macro-photographers to capture a variety of fish species and corals.
Photo Credit: richard ling
Would you like to scuba dive the Ribbon Reefs in Australia or have you been already? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by Rutger Thole who used to be a scuba scuba instructor but he got stuck in a suit a couple of years ago. Now he is on his way back, as a the founder of bookyourdive he travels and dives as much as he can.