The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is one of the most sought-after scuba dive locations on the planet. The natural beauty there is unsurpassed by any other dive sites. With so many amazing dive sites to choose from, you can keep yourself busy for weeks exploring every dive site of the reef.
Cod Hole is, by far, the most famous dive site within the Ribbon Reefs, which are found on the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Ribbon Reef #10 is where you will find Cod Hole, and it is also in the Coral Sea, which is famous for its myriad marine species and outstanding coral reefs.
Photo Credit: chamer80
Read on to learn more about this magnificent dive site and why so many divers from around the world flock there throughout the year.
What Makes the Cod Hole So Unique
The Cod Hole is a dive site that you can enjoy for one day or you can take a liveaboard journey there as well to spend some more time. You will usually need to take your day trip from Lizard Island, but if you are taking a live aboard trip, you will probably be making your way to the Cod Hole from Port Douglas or Cairns.
You will find three moorings at the dive site, wich make it easy for to get below the surface and into the action. Once you dive in, you will reach an initial depth of about 15 metres or 50ft. Combine this comfortable depth with no currents and amazing visibility and this site becomes a perfect one for divers of all experience levels.
Once you reach a depth of about 32 metres or 100ft you will be able to spot gorgonians and other elusive creatures. As you make your way through the Cod Hole, you may reach an area with a few great swim-throughs and caverns to enjoy.
This sandy stretch is where you may encounter sharks, and because it does open out to the ocean, you will begin to feel some currents here as well.
Marine Life Found in the Cod Hole
The most famous species of marine life that calls the Cod Hole home is the massive Potato Cod that you’ll inevitably find there as soon as you hit the water. These fish are truly huge, weighing as much as an incredible 60kg and growing up to 2 metres or 60ft in length.
They’re super friendly and will swim up to you expecting you to feed them, which is completely legal. Try to respect their space and habitat, though, because despite being fed by humans, their population has unfortunately been declining.
Another equally large species of fish that you will encounter in the Cod Hole is the Maori Wrasse also known as the Humphead wrasse. They, too, will swim close and look for hand outs. Between the Potato Cod and these fish, you will have plenty of great photo opportunities.
Many divers choose to bring down video cameras so that they can document the experience of feeding the large fish and watching them interact with one another.
Photo Credit: tarotastic
There is more to find in the Cod Hole
In addition to the beautiful reef system and all of the myriad creatures that call it home, you can certainly expect to see other fish species, including Barracuda, Frogfish, Goatfish, Boxfish, Batfish, Lion Fish, Parrotfish, Trevally, Emperor Angelfish, Triggerfish, Sweetlips, and Coral Trout.
Keep an eye out for the incredibly camouflaged Lacy Scorpionfish amidst the reef as well. If you are lucky, you will catch a glimpse of one unless it is doing a really great job of hiding. While this may seem like a lot of fish to begin with, it is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast variety of species that you can find in Cod Hole.
You may also have the thrill of spotting Moray Eels, lobsters, pygmy seahorses, giant clams that can be up to 2 metres large, and Whitetip Reef Sharks. Dive in the winter season for a truly breathtaking encounter with dwarf Minke Whales.
The Best Time of Year to Dive the Cod Hole
You can dive in the Great Barrier Reef and Cod Hole throughout the year, but the best months are between late August and early December. The water temperature is typically warm and comfortable, ranging from 23°C in the winter to 29°C in the summer.
The summer season, however, which ranges from December through February, experiences the most rainfall, while the driest months are enjoyed from June all the way through November.
If you would like to encounter whales during your dive, the Minke Whales are seen June through August. The famous Potato Cod, however, are there waiting for you all year long.
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole and his team work full time to create a platform where divers can go to if they are looking for anything scuba related. It started with a simple blog who knows where it ends.