Diving at the Great Barrier Reef would have to be on the bucket list of every scuba diver in Australia, and probably the world, and the Queensland town of Townsville is located within close proximity of some of the Barrier Reef’s most coveted scuba diving locations. If you’re thinking of donning the wetsuit and the mask, here’s a quick overview of what you can expect to see scuba diving near Townsville.

1. Lodestone Reef Scuba Diving

Lodestone Reef. Image from Tourism and Events and Achim Wetz.

This is considered by many the number one dive spot on the Great Barrier Reef and is located about 90km east of Townsville. The site is renowned for its abundant sea life including a myriad of beautifully coloured reef fish, turtles, rays and reef sharks.

Divers can choose to explore the fringing reef and canyons in the lagoon area or head for the deeper water that surrounds the reef and explore the bommies and channels to a depth of around 35 metres. Lodestone Reef is also a great spot for snorkelling and there are snorkelling and diving tours to the reef leaving Townsville daily as long as conditions are favourable.

2. Magnetic Island Scuba Diving

Guided day tours from the island to go diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef
Take a dive at Magnetic Island. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland.

Just off the coast of Townsville is the beautiful Magnetic Island with its surrounding reefs and wrecks. The shallow waters at the dive sites allow divers to have extended bottom time and easy access. There are plenty of reef fish, turtles and sting rays and some stunning fringing reefs.

The Moltke Wreck is only 300m from the beach and its coral encrusted shell is a haven to local marine life and a scuba diver’s dream.

3. SS Yongala Wreck Scuba Diving

SS Yongala Wreck. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland.

The Yongala wreck is submerged in 28 metres of water and is recommended for more advanced divers only. The 110m wreck is considered Australia’s premier wreck dive and is home to sea snakes, giant groupers, nudibranchs, turtles and bull rays. Surrounded by kilometres of sand, the SS Yongala is known as the ‘oasis in the desert’, and will definitely provide an unforgettable scuba diving experience.

Looking for great Townsville accommodation?

The 4.5 star Clarion Hotel Townsville is the perfect stylish and contemporary place to stay. It’s a great home base for all your activities (including these Top 5) and is right in the heart of the CBD.