Although the Great Barrier Reef is the epicenter of Australia’s notoriety in the dive world, it is not the only jewel in its crown. Located at the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s Ribbon Reefs are an impressive collection of 10 different reefs, each of which is known for its particular characteristics or marine life.
The Ribbon Reefs are perfectly suited for novice divers, as the majority of the reefs rest in 5-20 meters of warm, tropical water, ranging in temperature from 75F in winter to 85F in the summer. Because these reefs can only be accessed by liveaboard boats, the waters remain consistently clear with average visibility of 30 meters. Underwater photographers are in for a treat at the Ribbon Reefs due to an abundance of micro and macro life that have no reason to fear divers passing through, offering myriad chances for intricate closeups.
Giant potato cod await curious divers at Cod Hole, while scorpionfish, pipefish, nudibranchs, and scores of shrimp can be found within the Pixie Pinnacle, Gardens, and Caves. Clam Gardens offers divers who like to take things a bit slower the perfect opportunity to get a good look at the site’s population of giant clams, some of which measure up to two meters in length. Healthy, vibrant corals, sponges, and anemones are bursting from virtually every surface within the Ribbon Reefs, which host an array of marine life in a rainbow of colors. Divers visiting during June and July may be treated to a minke whale migration, while reef sharks can be found policing schools of red bass, giant trevally, sweetlips, barracuda, and clown triggerfish any time of year.
We could go on all day about the wonderful variety of marine life living within Australia’s Ribbon Reefs, but nothing we say will be as impressive as this footage taken just a few years ago. Find a comfortable seat, turn up the volume, and enjoy all the beauty the Ribbon Reefs have to offer.
Image via pelagicgear.com