North Mole, Perth:
Large rocks and an unidentified wreck (speculated to be the barge Gareenup) at this site shelter schools of bullseyes, old wives, rock lobsters, blue devils, masked stingrays, Port Jackson sharks, box fish, and cuttlefish. Boat traffic makes a dive flag advisable.
Point Peron, Perth:
Located in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, this limestone reef, riddled with caves, is accessible from the beach. Look for dolphins, seals, and crayfish.
Flinders Reef, Moreton Island, Brisbane:
Brisbane’s only true coral reef, this site boasts 112 species of coral and almost 200 species of fish. Dive the reef’s walls, gutters, caves, and pinnacles, and watch for turtles, stingrays, and wobbegong sharks.
Fish Rock, off South West Rocks, New South Wales:
Fish Rock cave houses a unique ecosystem, with water always warmer than the surrounding ocean. Nurse sharks rest under the entrance to the cave, which is overhung with pink gorgonian corals. Look for black cod, wobbegong sharks, black rays, giant cuttlefish, turtles, moray eels, and bullseyes.
Giant Kelp Forest, Tasmania:
These enormous rubbery-bladed kelp fronds can grow up to one metre/three feet a day, and swimming through them truly is a forest-like experience. Look for weedy sea dragons, wrasses, banded stingrays, skates, boxfish, octopus, and seahorse.
Bramble Cay, Torres Strait:
At the northern tip of Australia, marked by a lighthouse, this sand cay is a breeding ground for green turtles, with hatchlings emerging from January through May. Rich in green algae, the site also attracts algae-eaters like trumpetfish, wrasse, and unicornfish.
Camp Cove, Sydney:
Accessible from the shore, this site features blue-ringed octopus, cuttlefish, striped dumpling squid, nudibranchs and the occasional lionfish or seahorse.
North and South Head, Sydney:
This location actually encompasses more than a dozen dive sites, including Colours Reef, The Gap, Sponge Gardens, Polly’s Point, Waterfall and Quarantine Station. These reefs consist of beautiful walls and giant boulders that play home to some of Sydney's finest diving. Bream, sweep and yellowtail are most common of the schooling fish. The inner area of the heads is particularly good for weedy sea dragons and the rarer red indianfish. Giant stingrays and eagle rays occasionally cruise by.
Portsea Hole, Melbourne:
Formed by the old Yarra River, the Portsea Hole features a vertical wall dropping into a sand bowl at 24 metres/80 feet. Small overhangs in the wall shelter a vast array of invertebrate life and fish, in particular the beautiful Blue Devil fish.
Navy Pier at Exmouth:
Located on the northwest coast of the continent, this dive is on many diver's “top dive sites” list with the pier boasting a surprising variety of species. Look for the groupers at this site.
Edithburgh Jetty, South Australia:
This dive site hosts an incredible diversity of marine life including the famous leafy sea dragon. The jetty structure is covered with sponges and soft corals, providing a playground for large schools of fish.