Things to Know About Whitsundays Diving
The Whitsunday Islands are world renowned because of the various water activities that are offered. Scuba diving and snorkeling is really high on the list of possibilities and since you are reading these lines, you are most likely interested in such an experience.
Diving in the islands is wonderful but there are some things that you might be aware of. You have 2 options that you can consider: the Great Barrier Reef or finding various local spots that are services by resort-tied dive operators.
The Local Dive Sites In Whitsunday Islands
These spots will allow you to see dolphins, reef fish, cods, green sea turtles, black tip reef sharks and white tip reef sharks. If you are lucky enough, you can even see the interesting wobbegong shark while the pelagic fish is very common together with trevallies and barracudas. Most of the local sites are easy and the conditions are usually great all year round.
The Great Barrier Reef
This is basically the Mecca of scuba diving in the Whitsundays. It is even considered to be similar to the experience that you get when you go diving in Fiji, which is renowned around the world as the mecca of scuba diving. Tourists can opt for one-day tours or longer experiences. The area is remote and it is recommended that you go diving here only if you are more experienced. Divers can see coral formations that are support, really big fish and some shark species that you will not find in other parts of the islands. It is also common to notice a giant Manta Ray. If the season is right, you can even see many dolphins, the humpback whale and the minke whale.
When Should You Dive In Whitsunday Islands?
One thing that makes the Whitsundays great is the weather. It is perfect for diving almost all year round. When you dive during the summer, air temperature is usually at around 30 degrees Celsius. During the winter the temperature is at around 23 degrees Celsius. As you can see, the weather is almost always great. However you should be aware of the following things:
- Coral spawning will happen during the months of October and November
- Minke whales can be spotted from June to August and humpback whales are visible in the period between June and November
- Between January and March you would experience short episodes of heavy rain
The best diving conditions in the Great Barrier Reef are available from August to December. However, you may want to avoid the months of September, October, December and January because these are the peak season. Prices are always higher and advance booking is usually necessary. Check out the local sites for weather predictions. I usually use Weather Zone.
Important Tips About Whitsundays Scuba Diving
Water temperatures do not vary much and in most cases you can expect the water to be at 25 degrees Celsius. You will be happy to hear that the current is gentle on local diving sites. However, when referring to the Barrier Reef, the current is stronger. This is another reason why only experienced divers should attempt diving there. Visibility varies from 8 meters to 50 meters based on where you go and the current weather. Depth range possible varies from 5 to 30 meters. However, experienced divers can go deeper although it is recommended to stay at a maximum depth of 20 meters.
What About Diving Safety?
If you are a beginner, it is much better to opt for a diving package like those on Whitsundays Sailing Adventures since there will always be a professional taking care of the people that go on the sailing tour. Even so, it is a pretty smart idea to invest money in travel insurance so that you are covered. You never know what happens and in most situations such insurance covers diving of up to a depth of 50 meters.
Do I Need A Diving License?
A diving license in the Whitsunday Islands is not usually necessary. There are only some locations in which you would only be able to dive if a license is offered by an accredited local diving school. If you just want to go diving in order to enjoy coral reefs or you just want to snorkel, a diving license is not needed. However, you should have a professional near you, guiding you at all times.
Staying On A Diving Trip
There are many different accommodations that are available. The choice is based on your personal needs and wishes. However, there are basically 2 really popular options: a stay on a boat during a sailing trip or a stay at a resort. There are also hotels and many other accommodations that are available. Make sure that you book ahead if you want to go during peak season months!
Information is what helps you to have a perfect vacation, no matter what you want to do. Learn all that you can about diving spots before you actually agree to a package that takes you there. Also, consider some really interesting out-of-the box activities you can enjoy in Whitsunday Islands while on a diving trip.
By Adrian Cruce