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View Aboriginal cave art at the Ngaro Cultural Site in the Whitsunday Islands

Ngaro Cultural Site

Whitsunday Islands National Park, Whitsundays, Queensland, 4802
Email: qpws@nprsr.qld.gov.au
Website: www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/whitsunday-ngaro-sea-trail/about.html

The Ngaro people have walked this land for over 9,000 years. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface. The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage. Short and initially steep, the stepped track leads up the side of the inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. Allow at least an hour to immerse yourself in the Ngaro cultural stories of the site.

Diving on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Seaflight Bommie Dive Site

Knuckle Reef Lagoon, Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays, Queensland, 4802
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9111141 Phone Number: 61 07 4945 3711

Seaflight Bommie Dive Site is a majestic coral decorated bommie that sits in the Knuckle Reef Lagoon on Airlie Beach. This site offers you an incredible diversity of corals and marine life to explore including numerous species of clams, hard and soft corals. It also offers excellent underwater landscapes that are great for micro photography.

Drop Zone Dive Site

Drop Zone Dive Site

Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays, Queensland, 4802
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9110510 Phone Number: 61 07 4945 3711

Drop Zone, off Airlie Beach located on the Great Barrier Reef is a drift dive with attitude! Drop into this dive and let the current do its thing. Featuring soft corals, whip corals, staghorn forests and resident turtles. As with all strong currents, keep your eyes peeled for pelagic activity.

Blue Pearl Bay southern beach and rock formations

Blue Pearl Bay

Blue Pearl Bay, Hayman Island, Queensland, 4801
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Blue Pearl Bay is located on the north-western side of Hayman Island in the Whitsundays Group. Popular with tourists and locals for snorkelling, diving and sightseeing, Blue Pearl Bay is known for its coral and fish life including a resident Maori Wrasse. Day tours and overnight boats visit Blue Pearl Bay for snorkelling and or scuba diving. Visitors typically swim directly off their vessel, or tender into the southern beach and enter the water from the coral beach. Diving depth is from three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically from three to 15 metres. Best coral cover to be seen in shallow water off the southern beach. Scattered bommies with silty sand bottom at five to 18 metres, dropping off to coral rubble and silty sand below 18 metres. Best dive off southern beach, near Castle Rock. Shallow coral ledge (two to three metres) dropping off as descent wall to 10 to 15 metres. Wall has narrow canyons and caves making for great exploration. Strong corals near Castle Rock have some striking gorgonian fans at eight to 15 metres as well as whip corals. The shallow waters are predominately staghorn coral. Good protection from all winds except north-westerlies.

Hydeaway Bay has over 1.5 kilometres of soft, sandy beach

Hydeaway Bay Beach

Gloucester Avenue, Hydeaway Bay, Queensland, 4800
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9144271 Phone Number: 61 07 4945 3711

Hydeaway Bay Beach is on the coast of the Whitsundays, around 45 minutes drive north of the tourist town of Airlie Beach. The beach at Hydeaway Bay is a lovely sandy beach over 1.5 kilometres long. Covering the beachfront area along the main street, Hydeaway Bay Drive, beachfront homes make excellent use of the direct beach access and endless views across the water to Gloucester Island, Saddleback Island and many more. Dotted along between the houses are several beach access ways for the public to gain access to this beautiful stretch of soft, sandy beach. The beach is fringed with shady trees and the rocks at the end make for excellent exploring. The fishing from the beach can be quite successful but there is a boat ramp at Dingo Beach, just around the other side of the headland, if you'd like to try your luck offshore. A little convenience store at the Hydeaway Bay Caravan Park is the only shop in town, but there is a pub at Dingo Beach and two beachside restaurants/ eco resorts at Cape Gloucester, just at the northern end of Hydeaway Bay.

Pinnacle Bay, home to dive sites The Pinnacles and The Woodpile

The Pinnacles

Hook Island, Northernmost point, Hook Island, Queensland, 4741
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9143109 Phone Number: 61 07 4948 5900

Arguably the best dive site in the Whitsundays, with hard corals comparing favourably to those seen on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The best dive is off the western beach, adjacent to the Woodpile and swim east at a depth of seven to 15 metres. Large coral bommies dominate the terrain, reaching nearly to the surface. Acropora corals are everywhere and huge porite corals in the shape of boulders and massive towers can also be seen. Manta rays are very common in the cooler months, May to September, as are big Maori Wrasse. This dive is not for the faint-hearted as black and white tip reef sharks are frequently seen! In the shallow water, particularly off the western beach, the coral cover is nearly solid, mostly staghorn, with only a few sandy patches. Excellent snorkelling just off the western beach too. Diving depth is three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically three to 15 metres.

Manta Ray Drop Off Dive Site

Manta Ray Drop Off Dive Site (Bait Reef)

Great Barrier Reef, Southern edge of Bait Reef, Whitsundays, Queensland, 4802
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9105645 Phone Number: 61 07 4948 5900

Manta Ray Drop Off, in the Bait Reef area of the Whitsundays on the Great Barrier Reef, boasts spectacular underwater cliffs and a plunging wall that drops off to 30 metres. The wall is covered with gorgonians, soft coral trees, sponges and sea whips. The Manta Ray Drop Off site is great for snorkelling as well as diving. Best known for the soaring manta rays found cruising the wall in winter (May to September), reef sharks and schools of pelagics are common any time of year. Site is exposed to southerly winds and is very prone to strong currents. Best to dive during slack water, neap tides. Visibility: 12 - 30 metres Diving depth: 3 - 36 metres Bottom: Total coral cover in shallow water to five metres, wall dropping to 30 metres cut with crevices. From 30 metres down, bottom is made up of coral rubble, sand and scattered coral heads.

Moored within the lagoon at Bait Reef

Bait Reef and Garys Lagoon Dive Site

Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays, Queensland, 4802
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9110503 Phone Number: 61 07 4948 5900

Bait Reef, in the Whitsundays area of the Great Barrier Reef, is situated to the west of Hook and Hardy Reefs, and is one of the best known and most spectacular locations on the Great Barrier Reef. Gary's Lagoon is well protected, making it a great site for snorkellers and beginner divers. The coral cover is excellent and the lagoon makes for easy diving before venturing into deeper water just outside the entrance. The lagoon is home to all sorts of tropical marine life including large soft corals, reef fish, turtles, wobbegongs and the occasional manta ray. Visibility: 10 - 20 metres Diving depth: 4 - 18 metres Bottom: Walls forming inlets are solid coral, bottom is sand with scattered, low coral bommies. Other sites on Bait Reef are the Manta Ray Drop Off, the Stepping Stones and the Southern Face. All rank very highly amongst experience divers and all offer very different diving experiences down to a depth of 36 metres.

Caves and Canyons Dive Site

Caves and Canyons Dive Site

Hook Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays, Queensland, 4802
Email: info@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au
9110507 Phone Number: 61 07 4945 3711

Caves and Canyons, located on Hook Reef in the Great Barrier Reef, is a 60 metre wall with a 20 metre shelf. This shelf is dotted with scores of bommies which are yet to be discovered and mapped. A great exploration dive as you never know what may cruise on by. Beautiful coral gardens with exceptional overhangs providing photographers with fantastic gorgonian fan opportunities. Keep watch for mackerel, tuna and Indian Steephead Parrot fish. Also, whales have been seen at this site!

Peter Faust Dam at Proserpine is an excellent spot for freshwater fishing

Peter Faust Dam

Crystal Brook Road, Proserpine, Queensland, 4800
Email: admin@campkanga.com.au
Website: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au/attractions/fishing/
9122041 Phone Number: 61 07 4947 2600

Just 30 minutes from Proserpine is Peter Faust Dam, also known as Lake Proserpine. An ideal spot for watersports and freshwater fishing. Peter Faust Dam is renowned as home to more 1m plus barramundi than any other impoundment in Australia! A combination of tropical climate with long summers and mild winters, the dam has no closed barra season so can be fished all year round and is annually restocked with over 20,000 barramundi fingerlings. The submerged branches and structure surrounding the lake make it the ideal spot for other species like sooty grunter, sleepy cod and saratoga. Local fishing tackle stores and guided trips are available all year round. Lake Proserpine plays host to fishing competitions, with campground accommodation at Camp Kanga closeby making it an ideal sports fishing destination. Bring your crab pots too because redclaw and freshwater crayfish also inhabit the lake. There is a concrete boat ramp to take craft up to 8m situated next to the BBQ areas. All this lies a short drive from Airlie Beach, the gateway to the famous Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef, so once you've had your fill of barramundi there are 74 Whitsunday Islands to explore off the coast.