Planning on some dives? Here is a summary of where to dive and which operator to chose.
The Gold Coast is the main tourism hub in Australian, attracting more than a million visitors each year. It’s the city of fun and adventure and certainly a destination city for scuba diving.
The climate is sub-tropical, offering warm daytime temperatures all year round and water temperatures not colder than 19 degrees in winter and around 24-26 degrees in summer.
The Gold Coast has an enormous variety of diving options as no other city in Australia can offer. The various sites and specialised diving operators cater for experienced divers as well as beginners, snorkelers and freedivers. There are shore diving sites, protected inshore sites as well as offshore reefs and shipwrecks.
For experienced divers, the Gold Coasts Offshore sites and wrecks are the way to dive the Gold Coast. These sites are only accessible by boat and suitable for Open Water Divers and above:
o The historic Wreck of the Scottish Prince (12m)
o Migaloo Reef (16-18m)
o Campos Reef (30m)
o 80 Foot Reef (25m)
o Mermaid Reef (16-22m)
o Palm Beach Reef (6-22m)
o Kirra Reef (8-12m)
o Currumbin DESAL Plant (20m+)
The famous Gold Coast Seaway and the Broadwater offer further dive sites which are ideal for first time scuba divers, snorkelers and experienced divers as well. These dive sites include:
o The Gold Coast Seaway (shore dive)
o Wave Break Island (boat dive)
Wave Break Island is the prime destination for introductory diving and snorkelling. Various diving centres specialise in these activities.
Scuba Lessons & Introductory Diving
The Gold Coast is an ideal place to learn scuba diving or do try dives including the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience. Why? Due to the variety of sites including protected inshore sites within the Broadwater, courses and scuba lessons can take place even if ocean conditions are rough. That’s why Gold Coast Scuba Diving is great all year round.
Gold Coast Dive Centres
The Gold Coast has several diving operators, specialising in different areas. It is important to choose a dive centre carefully depending on the type of diving experience you are after as well as your experience level. No one does it all even if they say so.
Gold Coast offshore diving for experienced divers
Gold Coast Dive Adventures is the only local PADI Dive Centre that specialises in offshore boat diving in small groups (6 divers) at our local reefs and wrecks. They run double dive trips twice per day on various days throughout the week. Their beautiful website has a calendar allowing you to book online with live availability displayed 24h a day. There is no need to call. Simply select your date, book online and add any hire gear and hotel transfers on the checkout page. Gold Coast Dive Adventures is highest rated Gold Coast Dive Centre for professionalism across all social media platforms. They are also well suited for Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver training. Their courses are the most expensive ones on the Gold Coast but certainly worth every dollar given that their students get to dive from boats and in the open ocean rather than inshore.
Introductory Diving and Snorkelling
Gold Coast Dive Centre & Marine Training College is an SSI Dive Centre and specialises in introductory diving as well as vocational training i.e. certificates 3 and 4 in outdoor recreation. They are a large facility with large vessels, fitting 20+ divers and are able to turn over large amounts of students each week. They dive every day at Wave Break Island and conduct courses and intro dives. Occasionally they dive offshore with their students but not on a regular schedule. International students are eligible for a student VISA if they sign up with one of GCDC’s training programs. You can book a dive online on Gold Coast Dive Centres website but need to ring afterwards in order to confirm availability, so you may better call in the first place to save some time. Based in Miami, Gold Coast Dive Centre provides hotel transfers and also transports you to and from the boat departure point at the Spit, Main Beach. The centre also operates in Tweed Heads which is in New South Whales (NSW) just south of the Queensland border.
Queensland Scuba Diving Company is the oldest and longest established PADI Dive Centre on the Gold Coast. Their bread and butter is to provide PADI Discover Scuba Diving experiences and snorkelling as well as general diver training. The floating dive shop is situated at Marina Mirage, Main Beach and their large pontoon vessel ‘Discover’ can cater for up to 30 divers and snorkelers. They dive Wave Break Island every day of the week which is the perfect inshore dive site for first time divers and snorkelling. Queensland Dive also provide hotel transfers to their shop in Main Beach.
Devocean Dive is a PADI Instructor Development Centre, specialising in shore diving off the Spit, Gold Coast Seaway and general diver training. Their shop is based in Southport and they are the go to dive operator for everything associated with shore diving and dive courses. They also service equipment. Devocean Dive does not operate a vessel but this does not make them any less attractive depending on your needs. They dive the Gold Coast Seaway every day.
Freediving Gold Coast is the number one freediving school on the Gold Coast. They operate their own vessel and have your safety as their number one priority at all times. Courses run every weekend with theory conducted at Ashmore and dives offshore from boats.
Gold Coast Diving Attraction – exHMAS Darwin and the Diving Pyramid
There is a believe by city officials that a major diving attraction is the missing piece in the Gold Coast tourism puzzle and we agree. Whilst the Gold Coast is not short of natural dive sites, additional attractions such as a shipwreck or the councils proposed diving pyramid also referred to as Gold Coast Dive Site will certainly increase variety and attract more visitors from all over the world. What a dive attraction means for the Gold Coast is summarised in this interesting blog post: https://goldcoastdiveadventures.com.au/hmas-darwin-wreck-dive-gold-coast/
Diving Queensland and beyond?
If you keep travelling around and want to dive or learn to dive in other places in Queensland, visit http://thescubacoach.com/. The Scuba Coach has a beautiful website, offering to book dives and courses across Queensland including the Great Barrier Reef.