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ccarter
09-27-2007, 15:08
Has anyone been diving in Australia and the Caribbean? Do you think it's worth the extra time/cost/effort to go over to Australia instead of sticking to the Caribbean?

Illini_Fan
09-27-2007, 15:32
I have been able to dive both the Great Barrier Reef / Osprey Reef and then Cozumel. Obviously, the Caribbean is bigger than just cozumel, so people that have done Cayman, Bonaire, etc... might have a different opinion.

I think Australia is worth the effort. But I only dove for 5 days of the 20 days I was over there. It was part of a longer vacation.

I think if you were doing Australia solely for diving, it might be hard to justify the trans-pacific flight. But the diving was great.

ccarter
09-27-2007, 15:34
I have been able to dive both the Great Barrier Reef / Osprey Reef and then Cozumel. Obviously, the Caribbean is bigger than just cozumel, so people that have done Cayman, Bonaire, etc... might have a different opinion.

I think Australia is worth the effort. But I only dove for 5 days of the 20 days I was over there. It was part of a longer vacation.

I think if you were doing Australia solely for diving, it might be hard to justify the trans-pacific flight. But the diving was great.
Did you do any hiking/backpacking/mountain biking/cycling during your trip over there?

chinacat46
09-27-2007, 15:40
YES it's worth going there. I personally think most Pacific diving leaves the caribbean in the dust. Many more types of fish and coral not to mention other creatures. I learned to dive in NZ but got hooked in Australia. I'm leaving this sunday to dive in Australia and PNG with a few dives in NZ as well although most of my time in NZ will be visiting friends. But if you want really good diving go to Indonesia it puts Australia to shame. Micronesia and Fiji are excellent as well.

Illini_Fan
09-27-2007, 15:42
Did you do any hiking/backpacking/mountain biking/cycling during your trip over there?

We did rafting in the Tully river and some ATV riding just outside of Cairns. We did abesailing (rappelling) in Katumba (Blue Mountains outside of SYD). Then the whole gamut of adrenaline activities in Queenstown. Bungy, Canyon Swing, ATV riding, sky diving.

So no hiking on this trip -- seriously considered the Able Tasman trail since it is one of the few South Island multi-day hikes open during the winter; we went in June of this year. But just enjoyed Queenstown too much.

Not a cyclist in any fashion so that didn't make any of the potential activities lists.

ccarter
09-27-2007, 16:18
YES it's worth going there. I personally think most Pacific diving leaves the caribbean in the dust. Many more types of fish and coral not to mention other creatures. I learned to dive in NZ but got hooked in Australia. I'm leaving this sunday to dive in Australia and PNG with a few dives in NZ as well although most of my time in NZ will be visiting friends. But if you want really good diving go to Indonesia it puts Australia to shame. Micronesia and Fiji are excellent as well.

How's the shore diving in the pacific compared to something like Bonaire?

ScubaJenn81
09-27-2007, 16:33
If you can go to AUS, go for sure, but do not go just for diving, go for a vacation, enjoy the culture and for at least 2 weeks. if you just want to dive, go to the caribbean for a few days, but Australia is a destination. That is my 2 cents.

SeaLily
09-27-2007, 16:58
I've been to many of the islands in the Caribbean, and actually got married on the Mike Ball out at the Coral Sea in Australia. Both locations have their merits. You can't beat the convenience and proximity of the Caribbean, but Australia and the South Pacific offer a totally different dive experience with respect to varieties of fish, coral, and wrecks.

Also, PNG and Indonesia are two of my favorite dive locations because of the diversity. After diving the Caribbean for many years, we were in total information overload when we first went to Indonesia. We didn't recognize anything or where to find things on our first dive. After a few dives, you learn to spot the nudibranchs and start identifying the critters.

So is it worth it - Definitely. Also, in Australia, depending on your interests, there's lots of topside attractions so be sure to spend a few days in Cairns and tour the rainforest, tablelands, and the aboriginal villages, not to mention the world's longest lava tubes. We also made a stop in Sydney for a couple of days during one of our trips to Australia. One word of caution though is to be sure to ask how many are on the boat and how big the tanks are as we booked through a dive agency the first time and were stuck on a cattle boat for one day in Cairns with 99 other divers and snorklers.

chinacat46
09-27-2007, 17:49
YES it's worth going there. I personally think most Pacific diving leaves the caribbean in the dust. Many more types of fish and coral not to mention other creatures. I learned to dive in NZ but got hooked in Australia. I'm leaving this sunday to dive in Australia and PNG with a few dives in NZ as well although most of my time in NZ will be visiting friends. But if you want really good diving go to Indonesia it puts Australia to shame. Micronesia and Fiji are excellent as well.

How's the shore diving in the pacific compared to something like Bonaire?

The only place in the Pacific I did any shore diving was Bali. I prefer Bonaire for shore diving so if that is what you want go to Bonaire.

As others have suggested if you go to Oz don't just go for the diving although that could be the main reason to go.

ccarter
09-27-2007, 19:15
YES it's worth going there. I personally think most Pacific diving leaves the caribbean in the dust. Many more types of fish and coral not to mention other creatures. I learned to dive in NZ but got hooked in Australia. I'm leaving this sunday to dive in Australia and PNG with a few dives in NZ as well although most of my time in NZ will be visiting friends. But if you want really good diving go to Indonesia it puts Australia to shame. Micronesia and Fiji are excellent as well.

How's the shore diving in the pacific compared to something like Bonaire?

The only place in the Pacific I did any shore diving was Bali. I prefer Bonaire for shore diving so if that is what you want go to Bonaire.

As others have suggested if you go to Oz don't just go for the diving although that could be the main reason to go.
I've done the Bonaire thing.. but I typically don't like boat diving.. just would much rather have the ease of shore diving.. plus there's always the risk of sea sickness which I'd rather avoid..

So is there no shore diving in Australia or is there just not enough to justify mentioning?

chinacat46
09-27-2007, 19:27
Can't answer you since I've done no shore diving in Oz. You won't be diving the GBR or the Coral Sea from shore that I can tell you.

Damselfish
09-27-2007, 20:17
In general I would choose the Pacific over the Caribbean every time if it weren't so far away.

Kidder
09-27-2007, 21:28
I lived in Australia for six months and dove discover scuba on the GBR twice. Australia its self is worth the trip. I can't that there isn't sore diving, but both times dove it was from some very large very nice boats with extremely helpful crew. If you are one for natural destinations then the area around Cairns, palm cove, etc.. in the North east is awesome. I would also high recommend the Darwin area. It has some great national parks with lots of water falls.

I never made it over to Western Australia and wish I had. I heard of some cool places to dive around Broome. http://www.padidiveguides.com/AU/Western_Australia/broome.html
Also I hear that the tide change is so fast around Broome that if you walk up the beach away from it. It will catch up with you.

Aussie
09-28-2007, 02:58
If you have any questions about Australia, write down a big list of questions for me and I will try and answer them for you.

Cheers Aussie

bversteegh
09-30-2007, 00:42
If you really have the choice (you really need 2 weeks to go to the Pacific - LONG flights) - do the Pacific. The diving is much better - way more to see, both coral and sea life.

As other's have posted - GBR diving in Australia is definately boat dives; reef is well off shore. If you travel that far, take one of the liveaboards to the coral sea - they are reasonably priced, and awesome diving. You might also look into Fiji - it is only a 10 hour flight from LA, awesome diving, and I believe the Bequa Lagoon area has shore diving.

Kidder
09-30-2007, 01:06
If you have any questions about Australia, write down a big list of questions for me and I will try and answer them for you.

Cheers Aussie

Did you ever dive on the west side? Broome etc.. If so how was it?

scuba Widow
09-30-2007, 01:57
I would love for finflippers to have a chance to dive in either place...but I have always wanted to go to Australia.

ccarter
09-30-2007, 15:03
I'd like to go to Australia just for the experience sometime but it sounds like Fiji might be a better choice as far as the type of diving I'd like to do (Shore). I'm just not a big fan of boat diving.. a lot of hassle and potential for sea-sickness.

Aussie
10-01-2007, 05:52
If you have any questions about Australia, write down a big list of questions for me and I will try and answer them for you.

Cheers Aussie

Did you ever dive on the west side? Broome etc.. If so how was it?

Hi Kidder,

I have never been to the west side of Australia due the huge distance and price of getting there. It has come down in price from flying from the east coast but then you have to get to the northern areas. The north western part of Australia is very remote and little population. You can go for days without seeing anyone.
Broome itself is a very popular town for Australians and overseas vistors alike as it laidback and fun town to be in and the major occupation is the consumption of beer (so my friends say anyway). If you like fishing broome is a awesome place to wet a line from fishing the local creeks for Barramundi to off shore for Sailfish. http://www.broomevisitorcentre.com.au/broome.asp

I believe there is little diving around broome itself but Broome is used as a base to go to the Rowleys shoals which are offshore from Broome. It is some distance from shore and there isnt many charter boats that go out there. The ones that do are very expensive. http://www.kimberleycruise.com.au/page.php?id=45

From what I have been told from those that have been or worked over there that the Ningaloo Reef marine park is an awesome reef that goes for 260km. Its located roughly between Broome and Perth (State capital of Western Australia). The main towns are Exmouth and Coral Bay. There isnt many dive operators at all. From what I have heard the dive shop at Coral bay is good.
Whale shark season is April to July if you want to check them out. Its the only place in Australia that really gets Whale sharks on a regular basis.

http://www.ningalooreef.net/exmouth/ningalooreef.html


I hope this helps.

Aussie

Silverlode
11-06-2007, 20:18
Good writeup Aussie. Will have to check out the diving out there; afterall there are some nice cheap dive shops we can pick up gears from. ;)

Aussie
11-06-2007, 21:37
Good writeup Aussie. Will have to check out the diving out there; afterall there are some nice cheap dive shops we can pick up gears from. ;)

You can get some faber cylinders cheap in Perth. Easier to just get them posted over here (East Coast)

Aussie