Hervey Bay has a reputation as Australia’s whale-watching capital. But did you know this little coastal town is also the launchpad for a couple of world-class diving experiences?
For a start, there’s HMAS Tobruk – the Fraser Coast’s newest underwater destination.
The proud navy vessel was scuttled last year – to create a man-made sanctuary for marine life. It wasn’t long before the 127-metre long military wreck was teeming with fish, turtles, octopus and sharks – not to mention adventurous divers!
Hervey Bay Dive Centre leads regular guided excursions to the Tobruk, which lies on its side in Wide Bay. Ed Gibson from the centre says the site offers something for all levels of diving expertise – from open water divers to advanced divers. The Tobruk rests on her side – offering a range of dive depths from 12 to 30 metres – plus a myriad of interesting sections to explore, including the engine room.
Any self-respecting diver must add lovely Lady Elliot Island to their ‘to-do’ list. The gorgeous coral cay sits at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef – just a 30-minute flight from Hervey Bay.
Lady Elliot boasts 20 superior dive sites – with more than 20 metres of visibility for most of the year. PADI – the world’s premium scuba dive instruction organization – has voted the island as one of the top 5 places in the world to see manta rays. Dive or snorkel the sheltered lagoon on the eastern side – or take to deeper waters off the island’s western shore, where mega-fauna make their home. See giant turtles, schools of big fish and – in season – passing humpback whales.
The eco-resort is managed by the Gash family – custodians of this beautiful island for many years. Not surprisingly, the low-key and relaxed resort is an ideal holiday destination for families. There’s a host of island activities for all ages.
And at the end of the day, guests are invited to grab a drink, sit on the sand and watch the sun take its own deep dive into the ocean.
Hervey Bay offers two top dive experiences from the one coastal base. To find out more, check out www.visitfrasercoast.com.