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Best Places to Snorkel and Dive in The Capricorn Region

Simon Mallender on September 28th, 2017

Best for: big fish

The best place to dive in the Capricorn region is Great Keppel Island, and the small islands around it, known collectively as The Keppels. They are all continental islands, providing a slightly different diving experience to the offshore reefs and sandy coral cays. The rocks attract more vegetation which in turn attracts lots more fish life and provide gutters and overhangs, the sort of terrain preferred by wobbegongs in particular.

The dive sites around the rocks and outer islands are suitable for divers of all levels, and if you’re looking to snorkel try the fringing coral reefs of Great Keppel Island itself.

Egg Rock

Egg Rock has the best diving of all the dive sites around the Keppels as it is within the Marine Park B Zone which gives it complete protection from fishing of any kind. You’ll be stunned by the abundance of marine life here.

On the seaward side, the walls drop to 30m and schools of pelagic fish constantly swim around the 20m bommies between the individual rocks. Big reef fish like Barramundi Cod, the bright red Coral trout, Hussars, Sweetlips, Humpheaded Batfish and Red Emperor are also attracted to the site. Large clownfish colonies in patches of anemones 10m across adorn the top of bommies.

The dive site shows just how big common reef fish will grow to be, in an area undisturbed by fishing.

The Gulch

The Gulch is the channel between Barren Island and Child Island which lies 7km east of Great Keppel Island. Usually, a drift dive, the channel is chock-a-block with large schools of Spanish Mackerel, Tuna, Trevally and Black Kingfish. Stingrays and wobbegongs lie on the rocks at the bottom of the channel and occasionally you’ll see a manta ray is cruising by.

The fringing reefs of these two islands provide an endless display of tropical fish life and spectacular coloured coral.

Man and Wife Rocks

Man and Wife Rocks, located between Outer Rock and Great Keppel Island, feature three distinct diving terrains.

  • A plateau near the island in 6 to 8m with great hard corals makes for nice easy diving.
  • This drops off to a depth of 18m around most of the island. Along the walls are soft corals, great macro photography. Wobbegong sharks laze in the gutters and the area has a number of sea anemones where you’ll find clownfish.
  • A further drop off to 25m yields large sponges, sea fans, schools of pelagic fish and olive green sea snakes found around many of the dive sites in the area. 
Simon Mallender

Simon Mallender

Passionate eco-warrior, Simon is also a scuba diver, videographer and writer. He has produced promotional wet and dry video for a number of Australian and overseas tourism boards, as well as dive centres and cruise lines. His dive features have appeared online on Queensland Blog, Expedia’s ‘Out There Starts Here’ Blog, Wego Editor’s Desk, and in print in many inflight magazines.

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