Diving the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs

Ribbon Reef Dive Sites | What Will I See
The Ribbon Reefs lie well to the north of Cairns and are home to many world famous dive sites, including the Cod Hole. Named after the large potato cod in the area, which you will encounter and swim close too, the Cod Hole also offers a couple of great swim-throughs, as well as pristine coral structures and an abundance of a variety of marine life. It is not unusual to spot reef sharks during this dive.

The remote location of the Ribbon Reefs means they are only accessible on a liveaboard dive trip. Water / dive depth varies anywhere from 8m to 35m, making this a perfect destination for divers of all experience levels, from Open Water to Advanced. Currents vary from mild to wild.

The Ribbon Reefs and the liveaboard operators who visit it, offer a range of diving experiences and locations, including drift dives, wall dives, swim throughs, caves and exploring colourful coral gardens and bommies. A consistent factor of diving the Ribbon Reefs will be the absolute wow factor of the reef. A multitude of colourful fish and some amazing marine encounters, from giant (diver-sized) Potato Cod (Cod Hole) to Dwarf Minke Whales (seasonal) to sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish, stingrays and more. The water temperature varies between 22 degrees to 29 degrees and all operators provide wetsuits / lycra suits for certified divers.
Dive depth is only limited by your experience and certification. Water temperature along the Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea varies between 22 degrees to 29 degrees.

Ribbon Reef Dive Sites – Facts at a Glance
• Great Barrier Reef: Ribbon Reefs #1 – #10
Depth: 4mtrs to 30 mtrs
• Currents: Varies but usually mild
• Dive Experience: Coral Gardens, Isolated Bommies of Coral and Wall Diving
• Diver Level: Suitable to novice, experienced and advanced divers
• Book ahead to avoid disappointment as these trips often sell out.
• Booking ahead also will ensure your cabin type of preference. Most Liveaboard boats offer Double, Twin and Quad Share accommodation. Ask us for more information.
• Must be a Certified Diver to book a Ribbon Reef, Cod Hole or Coral Sea.
• Travelling alone? No problem, a dive buddy can be allocated to you.
• Liveaboard boats take anywhere from 20 – 30 guests. Ask us for more information on your vessel preference.

The Cod Hole dive site is one of the most famous on the Great Barrier Reef’s, far northern Ribbon Reefs. Named after its resident population of diver-sized potato cod, this dive site creates memories to last a lifetime. Discovered over 30 years ago, the site is visited weekly by liveaboard dive operators and the fish are very friendly, making for some amazing photo opportunities.

Other than the potato cod, the Cod Hole dive site offers a range of marine life and dive experiences. There’s coral walls, gardens and isolated bommies. Reef sharks can often be spotted on the sandy floor of Shark Alley and other commonly seen critters include, but are not limited to, diagonal-banded sweetlips, red bass, butterflyfish, anemonefish and nudibranches.

Cod Hole Dive Site | What Will I See
Obviously, the main attraction at the Cod Hole dive site are the Potato Cod, but there’s also many other creatures who reside here. Following is a snapshot of what you might expect to see.

Potato Cod. The Potato Cod who reside here can grow up to 2m long and weigh up to 100kg. They are very familiar and comfortable with divers, coming very close and providing amazing encounters. The number you might see on any given day/dive varies, sometimes there’s six or seven, at other times only one or two of the gentle giants will be around.

Reef Sharks. There’s two moorings at the Cod Hole dive site and one is just above Shark Alley, which is a relatively narrow strip of sand at 9m depth, where various reef sharks like to rest. The most common reef sharks spotted at the Cod Hole are White Tip and Grey.

Other Creatures. The Cod Hole is a part of the Great Barrier Reef system, as such it’s home to a diverse array of other tropical reef critters. Some you can expect to see include, but are not limited to anemonefish, octopus, coral trout, butterflyfish, bumphead parrotfish, turtles, feather stars and an array of hard and soft corals.

The Cod Hole Dive Site – Facts at a Glance
• Great Barrier Reef: Ribbon Reef #10
Depth: 4mtrs to 30 mtrs
• Currents: Varies but usually mild
• Dive Experience: Coral Gardens, Isolated Bommies of Coral and Wall Diving
• Diver Level: Suitable to novice, experienced and advanced divers

Ribbon Reefs/Cod Hole Dive Site Bookings
Dive in Australia is pleased to provide an easy Cod Hole dive site booking service. Please note: this site can only be visited on a liveaboard dive boat. There’s regular departures from Cairns, each week.

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