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Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It's about the same size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world - only two people per square kilometre.
With over 7,000 beaches, Australia has more than any other nation. Australia's extensive coastline makes for an unparalleled diversity in terms of both land and ocean climates.
From coral reefs, clown fish and giant turtles on the North Coasts, to the majestic whales, seals and fairy penguins off the temperate Southern Coasts, Australia truly is a scuba divers paradise.
Queensland is Australia's second largest state measuring more than 1.72 million square kilometres, 25% of Australia's land mass, which is four times the size of Japan, nearly six times the size of the UK and more than twice the size of Texas in the US.
It is arguably the most ecologically diverse state in Australia, with arid inland cattle grazing environments contrasting sharply with world renowned natural landmarks such as the Daintree rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
Major diving & snorkelling locations: Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island, Lady Elliot Island, Liveaboards - Dive Charters to Coral Sea Islands and Great Barrier Reef.
Over 35,000km's of magnificent coastline gives Australia an incredible range of diving locations, including superb diving in the tropical waters of the world renowned Great Barrier Reef and northern parts of Western Australia, as well as fantastic temperate diving in the southern states, such as South Australia.
Both tropical and temperate marine life are found in the Solitary Islands off northern New South Wales, popular Byron Bay near the Queensland border, and the Abrolhos Islands on the west coast off Geraldton.
The Great Barrier Reef is the major attraction for scuba divers. The reef is the largest coral reef system on Earth. Many Australian liveaboard dive vessels run day trips and weekly tours of the outer reef and Coral Sea Islands. Giant turtles, nudibranches, coral polyps, pelagics and a variety of sharks all regularly appear on the Great Barrier Reef, providing divers with an awesome sight. A number of wrecks are also available to dive along the Queensland coast, including the Yongola. Lady Elliot Island and Heron Island are also highly noteworthy destinations.
Adventurers and thrill-seekers will love cage-diving with Great White Sharks. See these deadly beasts up close in their natural environment. Their size and power will awe divers who are able to get within centimeters of these creatures, thanks to an enclosing steel cage.Western Australia
Ningaloo Reef and Rottnest Island are must see destinations for scuba divers or snorkellers. Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth is famous for the appearance of the enormous whale shark. Dive up close with one of the largest marine species on Earth. Manta Rays, Dugongs and Humpback whales are also regular seasonal visitors to Ningaloo Reef.
Other major sights in this area include Abrolhos Islands and Murion Islands. Look out for friendly potato cod, large rankin cod, turtles, nurse sharks, soft coral gardens, anemones, clams and 1000's of darting, colorful reef fish. While wreck divers will be attracted by the destroyers HMAS Perth and HMAS Swan
Rottnest Island, located near Perth, offers something for everyone. Divers will be left in awe with over 360 species of fish drawn to the waters off Rottnest by the Leeuwin current. Some 20 species of coral and 13 historic shipwrecks lie in the surrounding waters. Non-divers will love the boating, sailing, snorkelling available on more than 63 sheltered beaches. The relaxed atmosphere of the island makes Rottnest a great getaway destination
As far as scuba diving goes, Australia is a unique destination, with many remote and unexplored regions, forgotten wrecks and an enormously diverse array of marine life
Australia stretches across 3 time zones: Perth is 8 hours ahead of GMT; Darwin and Adelaide are 9.5 hours ahead and the Eastern states are 10 hours ahead.
Australian States except Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland have daylight saving during the summer months.
Water temperature varies greatly with location and season. Average water temperature is around 27 degrees C off the northern coastlines, and down to around 16 degrees C off the southern states