Reef Lodge Backpackers Townsville

Sunday 12 October 2014

Cheap diving alternatives while your staying in Townsville, Magnetic Island and the Reef Lodge Backpackers Hostel

Located just off the coast of Townsville and within the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Magnetic Island has a good number of interesting dive sites. No matter if diving from the shore line or boat. Waters around Magnetic Island tend to be warm with the winter average 23’c and summer average 28’c and are considered relatively shallow. Therefore are perfect for novices or experienced divers for an enjoyable and relaxed dive. Although these dive site are not crystal-clear visibility such as Outer Great Barrier Reef, the stunning bays and rocky outcrops of the Island bays provide homes for coral reefs and a great variety sea-life and fish.
Shore, entry from the, gently sloping sheltered beaches has easy access by road as well there are several lit areas for a night dive for ease of entry & exit.
There are a multitude of calm anchorages on Magnetic Island's many sheltered bays and coves if diving from your boat is your preferred entry.
The following are some of the more popular dive sites:

- Florence Bay dive site. Diving Depth to approximately 12 meters.
Florence Bay is one of the most beautiful bays and very popular with the locals and tourists. There is coral on the right-hand side of the bay as you look out to sea along the rocky outcrops.
In the centre of the bay there is also a coral bomey.

The bay has a flat, sandy bottom with the reef located on the northern end. There are some great coral bommies toward the point on the north of the bay or toward the centre of the bay. The rocky, southern end has many caverns to explore which you can swim through. There are many fish and crayfish in this area.

- Arthur Bay dive sites. Diving Depth to approximately 10 meters.
Platypus Wreck
Some of the best snorkelling is in Arthur Bay on the left hand side of the bay as you look out to sea and out towards the rocky point. On the right hand side of the bay, are interesting caves shelter to a multitude of reef fish.
The final resting place for the old dredge that cut the channel into Townsville port is located in a rocky cove at a depth of approximately 3 to 8 metres. The wreck is covered in hard corals. The steam boilers are still intact. big schools of bat fish, sergeant majors, angelfish, parrot fish, trevally are found in this area.
You can access this site is from Arthur bay shore line or by boat.

- Alma Bay dive sites. Diving Depth to approximately 10 meters.
Coral Gardens
Toward the northern end divers will see a variety of corals and fish life in this easily accessible and relatively safe diving area. Some of the corals include Stag-horn, large brain and plate, as well as many soft corals. A great number of fish live in this area which include six-banded angelfish to, bat fish, trevally, coral trout and even box fish. Not to mention brightly coloured Nudibranchs.
The Canyons provide the novice or experienced diver the opportunity to explore the many caverns and swim through. Many fish make this area home and include; parrot fish, bat fish, surgeon fish and small reef fish. You may even see, if you’re lucky; turtles, moray eels and unicorn fish. If look hard enough you may also find Blue spotted rays and goat fish on the sandy bottom. Corals include plate stag horn and brain corals also sea whips and anemones.

- Geoffrey Bay dive sites. Diving Depth to approximately 10 meters.
The Moltke Wreck
In 1913, the German barque Moltke sank and now lies in 8 meters of water about 100 meters off Geoffrey Bay Shore line. This wreck is one of the most popular dive on the Island. The wreck is encrusted in soft and hard corals and is some 50 meter long and it's remains make a home for large Sweetlip, bat fish, Parrot fish, Barramundi cod and epaulet sharks. Best to dive the Moltke on a high tide in calm conditions and is a great night dive.
Geoffrey Bay is a Marine Park B Zone and no fishing or collecting is allowed in this region.
There is a long stretch of fringing reef offering great snorkelling which extends the whole length of the bay. There is coral encrusted Moltke Wreck at the Northern end of the Bay and is great diving for night dives  don’t forget you torch as many of the corals look quit spectacular in the light.

 Picnic bay in the foreground and Nelly bay in the background.

- Nelly Bay dive sites. Diving Depth to approximately 10 meters.
Nelly Bay is where the Island's passenger ferry arrival and barge both arrive from the Townsville mainland and has a nice bit of fringing reef. An excellent site for a night dive where turtles and painted crayfish can be often seen. The southern end of Nelly Bay is an easy beach entry for divers. Large Porites coral and plentiful small common reef fish can be seen. 

For more information or if your after accommodation ask at the reception at Reef Lodge Backpackers Townsville, Queensland Australia. Or, contact us through our website or Phone 07 47 211 112  

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