The Magical Underwater World of The Outer Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most incredible natural wonders – and the world, for that matter. It is so big it can be seen from outer space. This means that there is a lot of it to explore, as it sprawls out for 344,440 square kilometres and includes thousands of tiny, pristine islands within its clutches.

Most people explore only the inner reef, which is the area closest to Cairns. This is where most day-trippers head to, especially those who have never dived or scuba dived before.

Head further out, though, and you’re greeted to an eerily peaceful world that is filled with calm, deep waters, and an even more eclectic selection of marine life than the closer parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

This area is known as the Outer Reef, as it lies at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef before it meets the ocean. Here, the coral is richer and the species of fish, turtle, and other sea life is incredibly varied. It is also advised that divers wanting to visit the Outer Reef book a multi-day trip to really discover the area on a deeper level. This way, you can wake up on the ocean and spend ample time exploring its depths and the creatures that inhabit it.

This is also because travelling to the Outer Reef from Cairns takes a bit of time. Journeys can take anywhere between one hour and a half, to two hours, so to really make the most of the area and everything it has to offer, you want to schedule more time.

Before you head to the Outer Reef, your dive instructor will show you the ropes, give you a safety briefing, and tell you everything you need to know about diving in this part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Once there, you’ll get to experience the rich underwater world that calls this part of the Reef home. As it is where the Reef meets the Saxon reef, there is an increase in the amount of sea creatures that hang around here away from the crowds of the Inner Reef and the shallower waters.

While below sea level, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with a variety of exotic fish species, friendly shark species, and ancient turtle species, as well as explore the colourful varieties of reef and underwater plant life.

The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 2,900 individual coral reefs, and many of these form excellent dive sites in the Outer Reef, including Saxon, Hastings, Paradise, Moore, Thetford, Channel, Sudbury, Flynn, and Milln.