Dive Sites

Our Local Dive Sites

Stradbroke Island

The Nursery

Is an amazing dive site located on the south-western corner of the reef at Flat Rock. It is the shallowest of Flat Rock’s dive sites and the focus here is on smaller creatures, rather than the big fish and rays that inhabit its neighbouring sites. Brilliant colours and formations make this dive site feel alive with all the smallest creatures of the ocean, hence the name the Nursery. There is often a small amount of current on this site, however it is used as part of the dive and very rarely does a diver have to swim against it, making it a perfect place for beginner divers. Local residents here include nudibranchs and all manner of micro-creatures, turtles, wobbegong sharks, leopard sharks (nov-apr), eagle rays, barracuda and other large pelagics, octopus, eels, hard and soft corals, and hundreds of tropical fish varieties.
Depth 5 to 16m
Current Minimal to Medium
Visibility 10 to 30m
Experience Level Beginner to Advanced
Things to See Coral gardens, colourful tropical fish and corals, micro creatures, turtles, wobbegongs, leopard sharks (November - April), rays, octopus, eels

Shark Alley

is located on the eastern edge of the Flat Rock reef and is one of our most favoured dive sites due to the endangered grey nurse shark population that inhabit this site from June – October. The dive site consists of two large sand bottom channels running parallel to each other, separated by rocky reef and some adjoining channels.

There is only approximately 500 grey nurse sharks remaining on the east coast of Australia, and Flat Rock is one of the premier sites to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Other attractions of this site include schools of rays (sometimes in the hundreds), large turtles, wobbegongs, pelagics, groupers, crayfish and crustaceans, plus hundreds of tropical fish varieties.

Depth 12 to 35m
Current Minimal to Medium
Visibility 10 to 30m
Experience Level Advanced
Things to See Grey nurse sharks, schools of rays, large turtles, wobbegongs, pelagics, groupers, crayfish and crustaceans, plus hundreds of tropical fish varieties

The Bowl

Bowl shaped rock formation (hence the name) on the south-eastern corner of the Flat Rock reef is a great dive site for both beginners and experienced divers. This site regularly offers divers the opportunity to witness an array of larger marine life, as well as numerous micro-species on the same dive. Current is usually minimal, however it can be quite strong. This site also usually has beautifully clear water, averaging around 15 metres visibility. The bowl itself contains numerous micro-creatures and coral and reef formations to keep divers occupied, combined with the added attraction outside the bowl of a wall dropping down to 34metres. Outside the bowl divers often witness large cod and groupers, turtles, wobbegong, leopard, white-tip and grey nurse sharks, and schools of small, medium and large rays.
Depth 10 to 34m
Current Minimal to Medium
Visibility 10 to 30m
Experience Level Beginner to Advanced
Things to See Coral gardens, sharks, rays, turtles, octopus, eels, nudibranchs, large pelagics, tropical fish varieties

Shag Rock is an exposed rocky reef only a short 6 to 8 minute boat ride from the beach our Dive boats are launched from. Because of this it is the most protected dive site and offers great diving when conditions elsewhere take a turn for the worse.

Both sides of the reef offer great dive sites and are linked by a spectacular swim through cave, providing an exciting challenge for all levels of diver. This means that both sides can either be highly stimulating as two separate dives, or combined into one to get the best of both worlds.

Although Shag does not always have as high visibility as our other sites, it often has little or no current, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing dive for both beginner and experienced divers.

The local residents include wobbegong and bamboo sharks, eagle and bull rays, turtles, octopus, eels, nudibranchs, stonefish, sea urchins, numerous hard and soft corals and a large variety of tropical fish species. It is also possible to see leopard sharks, manta rays and grey nurse sharks passing by in their respective seasons.

Depth 8 to 16m
Current Minimal
Visibility 5 to 25m
Experience Level Beginner to Advanced
Things to See Swim through, Coral Gardens, Wobbegong and Bamboo sharks, turtles, rays, octopus, eels, stonefish and urchins, tropical fish varieties

Manta Bommie is our premier dive site and is also ranked in the top 10 dive sites in Australia. It is located a short 10 minute boat trip from our dive centre and is a group of rocky reefs interspersed with large and small sand patches, small caves and holes and a long wall forming part of the dive. The bommie itself is a cleaning station for the migratory Manta Rays and other large marine life that frequent the area during summer (November – April).

On any given dive trip at the Bommie it’s not uncommon for divers to come face to face with multiple manta rays, as well as leopard sharks, guitar sharks, turtles, wobbegong and bamboo sharks, octopus, pelagics, bull, eagle and other large rays, lionfish plus much more all on the one dive.

Current can be an issue at the bommie, however it is often used as part of the dive in order to conserve energy and maximise bottom time.

Depth 5 to 16m
Current Minimal to Medium
Visibility 5 to 30m
Experience Level Beginner to Advanced
Things to See Manta rays, hard and soft corals, leopard sharks, guitar sharks, turtles, wobbegong and bamboo sharks, octopus, eels, pelagics, bull, eagle and other large rays, nudibranchs, lionfish, plus hundreds of tropical fish varieties.

Middle Reef is located about 1.5 nautical miles from Adder Rock. This dome shaped rock is often described as an underwater “Ayers Rock”, hiding 9m below the surface in 32m of water.

Middle reef is a site for the more advanced diver, as this rock is quite deep and prone to strong ocean currents.

This rock is home to a variety of tropical fish and soft corals, with a number of Nudibranchs and moray eels hiding in the nooks and crannies.

A variety of larger fish and rays can be seen when looking out into the depths, or looking up towards the surface. Middle Reef is also home to two resident Queensland Groper.

Depth 10 to 32m
Current Strong
Visibility 5 to 20m
Experience Level Advanced
Things to See Tropical fish and soft corals

Boat Rock is situated 0.5 nautical miles east of Point Lookout. This rock rises majestically from 30m at the ocean floor to break the surface.

It is shaped like a spire, with a ledge jutting out from the side at a depth of 15m, with a sheer cliff face dropping down through the depths.

This dive is more suitable for advanced divers because it is exposed, and has prevailing current. However, for exactly these reasons, it is also our most exciting dive sites, with schools of large fish, and marine life not usually seen at the more protected dive sites.

Depth 15 to 30m
Current Strong + Waves
Visibility 5 to 20m
Experience Level Advanced
Things to See Schools of large marine life

Amity is a shore dive located off the north western corner of Stradbroke Island. It is within the bounds of Moreton Bay, as opposed to all of our other dive sites which are all exposed to the ocean. Because of this it is always calmer at Amity because it isn’t exposed to ocean swells, making it a great spot for training dives. It is also a good drift dive location, as when the tide is coming either in or out the current at Amity is quite strong.

There are numerous man-made wrecks at Amity such as car bodies and tractor tyres that have become small reefs home to many tropical fish species, as well as the bottom of the jetty which has an abundance of fish life surrounding it.

Local residents here include wobbegong sharks, small rays, dolphins, stonefish, pelagics and parrotfish, crayfish and crustaceans plus many tropical fish varieties.

Depth 5 to 15m
Current Medium to Strong
Visibility 5 to 15m
Experience Level Beginner to Advanced
Things to See Wobbegong sharks, small rays, tropical fish, wrecks

The South Gorge is a shore dive located on the southern side of Point Lookout’s main headland. A beach/surf entry leads divers along the bottom of the cliff, which forms the underwater wall that divers follow out to whale rock, and then return.

On the wall lives numerous hard and soft corals, home to varieties of tropical fish, nudibranchs and crustaceans. Divers can also witness Bull and Eagle rays, turtles, wobbegong and Leopard sharks and Manta Rays (November - April) traversing along the sand bottom.

This dive would be considered for advanced divers only due to the mix of strong currents and swell caused by the site’s exposure to often large waves.

Depth 5 to 15m
Current Strong + Waves
Visibility 5 to 20m
Experience Level Advanced
Things to See Caves & whale rock blowhole

Flat Rock

Flat rock is located approximately 2.5 nautical miles north of point lookout. It is a fully protected marine park, with a no-fishing zone within 1.2km radius of the reef. Flat Rock itself is actually divided into 4 distinct and individual dive sites – The Nursery, Shark Alley, The Bowl and The Turtle Caves.


 

Moreton Bay Marine Park

The Moreton Bay Marine Park waters are home to some amazing dive sites and marine life with experiences suitable for the beginner to the experienced technical diver. Please note that due to the nature of the unpredictable conditions we experience, we cannot guarantee a specific dive site for your trip. While we will do our best to get you there, all sites are subject to conditions, diver experience level, and minimum numbers.

 

SNO Suitable for snorkelling if surface conditions allow
OW Site less than 18m depth, generally sheltered from current/swell
ADV less than 30m, some current, surface conditions can vary
Master Diver Depths to 40m, prone to strong currents, live drop/pick up likely
XR Depth 20-45m, current, live drop/pickup, suitable for decompression dives
TXT Deeper than 45m, trained and equipped technical divers only

Depth – 5-15m

Difficulty level – OW/SNO
A shore dive option commonly used for night dives or course dives when the weather offshore is too rough, Amity Point is an easily accessed site teeming with resident wildlife, including wobbegong sharks, large schools of fish, and the occasional dolphin and bull shark. Some care is needed as this site is very tidal, with the best diving being an hour before the top of the high tide. Hazards include fishing lines, boat traffic, tidal movement, and a large population of stonefish, which means some care is needed when diving this site.

Depth – 5-15m

Difficulty level – Adv with 50+ dives
A drift dive for those after a bit of adventure or rocking a Suex diver propulsion vehicle (*link to Suex scooter page), this is a drift dive conducted on an incoming tide starting at Flinders Beach and ending at Amity Pier. Best done 2-3hrs before the top of the high tide, divers drifting along in the current will spot bull sharks, dolphins, resident schooling fish along with hiding crayfish. With several small shipwrecks along the way to poke around in, this is an often-overlooked dive with lots of potential.

Depth – 5-18m

Difficulty level - OW
Our closest site to shore is located 800m directly from Home Beach. This is a fantastic "macro" site home to a wide variety of marine life, including turtles, wobbegong sharks, large schools of pomfrets and other sub-tropical fish and unique critters such as mantis shrimp and ghost pipefish. With several diveable sites around the two rock outcrops, this is a terrific area for divers of all levels and spectacular for photographers.

Depth – 5-15m

Difficulty level – OW/ADV/SNO
The site from which Manta Lodge gets its name is one of Australia's top 10 dive sites. This location of three rock outcrops known collectively as 'The Group' comes alive in the summer months (Oct-April) as migrating manta rays stop off to access the cleaning stations on several shallow bommies. Along with plenty of manta magic, you'll also see large numbers of leopard sharks, guitarfish, several species of large stingray, and marvel at octopus hidden in the rocks. While it can be a challenging dive with the area prone to current and swell, it's a must-dive site for all divers to get their 'manta moment'.

Depth – 10-30m

Difficulty level – ADV
Located on the NW side of Flat Rock, this is a spectacular site home to varied marine life, both large and small. Located several kilometres offshore, excellent visibility is more common out here due to prevailing currents ('The EAC, dude!'). Divers can marvel at large schools of inquisitive batfish, sneaky barracuda, majestic turtles, and several species of pelagic sharks that also frequent the area. Over winter, large fevers of eagle rays, grey nurse sharks - and even humpback whales! - are spotted by lucky divers here. This site is also the chosen destination for our yearly solo-visiting whale shark, which has popped in for a day or two the last few years between February and April, to our surprise and delight.

Depth – 18-26m

Difficulty level – ADV
Like sharks and winter diving? Then this site is for you! Located on the opposite side of Flat Rock from Turtle Cave, we predominantly dive this site in winter when large numbers of grey nurse sharks reside on the sand channel between the two large sections of the reef. Humpback whales are also common in this area, along with the odd bull shark or sandbar whaler. A terrific place to get up close with some large sharks!

Depth – 4-18m

Difficulty level – OW/SNO
A magic site best dived when we have strong northerly winds, this shallow site is home to lots of juvenile fish and pretty plant and coral life.

Depth – 8-18m

Difficulty level – OW/ADV/SNO
On the northern (ocean) side of Flat Rock, we'll usually head here when we have strong westerly winds and/or swell hitting the other areas of Flat Rock.

Depth – 15-27m

Difficulty level – ADV
Usually hammered by current and often forgotten, this large reef area is similar in composition to Shag Rock, with several large pinnacles and overhangs home to turtles and wobbegong sharks.

Depth – 14m

Difficulty level – OW
Installed in late 2019, while we are not actively running trips to this site yet, it will be a great site once its ecosystem is established. With large metal structures that are already showing some marine growth, attracting a range of marine life, it will be a great entry-level site in the future.

Depth – 5-14m

Difficulty level – OW/SNO
Commonly a snorkel destination when strong northerly winds are up, this site has a unique little cave to explore called 'The Cathedral' and is a great place to look for dolphins, rays, and other life passing through the area.

Depth – 20-34m

Difficulty level – Master Diver/XR
A favourite dive of the Manta Lodge staff, this drift dive is for experienced divers who love their dives at high speed with an overload of marine life. Starting at the Turtle Cave mooring, this dive involves a drift around the ocean side of Flat Rock, finishing either at Shark Alley's mooring or in a blue water ascent, where you may encounter large numbers of pelagic whaler sharks that frequent the deep waters in the area. With large fevers of rays, schools of Queensland groupers, bull sharks, sandbar whalers, barracuda, tuna, and even humpback whales (when in season), this dive, while challenging, is also the most rewarding.

Depth – 20-35m

Difficulty level – Master diver/XR
Sitting out in the high current area, this rocky outcrop has near-vertical walls dropping straight down to 25m. Current is nearly always running here, so divers are usually limited to the area behind the island in the lee of the current. This is another great dive to utilise our rental Suex scooters to explore the other smaller underwater pinnacles located nearby. Large pelagic sharks and barracuda are common here as they wait in the current for something tasty to swim by.

Depth – 28-45m

Difficulty level – Master diver/XR
A short swim due north of the Shark Alley mooring is a section of deep reef known as Blue Corner. The top of the reef area is around 28m, dropping down to 40-45m on the sand. Large bull sharks frequent the area, and the reef is home to a cornucopia of varied marine life weaving in and out of the reef's many nooks and crannies. This area can be prone to current, so divers need to be confident and capable of a free ascent from the reef to the surface.

Depth – 7-28m

Difficulty level – Master Diver
Located several hundred metres north of the Turtle Cave mooring, Bullshark Bommie is a large rock bommie rising from 28m up to 7m at its shallowest point. It can only be dived on calm days as waves are known to break on it when the swell is up. Named for the large bull sharks that frequent the seabed around the bommie, this site is nearly always subject to current, so experience in drift diving is a must.
Along with the sharks, you'll encounter large Queensland groupers, fevers of cownose, mobula, and eagle rays, the odd turtle (and maybe even a whale, when in season 😊).

Depth – 20-48m

Difficulty level – XR/TXR – Experienced technical divers
A large reef with huge 20m+ pinnacles rising from the seabed, Seven's Reef is a well known 'sharky' fishing spot located north of Flat Rock. With the shallowest point sitting at 20m from the surface and the bottom reaching close to 50m, this is an area prone to unpredictable visibility and strong currents at times. Marine life we've had at this site includes a large population of whaler sharks (bull, sandbar, bronze), humpback and minke whales, and even the odd white pointer! It's not uncommon to pass sharks on the descent as they head to the surface, attracted by the sound of divers splashing into the water. With the size of the reef area, this site is spectacular when utilising a Suex DPV.

Depth – 51-62m

Difficulty level – TXR
This site is Mantas' newest dive site and one we've just recently started exploring. This deep reef is located off Moreton Island, nearly straight east of South Channel, with a large section of reef stretching several kilometres and rising 5-10m off the sea bed. Due to regular fishing activity and infrequent dive visits, this area is prone to very active shark activity. At the bottom, large schools of baitfish hide from the barracuda and kingfish that zip in to hunt. Currents in this area can be strong and can also change at depth, so experience in open ocean decompression is a must to dive this site.

Depth – 2059m

Difficulty level – James Cameron
Located 23 nautical miles E/NE of Point Lookout lies the wreck of the hospital ship AHS Centaur, which was torpedoed by imperial Japanese submarine I-177 on 14th May 1943, with a loss of 268 lives.
While this site is not one we visit (due to its extreme depth and the fact that it's a war grave), it is an essential piece of Australian maritime history and a sad reminder of a time when global conflict reached our doorstep.