Dive the world's most southerly coral reef
Lord Howe Island’s abundant marine life and crystal-clear waters attract divers from around the world to some of the best diving on the planet.
The coral reefs at Lord Howe Island are the most southerly (31° 33'S) – and among the most spectacular - in the world. The island is located at the cross-roads of five major ocean currents, including the warm East Australian Current which runs down the Great Barrier Reef and down into the Tasman Sea. The larvae of tropical fish and corals hitch a ride on the current, and are deposited on the reefs of Lord Howe, where they thrive in a unique marine ecosystem. This abundant and diverse mix of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate species is found nowhere else on earth: there are over 90 species of coral and 500 species of fish inhabiting the reef.
Lord Howe is one of just four island groups to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list for the global significance of its natural beauty and heritage. Surrounded by Marine Park and with fishing restrictions, the island’s reef and marine ecosystems are pristine and plentiful. And being located so far off-shore and with no rivers draining to the ocean, the waters are some of the clearest on earth: visibility is usually around 30 metres.
There are over 60 world-class dive sites, most located just a short boat ride (10-20 minutes) from shore. Click here for more details.
The island’s geology is awe-inspiring above water (it’s regarded as the most beautiful island in the Pacific) and it’s no less so below water: an underwater topography of trenches, caves and volcanic drop offs, in addition to the Technicolor fish and corals.
The island’s most spectacular dive is Balls Pyramid – the world’s tallest sea stack, surrounded by marine sanctuaries, 26km south of the island: everything at the Pyramid is more prolific and larger! Divers (Advanced certification required) can expect to see massive schools of Violet Sweep, Amberjack, Kingfish, Silver Drummer, Rainbow Runners, Trevally and occasionally Marlin, Dolphins and Wahoo. It’s also possible to see Ballina Angelfish - a deep water Angel that is generally only found in water in excess of 100 metres. Balls Pyramid is believed to be the only destination where you can see them on recreational scuba in 25 metres. Dives at Balls Pyramid average 25 metres in depth and range from drift dives to cave dives to simply following a coral wall.
At many of the dive sites around the Lord Howe Island, divers can see rare and endemic species including Spanish Dancers; Double-headed wrasse; McCullochs Anemone fish and Galapagos whalers – harmless sharks that grow to around two metres and are frequent visitors. It’s also easy to see a variety of species of turtle – even just snorkelling from shore in the Lagoon.
There are two Dive operators on the island, both highly experienced, family run businesses, who know the island’s best sites. Contact either of them directly for details of packages and costings – Lord Howe diving represents outstanding value for money!