Known as “The Zoo,” Bougainville Reef off the Osprey Reef offers the perfect remote location for diving the Great Barrier Reef. This location is the ideal dive site for intermediate and advanced divers as you must take a Liveaboard to Bougainville Reef. While diving, you’ll have the opportunity to explore many destinations, including The Junkyard, Corner Shop, Deep Six and West Point. As you explore the reef, you’ll be surrounded by white tip reef sharks, black cowtail rays, nudibranches, leopard blennies and flatworks.
The wide diversity of marine life and corals in the area provides a spectacular experience to swim with snappers, surgeonfish, sweetlips and drummer. You’ll even see grey reef sharks as they frequent the area, as well as hawksbill turtles and angelfish. Bougainville diving will provide you with a thrilling and breathtaking adventure you’ll never forget.
Located 230 km northeast of Cairns, the only access to Bougainville Reef is by Liveaboard. Although the water conditions can be calm, they can also be very strong and choppy; therefore, it’s essential you monitor diving conditions. With a varying depth of 5 to 40m, the reef isn’t a good location for snorkelors; however, scuba divers will love the vibrant reef life due to great visibility.
Bougainville Reef is a “key ecological feature” of the Coral Sea as it lies at the peak of an extinct submerged volcano. Along the reef’s coral rim you’ll find a shallow, sandy lagoon, which is only exposed during high tide. With a healthy population of marine life as the reef offers the ideal home for deeper reef inhabitants, you’ll spot large soft corals and gorgonians along the sheer reef walls of the Queensland Plateau. In fact, the coral in the area is in exceptional abundance and there are many distinctive communities, which is one reason Bougainville Reef is considered to be a unique ecological system.
Located in the Coral Sea, the reef is rarely visited due to it’s remote access. As it’s seldom visited, it’s considered to be unspoiled because its marine life continues to thrive. There are an abundance of schooling fish that will surround you on your dive, including pyramid butterfly fish, unicorn fish, blue dash fusiliers and tuna.
Bougainville diving is sure to provide you with an experience you’ll never forget at a diving location few get the opportunity to visit. Depending on weather conditions, your trip to Bougainville Reef may be limited, but you’ll still enjoy the best scuba diving in Australia.