Ribbon Reef No 10, Far North Queensland
Type of dive: Animal
Access: Boat (Live aboard)
Minimum qualification: Open Water
Depth: 10-30 metres (30-100’)
Visibility: 15-40 metres (70-130’)
Water temperature: 25°C (77°F) – 29°C (83°F)
Best time to visit: Anytime (Can be windy in February/March)
Snorkelling: Yes, “mega” fish!
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest structure built by organisms and is visible from outer space.
Manufactured by tiny coral polyps, it stretches over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) from just north of Fraser Island in the south to Torres Strait in the north. With an area of over 340,000 square kilometres (130,000 square miles), it is considered to be only 20,000 years old.
The Great Barrier Reef has been a World Heritage Listed site since 1981.
In far north Queensland, commencing about 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Cairns there is a network of long narrow reefs running for 600 kilometres along the edge of the Continental Shelf called the Ribbon Reefs.
The Ribbon Reefs are named by number, starting at Number 1 in the south and ending with Number 10, in the north.
They are generally only accessible by live aboard vessel, although some operators have sea planes that rendezvous with their charter vessel.
The world famous Cod Hole is located on Ribbon Reef Number 10.
Famous for its resident potato cod, Epinephelus tukula, which are large, inquisitive and sometimes aggressive. They can grow to over 2.5 metres (8’) and weigh an impressive 110 kilograms (240 lbs).
Potato cod, also known as potato grouper and potato bass, are native to Australia but can be found in other Asian countries.
Underwater, they are easily approached and make great subjects for underwater photographers.
The Cod Hole is a ‘mega’ fish experience because the potato cod are often accompanied by huge Maori wrasse.
Diverse coral life is supported by clear nutrient rich water bought in by prevailing tidal currents.
The isolation of the Cod Hole means there is a huge variety of other tropical marine life including giant clams, white tip reef sharks and thousands of smaller coral reef fish.
Nearby terrain provides reef walls with large soft corals, channels, caves and canyons. Beautiful shallow coral gardens provide perfect entertainment to pass the time while completing safety stops.
Copyright C 2015 Steve Sinclair
Other great dives to do while you are there:
Pixie Pinnacle, Clam Beds, Lighthouse Bommie, Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom and Dynamite Pass.
Phone: (+61) 7 4053 0500