Scuba Diving Expect to see steep, crystal clear drop-offs, blooming coral gardens, and a magical array of marine life
See manta rays, friendly sharks, turtles and a magical array of marine life – including damselfish, parrotfish, angelfish and nudibranchs, octopus and many more. Dives can be done year-round, with the water temperature ranging from 26 – 29°C.
There is one dive operator on Cocos Keeling Islands, Cocos Dive, which is run by experienced local guide Dieter Gerhard. Tours are seasonal and spaces are tight. Pre-booking your dive in advance to secure a place is highly recommended.
There are more than 20 untouched dive sites to explore, most located just a short boat ride across the turquoise lagoons from shore.
5-10 m | -12.0948, 96.8803
With breathtaking blooming coral and an easy descent to a 10m sandy ocean floor, Broccoli Patch is the perfect site to play with your buoyancy skills. White tip reefers, turtles and dolphins love to explore the underwater world here.
15-35 m | -12.0882, 96.8632
Enterprise has a large bommie sitting right on the edge of an exhilarating drop-off. With the incoming tide providing upwelling, the food chain can be very active.
Grey reef sharks and dog tooth tuna often patrol the wall, and large groupers are a regular sight, as well as schooling paddle tails.
Two Caves (Wreck)
14-25 m | -12.0885, 96.8714
A wreck dive site of a sunken Sri Lankan boat, which carried a load of refugees. See the wreck spread across the ocean floors, and a decent piece of the hull under the engines.
6-27 m | -12.0946, 96.8422
Enter a world of beautiful green and gold cabbage shaped coral, surrounded by thousands of hovering tiny anthias and chromis. When the sunlight hits, prepare for a golden glow that’ll stay with you forever.
Look out for curious and shy spotted garden eels here too, and sleeping white tip reef sharks.
6-30 m | -12.0932, 96.8418
An underwater paradise of rosy coloured hard cora covering up to 40 m. See schools of surgeonfish and parrotfish grazing, along with tiny tropical fish who love to pop out and dart into the garden sanctuary as you float past.
15-40 m | -12.0962, 96.8409
Begin this spectacular site on the edge of the coral reef before heading down to see the glassfish bommie, and watch trevally feeding. As you descend, look out for sleeping white tip reef sharks and extra-long garden eels.
14-22m | -12.0882, 96.8731
An easy exploration, often done after a chilled lunch on idyllic Direction Island. Kat, the resident dugong on Cocos Keeling Islands, is often seen here. It’s a fave spot for dolphins and manta rays, garden eels and during the summer months, nesting for giant triggerfish. Fine sand under ledges can reveal white cap partner gobies.
14-25 m | -12.0876, 96.8738
Some have described these two coral outcrops as a sunken, upside-down catamaran hull. Our resident dugong Kat loves this site, and you’ll often catch a glimpse of him here along with manta rays along the wall.
18-40m | -12.0868, 96.8738
There is plenty to see on top of the reef here, and plenty down the wall! More experienced divers can venture into the deeper blue waters to swim with black trevally, cruising sharks and dogtooth tuna, and experts can slip down to 40 m to see the glorious fans, and a cave.
14-35m | -12.1038, 96.8928
Tucked in on the eastern side of the southern atoll near Prison Island, this is a fave in the summer months or an option for a wind-protected haven. Experience the wonders of plate and hard corals, large schools of curious big eye trevally, and look out for corals encrusted with monitoring buoys.
14-25 m | -12.0855, 96.8748
One for lovers of man-made historical “junk” in the ocean. See cables, and two large winches that are believed to have been used to pull the cables ashore from a ship. Metal aside, there are a bounty of colourful fish and corals here too, including lionfish and cruising grey reef sharks.
9-25 m | -12.0855, 96.8748
See the full cover of hard and soft corals on top of the reef, then descend down over the wall to discover the rose wall corals that sprawl across the wall to 30m+.
Bountiful coral draws divers here, but there’s cruising pelagic species to see too – along with a sleeping white-top reef shark who rests at 40m on the sandy bottom.
9 – 30m | -12.0829, 96.8332
A popular choice for all levels. New divers can see some incredible blooming corals on top of the seawall and the more experienced can slip down into the deep to get up close with orange Gorgonian sea fans before traveling along for the amazing rose wall corals.
For those diving around the full moon, look out for huge schools of blacktail snapper and in summer, spot parties of breeding bump head parrotfish.
15-32m | -12.0668, 96.8376
This aptly named site is worth waiting for the summer months to dive, when the wind drops. From 20-28m, you’ll see incredible Gorgonian sea fan corals shooting up like forest trees and large schools of local big eye trevally. More experience required as site can be current prone.
14-30m | -12.0754, 96.8269
A special location for more experienced divers, with the reef top at 14m before sloping down to 40m+. There are varied currents here, and you can expect to see a myriad of shark species, fish and fusiliers.
12-40m | -12.1228, 96.9075
One for calmer days when the wind drops below 10K. Hear the history of an ill-fated yacht that wrecked on the beach after making a navigation error when it tried to enter the lagoon. See the shallow reef top here, and some incredible hard and soft corals. Off the wall, grey reef sharks and barracuda cruise around. For the more experienced, this is a great spot to play with a deep bounce dive.
It is rare, in this day and age, to come upon a place so delightful in both looks and temperament that, on the very first sighting, one’s jaw does genuinely drop.
Georgia Rickard Australian Traveller
If going with the flow is how you roll, you will love the Cocos Keeling Islands. They have a small – very small – country town vibe. Your activities revolve around the exquisite lagoon whether they be snorkelling, diving, fishing, parasailing, or just relaxing under a coconut palm reading a book while inhaling the frangipani infused air
Steve Klein Curious Campers
Scuba diving at Cocos Keeling islands is nothing short of spectacular. Fabulous visibility, pristine coral reefs, abundant marine life and all the trappings of a tropical paradise without the flashy resorts. Yes, it is isolated and it takes some effort to get there, but this is more than offset by the quality of the diving, the friendly locals and the very laid back and relaxing ambience of the entire place. It is quirky, fun and a great place for a holiday. We will return and soon
Phillip Tubb Melbourne
Don’t miss this place. My wife and I recently spent a fantastic week on Cocos Keeling Islands. We took the opportunity to take the twice weekly ferry service from West Island to Direction Island... we loved it so much we came back for a second time.
Mike G Joondalup
Home Island is definitely quieter than West Island with religion a big part of daily life but the locals were so friendly and welcoming. It was so nice to be able to swim straight off the shore in amazing turquoise water while we cooked BBQs at sunset. Highly recommended!