Osprey Reef

Cairns, Queensland

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Big Fishes Reef Sharks

Osprey Reef is frequently visited by long range dive boats out of Cairns and is one of the most interesting of the Coral Sea Reefs. The 27km by 4m atoll shaped reef lies 140km east of Lizard Island and 115km east of the Great Barrier Reef. The depth surrounding the reef is around 2000m. The reef top circles the lagoon with the exception of one opening where a dive boat can enter. Alby Ziebell, operator of the 24m Coralia, rates Osprey Reef as one of the finest dives in the world.

Ospreys main attraction is a dive site at its northern tip called North Horn. The western side of this point has a fabulous drop-off covered with gigantic seafans in a variety of brilliant colours. The soft corals are huge ranging from 1m to no less than 3metres

The reef begins at the surface and slopes down at a 45degree angle to about 25m where it shelves off for a short way before plunging down to 2000m. Fish life here is superb with large Barracuda, Dog Tooth tuna, Silver-tip sharks, Hammerheads and Potatoe Cod. Other excellent sites on Osprey Island include a shady strip called Yellow Brick which leads down to Pelagic Gully where the soft corals at 50m are reputedly the finest in the world.

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