Davies Reef - Coral Gardens

18°49'S 147°38'E

The Coral Gardens dive site on Davies Reef lies on the north west side of the reef, at the entrance to the lagoon. The reef provides reasonable protection in bad weather. It is possible to anchor on the outside of the site, or to enter the lagoon and moor on the inside. The most attractive area is the gardens themselves, at the southern end of the site.

The Coral Gardens (5-10m)
There's an amazing thick growth of hard corals, particularly staghorn coral of many colours. Many reef fish live in this area. A resident turtle, who is quite used to divers, may be seen here. It's a good place to get some colourful photos.

The Swim Through (2-10m)
This leads from the gardens out to the north west wall. The shallowest part (2m) gives a false impression that it does not go through; have faith, it does. It provides a fun way to get into the gardens from the outside. Coming from the gardens into the open water, you get that "big blue" impression.

The Channels (5-15m)
These lead out southwards from the gardens. The turtle may be seen sleeping under a large soft coral in the more southerly channel.

The Debris Area (5-10m)
Many reef fish rummage about in the dead coral looking for food. If you lie quietly and knock a piece of dead coral against another lump, the juvenile wrasse will swim in close to feed.

The North West Wall (5-20m)
The wall provides a deeper alternative to the gardens, and can be used for the first part of a dive before taking the swim through into the gardens. Some mesh and plastic baskets left over from scientific experiments provide homes for smaller creatures. The wall also provides an easy and pleasant night dive.

The North Tip (5-15m)
There's strong soft and hard coral growth, and a giant clam. If the current is running north to south then many fish swim around here, including larger pelagics.