This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Abington Reef in the Coral Sea. Situated about 180nm north of Mackay, Abington Reef features a near vertical cliff drop off that goes straight down into very deep water.
There’s good diving on top of the reef as well with coral gardens, bombies and swim throughs and good night diving on the top of the reef ledge, weather permitting.
Being in the Coral Sea, visibility is usually good and marine life varied and prolific.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Diamond Islets in the Coral Sea. Situated about 250nm NE of Mackay, Diamond Islets is a series of cays with surrounding reef.
The cays are popular nesting sites for a wide variety of sea birds, with many of the species being migratory.
Turtles also lay their eggs in the sand on the cays and the diving around them is very good, with both snorkelling in lagoons and adventure reef dives with prolific marine life in abundance.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Lihou Reef in the Coral Sea. Situated 250nm NE of Mackay and well beyond the Australian Continental Shelf, Lihou Reef sits on top of a large ocean plateau separated from the continental shelf by deep trenches.
Within the reef system is a huge lagoon about 54nm long and it’s here that the excellent diving happens.
Being out in the Coral Sea, visibility is usually very good and the marine life prolific, with sharks and other big pelagics often seen.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Marion Reef in the Coral Sea. Situated 212nm E/NE of Mackay and well beyond the Australian Continental Shelf, Marion Reef is formed on top of a sea mount that rises almost to the surface from 1000m of water.
Within the reef system is a huge lagoon, about 25nm long and 50-80m deep, which has a number of coral pinnacles in it that rise to about 5m from the surface.
Visibility is usually excellent and the marine life fantastic.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on one of the most popular dive sites on the Tweed Coast, The Ledge on the NW corner of Fido Reef off Fingal.
The reef slopes from 12m down to 22m and meets a sandy bottom and small boulders on the slope off habitat for a variety of corals and marine life.
Visibility averages 15m and current can be a problem, so diving with an experienced operator like Chris Mair from Ocean Diving & Photographics is a good idea.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Mackerel Boulders, a series of granite formations located about 500m NW of Julian Rocks off Cape Byron.
It gets its name from the pelagics that are often found there and also has colourful corals and abundant other marine life. Depths vary from 15-20m and visibility averages 15m.
Current can be a problem and the best diving there is in calm weather. Sundive at Byron Bay dive Mackerel Boulders regularly and are a good crew to go with.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on the Shag Rock, which is located about 1.5nm NW of Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island.
It is a site that is sheltered in southerly winds and depths vary between 9 and 12m, which makes it a good spot for training or shallow dives. Visibility averages 12-15m and surge can be a problem, so calm weather is best.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on the wreck of the Alberta, a 110m steam ship en route from Japan to Melbourne that ran aground on a shallow reef off Kingscliff on the northern NSW coast on the 19th of October 1890.
The wreck lays approx. 5.5nm south of the Tweed bar and is a popular dive site.
Calm weather is needed to dive it and Chris Mair from Ocean Diving & Photographics is a good experienced dive operator who can take you there.
The Boulders off Kingscliff
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is The Boulders off Kingscliff.
Part of an extensive reef system situated about 2nm east of Cudgen Headland, The Boulders is a series of large basalt bombies and features caves and crevices, excellent coral and abundant marine life.
Depths vary from 18 to 28m, visibility is usually between 8 and 12m, but can exceed 20m and current can be a problem. To dive The Boulders contact Chris Mair from Ocean Diving and Photographics on 0418 750084
The Needles - Julian Rocks
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is a place called The Needles on the SW side of Julian Rocks Marine Reserve off Cape Byron.
It gets it’s name from being an assortment of jagged bombies, some breaking the surface at low tide. It’s a good spot for a drift dive when the current is running to the south and visibility is usually about 10m but can be more.
This Clint Hempsall dive story is on the different experiences divers have when diving after sunset. There’s a whole array of creatures and behaviour not seen during the day and it’s an experience worth having.
There are of course pre-requisites like good lights and safety measures that have to be understood and adhered to.
Maybe watching this video might prompt you to contact your local dive operator to enquire about night diving and the qualifications you need to do it.
Learn to dive
This video is for those who are interested in learning to dive. Shot and produced by Clint Hempsall it shows the simple steps you have to take to become a safe and proficient diver.
There is no short cut to diving knowledge and experience and Clint urges everyone interested in diving to deal with established, accredited dive instructors.
Once you are qualified you can begin to widen your experience and underwater adventures and specialise in things like wreck diving, or photography.
Hiro's Cave - Lady Elliot Island
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Hiro’s Cave off the SE corner of Lady Elliot Island. Named after a Japanese diver some years ago, it’s part of the drop off along the reef edge.
The cave extends for about 10m through a bend in the wall and is one of the island’s deeper dives with depths ranging from 16-24m.
Visibility averages about 15m and calm weather is needed to dive the site, as it’s in exposed waters.
Truk Lagoon Micronesia
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Truk Lagoon in Micronesia, which is recognised as one of world’s best wreck diving destinations.
During World War 11 the area was a Japanese naval and supply base and was heavily attacked by US carrier forces in “Operation Hailstone” on the 17th and 18th of February 1944.
The result of that and other conflicts is the wrecks of more than forty vessels of various size, aircraft and other war time relics of various kinds in the lagoon.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Kingscliff Canyons, one of the Gold Coast regions premiere dives.
Located about 5.8nm south of the Tweed Bar, it is a large bombie and ridge system covering approximately 20,000 square metres. The site resembles an underwater mountain and takes its name from the deep ravines running through the formation.
Chris Mair from Ocean Diving & Photographics knows the area very well and runs regular dive trips there, contact him on 0418 750084
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Flinders Reef, which is located about 4 nautical Miles north of Cape Moreton and has the highest number of coral species of any sub tropical-temperate reef along Australia's east coast.
It’s probably the most popular dive site in SE Queensland and Big Cat Reality runs regular dive trips there.
If you dive Flinders Reef yourself, there’s info on the EPA web site relating to it’s protected status
The Caves-Cool Island
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on The Caves at Cook Island, which is located about 600m offshore from Fingal Head on the northern NSW coast.
The area’s marine biodiversity is protected by the Cook Island Aquatic Reserve and 13 moorings at popular diving locations around the island have replaced the need to anchor.
Tweed Heads dive operator Chris Mair has been diving Cook Island for years. If you would like to dive there with him, call him on 0418 750084
North Point Bombie
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on one of the most popular dive sites in Queensland, North Point Bombie off Heron Island, which rises out of a sandy bottom in 18m of water to a depth of 12m at the top of the bombie.
It’s an excellent dive, with prolific fish life. One of the features of the site is that it is that it’s a cleaning station, where fish queue up to have little cleaner wrasse and shrimps clean parasites of them.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Roberts Shoal, which is located about 1.2nm east of the Cape Moreton.
Rising out of a sandy bottom in 25m of water to about 12m at the highest pinnacle, Roberts Shoal is an interesting dive, featuring ledges, caves and swim throughs.
There are some corals, but the main feature of the dive is the wide variety of fish life, including pelagics and wobbegong sharks. Visibility averages 15m, current can be a problem especially in summer and big swells cause surge.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on one of the world’s most famous dive destinations, the wreck of the President Coolidge at Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu.
Pre World War II, President Coolidge was a luxury liner, but in 1942 while transporting 5000 troops and supplies when she sank off the edge of the reef at Santo after hitting a mine.
Only 2 lives were lost and today the wreck is visited by divers from all over the world.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Challenger Reef or Challenger Bay as it is known, which is on the inside of the southern tip of Number 10 Ribbon Reef NE of Cooktown.
It’s one of the locations dived on expeditions to the area by Port Douglas based Undersea Explorer, is a shallow dive with fantastic coral gardens and usually has good visibility.
The Ribbon Reefs are a beautiful part of the Great Barrier Reef and are well worth seeing.
Visibility is usually excellent, there are sheer drop offs into 1000m of water and you are likely to encounter tuna, barracuda, a variety of shark species and manta rays.
Clint shot this story for Brownies Coastwatch in 1999 when he did an adventure expedition to the Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea aboard Undersea Explorer, who still do the trip. There’s more of Clint’s work in the Diving Vault
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on Pixie’s Pinnacle on the Ribbon Reefs NE of Cooktown.
This section of the Great Barrier Reef has amazing coral and marine life and because of its remoteness doesn’t have the number of divers on it other popular, more accessible sites have, so the fish are less spooked.
Clint dived Pixie’s Pinnacle with Port Douglas dive operation Undersea Explorer who run adventure dive trips to the Ribbon Reefs and other Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea locations.
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on a spot he has dived countless times, Lighthouse Bombies on Lady Elliot Island off Bundaberg.
Lady Elliot is the southern most part of the Great Barrier Reef. The surrounding coral reefs and marine life are exceptional and some say better than what is found further north.
There is a very good eco resort on the island, www.ladyelliot.com.au They offer great dive trips and there’s a contact number on the end of the video.
The Good Spot
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile is on a patch of reef off Kingscliff called The Good Spot.
It was discovered by Tweed dive operator Chris Mair in 1995 and he has kept it’s exact location pretty quiet over the years, with only one or two other dive operators knowing where it is.
This makes it a great dive, as the marine life is not spooked by too many divers. Contact details for Chris Mair are on the end of the video.
Diving Byron Bay
This Clint Hempsall dive site profile from the Brownies Coastwatch Vault gives a good idea of what to expect if you dive around Byron Bay.
The marine life is exceptional and there are dives suitable for all levels from snorkelling to open water adventure.
www.sundive.com.au have been operating there for many years and will be able to give you more info.