Boo to the Lonely Planet

Not only is the reef a great place to dive…but a damn good place to fish!

Surely this is a G up! At least Australia got one on the list.



Barrier Reef misses top dive site list

The Great Barrier Reef has been snubbed in the Lonely Planet’s list of top dive spots but remote caves under the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia have made the grade.

The travel publisher released its list of the top 10 world dive sites this week, with the Great Blue Hole in Belize taking out the top spot.

Diving at Cocklebiddy Cave, a series of caves about 1200 kilometres east of Perth, came in at number nine, ahead of exploring Greenpeace’s wrecked Rainbow Warrior ship which was bombed by French spies in 1985 in Auckland Harbour.

Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators boss Col McKenzie says Lonely Planet may have excluded the Great Barrier Reef to create controversy.

‘‘It’s unbelievable that not one of the sites out of the 2600km of reef doesn’t rate highly enough,’’ he told AAP.

‘‘There’s a little bit of nonsense going on.’’

He says Cocklebiddy Cave doesn’t compare to the Queensland reef, as only experienced divers can visit the site, which includes a 6km tunnel.

Mr McKenzie says the snub is not likely to affect tourist numbers visiting the reef.

A Lonely Planet spokesman says the list isn’t definitive and is a one-off guide put together by the publisher.

Lonely Planet’s world top 10 dive sites

1. Great Blue Hole, Belize

2. Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

3. Manta Ray Village, Hawaii

4. Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea

5. Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia

6. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

7. Gansbaai, South Africa

8. Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt

9. Cocklebiddy Cave, Western Australia

10. Rainbow Warrior, New Zealand.

What Lonely Planet said about Cocklebiddy cave

Australia’s Nullarbor Plain may appear waterless, but beneath this enormous limestone block there’s a series of caves, including Cocklebiddy Cave.

This 6.7km-long, arrow-straight tunnel is almost entirely flooded, making for one of the world’s premier cave dives.

It was here in 1983 that French cavers racked up the world’s longest cave dive by exploring to Cocklebiddy’s end.

The cave is situated 10km north of remote Cocklebiddy Roadhouse; divers must obtain permits from Western Australia’s Conservation and Land Management (CALM) department. Experienced cave divers only; no tours are offered.

Article by Cleo Fraser
Sydney Morning Herald
18th April, 2013.


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