Outer Great Barrier Reef locations don’t get much better than Saxon Reef
Coordinates 1.64564328 145.989439
30 nautical miles north east of Cairns lies the small Saxon Reef – a marine ecosystem bursting with everything Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is famous for.
Smaller reefs attract oceanic currents that with them bring diverse and dense life.
Microscopic plankton and algae flow through Saxon Reef in abundance – with food comes schools of smaller fish and with the smaller fish come the larger fish and marine mammals.
In 2003 Saxon Reef and its surrounding area was awarded the status of ‘Green Zone’ within the Great Barrier Reef National Park.
This conservation status made the area a safe haven for aquatic creatures, with protection from fishing and a habitat for endangered species such as Maori wrasse, barramundi cod and in particular, green sea turtles.
A popular spot with scuba divers, Saxon Reef is the perfect setting for that illusive manta ray sighting or spotting a pod of dolphins in their natural habitat.
One side of Saxon Reef offers perfect protection for snorkelers with clear, sheltered lagoon areas bursting with tropical fish, technicolour coral and shallow pools.
Offset from the main reef, large underwater mountains emerge from the depth – pinnacles of coral that attract deep-water pelagic species coming in for protection and to hunt.
These pinnacles – commonly known as Saxon’s ‘Twin Peaks’ – are frequented by schools of large barracuda, trevally and indeed, reef sharks.
In breeding season Saxon Reef is one of the top locations for finding octopus and their close relation, the cuttlefish.
Saxon reef is also known locally amongst the scuba diving community as a place that supports extremely rare species of macro life – small marine creatures that are extremely hard to find and a joy to encounter underwater.
Some of the rarer species include the oriental ghost pipefish and robust pipefish, while more common sightings include a plethora of nudibranchs and the beautiful Spanish dancer flatworm.
Sandra’s is a great location for snorkeling and scuba diving, the location offers a shallow reef dive, you will certainly find Nemo here as well as white tip reef sharks, yellow fin Barracuda, cuttlefish
Reef Magic’s dive site has big drop offs, big schools of paddle tail snapper, lots of anemone fish, families of cleaner shrimp, Giant Trevally, mackerel, coral trout and lots of little fish, nudibranchs and flatworms
Super Cat & Clippers
Turrett Bommie is shaped like a castle so please keep a look out and see if you can spot it on this reef you will find lionfish, anthias, giant clams, bait fish,