Outer Great Barrier Reef locations don’t get much better than Saxon Reef

Coordinates 1.64564328 145.989439

Thirty nautical miles northeast of Cairns lies the small Saxon Reef – a marine ecosystem bursting with everything Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is famous.

Nestled between the larger and more prominent Hastings Reef and Norman Reef, Saxon Reef is a slice of paradise for those lucky few travellers that visit there.

Smaller reefs attract oceanic currents that with them bring diverse and dense life.

Microscopic plankton and algae flow through Saxon Reef in abundance bringing 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 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 elusive manta ray sighting or spotting a pod of dolphins in their natural habitat.

One side of Saxon Reef offers the perfect protection for snorkelers with bright, sheltered lagoon areas bursting with tropical fish, technicolour coral and shallow pools.

Massive underwater mountains emerge from the depth offset from the main reef – 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 giant barracuda, trevally and indeed, reef sharks.

Inbreeding 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 scarce 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.



Saxon Reef is where you will find epaulette sharks
epaulette shark

Sandra’s is an excellent location for snorkelling and scuba diving; the site offers a shallow reef dive, you will undoubtedly find Nemo here as well as white-tip reef sharks, yellowfin Barracuda, cuttlefish

Twin Peaks

Super Cat & Clippers

you will find lion fish on Saxon reef

Turrett Bommie looks like a castle so please keep a lookout and see if you can spot it  on this reef, you will  find lionfish, anthias, giant clams, baitfish,

Coral Gardens