Breaking Patches, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Breaking Patches Location 16.58029 145.98121
  • Access by boat
  • Depth Range: 0–12 metres
  • Visibility: 15-20 metres

Breaking Patches, situated just west of Michaelmas Cay, lies approximately 42km northeast of Cairns. You’ll discover this charming coral garden in waters less than 14 metres deep, making it an ideal location for duck diving. The shallow depths of Breaking Patches provide a thriving habitat for soft corals, which gracefully sway with the currents as you snorkel. Keep an eye out for spaghetti coral, elephant ear coral, and leather mushroom corals among the abundant fleshy corals.

Hard corals are also abundant, with the giant boulder coral a common sight. Many divers enjoy searching for Christmas tree worms within these corals. These tiny invertebrates sport Christmas tree-shaped arms, which they use to capture passing food in the water column, making them a favourite subject for underwater photographers.

Christmas Tree Worm

Additionally, you’ll find numerous sandy patches on the seabed where you can observe resting reef sharks and small lagoon rays.

Marine Life

This reef wall is adorned with diverse corals, including long whip coral, vibrant fan coral, and fire coral. And for all you Finding Nemo lovers, you’ll easily spot him in his anemone in this reef.

Given the relatively shallow depth of the reef, both scuba divers and snorkelers will have the chance to encounter giant clams at this site.

Breaking Patches is renowned for its friendly sea turtles, and it’s common to encounter several gentle creatures in this area.

For visitors hoping to find Nemo, this reef location is an ideal spot to witness a profusion of clownfish.

Breaking Patches Map

Breaking Patches FAQ’s

Q. What are Breaking Patches?

A.  It is a shallow coral Reef in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park off the coast of Cairns, Queensland.  The name “Breaking Patches” comes from how the waves break over the shallow coral patches during high tide.  The shallow reefs are home to an incredible diversity of marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkelling and diving.

Q. What activities are available at Breaking Patches?

A.  Breaking Patches is primarily a snorkelling and diving destination.  Most tour operators offer guided tours, including equipment rental and transportation to and from the reef.  For those who prefer to stay dry, glass-bottom boat tours offer a unique reef perspective without getting wet.  It’s important to note that visitors are not allowed to stand on or touch the coral, as it is a protected ecosystem.

Q. When is the best time to visit Breaking Patches?

A.  The best time to visit Breaking Patches is during the dry season, which runs from May to October.  During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, with low humidity and minimal rainfall.  The water is also more transparent during the dry season, making it easier to see marine life and coral.  It’s important to note that Breaking Patches can be affected by strong winds and currents, so it’s always best to check weather conditions before booking your trip.

In conclusion,

Breaking Patches is a unique and stunning destination within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park that offers a range of activities for visitors of all experience levels.  By choosing a reputable tour operator and following all safety guidelines, you can have a safe and unforgettable experience exploring the shallow coral reefs and incredible marine life.

Great Barrier Reef Tours Reef Encounter and Reef Experience hold exclusive rights to Breaking Patches.

Visit other nearby Great Barrier Reefs.

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