Osprey Reef

  • location 13.9167° S latitude, 146.6333° E longitude
  • Access: Liveaboard Boat
  • Depth Range: 2-2000 metres
  • Visibility: 30-60 metres
  • Size: approximately 195 square kilometres,  25 kilometres long and 12 kilometres wide.

About Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is a submerged atoll in the Coral Sea, approximately 220 kilometres (137 miles) east of Cairns, Australia.  It is part of the Coral Sea Marine Park and a popular recreational and research dive site due to its diverse marine life and unique underwater topography.

The atoll covers an area of approximately 40 square kilometres (15.4 square miles) and has a maximum depth of over 2,000 meters (6,600 feet).  The Reef is home to various marine species, including Reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and different colourful tropical fish.

In addition to recreational diving, Osprey Reef is also used for scientific research, including coral health, fish populations, and oceanography studies.  The Australian government protects the area, and visitors to the reef must comply with strict regulations to minimize their impact on the delicate marine ecosystem.

The Osprey Reef is oval-shaped 100 kilometres northeast of Lizard Island and 346 kilometres from Cairns.

Osprey Reef is an excellent, world-renowned dive site with a kaleidoscope of soft coral trees.

This Reef is 2000 metres high and has an underwater mountain with 30-60 metres of visibility.

Osprey Reef is the best for advanced scuba divers.  This Reef site has many dive sites and is a scuba divers’ delight.

This Reef site is known weekly as ‘Wall Heaven’.  The outer perimeter drops vertically to 2000 metres, with visibility sometimes exceeding one hundred metres.

Scuba Diving Osprey Reef 

Scuba diving at Osprey Reef is a unique and exciting experience due to the area’s diverse marine life and underwater topography.  The reef is known for its clear water.  The visibility often exceeds 30 metres(100 feet).  This reef  has strong currents that bring nutrient-rich water to the area, attracting large schools of fish and sharks.

The diving at Osprey Reef is part of a liveaboard diving trip.  Where divers spend several days on a boat diving at different sites around the reef.  Many dive operators offer trips to Osprey Reef, and most depart from Cairns, Australia.

Divers at Osprey Reef can expect to see a variety of marine life, including hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, manta rays, turtles, and a variety of colourful tropical fish.  The underwater topography is also unique, with deep walls, canyons, and pinnacles to explore.

Diving at Osprey Reef requires advanced certification and experience due to the strong currents and deep dives common in the area.  Divers should also be prepared for colder water temperatures than in other areas of the Great Barrier Reef due to the deeper water.  It is important to follow all safety protocols and regulations set by the dive operator and the Australian government to ensure a safe and responsible dive experience.

Marine Life

Osprey Reef has an abundance of marine life.  Tuna, mackerel, crabs, octopus, morays, and sharks are a submerged playground where the Reef’s most unique marine life is in full play.

This Reef site also has tuna, giant barracuda, tiger sharks and schools of hammerhead sharks.

Potato Cod, morays, octopus, shrimps and crabs are also in this Great Barrier Reef location.

Dive Sites

North Horn is the most famous of the Reef sites along this Reef.  Other locations include Fairy Grotto, Admiralty, Nautilus, False Entrance and Rapid Horn.

The liveaboard vessels Spoilsport and Spirit of Freedom visit this site.


Nearby Great Barrier Reef locations.