Saxon Reef: Exploring an Underwater Paradise

  • Saxon Reef Location: 16°27.900S, 145°46.799E
  • Access: boat, helicopter
  • Depth: 1 to 20 metres
  • Visibility: 10 to 30 metres
  • Size: 1.9 km2.

Saxon Reef is an outer barrier reef 55 kilometres northeast of Cairns.   This reef site is a green zone in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  The reef is between Hastings Reef and Norman Reef.

Diving into the depths of wonder, the Saxon Reef is a beautiful masterpiece of nature’s artistry.  On this reef, vibrant marine life and excellent coral reefs intertwine, offering a fantastic view that beckons visitors from across the globe.  Join us as we plunge into the depths and unravel the secrets of this aquatic sanctuary.

Discovering Saxon Reef’s Breathtaking Biodiversity

A Kaleidoscope of Coral Kingdoms

As you descend into the azure depths, the kaleidoscope of colours woven into Saxon Reef’s coral gardens instantly captures the eye.  This vibrant display of corals, ranging from robust brains to delicate fan corals, showcases the reef’s remarkable biodiversity.  Amidst this splendour, clownfish dart among the anemones, and sea turtles impart a sense of tranquillity.

A Symphony of Marine Life

Saxon Reef Twin Peaks

Saxon Reef boasts a fantastic array of corals and hosts an exciting marine life ecosystem.  Schools of bright fish glide through the clear blue waters while the elusive reef sharks remain silent.  It’s a dance of life, a symphony of the sea, where each creature contributes to the rhythm of this reef wonderland.

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Scuba divingSnorkelingintroductory scuba diving

Day Tours  Liveaboard

Conservation at the Heart of Saxon Reef

Preserving the Pristine Beauty

Amidst beautiful beauty lies a call to action – preserving the delicate balance.  Climate change casts a shadow over marine reefs worldwide, so efforts are underway to protect and conserve this remarkable Reef.  Scientists and conservationists collaborate to monitor the Reef’s health, implement sustainable practices, and raise awareness about these reef realms’ vital role in maintaining our planet’s health.

A Haven for Sustainable Tourism

Saxon Reef is not just a reef.  It’s a lesson in responsible travel.  Embracing sustainable tourism practices, visitors can witness marvels while leaving behind only footprints.  Snorkelling and scuba diving can reveal fantastic sights while adhering to guidelines that reduce disturbance to the delicate marine habitat.

Snorkelling on Saxon Reef: Immerse Yourself in Underwater Splendor

Beneath the waves of Saxon Reef lies a world of amazement waiting to be explored – a world that beckons to visitors with its vibrant colours and diverse marine life.  Snorkelling on Saxon Reef offers a fascinating way to witness the beauty of the underwater realm.  Join us as we dive into the exciting experience of snorkelling on Saxon Reef, viewing the wonders that await beneath the surface.

The Art of Snorkeling: A Window to Wonderland

Snorkelling is a unique way to discover this reef without extensive training or equipment.  You can easily glide atop the water’s surface with a mask, snorkel, and fins, peering into the depths below.  This simple setup allows you to observe marine life, vibrant corals, and the intricate ecosystem that thrives on Saxon Reef.

The Snorkeler’s Playground

Saxon Reef is a paradise, with its shallow and clear waters an ideal environment to explore.  As you venture into the water, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a tapestry of colours – from the vivid corals that line the seabed to the schools of fish that dart through the water column.

Encounters with Marine Life: A World of Diversity

Chevron Barracuda on Saxon Reef

Visiting Saxon Reef offers the chance to view diverse marine species.  Colourful reef fish, sea turtles, and even a Reef shark might appear during your underwater journey.  The thrill of sharing the same space with these creatures is an experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Captivating Coral Gardens

Saxon Reef’s coral gardens are a highlight of any Reef adventure.  These Reefs are adorned with corals of every shape, size, and colour.  As you float above them, you’ll feel as though you’re immersed in a living, breathing masterpiece.  In this world, coral polyps sway in the gentle current, offering a glimpse into the relationships that sustain thReefef.

Immersing in the Sights: Saxon Reef Exploration Tips

Planning Your DiveScuba diving on Saxon Reef


Proper planning is vital for those seeking a fantastic underwater expedition.  Research dive operators with a commitment to eco-friendly practices.  Their experienced guides will ensure your safety and provide insights into the reef’s hidden treasures.

Dive into Diversity

Every corner of Saxon Reef holds a surprise; from the shallow areas brimming with vibrant fish to the deeper realms where elusive creatures lurk, each dive promises an extraordinary encounter.  Dive into the heart of diversity, capturing moments that will forever be etched in your memory.

Capturing the Magic Through Lenses

Great Barrier Reef Cairns

Saxon Reef is a paradise for photographers and videographers alike.  The clear waters and radiant marine life provide a canvas for capturing underwater magic.  Remember that thReefef’s preservation remains paramount even behind the lens.

Cherishing Saxon Reef’s Subaquatic Splendor

As we resurface from the depths of Saxon Reef, the magnificence of this submerged realm lingers in our hearts.  The coral kingdoms, the dance of marine life, and the urgent call for conservation create a tapestry of significance transcending beauty itself.  Saxon Reef isn’t just a destination; it’s a testament to the wonders of nature and the responsibility we share in guarding them for generations to come.

Turtle Bommie

A large bommie structure surrounded by beautiful hard and soft corals and a wide range of colourful fish offers a lot for any diver to explore.

The white sandy bottom makes it easy to navigate the wonderful Reef wall.

This site is a must for a night dive, as it is expected to see turtles in the small Reef shelves for a good night’s sleep that is nice and protected from weather conditions and lurking predators searching for dinner, hence the name Turtle Bommie.


Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Reef Site: Exploring Saxon Reef’s Majestic Underwater Twin Peaks

Beneath the azure waters of the Saxon Reef, a remarkable Reefef landscape awaits – the Twin Peaks Reef Site.  This fantastic diving destination, characterized by its twin peaks rising from the seafloor, offers divers a unique and exciting experience.  Join us as we dive into the depths of the Twin Peaks Reef Site on Saxon Reef, uncovering its distinctive features and the marine wonders that call it home.

Discovering the Twin Peaks Reef Site

A Natural Marvel

The Twin Peaks Reef Site is aptly named for its two tall peaks that emerge from the seafloor, resembling the beautiful mountain formations found on land.  These peaks, covered in vibrant corals and teeming with marine life, create a dramatic and awe-inspiring backdrop for divers and snorkelers.

Diving into Adventure

Descending into the realm of Twin Peaks is an adventure in itself.  Divers are greeted by a fantastic underwater landscape, where the twin peaks serve as a central attraction.  The clear waters allow for excellent visibility, making it possible to view details of the corals and the marine life of this fantastic reef site.

Marine Abundance

A Haven for Marine Life

The Twin Peaks Reef Site is a thriving ecosystem that attracts various marine species.  The coral-covered peaks provide shelter and sustenance for many fish, reef sharks, angelfish, and butterflyfish.  The corals’ vibrant colours and the aquatic life dance create a dynamic and captivating underwater scene.

A Photographer’s Dream

For underwater photographers and enthusiasts, the Twin Peaks Reef Site offers fantastic opportunities to capture the beauty of the Reef’s inhabitants.  The unique topography, combined with the diversity of marine life, makes excellent visual compositions that reflect the harmony of this remarkable location.

Navigating Twin Peaks can challenge some novice divers, so a Dive Guide is recommended.  The Reef wall, just 15 metres southeast of the peaks, offers a beautiful sandy slope with fantastic coral bommies to explore and navigate through.


Saxon Pyramids

Pyramids Reef Site: Unraveling the Mysteries of Saxon Reef’s Underwater Pyramids

Beneath the glistening surface of the Saxon Reef lies a hidden treasure – the Pyramids Reef Site.  This captivating underwater landscape, characterized by its unique pyramid-like formations, beckons divers and explorers to uncover its secrets.  Join us as we dive into the enigmatic world of the Pyramids Reef Site on Saxon Reef, discovering the allure of its structures and the wonders that lie within.

The Enchanting Pyramids Reef Site

A Geometric Marvel

The Pyramids Reef Site is a collection of pyramid-shaped coral formations rising from the seafloor in elegant symmetry.  These geological wonders create an otherworldly underwater tableau, adding an air of mystery to the Reef.  Each pyramid harbours its vibrant marine life, forming a diverse ecosystem within the larger underwater realm.

Exploring the Pyramids Beneath the Surface

Descending into the depths of the Pyramids Reef Site is like stepping into a different dimension.  Each pyramid offers a unique dive experience characterized by intricate coral growth, fascinating marine creatures, and captivating underwater topography.  Divers can navigate through archways, swim alongside coral-clad walls, and witness the activity that thrives within these formations.

Encounters with Marine Life

The Pyramids Reef Site is a sanctuary for a variety of marine species.  Schools of fish weave between the coral formations, seeking refuge and sustenance.  ColourfuReefef inhabitants call the pyramids home, including angelfish, butterflyfish, and moray eels.  The nooks and crannies within the formations provide perfect hiding spots and hunting grounds for these underwater denizens.

Marine Life

At this Reef site, fish are abundant and school together on the tops of the peaks.  You often see Unicorn and surgeonfish mixing with yellowtail fusiliers and Red Bass.  There is also a Chevron barracuda creeping current along the bottom.

Scuba divers can find Pigmy sea horses clinging to the sea grass at Saxon Reef.


Moray eels, octopus, and cuttlefish often roam the Reef wall’s depths.

Here are crustaceans, nudibranchs, moray eels, octopus, and cuttlefish.

Turtle Bommie is an impressive dive site off Saxon Reef out of Cairns.

ThiReefef world consists of coral gardens and various sizes of bommies.  Expect to come across families of turtles common to dive sites in this area.

Saxon Reef Map

Saxon Reef FAQs:

Q: Where is Saxon Reef?

A: Saxon Reef is nestled between Norman Reef and Hasting Reefs.  Within its bounds reside an array of the most exuberant species.  Encompassing approximately 1.9 square kilometres, it distinguishes itself as one of the more serene diving locations within the region.  This tranquil setting allows you to delve into the subaqueous realm free from the bustling crowds of visitors.

Q: How big is Saxon Reef?

A: Saxon Reef is 1.9 square kilometres

Q: How can I reach Saxon Reef?

A: Access to Saxon Reef is by boat.  Join a day trip with Reef Experience or Evolution Reef Cruises, or for a liveaboard, see Reef Encounter.

Q: What activities can I enjoy at Saxon Reef?

A: Visitors to Saxon Reef can engage in activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, and exploring the vibrant coral reefs.  You can also observe diverse marine life and enjoy the underwater scenery.

Q: Is there accommodation available on Saxon Reef?

A: Accommodation is available on Saxon Reef onboard Reef Encounter and Ocean Quest vessels.

Q: When is the best time to visit Saxon Reef?

A: The ideal time to visit Saxon Reef is during the Australian summer (December to February) when the weather is warm, and the waters are clear for snorkelling and diving.

Q: Can I bring my own snorkelling or diving gear to Saxon Reef?

A: You can bring your snorkelling or diving equipment to Saxon Reef.  Local operators Reef Experience and Reef Encounter also provide gear for their packages.

Q: Is there an entry fee for visiting Saxon Reef?

A: All Great Barrier Reef Marine Park visitors pay a Reef levy.  This will be in the cost you pay to the operator.

Q: What guidelines should I follow for responsible Reef exploration at Saxon Reef?

A: It’s crucial to follow guidelines set by tour operators to protect the delicate coral Reef ecosystem.  Avoid touching or damaging corals, refrain from feeding marine life, and use reef-safe sunscreen to minimize environmental impact.

Q: Can I collect coral or marine life as souvenirs from Saxon Reef?

A: No, it’s strictly prohibited to collect coral, marine life, or any natural materials from Saxon Reef.  It’s essential to leave the ecosystem undisturbed to preserve its unique beauty.

Q: Are there any restrictions on photography or drone usage at Saxon Reef?

A: While photography is generally allowed, certain tour operators might have specific rules to prevent environmental harm or disturbance to marine life.  Drone usage might also be restricted due to its potential impact on wildlife and other visitors.

Q: What can I do to support the conservation of Saxon Reef?

A: Supporting sustainable tourism practices and raising awareness about the importance of Reef conservation can contribute to protecting the Reef.  Following guidelines and being responsible while visiting is essential.

Q: What marine life can be seen at Saxon Reef?

A: Sea turtles, Reef sharks, clownfish, parrotfish, moray eels, octopus, cuttlefish and butterflyfish, as well as many other kinds of fish, can be seen at Saxon Reef.

Nearby Reefs