Dive Site: Playground Norman Reef

B pink anemonefish at playground at norman reef aboard the ocean quest diving the great barrier reef banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic Reef
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 12MBottom: 20M
Location: On the Norman Reef, Great Barrier Reef

Description

An aptly named site, compact and a lot of fun Playground on Norman Reef, has a variety of terrain. Reef walls, bommies, slots where you’ll find Sweetlips, a few anemones dotted around, with resident Nemos and a sandy bottom where you might find Gobies.

Here’s a sketch of the dive site map from OceanQuest‘s dive briefing board.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for the Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

A good place to start is Lionfish Bommie right below the boat. It’s not just lionfish you’ll see here.  You can easily spend 15 minutes here before you move onto the reef proper.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

Down at the sand line at the base of a little coral stack, you might find a banded Gobi.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

Also down there, madly flitting around you might find some Fire, and bicolour Dartfish.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

A lucky find for me in the same area was the Bicolour Angel – not because they’re uncommon – but because I saw this one before she saw me.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

In the middle of the wall, in the area forward of the port bow, there is a narrow gap where you are likely to see a pair of Sweetlips just hanging out.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

Higher up on top of the deeper stacks, you’ll find anemones, and within them typically Pink anemonefish (– that was the only kind I spotted in all seven dives on the Norman Reef).

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

You might also find a number of Butterflyfish in the region.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

Right on top we found this blue lined Rabbitfish – which are very common on the Norman Reef generally.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how

And, finally, just as we were doing our safety stop on top of the 5m stack, a female two colour wrasse shot through below us.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard Ocean Quest. Scuba diving tips for Playground at Norman Reef - where, when, who and how