Dive Site: Sandbox on Opal Reef

B variegated lizardfish at sandbox on the opal reef aboard the calypso diving great barrier reef banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic Reef
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 10MBottom: 12M
Location: On the Opal Reef

Description

Sandbox is one of the shallower dive site diving Opal Reef, making for a great last dive of the day. There’s a well covered coral top and down at 10m coral structures in a sandy base. Inside these structures you are bound to find something interesting, like this Spotted Sweetlips.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

They like to feel covered, usually only coming out into the open for a feed and a clean.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

Not often you find a reef shark snoozing, this one must have had a big night!

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

Down at the base of the reef you’ll find the Giant Sweetlips – not so agoraphobic as his striped and spotted cousins.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

And the inevitable Six Bar Angelfish, examples of which I saw at every site on the Opal Reef.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

Higher up, out in the open on top of the reef there are lots of Rabbitfish of most varieties: Blue-lined, Masked and these Coral Rabbitfish.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

There are lots of plate coral tops with the usual shy damsels and humbugs.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

Some of the less common fish I saw on this dive include the Coral Hogfish.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

A lizardfish – sometimes mistaken for a grub fish – as they sit on the coral tops in pretty much the same way.  But look at this guy’s face – just the face – it’s just like a lizard or a snake.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

Here’s a fish you don’t see every day – I had to look this one up with Bob Halstead’s Coral Sea Fish Guide App – it’s a sub-adult Brushtail Tang.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how

Finally, like most dives on the reef, there’s a great coral top to do your three minute safety stop.  If only the boat didn’t depart at 3.10pm – I could stay here all day.

Great Barrier Reef diving aboard the Calypso. Dive holiday travel planning tips for Sandbox on the Opal Reef - where, when, who and how