Situated nearly 350 km away from Cairns, Osprey Reef is the most northerly of the reefs in the Coral Sea. It is separated from the continental shelf by a deep-water trough and is regarded as one of the premier Great Barrier Reef destinations, both for the visibility that it offers and the big fish action. The remoteness of Osprey Reef is a highlight in itself, where you will often find yourself far removed from anything that isn’t wet and colourful.
Roughly oval in shape, Osprey Reef consists of a lagoon area, that is only 30m deep, but within 1 km of the reef the water shelves to 1,000m deep. This creates the perfect meeting ground for huge amounts of pelagic action including Australia’s famous shark feed dive at North Horn. The reef is in pristine condition with spectacular colourful soft corals that often exceed 2m in height. Shoals of pelagic fish and amazing walls will leave you wanting more no-stop time.
Diving at Osprey Reef, you will marvel at the sheer size of the gorgonian fans and catch sight of marine life such as green and loggerhead turtles, both of which are listed as being conservation dependent. Chances of encountering a manta ray or an eagle ray are good, as these are regularly seen in the area thanks to the reef acting as a huge magnet, drawing in vast amounts of marine life from the surrounding blue.
The resident population of sharks will undoubtedly be among your scuba diving highlights in Australia, whose large numbers ensure that these adrenalin-filled wall dives are not to be missed. North Horn is the spot where these enduring memories are made. Against a backdrop of healthy reefs with large gorgonian fans and large pelagics in the blue, is where a famous shark feed takes place. You can expect to see, from your natural amphitheatre seat, grey reef sharks, silky sharks, and possibly even Silvertips and Hammerheads in a feeding frenzy which will make the hairs on your neck stand on end.
Also seen at Osprey Reef are some of the big ones such as whale sharks, beaked whales, sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, sailfish and marlin. You may be lucky enough to have these visiting whilst you are enjoying your diving on the Great Barrier Reef, but regardless, you will still get to enjoy the huge schools of barracuda and tuna.