Imagine what it would be like to dive somewhere no-one else has been or be the very first person to discover a new diving destination? Imagine then, an adventure out to sea, to a location that few have ever visited. The Rowley Shoals is that place. Consisting of three rounded atolls, each with a perimetre reef broken by sharp channels that lead to a central lagoon, the Rowley Shoals are affected by a dramatic five metre tidal range. At certain times massive volumes of water pour in and out of the central lagoon creating a fascinating landscape.
Underwater, the marine flora and fauna is prolific – recent research logged over 240 species of reef building corals and nearly 700 species of fish. Due to their remote location, cyclones and wind patterns, the window for scuba diving is restricted to just three months of the year. This is actually a great benefit to the ecosystem as there is little damage to the reefs from either fishermen or divers.
The most exciting feature is diving through the channels. Gradually descending from about six metres to 25, and all the time approaching the open sea, you meet whitetip sharks, giant cod who keep divers company then, as the tide turns and the current picks up, you get pulled swiftly towards the outer reef and whatever lies beyond – often more sharks surrounded by schooling jacks.