Cook Island Aquatic Reserve was declared on October 23, 1998 to protect the marine biodiversity of the island’s reef system.
- Cook Island plays host to an amazing aray of marine life, offering spectacular temperate, subtropical and tropical species of fish which are bountiful. Nudibranchs, Rays, Eels and Occys are plentiful. Clown fish, Bullseyes, Gropers, Leatherjackets, Parrot fish, Pufferfish, Surgeonfish, Sweetlips and Trevally.
- Other additional species, include a couple of species of crayfish, flatworm and shrimp.
- Migratory shark species such as the Blind Sharks, Shovel Nose Sharks and Leopard Sharks (summer) Grey Nurse (winter) and Wobbegongs visit throughout the year.
- Regular visitors include a number of protected species such as the Giant Queensland Groper, Black Cod, Estuary Cod and Grey Nurse Shark.
- Some of the star attractions in the Reserve are the green and loggerhead turtles, which you will more than likely see on your magical dive or snorkel tour.
- Cook Island is also a breeding ground for a number of seabirds, most common are the terns and shearwaters.
The island has 13 moorings, offering great boat dives from three sides, the North, South and East, each offering something different from the other
The North Wall has a long easy navigational wall which extends right through to Mary’s Rock. Has a ledge at 5m perfect for safety stops or snorkeling. The North Wall is home to baby wobbegongs, nudibranchs, lionfish, octopus and a diverse range of schooling fish. The drop off is 12 meters to a sandy bottom, where you will find plenty of marine life.
The South side – a photographer’s dream. Colorful soft corals are teeming with marine life, Eagle Rays, Manta Rays, Shovel Nose Rays, Groper, Cod, and schools of Kingfish are all residents of this colorful marine wonderland. This is an easy 10 m dive so enjoy the beauty and take your camera.
The East is a great adventure dive. Caves, crevices and swim throughs will delight any explorer. As you swim around the next corner or out of the swim throughs a Wobbegong wont be too far away. The East plays host to the ‘Turtle Nursery” the baby turtles hang out here to grow and learn before they move on to the more open waters of the North side.
Coral gardens, schools of Taylor, Jewfish a variety of sharks and oodles of marine life, the east wall is the deepest side of the island at 18 m.
Spotted Eagle Ray at Cook Island