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Cod Hole

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Tom Linkins
Updated Tue 14 Mar 2023

Close up of giant potato cod and cleaning fish

Image source: Wikimedia

Cod Hole is one of the most famous dive sites in the world and is home to one of the largest populations of giant potato cod. These big friendly giants can grow up to two metres in length and usually weigh up to a hundred kilos — they don’t call them giants for nothing! Don’t let their size intimidate you though, the giant potato cod love sharing their home with visitors. You’re sure to score an intimate encounter as they get up close and inquisitive with you. Some tours even facilitate feeding sessions where divers can hand-feed the giants.

Where is Cod Hole?

Cod Hole is situated on the northern end of Ribbon Reef #10, around 96 kilometres north of Cairns. The Ribbon Reefs run between the coasts of Lizard Island and Cooktown and are made up of two narrow reefs that run parallel to each other. These two parallel reefs act as barriers from the motion of the ocean and aid in creating pristine visibility and serene, protected environments for all sea creatures and unique coral structures within. Not only is it great for marine life, but for divers and snorkellers too. No need to worry about getting swept away with the currents here! A few other popular dive sites worth visiting along the Ribbon Reefs include Challenger Bay, Dynamite Pass, Lighthouse Bommie, Two Towers and Steve’s Bommie. Most tours visiting Cod Hole will have a couple of other Ribbon Reef sites included in their itinerary.

What Will You See at Cod Hole?

Variety of hard and soft corals

On top of its namesake, expect to see ghost pipefish, flowery cod, lacey scorpionfish, lionfish, nudibranchs, pygmy sea horse, red bass, reef sharks, spine cheek anemonefish, and sweetlip. Whilst gliding through Cod Hole’s vibrant and diverse coral gardens, keep your eyes peeled for the feathery tentacles of the feathered star, coral walls, bommies of hard and soft corals, boulders adorned in staghorn corals, and gaping coral chasms.

How to Get to Cod Hole 

Divers preparing to submerge

As one of the most popular dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef (and in the world), getting to Cod Hole is a walk in the park. Although the site is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority under its ‘Sensitive Location’ classification, most operators have tours visiting the area. The only restriction this puts in place for visitors is that no more than 60 divers are permitted to be there at one time, which, in all honesty, only works in your favour as it prevents overcrowding.

We can hook you up with at least three tours with dedicated visitations to Cod Hole. Step afoot Mike Ball’s three-day, three-night liveaboard, where you’ll embark on up to 11 dives on the Ribbon Reefs. Both Spirit of Freedom’s three-day, three-night and seven-day, seven-night tours will get you there for as much as $2030 and $3965 per person (respectively).

Make your dreams of hand-feeding giant potato cod come true today! Start planning your liveaboard tour to the Great Barrier Reef and chat with our friendly travel experts for all the tips and tricks you need to make these memories last forever. 

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