About the Reef

Hastings Reef is a Patch Reef shaped like a horseshoe. It is located about 50km Northeast of Cairns.This classifies it as an Outer Reef.

The average depth is 13m on the bottom, therefore making this one of the shallower sites on the Outer Reef. In addition, the top of the reef (called the reef flat) sits in only 1-3m of water, depending on the tides. Consequently, Hastings Reef is a favourite site among snorkellers.

The shape of the reef is a well-defined wall, which bends in and out. As a result, the natural shape of the wall creates ravines within the coral, which are great fun to explore. In addition, the cracks created by the coral provide a perfect hiding place for some of the larger reef species.

The shallow reef flat means you can get closer to the fish! As you snorkel along with the reef flat right under you, you’ll be able to see the smaller reef species darting in and out of the coral. In addition to this, the reef wall is steep, which creates a drop off. This means you are more likely to see larger predatory species such as mackerel, trevally and reef sharks.

Read on to find out what you’re likely to see on Hastings Reef.

Common species seen at Hastings Reef:

  • Steephead parrotfish
  • Schools of surgeonfish
  • Rabbitfish
  • Reef squid
  • Drummerfish
  • Black snapper
  • Giant clams
  • Angelfish
  • Coral trout
  • Green sea turtles

Writer’s Pick:

Most exciting species we’ve seen on Hastings Reef? Tawny nurse shark

Looking for the best way to visit Hastings Reef? Click here