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Solitary Islands

On June long weekend the journey began as we left the confines of Sydney and headed north. Our destination, Wooli, a small town just south of the Queensland border. The town itself consists of a pub, a bowling club and a small community. If you blinked at the wrong time driving by you'd probably miss it.

We arrived to find some of the best divers accommodation we've come across and we settled in for the night. We awoke the next morning to find out the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Unfortunately this meant that we had a 'dry' day of sorts. Not able to dive we headed out to explore some of the local area. Last stop, the pub, before heading back to the divers lodge.

We got up early the next day to find beautiful conditions. Excited to get out diving we eagerly prepared our gear and loaded the comfortable and spacious dive boat. A short boat ride brought us to the Northern Solitary Islands. As we entered the water we were met with a pleasant 22 degree water and 20m+ visibility and a wonderful array of tropical and temperate marine life! Turtles, eagle rays, grey nurse sharks and a carpet of anemones, hiding myriads of clownfish, were just a few of the many highlights of the day! We returned to the dock happy and ready to settle down for a nice meal and stories from the day.

It's day three, the last day of diving and Pimpernel rock is on the cards. We are the only divers left, so the boat is all ours. We cruise out to Pimpernel, spotting the occasional whale's along the way. Entering the water we find a small current. Swimming down the marker line we make our way to the top of Pimpernel rock. With a crack to guide us we descend down to the arch that connects east to west. As we emerge from the darkness through to the other side we are greeted by a school of the largest kingfish we've seen! A big male Grey Nurse Shark cruises off to our side, while a grouper and friends leisurely make their way about. We circle the rock as we ascend toward the calm seas above. Surfacing we meet the boat waiting close by. Off gassing as we make our way back to North Solitary for the last dive of the trip. 

As we cruise in to our mooring a couple turtles pop their heads up for air. Looking over the side of the boat we are excited as we can see the bottom from the surface. Jumping in we weren't disappointed. Exploring the natural channels and sinkholes that make up the reef we find lots to uncover. Satisfied as we exit the water we agree it was the perfect end to a great trip!

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