Rowley Shoals

Located 300kms from the nearest land the Rowley Shoals are a chain of coral atolls that rise nearly vertically from approximately 440 metres deep on the edge of one of the widest continental shelves in the world. Rising from the deep blue of the Indian Ocean each of the three coral atolls covers around 90sq km and features a diverse array of snorkelling and diving environments with exceptional visibility.

The Rowley Shoals are amongst the few reefs in the world that are affected by a huge tidal range. The dramatic five metre tides pour massive volumes of water in and out of the coral framework and have created unearthly and enchanting coral landscapes. The Rowley Shoals is home to an amazing 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish including many that are not found on near shore coral reefs.

Less than 200 people a year are privileged to experience the swimming pool like conditions of the Rowley Shoals Marine Park. Be one of the few to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the Rowley Shoals as you dive crystal clear lagoons, shear vertical walls and drift dive through deep, clear canyons amongest turtles, sharks and the many species of marine life that inhabit this unique and remote area.

Rowley shoals is a remote location. A recognised open water certification is required to dive a the Rowley Shoals. Odyssey Expeditions recommends, for your safety, that all divers have maintained their dive skills on a regular basis and have logged 20+ dives.


Day 1

Check into our Broome depot and meet your Dive Master. Drop off luggage, check Dive Certifications and very importantly that you have all your dive equipment. At 10:00am our transfer bus will take you to “Odyssey”, there you will meet the rest of the Odyssey crew. All your luggage will be transferred to Odyssey for you and stowed away until departure. Scrumptious nibbles and a light dinner will be served shortly after leaving Broome and then it's an overnight steam to the Rowley Shoals.

Day 2

We arrive at Clerke Reef or Mermaid Reef, 1 of three atolls approximately 300kms north west off the coast of Broome. After breakfast and morning tea you will be assigned buddy pairs and are welcome to organise your gear and set up your scuba unit on the back deck of Odyssey. On approach to the atoll, we will gather on the bow to view the spectacular reef emerge as we cruise through the channel into the lagoon. We will then have a dive briefing on the back deck and transfer all scuba equipment to our tender vessel “Homer” where it will stay for the duration of the trip as most dives will be from “Homer”. The first dive of the day will be an introduction dive inside the atoll, The Aquarium. This is a relatively easy dive inside the lagoon and is a good opportunity to sought out any gear problems before moving outside the atoll after lunch where the water is deeper and clearer. The tide changes and direction of tide depends on what sight we will visit each day.

Day 3

Into Homer at 6.30 for a 7.00am dive at Clerke Wall before tucking into a hearty cooked breakfast. After a short break its off to another of many dive sights, so much to see; Schools of hump headed Wrasse, Parrot Fish, Pelagic species, game fish like Trevally, Tuna, Wahoo, and not to forget the amazing colourful reef. Clerke atoll tends to have more hard corals but the Rowley Shoals itself is home to over 233 different species of coral and 688 different species of fish. Our next dive is after lunch and possibly exploring some of the many caves and crevices that Clerke Reef has to offer or even Blue Lagoon depending on the tides. For those that are keen to get wet again we could snorkel through the narrow channels like superman, let the tide do the work for you. Late afternoon or evening dive at Eel Creek or the Mooring Bombie and maybe a chance to catch some fresh fish for those that are keen.

Day 4

Clerke Gutters will be our first dive of the day before a mid morning Rollercoaster ride through the Channel as you drift with the racing tide. You are suspended in turquoise waters surrounded by delicate lace coral fronds of vivid pink, orange and yellow and darting in and out is a metallic rainbow of attendants. A roast lunch has been prepared for our return to Odyssey and after a surface break it is back into Homer to head for the North Tip of Clerke Reef for an afternoon dive at Blue Lagoon. The clarity of the water on the incoming tide will be talked about forever and you then appreciate just where in the world you are. For those that are keen it will be back in the water at dusk for another look at the wonders of night on this amazing reef system.

Day 5

Last look at Bedwell Island as after our first dive today followed by another cooked breakfast we will head off to Mermaid Reef which is around 20 miles to our North. As we cruise up the western face of Mermaid Atoll on our way to the passage that allows us to enter the inner reef we will stop at V in the Wall for our first Mermaid dive. V in the Wall is a huge chunk of reef that has broken of the main atoll in the shape of a V which divers can circumnavigate. We now enter the reef in Odyssey through Mermaid Channel and prepare for the channel dive. If you like to get up close and very personal with our finned friends then this is the place. A night dive* has been scheduled close to where our mooring is and is called “Night Critters” and yes it is home to many different species of critters.

Day 6

Mermaid Wall has been voted number three in the top dives of the world and after you have dived here we are sure you will agree. Rising from 400meters deep the sheer wall is alive and there is good chance to see some large fish patrolling along the wall or perhaps a school of curious Dolphins or even Manta Rays and Turtles. Even mighty Humpback Whales are known to cruise past leaving divers awe inspired. Coral Gardens is second up on the dive schedule and the name says it all, just like the Garden of Eden so they say and a pleasure to dive, lots of great photo opportunities for the avid photographers. Labyrinths are next and you will now be thinking that all these sites are aptly named. To finish of this amazing day we will drift dive with the tide through the channel, good time to save energy as we are set for a three course meal this evening.

Day 7

By popular demand we are going back to the Mermaid Wall this morning and you will wish you still had a week left to continue diving this wonderland and we are sure that most will also want to return to Cod Hole for a farewell dive with “Cuddles” the curious Cod. These two dives are ones that nobody could ever get enough of so we will have our share too. Mermaid Caves will be our afternoon dive at around 1.30pm and then it is time to stow our gear after a final wash as we depart Mermaid at around 3.00pm for an overnight cruise back to Broome. It is time to reflect with fellow adventurers and talk about the week that was as we witness the last of those amazing sunsets. You are welcome to come and chat with the crew as they navigate our way through the night or watch a movie before you are succumbed by the motion and fall asleep.

Day 8

We arrive back in the pearling town of Broome and after breakfast we will transfer you to the shore where a waiting bus will take you to town or your accommodation. It is time to say goodbye until we catch up with you again at the Rowley’s or the Kimberley.

This is a suggested itinerary only. All our cruises are subject to change due to changing tidal movements and unpredictable weather conditions.