Saxon Reef

  •  Depth Range: 1-20 metres (3-66 feet)
  • Access: Boat
  • Expertise Rating: Novice
  • Suitable: Snorkelling and scuba diving.


Saxon Reef is one of the outer reefs of the Greater Barrier Reefs.

Saxon Reef sits between Norman Reef and Hastings Reef  

Saxon Reef is a gem, about 1.7 kilometres long and about 750 metres at its widest point.

There are seven prime scuba diving and snorkelling sites around the reef, six on the leeward side and one on the windward side.

The moorings are well spaced and offer a range of different conditions. With the small number of moorings, not as many dive operators visit Saxon Reef.

The reef top exposed at low tide.  The reef drops down  8 metres, with a white sandy floor, small bommies, there are several swim-throughs and gullies.

We recommend a dive guide to see the hidden treasures of Saxon Reef.

Staghorn coral gardens, which are very impressive, are a dominant feature on the reef as are the table coral.  Hard coral coverage exceeds 30% on many of the scuba dive sites.  The hard corals are also the building blocks of the reef.

While soft corals are generally more colourful on the reef, the hard coral help protect species of juvenile fish.

Scuba Diving At Saxon Reef

Saxon Reef has many features of marine life that the Norman reef does,  Norman Reef is considered one of the best in the Great Barrier Reef park.

We will give a brief glimpse at a few of the dive sites.

The Twin Peaks dive site sits just off the main reef. It consists of two Coral Bommies sitting next to each other.  They are close enough together to create a swim through. A good site for both scuba diving and snorkelling as the top of the Bommie provide a range of different corals and fish.

Going south of the mooring and you will find many hard corals mixed with a variety of soft corals.

Going north from the mooring and then around an outcrop and heading northeast brings you to a different environment.

It is essential to for a thorough dive briefing if you are planning to go in that direction.  Depending on the currents, This can be a very challenging dive.

The coral garden located about the middle of the back of the reef is a shallow site and is a perfect place for new snorkelers.

Scuba Divers can drop over the reef edge and find some passages among the coral.

As mentioned, not all Great Barrier Reef operators visit this reef. Only four operators have private moorings here.

Reef Encounter is delighted to have moorings at Saxon Reef. Its a reef site that has big fish, turtles. Giants and sharks, great for snorkelling and scuba diving one of our favourite for night diving.

The only way to scuba dive this reef at night is on a Cairns Liveaboard. Combining this reef with her two sisters is an excellent range of dive sites.