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Previous Underwater Festivals

The Underwater Festival series started in 2007 as a local festival in Byron Bay, the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and the hometown of the festival creators, Tim & Wandy Hochgrebe.

For 3 years it grew larger and larger as an event in Byron Bay and in 2009 it was time for a shift in pace and scope and the Underwater Festival had it's first event away from its hometown at the amazing diving destination Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The 2011 event was the logical next step remain the current format. an Australasia-wide simultaneous photo and video shootout competition like no other. A regional snapshot of the beauty and issues and the largest underwater shootout competition in the world.

Previous Events

Underwater Festival 2007 The 2007 Byron Underwater Festival was held from Thursday the 10th to Sunday the 13th of May in Byron Bay, the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Check out the winning photos of the underwater photo shoot-out competition as well as some photos form the Marine Visions Art Competition.




Underwater Festival 2008 The 2008 Underwater Festival was held from Monday the 27th of April to Sunday the 3rd of May in Byron Bay, adding a video section to the shootout and attracting nearly 60 entrants. Check out the winning photos + videos of the underwater photo shoot-out competition as well as some entries form the Marine Visions II Art Competition.






Underwater Festival 2009 The 2009 Underwater Festival was was again a massive success. Despite tough economic times, participation numbers were up 40% from last years records with close to 80 people participating in this years photo and video shoot-out competition competing for close to $40,000 in prizes. Check out the winning photos + videos of the underwater photo shoot-out competition as well as some entries form the Marine Visions III Art Competition.





Underwater Festival 2010 The 2010 Underwater Festival with the tagline 'The Christmas island Challenge' was a new opportunity for divers that could not make it to Byron Bay in previous years and a new dive destination for regulars. In this spirit, the 2010 Underwater Festival was co-organised with the Christmas Island Tourism Association who put in a fantastic effort and succeeded gloriously in providing a welcoming atmosphere, great food and social events and a seamless festival for all 34 participants - a great number despite such remote location. Check out the winning photos + videos of the underwater photo shoot-out competition as well as some entries form the Marine Visions IV Art Competition.


Underwater Festival 2011 The 5th Underwater Festival™ 2011 (UF11) was the next step in the evolution of this growing event. With the tagline 'The Australasia Challenge' it incorporated a 10-day Australasia-wide simultaneous photo and video shootout competition like no other with nearly U$150,000 in prizes. Official Fringe Events were held across the whole of Australasia. Check out the top100 photo gallery - these were like 'nominations' for the big prizes. The Underwater Snapshot Map showed the location and a thumbnail version of selected entries from around the region. See the Winning Photos and Winning Videos.