Finding Nemo and Dory on Moore Reef

Not many movies have the ability to delight young and old as the 2003 computer-animated Disney/Pixar film “Finding Nemo." Based on the story of a young Clown Fish called Nemo, and his fellow marine friends who live in the Great Barrier Reef, “Finding Nemo” has become a popular conversation topic with visitors from around the world who come to the Great Barrier Reef as they search for the cute Clown Fish.

To find out which of the movie’s characters you’re most likely to meet (and which you aren’t – thankfully!) we’ve compiled a list of some of the species who call our part of the world home.

1.     Nemo, Marlin and Coral (Clown Fish)

Anemone fish (often known as Clown Fish due to their colourful appearance) are commonly spotted at Moore Reef swimming close to the Anemone coral from which they get their name. Their orange and white pattern make them easy to spot amongst the variety of other brightly-coloured fish in the area.

2.     Dory (Surgeon Fish)

Deriving its name from its resemblance to a surgeon’s scalpel, these bright blue and yellow Surgeon Fish are also frequently spotted around the Sunlover Marine Base.

3.     Crush and Squirt (Sea Turtles)

We are fortunate to see Green Sea Turtles like Crush and Squirt most days at our Moore Reef Marine Base. According to our marine biologist and Master Reef Guide Pablo Cogollos " We normally see four to six sea turtles a day. The record for me to see in a single day was 11 different ones!"

In fact six out of the seven species of sea turtles can be found in this area.

As proud supporters of the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) - a voluntary non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles, Sunlover recently became the sponsor of Sunny the Green Sea Turtle who was only a day or two old when he were discovered washed up on the shores of Fitzroy Island with his sibling.

4.     Gill (Moorish Idol)

Complete with a long white dorsal fin, these vibrant black and yellow striped fish are a common and popular site for divers and snorkelers on the Outer Reef.

5.     Mr Ray (Spotted Eagle Ray)

Similar to the Spotted Eagle Ray, two common species you may spot while exploring the Outer Reef are the Blue Spotted Ray (pictured) and the Manta Ray.

6.     Pearl (Flapjack Octopus)

The closest thing you'll see to Pearl (if you're lucky) is Octopus Cyanea,which is also known as Day Octopus, Reef Octopus and Big Blue Octopus. These species are rarely seen at Moore Reef and only spotted at night time.

7.     Tad (Butterfly Fish)

Butterfly Fish like Tad come in a wide range of varieties and are a common visitor to our Moore Reef Marine Base. You can read more about this surprisingly fascinating fish here.

8.     Sheldon (Seahorse)

While Seahorses can be seen on the Outer Reef, they can be difficult to spot due to their ability to change colour in order to blend in with their surroundings.

Photo credit:  

9. Peach (Starfish)

While the character Peach is a light orange variety of Starfish (as the name suggests), the species you're most likely to see while visiting the Outer Reef is a vibrant blue.

10.  Deb and Flo (Striped Damselfish)

Like their namesakes Deb and Flo, these black and while striped fish are common visitors to the Sunlover Marine Base.

11.  Bruce, Anchor and Chum (Great White, Hammerhead and Mako sharks)

Fortunately you are unlikely to encounter these species on the Outer Reef, with the Great White in particularly preferring the southern waters of Australia.  

The sharks that live on the Great Barrier Reef are very timid and are a lot more scared of you, than you may be of them. They are an absolute pleasure and privilege to spot when you are snorkeling or diving. We tend to see White Tip and Black Tip Reef sharks, Epaulette sharks and the occasional Bronze Whaler or Tawny Nurse shark. They are a vital animal for the ecosystem and we would be very worried if we didn’t see them on occasion. So make sure you have an underwater camera ready before they swim past! Don’t forget, the film ‘Jaws’ was all make believe, rubber and tomato sauce! It does not portray these beautiful creatures as they actually are.

12. Jacques (Cleaner Shrimp)

While they may not be the species people come to the Reef to see, Cleaner Shrimps such as Jacques play a vital role in the health of other marine life. By dining on the build up of parasites  and dead skin on fish, they not only enjoy a meal for themselves, they also provide a cleaning service for others.

Why not bring your family to meet your own Nemo. You can read more about exploring the Great Barrier Reef with Kids here.
And be sure to take advantage of our amazing $50 for Kids offer until 30 June 2020.


Finding Nemo, film produced by

1h 40min | 10 October 2003 (UK)2003

Images thanks to Calypso Reef Imagery.