Liveaboard Dive Tours to the Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs & Coral Sea
If you have the time, the best way to see the Great Barrier Reef is on board a liveaboard dive or snorkel trip.
A liveaboard trip allows you to maximise your diving or snorkelling time – and you get to sleep on the reef! There are a number of vessels that operate from Cairns offering a wide range of trips. These trips can range from 2 – 11 days. Similar to hotels, there are different standards of accommodation on different vessels, from budget to luxury.
The other main difference is where the trips actually go to. Although all diving from Cairns is on the Great Barrier Reef, the general rule of thumb is the further away from land you go, the better the diving. The downside to this is longer travelling time and the further you travel, the more expensive the trip becomes.
Cod Hole & Ribbon Reefs
The Cod Hole was first made famous by Ron & Valerie Taylor. You can still see the giant potato cod (up to 30kg) hand fed by the divemasters on every trip. The Ribbon Reefs run parallel to the coastline and offer a huge range of stunning dive sites. These reefs are visited by fewer operators than the Outer Barrier Reef and as such are in pristine condition.
The diving just doesn’t get any better than this!!!!
If you want to experience the best diving possible you must visit the Coral Sea. The diving here is best suited for those with a little more experience as there are deep walls (1000m +) and there can be strong currents (great for drift diving).
As previously mentioned, the further away from land you get, the better the diving is – you can pretty well guarantee 30m visability year round. Due to the distance travelled along with the fact that the dive sites are unprotected, weather plays a big part in where you actually dive. Most operators do not have a set itinerary and the location is determined by the skipper based on comfort and safety. The best time of year is September to January.