Dive into Australia's majestic underwater realm: pristine reefs, diverse marine life, and world-class liveaboard adventures await you
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Biodiverse Reefs
Iconic Marine Life
Wreck Adventures

Australia, a haven for divers, offers some of the most spectacular underwater experiences globally. Its crown jewel, the Great Barrier Reef, is the largest coral reef system on Earth, boasting an unparalleled array of marine life. Divers here can encounter everything from tiny, colorful reef fish to larger species such as sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles. The reef's vast biodiversity includes numerous coral species, creating a vivid underwater tapestry that's a delight for divers and snorkelers.

Aside from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia's vast coastline is dotted with exceptional dive sites, each offering unique experiences. From the Coral Sea's remote reefs and atolls to the historic wrecks off the coast of Queensland and the cooler waters of Southern Australia teeming with unique marine creatures, the country's diverse diving spots cater to all levels of divers.

Liveaboard diving cruises in Australia typically range from 3 to 4 nights, providing an immersive experience in this aquatic wonderland. For those seeking a more extensive exploration, these trips can often be combined into longer 7-night journeys, allowing divers to fully experience the rich marine ecosystems Australia is famous for


Destinations in Australia

Australia's underwater realms are a treasure trove of diverse marine experiences, blending the serene beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with the thrilling adventures of the Coral Sea. The Great Barrier Reef, a sprawling UNESCO World Heritage Site and a jewel in the crown of Australia liveaboard diving offers an unparalleled underwater adventure. It's a haven where divers alike can embark on dive safari Great Barrier Reef or partake in outer Great Barrier Reef tours, exploring over 400 types of vibrant coral and a mesmerizing array of marine life. The waters here are a sanctuary for the iconic clownfish, darting playfully among the anemones, and the colorful parrotfish, known for their unique beak-like jaws. Divers can marvel at the impressive size and patterns of the Maori wrasse and encounter sleek barracudas gliding effortlessly in the open waters. The reef's scenery is further enhanced by the presence of elegant angelfish and butterflyfish, with their intricate patterns and colors. Adding to the excitement are the reef sharks, like blacktip and whitetip, patrolling the coral gardens. Amidst this underwater ballet, divers often spot sea turtles, including the green and hawksbill varieties, slowly navigating the reef's intricate structures.

The Neptune Islands offer a unique opportunity to witness great white sharks in their natural environment. The Coral Sea's clear waters are perfect for observing a variety of fish species and marine mammals, including fur seals which are a major attraction for the sharks.

This blend of Australian diving holidays offers everything from beginner diving Australia experiences in the calm, vibrant waters of the reef to advanced diving Australia adventures in the more challenging seas of the Coral Sea. The Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea are top diving destinations Australia, known for their Australian dive sites liveaboard trips that cater to every diver's dream. Whether it's exploring the best liveaboards in Australia, participating in Australia reef diving tours, or seeking the thrill of whale shark diving Australia, these destinations offer a comprehensive range of liveaboard diving packages Australia

When To Go Dive in Australia

The best time to dive in Australia varies by region. Generally, the ideal months for diving the Great Barrier Reef are from June to October when the water is clear, and conditions are calm. Water temperatures range from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F), making a 3mm to 5mm wetsuit suitable for most divers. Visibility is exceptional during these months, often exceeding 30 meters, providing an unobstructed view of the underwater marvels

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Departure ports in Australia

How to get there

Cairns, the go-to embarkation port for liveaboard diving cruises to the Great Barrier Reef, is a hub for divers from around the world. Located in Far North Queensland, Australia, this city is not just a tropical paradise but also the gateway to one of the world's most renowned natural wonders.

Travelers flying into Cairns will land at Cairns International Airport (CNS), which handles both international and domestic flights. Although the airport is conveniently close to the city, direct transfers from the airport to liveaboards are generally not included in the diving package. However, reaching the city center or the marina from the airport is straightforward, with options like taxis, shuttle services, and public transportation readily available.

For those staying in Cairns prior to their liveaboard trip, many diving operators offer the added convenience of arranging transfers from local hotels to the embarkation point. This service is often included in the liveaboard package, providing a smooth and hassle-free start to the diving experience. It’s advisable for divers to confirm these arrangements with their liveaboard operator when they make their booking.

Cairns, with its array of accommodations and attractions, is a great place to acclimate before setting sail. Divers often arrive a day or two earlier to explore the city and relax before their underwater adventure begins. On the day of departure, the transfer from the hotel to the liveaboard typically ensures a seamless transition, allowing divers to meet their crew and fellow divers and get briefed about their upcoming journey in the Great Barrier Reef’s spectacular underwater world


Must see dive sites in Australia

Australia's diving landscape is a spectacular mosaic of diverse and thrilling dive sites, each offering its own unique underwater experiences. From the remote and pristine waters of Osprey Reef to the historic depths of the SS Yongala Wreck, Australia provides a plethora of diving adventures for enthusiasts of all levels. In the Coral Sea, the Osprey Reef beckons with its crystal-clear waters and dramatic underwater cliffs, offering a breathtaking display of pelagic fish and vibrant coral gardens. This remote reef system is renowned for its shark encounters, particularly at North Horn, where divers can witness shark feeding events. Osprey Reef is a jewel in Australia's diving crown, known for its incredible visibility and diverse marine life.

The Ribbon Reef, a string of ten individual reefs, presents a unique underwater landscape teeming with a myriad of marine species. Divers here are treated to a kaleidoscope of colorful corals and an abundance of marine life, including the famous giant potato cod at Cod Hole. These reefs offer a variety of diving experiences, from shallow coral gardens to deeper wall dives, suitable for both novice and experienced divers.

Milln and Flynn Reefs in the Great Barrier Reef are popular for their vibrant coral formations and diverse fish life. These sites are accessible and offer a tranquil underwater environment, ideal for both diving and snorkeling. The diversity of soft and hard corals, along with the myriad of tropical fish species, makes these reefs a photographer's paradise.

Lizard Island, not just a luxurious resort destination but also a gateway to some of the Great Barrier Reef's most enchanting dive sites, provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore the rich biodiversity of this natural wonder. The island's proximity to famous sites like Cod Hole adds to its allure for divers seeking an exquisite underwater adventure.

Bougainville Reef, a more remote and less-visited site, offers an exclusive diving experience. Its isolation means divers can often have this underwater paradise all to themselves, making for a truly unique and personal dive experience.

Among Australia's most famous wreck dives is the SS Yongala wreck, a historic ship that sank in 1911 and now lies as an artificial reef teeming with life. This site is a haven for a vast array of marine species and offers a dive steeped in history and mystery


Frequently Asked Questions

What diving certification do I need to dive in Australia?

Typically, liveaboards require divers to have an Open Water Diver (OWD) certification or an equivalent as a basic qualification. 

In addition to the OWD certification, liveaboard operators often require divers to have a certain level of experience, usually quantified by the number of logged dives. The standard requirement is between 20 to 30 logged dives. This criterion is set to ensure that divers joining the trip are comfortable and competent in various underwater conditions, as liveaboard trips often visit a range of dive sites with differing levels of complexity and depth.

Furthermore, some liveaboards in Australia may also require or recommend the Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD) certification, especially for itineraries that include more challenging dives. The AOWD certification enables divers to undertake dives up to 30 meters deep and equips them with skills for a wider range of diving activities, such as deep diving and underwater navigation

What kind of marine life can I expect to see while diving in Australia?

Diving in Australia offers a spectacular encounter with diverse marine life, thanks to its rich and varied underwater ecosystems. Here's an overview of what you might see:

  • Great Barrier Reef: This iconic reef system is home to an astounding variety of life. Expect to see vibrant coral gardens teeming with colorful fish such as parrotfish, clownfish, and angelfish. Larger species like manta rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, and barracudas are also common. During certain times of the year, you might even encounter migrating dwarf minke whales and humpback whales.

  • Coral Sea: Known for its crystal-clear waters and dramatic drop-offs, the Coral Sea is a haven for pelagic species. Divers can often spot large schools of trevally, tuna, and even hammerhead sharks. The remote reefs and atolls here are a paradise for shark enthusiasts, offering sightings of grey reef sharks, silvertip sharks, and the occasional oceanic whitetip shark.

  • Wreck Dives: Australia's many shipwrecks are artificial reefs teeming with life. The SS Yongala wreck, for instance, is a hotspot for a diverse range of marine life, from giant groupers to sea snakes and colorful coral formations.

Diving in Australia, you'll be astounded by the range of environments and the abundance of marine life, from the world's largest coral reef system to unique southern ocean ecosystems. Each dive site offers a unique window into the underwater world, making Australia a top destination for divers globally

What are the most rated liveaboards in Australia?

The Scubapro vessels, expertly engineered for the diverse weather conditions of the Great Barrier Reef, ensure a safe, smooth, and comfortable journey. With a dedicated team of 60 local staff, all united by their passion for scuba diving and this World Heritage site, the liveaboard's mission is to deliver top-notch dive education and liveaboard experiences in this unique environment.

The Spirit of Freedom stands out for its spaciousness, comfort, and stability, making it ideal for navigating the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. At 37 meters (124 feet) with a steel hull and electronic stabilizers, she offers one of the smoothest rides possible. Departing from Cairns, the liveaboard schedules dive trips ranging from 3 to 7 nights, including several exclusive dive expeditions annually.

Spoilsport, renowned as Australia’s most awarded liveaboard dive boat, is custom-designed for exceptional diving and guest comfort. Its twin hull design ensures stability and passenger comfort in varied conditions. At 30 meters in length, Spoilsport features a dedicated 12-member crew including a dive team, Master, chef, and host. Designed for comfort and enjoyment, the boat includes air-conditioned, daily-serviced guest cabins, both double and twin share. Guests can relax in the spacious lounge or bar, or enjoy the Coral Sea views from the sun deck. Spoilsport is celebrated for its excellent food and service, catering to all dietary needs, including a special vegetarian menu. The accolades for Spoilsport as Australia’s premier diving liveaboard highlight its exceptional quality and experience


Best liveaboards in Australia

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Reviews about Liveaboards

Great Trip
Superb experience. The Cruise Director was just great and dynamic, and his staff was very helpful and energetic. I would recommend this experience to all divers.
T. Marc
ScubaPro I, II, III
Open Water lll .. the right way.
Dive Pro did an excellent job getting newly open water diver become good divers. The dive briefing was excellent with navigation heading and landmark. The food was excellent. Lots of variety... Read more
including salad choices. The chef did an excellent job preparing the food with the little kitchen she has. The room was Ok, very basic and small. Double check your air before getting in the water. The most pressure I saw was 2800psi. That’s the least I would be dive with, sometimes my pressure was 2600psi, so, I would have them add more. The crew that was filling was the DM or trainee DM. The maximum depth was 60 to 65 ft cause mostly the certified divers was mostly open water and not diving nitrox. They let us dive before the open water to give us 45-60 mins dive time ,since, I was advanced and so was my random buddy. But, since I had the most dives I was responsible for us to come back on time and depth. I do wish they provided towels. I brought my dry towel for my camera and that’s what I use. I limited my shower. They were very thorough w roll call: before jumping in the water, after, and above the water: 3 roll calls. Also, they will check your pressure before jumping in the water when checking off your safety number. On occasion they which want to see your air pressure if you come back within 60-65mins.
L. Evy
ScubaPro I, II, III
Good value for money. Great diving, exceeding expectations.
The boat is correct, perhaps too many people, specially at the same time on the dive deck or living room (lunch, dinner). The cabins were clean, but tiny. Bathrooms were clean, but tiny (sho... Read more
wer and toilet in same space). The dives are non guided and the dive material was correct (not the best I've had but not the worst). Dive sites were good, better than I expected. The staff was great, making the whole thing very professional. Great value for money. You will find many backpackers and divers doing courses.
B. Elizabeth