Cairns Options
Cairns Barrier Reef

Cairns Liveaboard Cruises

Dive Tour Options and Travel Information

The Land Down Under can, perhaps, refer to more than just the continent of Australia, with its weird and wonderful animal and floral kingdoms. Under the surface of the sea, off Australia's north Queensland coast, a region awaits the diver that is remarkable, alluring and astounding. It is the largest living organism on earth and the only one that is visible from outer space. It is one of the world's great liveaboard dive cruise destinations - the Great Barrier Reef.

Map of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (click to enlarge in a new window)

Vibrant corals harbour fantastic reef life running the gamut from minute macro critters a plenty, to the giants of the ocean, both gentle and fierce, and everything in between. Diving the Great Barrier Reef means year round diving in tropical waters that are almost perpetually calm. A plethora of marine life and a multitude of activities, both on and off the reef, from the nearby city of Cairns, means that an Australian diving trip is always a memorable one.

Located off the coast of north Queensland and stretching for over 2,000 km, the Great Barrier Reef consists of distinctive sections that include the high quality liveaboard diving of the Coral Sea (Ribbon and Osprey reefs), as well as the Cairns Barrier Reef which is more suited for beginners and students, and for those with limited time or budgets.

Return to the top of the page

Diving Cruise Options

The atmosphere on liveaboards to the Cairns Barrier Reef is one of fun and enthusiasm. Guests tend to be young, with many backpackers taking courses on board. Divers are generally quite inexperienced but delighted to be sampling the underwater delights of the Great Barrier Reef. More experienced scuba divers tend to opt for longer trips in the Coral Sea.

Click to view product
MV Kangaroo Explorer

From US$ 149 per day

Customer rating: Excellent!

Ocean Quest

From US$ 145 per day

Customer rating: Excellent!


From US$ 193 per day

Customer rating: Very good!

Return to the top of the page

The Climate, Diving Season and Best Time to Visit

Australia, the coast of North Queensland in particular, is a year round diving destination, blessed with a tropical climate that ensures an idyllic water temperature in winter and summer. Although water temperatures can very dramatically depending on where along Australia's vast coastline you are diving, the Great Barrier Reef has a water temperature of between 24 and 29°C, with the summer months from December to February being warmest and wettest. The sea is calmest between September and December.

Return to the top of the page

Ports of Departure and How to Get There

Cairns liveaboard boats remain out on the reef, while guests are ferried by speedboat between the mothership and the city of Cairns. Normally the boat operator provides a transfer to the boat from the local airport or hotels (if you overnight beforehand). We will send you full departure details during the booking process.

We recommend you take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quotation:

Get your travel and diving insurance from World Nomads

Return to the top of the page

Places to Stay

If you plan on staying in Cairns before or after your diving trip, you can find a large range of accommodation options at, our affiliated hotel reservation specialists. Browse their website, use their on-line chat to ask questions, then simply use your credit card to make your booking:

Save on your hotel -

All bookings carry a 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money.

Return to the top of the page

Useful References for Cairns

Return to the top of the page