Liveaboard diving the Great Barrier Reef is on the bucket list of many divers world wide. As far as amazing sights go, the Great Barrier Reef is up there. Which is probably why it is considered by many as one of the natural wonders of the world.
It is also (apparently) the largest natural wonder of the world. I think it depends on who is making the list but needless to say the reef is pretty damn big and it is a sight to behold.
It is the largest coral reef system in the world. It consists of over 2,900 separate reefs, includes 900 islands, can be seen from space and travels over 2,600km of the north eastern Australian coastline.
It is home to an array of stunning fish, coral and marine life. You want to see Nemo? Nemo, is here. along with many of his colourful friends.
One of the best ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef is to go on what is known as a Liveaboard diving holiday These things rock. They are the best idea for getting you up close and personal with the reef and the awesome marine life that call it home. Some dives operators offer shark feeding if that’s your thing but don’t worry, that’s not a standard inclusion!
There are a number of different dive operators who offer live aboard diving on the Great Barrier reef. In this short guide we explain what you can probably expect:
How long is the average Liveaboard dive trip?
Liveaboard trips can be anywhere from 2 to 7 days and will usually include a night dive.
Who can go?
Anyone! All operators will offer entry level scuba lessons that include a night or two on a liveaboard. A great way to learn to dive! If you have a travelling buddy who doesn’t want to start with scuba lessons than they can still tag along on the boat. (check first with the specific provider)
Where can I dive the Great Barrier Reef?
Most companies will visit the following locations:
- The Outer Greater Barrier Reef – this is located off Cairns and more likely to be the location if you are doing a shorter trip
- Cod Hole & Ribbon Reefs – these are a bit further from Cairns so usually involve a 3 day + trip. These are a real favourite for diving so well worth the effort.
- Coral Sea – this is further from Cairns again and usually for the more experienced divers.
What is Included?:
Pretty much everything you need:
- All dive gear including wetsuits
- Usually transfers to and from the boat.
Accommodation can mean shared rooms with bunk beds and a shared bathroom through to private room with a double bed and ensuite. It will depend on the boat and how much you are willing to pay. The more expensive operators will also offer a cabin with sea view.
When can I best go on a liveaboard trip to dive the Great Barrier Reef?
They say there is no bad time of year to dive the Great Barrier Reef and this is probably true. It is located so far north that it is basically always warm and comfortable. Having said all that, a good friend of mine who worked on dive boats for years swears that September is by far the best time for diving the Great Barrier Reef.
So how do you choose which company gets the benefit of your hard earned holiday dollars?
There are a gazillion of these dive crews in the region and the prices seem to vary a lot. My tip is to find someone that knows the difference and get them to advise you. Of course you should use review based websites when you do your research. You should definitely give the sites below a spin.
- [Tripadvisor] (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ in order to learn what other scuba divers said about the operator you are planning to dive with.
Thera are also Scuba related Facebook pages where you can ask the community if somebody knows more about a specific Liveaboard dive operator.
Have you ever been on a Liveaboard trip on the Great Barrier Reef? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
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Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.