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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and remote Coral Sea offer some of the most spectacular marine environments on earth, with stunning reefs and thrilling big fish encounters.

Departing from Cairns, this epic adventure heads north towards the beautiful Ribbon Reefs on the northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef, before heading out into the Coral Sea. Your adventure includes up to 26 dives, all from the comfort of a luxurious liveaboard.

Highlights include the Cod Hole, the plunging walls and sharks of Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea and a visit to Lizard Island. 

This is an ideal adventure to form part of an extended holiday to Australia. For those short on time, three and four day fly-dive adventures are also possible, with the highlight of a spectacular low-level flight to or from Lizard Island.

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Begin your liveaboard adventure

    This morning, you will be collected from your Cairns hotel to meet with your liveaboard. Itineraries are offered on both the Mike Ball Spoilsport and Spirit of Freedom liveaboards. Enjoy an afternoon check-out dive before heading north to the Ribbon Reefs. 
  2. Days 2-4 : Take in the beauty of the Ribbon Reefs

    Here, you will find picturesque coral gardens, vibrant and colourful marine life and the famous Cod Hole, where you can come face to face with huge grouper the size of a grown man! 
  3. Days 5-6 : Journey into the remote Coral Sea for more spectacular diving

    This remote sea, bordering the South Pacific Ocean is the realm of pelagic species, including barracuda, trevally and tuna. The big draw for divers here are the incredible shark encounters, with regular sightings of grey reef, white-tip and silvertip sharks. Larger oceanic species such as hammerhead sharks are also seen, while divers can enjoy spectacular soft coral walls and plunging drop-offs down to 1,000 metres.

  4. Day 7: Enjoy a final day’s diving on the Barrier Reef

    After an overnight crossing, enjoy a final day’s diving to take in the best of the beautiful Ribbon Reefs. On occasion, liveaboard itineraries divert to take in Bougainville Reef, home to impressive caves, canyons and the wreck of the Antonio Tarabocchia.

  5. Day 8: Disembark in Cairns

    Your liveaboard adventure finishes in Cairns this morning and you will be transferred to your Cairns hotel or the airport. Those looking to extend their Australian experience can do so, with opportunities for further adventures in Queensland, or farther afield.

You should note: This itinerary is ideally suited for those with a PADI Advanced diving certificate or equivalent. The above itinerary is a sample only. Itineraries vary depending on the vessel and the local weather conditions. Fuel surcharges may apply.

Key info

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 days from £2,275 pp
  • Departures: Please contact us for departure date details.
  • Included in the price/package:
    • 7 nights on liveaboard
    • Twin share cabin
    • All meals
    • Up to 26 dives
    • Cairns city centre hotel transfers
  • Embark: Cairns
Featured locations:

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Stretching almost 3,000 kilometres along the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is a complex ecosystem blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. There are over 2,900 individual reef systems, cays and tropical islands.

  • Ideal for viewing: giant grouper, white-tip reef shark, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, dwarf minke whale
  • Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Whales, Reef diving

Coral Sea

The Coral Sea extends to the east of Australia, encompassing remote coral atolls and an exceptionally healthy marine life. Divers head to the remote Osprey Reef, only accessible by liveaboard, for shark encounters and manta ray and whales in season.

  • Ideal for viewing: manta ray, grey reef shark, white-tip reef shark, green turtle, loggerhead turtle
  • Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Shark diving, Manta ray, Reef diving
This itinerary is available on the liveaboards shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Mike Ball’s Spoilsport

Experience the best of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea on board this luxurious liveaboard. Three, four and seven night itineraries are available to the Ribbon Reefs, Cod Hole and Osprey Reef.

Spirit of Freedom

This is an elegant air-conditioned vessel, with 12 spacious cabins, huge dive deck and a comfortable bar. Electronic stabilisers make her very comfortable, as she sails to dive sites around Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea.