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Best explored by liveaboard, the northern reefs offer a rich marine biodiversity with the opportunity to dive with sharks and giant potato cod whilst looking out for critters to photograph.

In the remote north, the Ribbon Reefs are a spectacular chain of ten individual reefs. The warm sheltered waters make this a great destination for divers and snorkellers of all abilities. Travel here in June and July for the best opportunity of a minke whale encounter as they migrate through the islands. These are only accessible by liveaboard.

The diversity of marine and macro life provides endless subject matter for photographers; from pygmy seahorse to manta rays and six species of turtle. Dive site highlights include Cod Hole, Lighthouse Bommie and Pixie Pinnacle. Our Barrier Reef and Coral Sea trip provides a truly spectacular diving experience.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Great Barrier Reef by flying to Lizard Island to join a liveaboard – a spectacular beginning to a once in a lifetime underwater adventure with vibrant corals, thousands of tropical fish and plenty of pelagic species for that ‘wow’ factor.

In the south, there is more thrilling diving opportunties around Lady Elliot Island, where encounters with manta rays, humpback whales and whale sharks await.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: giant grouper, white-tip reef shark, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, dwarf minke whale

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itineraries:

Great Barrier Reef
& Coral Sea Safari

Enjoy the best of the Great Barrier Reef and beyond on this spectacular liveaboard adventure. Highlights include the picturesque coral gardens of the Ribbon Reefs, the Cod Hole and shark encounters in the Coral Sea.

  • When to go: May-Nov
  • Duration exc. flights: 8 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £2,145 pp
  • Trip type: Liveaboard trip

Queensland Dive Adventure

Explore northern Queensland and beyond, spending time topside combined with a week long liveaboard expedition to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, home to an incredible marine life.

  • When to go: May-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,745 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Minke Whales & Mantas

Enjoy a unique experience snorkelling with dwarf minke whales on a week long liveaboard, before diving with manta rays on the southern barrier reef on this Queensland adventure.

  • When to go: Jun-Jul
  • Duration inc. flights: 22 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,345 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Lady Elliot Island

This low-key eco-resort is a unique island paradise, located in the southern reaches of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It offers world-class diving experiences, and is one of the top destinations for manta ray encounters.

Suggested liveaboards are 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.