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.
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.
The Cairns Barrier Reef dive trips are only about 50 km off shore and provide easy diving around coral bommies and reef flats. You can expect to see many schools of fish, a broad range of reef critters, large groupers and wrasses as well as white tip reef sharks. Coral coverage is impressive with boulder corals, table and plate corals. Bommies rise up from gullies and a landscape of staghorn-covered peaks and sandy valleys. The diving here is not the best of what the Great Barrier Reef has to offer, but it represents a great entry-level cruise option and, with short and affordable dive tours, it is a popular choice. These liveaboards from Cairns visit the reefs of Flynn, Milln, Pellowe, Saxon and Norman. [More details on these dive sites: Cairns].
You can hop on board a Cairns Great Barrier Reef liveaboard cruise any day of the week, although these trips are very popular, so booking in advance is strongly recommended. You can take a 2, 3 or 4 night stay on these liveaboards and combine them with a dive course if you wish.
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.
Customer rating: Excellent!
Customer rating: Good
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. For more information on the Cairns climate and surrounding Outer Barrier Reef sea conditions, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.
Most visitors arrive at Cairns International Airport, which is only 5 minutes drive from the centre of Cairns itself, allowing you to be at your hotel or liveaboard very soon after your arrival. The modern airport has an excellent range of facilities including ATM's, currency exchange, car hire desks, post office, baggage storage and shopping & dining options. There are taxis, mini buses and also a bus service into the city from both the domestic and international terminals. Visit Cairns Airport for more on their facilities and transport information. More information on: How to get to Australia.
Travel Online offers holiday packages, flights and accommodation deals for Cairns holidays.
Cairns liveaboard boats remain out on the reef, while scuba divers 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:
If you plan on staying in Cairns before or after your Great Barrier Reef liveaboard diving trip, you can find a large range of accommodation options at hotelscombined.com, 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:
All bookings carry a 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money.
CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS OF DIVE THE WORLD
... Very efficient and happy. Cant think of how you can improve it. Got very timely and good answers to my questions. The published information dit correspond with our experience. ... -- Arjen Kuenen, Netherlands. [More customer reviews]