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Cairns Outer Reef Liveaboard Diving

Cairns liveaboard dive tours allow you to stay and play on Cairns’ Outer Great Barrier Reef. There are excellent dive sites, abundant marine life and there’s nothing quite like watching the sun rise and set over the Coral Sea.

Pro Dive - ScubaPro

Pro Dive - ScubaPro

Kangaroo Explorer

Kangaroo Explorer

Taka - Deep Sea Divers Den

Taka - Deep Sea Divers Den



Cairns liveaboard dive operators are highly qualified and internationally recognised by PADI and SSI for their experience and professionalism. With more than 60 years combined diving experience, you can be assured your Cairns Great Barrier Reef dive trip will be undertaken with the highest safety standards and environmental care and protection.

Cairns Outer Reef Diving

Outer Great Barrier Reef dive site depth varies, but is generally no more than 30m, with some of the best diving in the first 15m of water. The reef and dive sites are about 60km offshore, so visibility is usually good and varies from 10 – 30m. Water temperature is generally warm, around 29 degrees Celsius in Summer and 23 degrees Celsius in Winter.

These trips are suitable for everyone from the beginner to the advanced diver. Water entry is generally giant stride from the back of the boat and the dive sites have swim throughs, caves, ledges and coral bommies.

Cuttlefish Milln Reef

Cuttlefish Milln Reef

Hang out with Nemo

Hang out with Nemo

Flatworm are amazing

Flatworm are amazing


All Cairns Outer Great Barrier Reef dive tours include accommodation, linen, meals, dive equipment and lycra suits or wet suits. Dive guides are available on most boats but guided dives do cost extra. All of these trips visit multiple reef and dive sites. All diving is open water diving (so subject to currents etc): there is no solo diving.

Liveaboard Diving Options

There are two types of Cairns liveaboard dive tours. The first is where a day boat takes you out to the reef, meeting up with a liveaboard boat which is pretty much permanently at sea. These tours offer complete flexibility in regards to departure dates and length of stay. You can choose an overnight trip, or stay at sea for a week. Price is calculated on a per day rate and includes a set number of dives, including night dives and accommodation. Usually, an overnight package will give you the chance to complete seven (7) certified dives, including a night dive.

The other type of Cairns liveaboard dive trip is a 3 day / 2 night trip, which departs every day except Tuesday. On these trips, you board the boat you are going to stay and dive on in Cairns, and then travel to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. You stay on this boat the whole time, which allows you to get to know the dive crew and fellow passengers a little better. These trips visit just as many dive sites and you don’t have to worry about meeting up with a day boat each day. You can enjoy up to 11 certified dives on these trips, including two night dives.

Travel time to and from Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef is generally around 2-hours, so by staying out there, you can enjoy more diving, less travelling. Please note: none of the Cairns liveaboard dive tours allow solo diving or reverse profile diving.

Turtle are common

Turtle are common

You looking at me

You looking at me

Nemo always friendly

Nemo always friendly


Cairns Dive Adventures has been on all of Cairns’ liveaboard dive boats and are pleased to provide unbiased advice and trip reviews. We are not affiliated with any of the boats. We are Cairns locals who are passionate about diving and ensuring you have the very best Great Barrier Reef experience, to suit you experience and itinerary. Our income is from tour bookings made on this site: we thank you for your support and hope our information has been of some assistance.

Please note: Dive tour operators will want to see a copy of your dive certification license / card, so please ensure you have this with you when booking / travelling. It is preferable if you have your log book with you too. If you have not dived in a while, refresher courses are available.

Please note: Travelling with non-divers is no problem. All Cairns liveaboard dive tours offer the opportunity for guests to book an introductory dive (no experience necessary), or alternatively, your non-diving companion can snorkel and swim on the Great Barrier Reef.

For those wanting to expand their scuba diving skills, you may choose to complete a dive course while on your Cairns liveaboard trip. PADI and SSI dive courses are available.

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Outer Reef Liveaboard Tours

Pro Dive – Liveaboard

Watch the sun set and wake up on the Great Barrier Reef on this 3 day / 2 night trip from Cairns. Suitable for divers and snorkellers. Twin share and double cabins. Includes meals and accommodation.
$775
Pro Dive Cairns liveaboard scuba dive vessel - ScubaPro


Ribbon Reef Explorer – CANCELLED

Please note that Ribbon Reef Explorer ceased operations as of 25 December 2015. Ribbon Reef trips can still be booked on Spirit of Freedom and Mike Ball Dive Expeditions. Contact us for more info.
$


Coral Sea Dreaming

Low number, overnight sailing adventures from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef for divers and snorkelers. Max 12 guests. 3 Crew.
$460


Deep Sea Divers Den – Liveaboard

Liveaboard dive / snorkel trips that depart Cairns daily. Can be booked in 2-3-4 day options. Maximum of 30 overnight guests. Includes all meals and accommodation.
$465


Reef Encounter – Liveaboard Trips

Reef Encounter offers 2-3-4 day trips from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef. Suitable for snorkelers and divers: options for all budgets and itineraries.
$525


Cairns Dive Centre – Liveaboard Trips

Stay at sea. Can be booked as 2-3-4 day Great Barrier Reef trips, including transfers, accommodation, linen, meals and dive / snorkel equipment. Daily departures.
$555
CDC_KangarooExplorer


Do you need help choosing?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.

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