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Cairns Dive Centre – Liveaboard Trips

Multi-Day Trips | Operates: Weekly | Departs: 7.30am | Transfers available: Yes, Cairns city included

Cairns Dive Centre offers 2-3-4 day trips from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, which are suitable for snorkelers and divers (for more information on these activities, please see below tabs). Liveaboard trips give you the benefit of spending more time on the reef, exploring more reef sites, than you can expect to see on single day trips. You also get to sleep on the Coral Sea, enjoy sun rise and sun set and for certified divers, take a night dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns Dive Centre offers daily departures on its liveaboard trips, with its day boat providing convenient transfers to and from Cairns to its liveaboard dive boat, which is permanently at sea. This makes this an itinerary friendly liveaboard option. These great value trips include all transfers, accommodation and meals.

The liveaboard boat, Kangaroo Explorer, has a range of cabins onboard, including twin, double and quad share. All cabins are air-conditioned and have their own ensuite facilities, including hot, freshwater showers. You can not request a particular type of cabin when booking, allocation is first in best dressed and the price is the same, regardless of which cabin you are allocated.

Kangaroo Explorer is a 25m catamaran sleeping a maximum of 35 people in its 16 cabins, each with a porthole. This multi-level boat has several decks, an air-conditioned interior and exterior sun deck. All meals and linen are provided as a part of the trip, but you are asked to bring your own towels. During your stay, Kangaroo Explorer will move around the reef, allowing you to explore different locations. Snorkelling trips are cheaper than diving trips and snorkelers may choose to try an introductory dive (no experience necessary).

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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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Rate Option # Dives Price Taxes Total Deposit
- Certified Diving 6 $ $ $0.00 $0.00
- Certified Diving 10 $ $ $0.00 $0.00
- Snorkeling - $ $ $0.00 $0.00
- Snorkeling - $ $ $0.00 $0.00

Cairns Dive Centre’s liveaboard boat Kangaroo Explorer has an engine malfunction and is no longer operating until further notice.

Inclusions: Accommodation on board in choice of twin, double or quad share ensuite cabins, Air Fills, Bed Linen, Fresh Showers, Cairns City Accommodation Transfers, All quality diving and snorkelling equipment including wetsuits, All meals whilst on board, Tea – Coffee & Chilled water all day, 2 Locations per day on the Outer Reef

Note: All Certified dives are unguided, this gives you the freedom to dive in your own buddy pairs and explore the reef. If you would like a dive guide they do charge $15.00 per person per dive. You can organize this on the boat.

Extras: (Pay Later) An additional $20 per person per day at sea for Fuel, Port & Reef charge is payable on the day of travel.

Prices are shown in Australian dollars and include GST. Prices subject to change without notice.

As these Cairns Dive Centre liveboard trips can be booked as 2-3-4 day packages (price varies – see prices tab for detailed breakdown), we will prepare a sample itinerary based on a three (3) day tour. If you are booking a two (2) day liveaboard trip, just omit the middle day and if you are booking are four (4) day trip, just repeat the middle day. For ease of reading, highlights are provided at the start of each day, with more detailed information provided should you be interested. Please note itineraries may vary, pending weather and conditions: the information below is based on a standard trip. Please contact us for more information.

DAY 1. Highlights: Getting to the Great Barrier Reef and transferring to your liveaboard boat. For divers, up to three (3) certified dives, including a night dive. Snorkellers can try an introductory scuba dive (additional cost). Sunset and sleeping on the Coral Sea.

MORE DETAIL: Cairns city accommodation transfers are included in this package, with pick-ups starting from 6.45am. The transfer coach will first take you to Cairns Dive Centre’s head office on Abbott Street, for check-in, before transferring you to the Marlin Marina (three minute drive) to board their day tour boat, ReefKist. Complimentary tea and coffee is served on arrival and if you are a diver, safety and medical paperwork will be issued for you to complete.

Carrying up to 75 guests, the 17.5m ReefKist catamaran departs from Cairns at 7.30am. There are two levels of air-conditioned interior and exterior sundeck, so you can choose where you want to sit. After a quick stop at Fitzroy Island, you arrive at the liveaboard boat around 9.45am. The passenger transfer is really easy, just stepping from one boat to the other.

Once aboard Kangaroo Explorer, you are given a welcome briefing and tour of the ship. You are also allocated your cabins. Before you get into the water for the first time, a quick buffet lunch is served (at 11.30am), followed by a snorkel / dive briefing on the sundeck at 12pm.

Your first water access is at 1.30pm and you have around one hour to explore this reef site before Kangaroo Explorer moves to its second reef location. You are back in the water from 3.30pm and dinner is served at 6pm.

If you are a certified diver, there is the option to take a night dive from 7.15pm. Afterwards, you can relax in the saloon, grab a drink from the licensed bar or just retire to your cabin. Don’t have a late night; it’s an early start in the morning!

DAY 2. Highlights: Sun rise over the Great Barrier Reef and an early morning dive, where you can see the marine life ‘change shifts’ for the day. For certified divers, up to four (4) certified dives today, including the option of a night dive. Snorkellers can try an introductory scuba dive (additional cost). Sun set over the Coral Sea.

MORE DETAIL: Pending conditions, Kangaroo Explorer will move to a new reef site this morning, while everyone is still waking up and getting ready. For divers, the wake-up call comes at 5.30am and the first dive of the day is at 6.10am. Snorkellers are also welcome to get in the water.

For your convenience, there is a daily schedule displayed on the top sundeck aboard Kangaroo Explorer, which details all dive and meal times. This helps you to plan your day.

Breakfast is served from 7am and includes hot and cold options (cereals, toast, bacon, eggs etc). You can eat this in the air-conditioned saloon downstairs, or grab a plate and head up to the sun deck, which also has shaded seating.

Generally speaking, Kangaroo Explorer will move to a new reef site this morning, this will either happen while you have breakfast, or just before lunch. Either way, you can enjoy a second dive / snorkel this morning, before the hot / cold buffet lunch is served from 11.30am. New guests will arrive from the day tour boat during this time.

Then you have a few hours to chill out before getting back into the water again in the afternoon. During this time, you can browse the books in the library, chill out on the sundeck or have a sleep in your cabin. Your time is your own, to enjoy as you choose.

More water time this afternoon at a new reef location, before dinner is served at 6pm. Certified divers may like to participate in the optional night dive tonight at 7.15pm.

DAY 3. Highlights: Waking up on the Great Barrier Reef and watching sunrise over the Coral Sea. For divers, up to three (3) certified dives today, including an early morning dive. Snorkellers can try an introductory scuba dive (additional cost).

MORE DETAIL: It’s an early start to the day, but definitely worth it if you want to catch a pretty spectacular sun rise and get some alone time on the top deck. Blow the cobwebs out with a dive / snorkel before breakfast, which is served from 7am. The hot / cold breakfast will fill your tanks for the day ahead.

There is time for two more scuba diving / snorkelling sessions today, usually completed at different reef sites, before lunch is served on Kangaroo Explorer and you transfer back to the day tour boat around 2.45pm, for the return journey to Cairns.

The trip back is via Fitzroy Island (you can not get off the boat at the island) and you will arrive back into Cairns around 4.30pm, with transfers back to your inner-city accommodation.

Cairns Dive Centre is a PADI dive training centre in Cairns, which has been operating tours to the Great Barrier Reef for over 30 years. As well as teaching people to dive, they also offer liveaboard dive tours for certified divers, staying overnight on their Kangaroo Explorer catamaran.

Divers of all experience and certification levels will enjoy these trips, which are available in 2-3-4 day packages. The number of dives you can complete depends on your length of stay and is detailed below. Introductory diving is also available to snorkelers, with no previous experience necessary (you will need to complete medical paperwork onboard).

All equipment and dive briefings are included in the dive prices.

INTRODUCTORY DIVES: No previous experience necessary and a great opportunity to try scuba diving for the first time. Comprehensive dive briefings are included in the introductory dive price, as is all equipment and dive guides. These dives do not go very deep and are a great way to get a feel for scuba diving, while seeing the Great Barrier Reef. Introductory dives should be booked on board the boat.

CERTIFIED DIVING: Certified divers of all experience and certification levels will enjoy the Cairns Dive Centre liveaboard trips. The boat visits several different dive sites during your stay and you can choose between guided (extra costs incurred – $12 per person, per dive – payable onboard) and unguided diving.

The dive price includes all dive equipment, including wet / lycra suits, and comprehensive dive site briefings. The maximum dive depth, due to ocean depth, is generally 18m and the number of dives you can complete depends on the length of your trip (for more details, please see below). Liveaboard trips allow for early morning and night dives. There is no solo diving on these trips.

Certified divers will be required to show evidence of their certification: through current dive licenses and your log book. All divers will be required to complete dive medical paperwork on board.

  • 2 day / 1 night Trips = up to 6 dives (including a night dive)
  • 3 day / 2 night Trips = up to 10 dives (including night dives)
  • 4 day / 3 night Trips = up to 14 dives (including night dives)

You do not have to complete all of the dives: you can do as many, or few, as you like.

You can fit a whole lot of snorkelling into a liveaboard trip! These trips visit several reef sites and allow you to see sunrise and sunset over the Coral Sea. Please note that liveaboard trips are completed in the open ocean (rather than being near an island or pontoon), as such, they are recommended to people who are confident swimmers that are comfortable in the open water.

The reef itself rises up to sit just metres beneath the surface, so you will have plenty of opportunity to get close to the corals and marine life. These sites are situated within the Great Barrier Reef marine park, so are relatively sheltered from strong tidal currents and waves.

All snorkelling equipment (mask, fins and snorkel) is included in the snorkel price, as is wet / lycra suits. There is also the option to try introductory diving (no experience necessary) while onboard.

CAIRNS DIVE CENTRE – DECEMBER LIVEABOARD DIVING REVIEW - Reviewed by Julie on the Friday 31st of December 2010

Cairns Great Barrier Liveaboard Dive Review: Milln Reef

This trip exceeded my expectations. The dive sites were excellent and varied. The large crew was friendly and professional. MV Kangaroo Explorer had comfortable cabins, a spacious dive deck and comfortable top deck. The daily dive schedule provided ample time to explore the Great Barrier Reef and relax onboard. As a bonus, the weather was brilliant: glassy seas, blue skies, clear, warm waters with 15-20m viability at Milln Reef... read full review

Amazing experinece, very helpful staff - Rafaela Khodai

I did a two day/one night lifeaboard trip and I enjoyed it very much. Clint was very helpful with my numerous questions and worries and answered to every email promptly and very friendly. He even arranged to keep the office open a little longer so I could come and pick up my underwater camera. The boat itself was very clean, the cabin cozy and the food delicious. The dive instructors were experienced and knowledgeable and the whole tour was well organized. The reef diving of course was awesome. There were no hidden costs with the price, and there is nothing to complain about. You can feel how much Clint loves the reef and the Cairns area and how he wants everyone to have a great time experiencing the reef. I would definitely recommend booking your tour with Cairns Dive Adventures! ... travelled on 07/02/2016

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AWESOME!! - Rachael Fairweather

This trip was amazing, better that I ever imagined. It was easy to book online, the staff on board were fantastic, very helpful, fun and always smiling. ... travelled on 17/09/2013

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CDC Advanced Adventurer Course - Lucius Burk

We had a great time, we got our certifications and we were able to do thirteen dives on the reef aboard the live aboard, Kangaroo Explorer. We had our own room and the food was pretty good. ... travelled on 10/09/2013

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Amazing Trips in GBR! - Sherlene

Good services and dive guides throughout the trips. Crews on board were friendly and helpful at all time. They make sure that all the divers and snorkelers are back on board after go down into water by taking attendance n get us signed on every dives before we go into the water and get out of the water. Free underwater camera from Cairns Dive Adventures was really useful for all my dives which saved me a lot of extra costs that might be needed to hire it on my own. Overall it was a great trip that I get to meet so many new friends. ... travelled on 23/10/2013

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Great dive trip - Jessica

Had a fantastic time diving. Upgraded and did my advanced, getting down to 30metres was a new experience. The photography component has also given me better skills at getting great pictures. The crew were great, helpful and friendly. Rooms clean. Will definitely come back & dive again with these guys. ... travelled on 09/10/2013

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FABULOUS - Brendan

The crew were awesome and accommodating. Really nice, very knowledgable. The bunks for our room (2adults, 1 8yo) were good. Own bathroom. I did hear one of the other rooms was arctic. They were good at trying to look after our 8yo as best they could. We are both certified divers so they did let us book one diver and two snorkelers. Then allowed us to swap off snorkelling with our son or diving. Snorkelling itself was awesome. Diving equipment adequate, no complaints. I did the advanced course on the reef. Great fun, informative and useful. instructors wonderful, patient and understanding. ... travelled on 15/09/2013

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