Product Name:

Mike Ball – Spoilsport: Cod Hole

Great Barrier Reef Fish - Potato Cod

Stable TWIN Hull Vessel, Beautiful Diving on the Ribbon Reefs and Cod Hole, Fantastic Service with Chef Prepared Meals!

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All Prices in Australian Dollars.

Camera Special

Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service


Book this trip with us, you must spend over $550.00 AUD to receive our 1 x Free Cairns Underwater Camera Hire. Only when you book online thru our website. You must come into our Cairns Esplanade Shop to pick up the camera the day before departure day before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Card. Reserve your camera today!

*Not valid for any tours visiting the islands. Fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!


Please Remember there is no other way to collect our cameras! All passengers must come into our shop the day before departure day before 5:30 pm.

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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.

Product Name:

Mike Ball – Spoilsport: Cod Hole

Tour Type: 4 Day / 3 Night Trips | Operates: Weekly | Departs: Monday 7am | Returns: Thursday 8am | Transfers: No


Stable TWIN Hull Vessel, Beautiful Diving on the Ribbon Reefs and Cod Hole, Fantastic Service with Chef Prepared Meals!

Certified Scuba Diving: Yes, Open Water or Advanced Required All Snorkel Gear: Yes, Snorkel, Fins, Mask and Life Jackets
Meals: Yes, Hot & Cold Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner! Guided Dives: No, But there will be instructors in the water on every dive. The crew give fantastic dive briefings!
Hot Showers and Toilets: All Cabins Have Private Bathrooms Full Dive Gear Available: Yes, Extra Cost See Price List
Underwater Photographer Friendly: Yes, Camera Bucket and Camera Area Available Outer Reef: Yes, Ribbon Reefs and Code Hole

Please note due to COIVD-19 at this point in time Mike Ball Dive Expeditions have custom charter departure dates. Please get in touch with us to find out what dates are available. Also please note • From January 2022, all passengers must be fully vaccinated to join a Mike Ball Dive Expedition.

Visit the Great Barrier Reef’s far northern Ribbon Reefs, with their famous ‘Cod Hole’ dive site, with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions. We are taking bookings now for 2018. The Ribbon Reefs really are seeing the Great Barrier Reef at its best. Situated 120km north of Cairns, the Ribbon Reefs are a pristine marine environment.

Their remote location means less visitors and their coral gardens are bursting at the seams with all manner of Great Barrier Reef fish and marine life. There are literally hundreds and thousands of gem-coloured basslets and damsels, giant clams, moray eels, sea snakes, sea turtles, nudibranchs, reef sharks and so much more.

To visit, you must book a liveaboard trip from Cairns. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions has been running Great Barrier Reef liveaboard dive expeditions since 1969. His twin-hull Spoilsport boat is Australia’s most awarded, liveaboard dive boat. It’s 30m long and accommodates a maximum of 28 guests in its 14 cabins which are serviced daily (most have their own bathroom). The cabin configuration and price varies (budget, club, standard and premium) allowing you to tailor your trip to suit your itinerary and budget.

Budget cabins have twin bunk beds (shared bathroom); club cabins have twin bunk beds with private ensuite bathroom; standard cabins have twin beds with ocean views and private ensuite bathroom; premium cabins have a queen bed, ocean views and private ensuite bathroom.

Spoilsport has three levels of air-conditioned interior, with the lounge and saloon on the top deck, opening out to the spacious sun deck. Guest accommodation is on the middle deck, which opens on to the dive deck. There is an onboard chef preparing all your meals and snacks: the crew to guest ratio is 12:28.

The tour price includes: Cairns city hotel transfers, three nights accommodation, meals and linen on Spoilsport and a scenic, low-level flight from Lizard Island to Cairns. Diving equipment hire is extra.

Having trouble figuring out the room arrangments on Mike Ball? See below:

Premium Rooms:
Have a 1 x Queen Bed or 1 x Double Bed with private bathroom and Premium Ocean Views.

Standard Rooms:
Have low-level Twin Beds (2 x Single Beds) with private bathroom and Ocean Views.

Club Rooms:
Twin Bunk Beds, (2 x Single Beds) 1 bed on top and 1 bed below with private bathroom.

Budget Rooms:
Have Bunks Beds, (2 x Single Beds) 1 bed on top and 1 bed below with a shared bathroom outside the room in the hall.

Click here to Download the Mike Ball Room Layout and Vessel Specification Guide.



All prices in Australian Dollars.
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Adult Premium Cabin (1 PERSON SOLE OCCUPANCY)Certified Diver12$3,522.00$21.00$3,543,00
Adult Standard Cabin (1 PERSON SOLE OCCUPANCY)Certified Diver12$3,216.00$21.00$3,237.00
Adult Club Cabin (1 PERSON SOLE OCCUPANCY)Certified Diver12$2,850.00$21.00$2,871.00
Adult Budget (1 PERSON SOLE OCCUPANCY)Certified Diver12$2,456.00$21.00$2,477.00
Adult Premium Cabin (Minimum 2 Family Members)Certified Diver12$2,935.00 per person$21.00$2,959.00
Adult Standard Cabin (Minimum 2 Family Members)Certified Diver12$2,680.00 per person$21.00$2,701.00
Adult Club Cabin (Minimum 2 Family Members)Certified Diver12$2,375.00 per person$21.00$2,396.00
Adult Budget (Minimum 2 Family Members)Certified Diver12$2,047.00 per person$21.00$2,068.00
PADI Advanced CourseDive Course- $260.00-$260.00
PADI Nitrox CourseDive Course-$310.00-$310.00
Full Dive Gear HireDive Gear-$132.00-$132.00
Nitrox Tank FillsNitrox Tank Fills-$25 per day=$25 per day
5 x Night Mike Ball - Minke Whale dates:

18 June 2020
25 June 2020
2 July 2020
9 July 2020
16 July 2020
Certified Diver12$TBA



Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.


Check in at our office (3 Abbott St, Cairns) between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm.
From 4:30 pm: Make your own way to Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf (200m from MBDE office) to meet your fellow passengers. Please note that dinner is not provided on the first evening so you may wish to eat before boarding.
5:50 pm: Our crew will lead you from Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf to board Spoilsport. Enjoy a glass of champagne and light snacks while your Trip Director provides a full briefing.
6:00 pm: Spoilsport departs Cairns.
Time to organise any rental equipment and put your dive gear together on the dive deck.

Friday: (3 dives + night dive) Exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.

7:30 am: Wake up and breakfast served in dining room
8:00 am: Dive & activity briefs
9:00 am: Dive & Island activities commence
12:00 am: Dive & Island activities continue
2:00 pm: Lunch & move to outer reef
3:30 pm: Dive brief & diving
5:00 pm: Afternoon Tea
6:30 pm: Night dive brief & dive
8:00 pm: Dinner

Saturday: (4 dives + night dive) Exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.

6:30 am: Wake up call, light breakfast available in dining room
7:00 am: Dive brief & diving commences
9:00 am: Full cooked Breakfast
10:30 am: Dive brief & diving. “Open decks” accommodate 1-2 dives either am or pm
2:00 pm: Lunch
3:30 pm: Dive brief & diving
5:00 pm: Afternoon Tea
6:30 pm: Night dive brief & dive
8:00 pm: Dinner

Sunday: (4 dives)

As per above, however all diving is finished by 5pm.
As the sun sets we pour the champagne, lay out the nibbles and get ready for an Aussie BBQ party night. Don’t forget to wear your loudest tropical shirt or dress and sing along to music played by our talented crew.
Overnight cruise to Cairns


7:00 am: Light breakfast
8:00 am: Disembark and courtesy transfer to Cairns inner city hotels, the airport or our office where we can store your luggage until 5pm if you have a later flight.

We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5pm Monday).


Detailed below is a basic itinerary, based on a standard trip. Please note, the itinerary may vary, pending weather and conditions. We have included highlights, as well as detailed trip information, for ease of reading. Please contact us for more information.

MONDAY. Highlights: Low-level, scenic coastal flight from Cairns to Lizard Island, boarding Spoilsport, up to three (3) certified dives on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs, including a night dive.

MORE DETAIL: A scenic flight between Cairns and Lizard Island is the perfect way to start your exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. The flight plan has been established to provide maximum views and at last half of your 150 mile journey is undertaken at 180m above-sea level, providing amazing views over the Coral Sea and the reefs that you will soon be diving on.

Landing at Lizard Island, you will be transferred to Mike Ball’s Spoilsport by tender and be ready for your first dive at around 12.30pm. Be amazed from the very first descent, when you enter the crystal clear waters of the Cod Hole. Dive amongst the friendly, giant Potato Cod for the experience of a lifetime. Explore the rarely dived Cod Wall, which descends 60m and has spectacular coral formations. Tonight you have the option of a night dive on Challenger Bay, home to large schooling fish and even some barracuda.

TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY. Highlights: More amazing scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs. Certified scuba divers can enjoy up to nine (9) dives, including early morning and night dives. Chef prepared meals, cruising the Ribbon Reefs and sun rise and sun set over the Great Barrier Reef.

MORE DETAIL: The next two days of the trip are spent exploring the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs. Reef site sequence and dive / snorkel times will vary, pending weather and conditions, but you will have at least one visit to the world famous Cod Hole.

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions keeps their guests updated with the latest dive plans and boat movements, via their comprehensive dive site briefings. Just some of the dive sites you may visit include: Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Pinnacle, Andy’s Postcard, Clam Beds, Vertical Gardens, Flare Point and Steve’s Bommie (an excellent dive site!).

Your last night aboard Spoilsport is party night, with a farewell, international BBQ. Loud shirts are welcome, so remember to pack your best! Fare includes steak with pepper sauce, spiced lamb lion chops, kangaroo, baked potatoes, salads, sausages and much more. Overnight, Spoilsport makes its way back to Cairns.

THURSDAY. Highlights: Arriving back into Cairns.

MORE DETAIL: There is no water action today. You will wake up to find Spoilsport docked in Cairns’ Trinity Inlet. A light breakfast is served aboard the boat, before you disembark at 8am with courtesy coach transfers back to your city accommodation.


This trip is recommended to certified divers only: open water certification is a minimum requirement. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions does allow solo diving, but only for divers with a Solo Certification (you can complete one of these on board, but must have an Advanved Certification and evidence of at least 100 logged dives).

Scuba divers travelling on their own will be paired up with other divers on board, who have similar experience / skill levels. Most of the diving is unguided, however, if you want personalised dive guides this service is available on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions at extra cost ($250 per day + berth cost for the guide). Contact us for more information.

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions has an open dive deck policy, allowing you to dive as much or as little as you like. Most certified divers will do up to five (5) dives per day (2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon plus a night dive). On a normal itinerary, Spoilsport will visit up to three (3) different dive sites per day.

Diving equipment is not included in the tour price. You are welcome to bring your own or hire it on the boat ($120 for 3 day full equipment rental). All divers are required to use a Nautilus Lifeline GPS (these are included). Extras include: Nitrox and the choice to participate in some dive courses (PADI Advanced or SDI Nitrox).

Certified divers can enjoy up to 12 dives on this trip: you do not have to do all of the dives, do as many or as few as you like. Dive safety is paramount and there is no reverse profiling. Comprehensive dive site briefings are provided before every dive. In regards to depth, divers should dive to their experience levels or certification. There are no set limits on dive time: although divers must return to the boat with a minimum of 50 bar of air left in their tanks.

Certified divers will be required to show evidence of their certification: through current dive licenses and log books. All divers will be required to sign a Waiver Release and Indemnity Deed on board the boat. You will also be required to complete dive medical paperwork on board.


Mike Ball Dive Expeditions are just that, dive trips. However, snorkelers and non-diving partners are more than welcome to join in. The Ribbon Reefs do offer some great snorkelling opportunities, which are suitable for experienced snorkelers. Please note that all sites are open water sites, which means they may be subject to currents and waves. Water depth and conditions will vary. Discounts apply for snorkelers: contact us for more information on prices.

Customer Reviews:

Customer Tour Reviews & Feedback

Customer reviews are written by our customers using our 1 x FREE Digital Underwater Camer Hire Service.

Ribbon Reef Awesome Diving
By: Richard Johnston
Staff Service - 5 out of 5
Reef Quality - 4 out of 5
Vaue For Money - 5 out of 5
Overall Rating - 5 out of 5

Travelled on: 04/03/2013

I had a great time diving with the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions on the Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs, the trip we did was great and no doubt the highlight was Steve’s Bommie.

Awsome diving at Great Barrier Reef
By: Tommy Norgren
Staff Service - 5 out of 5
Reef Quality - 4 out of 5
Vaue For Money - 4 out of 5
Overall Rating - 4 out of 5

Travelled on: 09/05/2013

It was my first time down at the great barrier reef and I just loved it! The promised me Turtles, Rays, Sharks and much more and I saw it all. Unfortunately we could not head out to Osprey Reef which is where the majority of the sharks would have been due to bad weather (happens once or twice a year), but the backup plan was…

Full Reviews:

Cairns Dive Adventures Trip Reviews

Mike Ball – Spoilsport – Cod Hole Review

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions offers fabulous liveaboard dive trips to the Ribbon Reefs (including Cod Hole) and Coral Sea. These trips are suited to all levels of divers, but experienced divers will really appreciate the option of diving solo, longer and deeper than other trips. Spoilsport has an excellent floor plan for divers and a...

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Tour Notes:

Remember to try any form of scuba diving everyone needs to be medically fit with no asthma and not be taking any prescription medication. PADI recommends allowing up to 24 hours after diving before flying in an airplane. Some tour operators have a no refund policy for any dives not completed for whatever reason. Please note the art of freediving is not permitted on any of the day boats or liveaboard dive boats from Cairns & Port Douglas. With the high instances of (shallow water blackout) companies do not allow this for safety reasons.

Do you have Medical Issues:

Please note if you have any medical issues you will need to go see your local GP where you live and get them to write you a letter on the practice letterhead signed and dated by your doctor that you are “Fit to dive” If you have one of these letters then all dive companies in Cairns will take you diving. Please note these letters are only valid for three months from their date of issue.

Inclusions: Accommodation, all chef-prepared meals, all dives.

Reef Tax: $21.00 per person Marine Park Fee is payable direct to Mike Ball Dive Expeditions. This is included in the price table above.

Prices Valid to 31st MARCH 2022



Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service

Spend over $550.00 AUD on your Great Barrier Reef tour with us and receive the latest Digital Underwater Camera Hire. Take amazing High-Resolution images and 1080 HD Video. Only when you book online thru our website. 

Not available for any tours to the Islands as fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!

You need to come into our shop located on the Cairns Esplanade the day before departure to pick up the camera before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Camera Card and drop the camera off back at our shop before 5:30pm.


Please Remember there is no other way to collect our cameras! All passengers must come into our shop the day before departure day before 5:30 pm.