Coral Sea Safari | Cairns Dive Expedition | 7 Nights/26 Dives | Great Barrier Reef Shark Dives | MBall
Coral Sea Safari | Cairns Dive Expedition | 7 Nights/26 Dives | Great Barrier Reef Shark Dives | MBall
It may sound like a cliché, but this truly is one week of your life that you will never forget on this trip of a lifetime as you scuba dive the world famous Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia on this multi award winning liveaboard dive trip. This Coral Sea Safari will showcase all of the best dive sites that the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea has to offer and you can "Dive with Sharks". You will be taken to pristine reefs that are located off areas that are not populated or farmed. You will have a chance to explore the amazing diversity of the marine life that that this area is a host to. This area is so pristine and amazing that it is no wonder that Sir David Attenborough has expressed this as his most favourite place in the world.
Coral Sea Safari | Cairns Dive Expedition | 7 Nights/26 Dives | Great Barrier Reef Shark Dives | MBall
Dive amongst amazing formations of the coral gardens, experience drift diving along 1,000 m tall coral walls and get a chance to Dive with Sharks on our famous dive with sharks on our Coral Sea liveaboard dive trips.
These magnificent sharks of all varieties are amazing to watch under water and still inspire heart-stopping awe as you see them and get close to them.
A stopover at the exclusive Lizard Island really sets this liveaboard dive expedition apart as you get the opportunity to explore the island that Captain James Cook used as a lookout to plan a route out of the reef, - a view that is still the same all these centuries later.
From June to August we see Dwarf Minke Whales and giant Humpback Whales who migrate to these waters to mate, calf and just to relax in the safety of the Great Barrier Reef coral barriers.
Any other time of the year you can look forward to see turtles (this area boasts having 6 of the 7 marine turtle species), rays, sharks, massive Humphead Parrotfish, schooling Trevally and Barracuda, dog size Maori Wrasse and diver size Potato Cod and Groupers.
For the small critter fans and macro photographers, there are Nudibranch, Gobies and Blennies, pipe horses, moray eels and clown fish.
If you wish to bring the whole family we will accept anybody on the trip over 8 years old and certified divers to be over 12 years old. If your party has non-divers there is amazing snorkeling at the dive sites and being a large vessel there is ample room to relax on the top deck (sun chairs provided) or in the sumptuous living area (with 2 flat screen TV’s and DVD’s).
The diving will require experienced Open Water divers or Advanced divers and is not recommended for newly certified divers.
The visibility of the waters tend to be consistently clear and temperatures are comfortable and range from around 22 degrees celcius (71 fahrenheit) (August – October) to 30 degrees celcius (86 degrees fahrenheit) ( (Feb-May) – the rest of the time its in between.
Liveaboard Coral Sea Dive Safari – 7 Nights/26 Dives – MB7NTS
You will board our liveaboard luxury vessel for the week at the Cairns Marina. Arriving at 6 pm you will be introduced and welcomed to all the crew, where you can settle in your cabin and relax on the boat.
Sit on the top deck or in the lounge area and watch the amber glow of another beautiful tropical sunset as the final rays of the day disappear behind the mountains of the Great Dividing Range.
Overnight the dive boat will make its way to the remote and pristine reefs of the far north Osprey Reef and the surrounding Ribbon Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.
The dive sites visited on this dive trip are numerous and varied and will depend mainly on the season, conditions, currents and prevailing weather conditions.
The following are a selection of dive sites that are usually dived:
World Famous Cod Hole
The world famous Cod Hole is the most famous dive site on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Aptly named after the diver-sized Potato Cod that inhabits the area. These Cod can grow up to a weight of 30 kg (66 lbs) and are highly inquisitive and friendly with scuba divers.
The curious Maori Wrasse, who are the size of a large dog and like to follow divers, will also most likely follow you around like a puppy dog. For all photographers, make sure you have your wide angled lens for this dive – the fish are huge.
The science in naming dive sites is pretty simple. Due to lack of imagination, or just being obvious this dive site is called the Snake Pit due to the resident snakes here.
Diving on this site you are likely to encounter an Olive Sea Snake (or even a few of them) who call this dive site ‘home’. Although they are highly venomous they are highly docile, non-aggressive and there is no known record of any diver fatalities from any encounters with them.
The topography of this dive site is interesting and consists of two large bommies (coral mountains) in 10-30 m (30-90 ft). There are some stunning drop-offs, sand flats and picturesque coral gardens to explore. Apart from the sea snakes you can see sweetlips, sharks, stingrays, coral trout, gropers, batfish, triggerfish and turtles.
The Fairy Grotto
No, you won’t see fairies here (or anything called a fairy fish), but you will feel like you are diving in a fairy fantasyland. This dive site is known for its crystal clear water and plummeting reef walls. You can swim into small caverns, through swim-throughs and along a towering 1,000 m (3,300 ft) sea wall. With the amazing formations of corals here giving a really grotto feel as fan corals fan the small caverns and see sheltering bat fish, sweetlips and lionfish.
This site comprises of a series of large coral bommies in close proximity of each other. The gaps between these bommies make an interesting maze of canyons and gullies that are just so fun to explore. The dive site dips down gently and you can see in the sand waving garden eels before the bottom turns into a wall with a 1,000 ft drop off (3,300 ft).
Admiralty Anchor provides the underwater photographer with plenty of great photo opportunities, with its colourful corals and schools of pelagic fish.
A large divide in the Great Barrier Reef gives this dive site its name. A large U-shaped gully gradually descends to around 30m (90ft). There are also large amounts of bommies that rise up from the gully floor that make the topography of this dive so interesting.
Fans, whips and soft corals hide out of site in the undercuts, while a variety of hard corals inhabit the higher levels. Schooling Big Eye Trevally and Barracudas are great entertainment and you might be lucky to see passing silver, grey reef and white tip sharks passing.
North Horn - Dive With Sharks
This geographical point creates plenty of shark action. Located at the northern most tip of Osprey Reef these are where two ocean currents converge, so it's a great spot to view the larger pelagic passing through. You might be lucky to see a passing hammerhead shark, but there are many silver tip sharks, grey reef sharks, grey whaler sharks and white tip reef sharks that converge here.
It’s at this site that makes a spectacular site for our signature dive with the sharks trip. Aside from the amazing shark action you will also see dog tooth tuna, mackerel, rainbow runners, barracuda, various code species and decorative soft coral, sea whips and the largest gorgonian fans that can be seen on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Midway through your expedition you get to stop at Lizard Island and walk off your sea legs. Explore Watson’s Bay and climb the hill to Chinaman’s Ridge, where Captain Cook once stood to get his bearings at “Cook’s Lookout”. The view you see today has changed very little since all those centuries ago.
The Dingaal Aboriginal people believed that these islands had been created in the Dreamtime. Together they saw the islands like a stingray with Lizard Island being the body and the other islands in the group forming the tail and called the island Jiigurru.
The name Lizard Island dates back to 12 August 1770 when Captain Cook visited. He commented, "The only land Animals we saw here were Lizards, and these seemed to be aplenty, which occasioned my naming the Island Lizard Island." By the 1860s the island was being used by sea cucumber fishermen to supply this popular delicacy to the markets in Asia.
Due to its secluded location and amazing scenery this island is often frequented by lots of A-list celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron and Teri Hatcher, and other wealthy famous people from the world over.
It is now protected as part of a National Park and hosts an exclusive resort on the island, aptly called Lizard Island Resort.
Once back on the open sea again, you will be diving again at the most amazing dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef.
Challenger bay allows you to dive steep sloping walls that adjoin a shallow sandy bay that is dotted with small bommies and beautiful coral gardens.
For divers who want to dive to watch fish - and lots of them - this is a great site. This site is also the equivalent of a fish health farm and the site is littered with many cleaning stations. Watch how the fish queue up to be next in line at these service points. See sweetlips, coral trout, triggerfish, angelfish and rock cods all taking their turn for a bit of a pamper.
Schooling fish also tend to congregate here so you can see barracuda, the massive humphead parrotfish, snappers, reef sharks, cuttlefish, colonies of garden eels, nudibranch and moray eels.
During winter, Lighthouse Bommie becomes a great place to spot the amazing Minke Whale. During the rest of the year it plays host to Green Turtles and large schools of yellow and blue Snapper.
Goggle Gardens usually requires more than one dive, as you discover and dive along the ancient riverbed and its adorning walls, sandy flats, coral bommies and sandy flats.
Vertical Gardens is only accessible to the lucky few who are around for the few days a year when conditions are right. This dive site is a natural amphitheatre and is a perfect underwater viewing gallery. Watch the marauding herd of large bumphead parrotfish and hear them as they crunch their way through the reef with their massive parrot shaped mouths. For the small critter fanciers you might see harlequin ghost fish, lace scorpion fish and leafy scorpion fish.
Though not sure who Steve was – he certainly has an impressive dive site named after him. Steve’s Bommie is one of the Great Barrier Reefs more frequented and favourite sites. Located off one of the ribbon reefs, bommies rise from 30 m (90ft) to just under the surface. These natural towers offer protection and shelter for a variety of schooling fish.
Bigeye trevally, barracuda, Moses perch, yellow-lined snapper, and mackerel really make this site special, while reef sharks patrol the depths. For the keen macro photographer there are nudibranchs, pipefish, scorpionfish, flatworms, lionfish and mantis shrimps among other small critters that will fill your lens.
See the amazing effects of a Flame Shell as it pulses its own neon light show and the resident clown fish hiding amongst the waving anemones.
These are only some of the dive sites that your amazing 26 dives on your 7 nights Great Barrier Reef safari will see.
After your last dive you will return to Cairns overnight where you will arrive back and disembark at 8.00am at Trinity Wharf.
Dive Boat Features
- Daily cabin service with a 12 person highly experienced crew
- Spacious living areas including bar and lounge, a large sundeck with lounge chairs and alfresco deck
- Expansive dive deck with well-designed entry and exit platforms
- 2 large screen TVs
- Freshwater camera rinse tanks and specially designed Camera tables with air guns
- Fully air-conditioned
- Daily presentations will be given by the safari’s Marine Biologist
- Nitrox mix air available
- Rebreather support available
- 2 large inflatable tenders for optimal dive access
Dive Boats Specifications
- Commissioned 1989 | Survey – 1B (29 pax)
- Speed – 15 knots
- Length - 30 m (100ft) Beam – 10.5m (35ft)
Instruments on Board
- HF & VHF Radios
- Global Positioning Systems x 2
- Echo Sounder
- 240V /110V Recharge Facilities
- Chart Plotters x 2
- Check My Price Now Ask Questions
- PADI Advanced Diver Course
- PADI Nitrox Course
- All Scuba Gear Available for Hire
- Camera Hire
If you wish to rent any dive equipment then you can choose from the entire range of equipment. From BCD’s (Aqualung Wave), Regulators, computers and dive lights and snorkel gear.
By law all regulators and BCD’s provided by the dive operators have to be serviced every 6 months, so you can be rest assured that any equipment you rent will be safe and serviced. It is strongly recommended that if you are bringing your own BCD or regulator then they should have been recently serviced within the year.
All divers are given a Nautilus Lifeline GPS (no extra rental charge), to be worn on each dive to add to the safety of each diver.
On board they have tanks compatible to European DIN and US style tank valves.
If you wish to hire an underwater camera, download and edit photos onto CD’s and DVDs then these are also available.
If you are a rebreather diver then please advise the tour organisers and they will forward pre-tour paperwork and ensure that they can support you on the trip
Rebreather services include
- MBDE Rebreather Pre-Dive Checklist for added safety
- Complimentary supply of 2L aluminium, 3L steel “on board” cylinders and 7L steel “off board” cylinders (limited supply)
- Extended service during Special ‘Deep Reef’ Expeditions includes:
- Tri-mix rebreather service and decompression diving
- Oxygen and soda lime supplied to order (fees apply)
- Safety diver and bailout gas ready during decompression dives
- HI 5G booster pump and fill panel
- No time limit on dives (where practical)
- Any depths will be limited to experience and qualifications
Please note: There is a ‘buddy only’ policy for rebreathers and decompression diving so no solo diving is allowed on this trip.
Photographic services on board
- 3 large camera stations with air guns
- Special camera freshwater rinse tubs on diving deck
- 1x video/DVD player – to view videos
- A 3 tier camera shelf that incorporates recharging facilities,
- 110v (USA style - 2 prong straight pin)
- 240v (Australian) socket.
- All cabins also have 110v and 240v charging plugs
- 2x large flat screens for viewing photographs and video
- In the main saloon you have access to a computer (Windows)
- Win a free dive trip by entering the Guest Underwater Photo Competition that is run on every expedition.
Note: remember to bring adaptors for the electrical sockets to suit your chargers and USB digital memory card readers.
Bring your nitrox certification card – or take a course and learn on board! Nitrox tanks and fills are available on board (at extra cost).
- Your diving day will consist of:
- Morning Dive
- Afternoon Dive
- Night Dive (at the same site as the afternoon dive)
You are offered guided dives with an experienced Dive Master who knows the area and the dives sites well, or if you prefer you can dive with your buddy.
Meals provided on board:
- Continental Breakfast
- Full Breakfast
- Mid morning snacks and fruits available
- Fruit and snacks
Included in Price
Low level scenic flight from Cairns to Lizard Island
All 26 dives are located over 160kms from Cairns
Access to restricted dive sites guaranteed
Spend less time travelling, with 50% reduced cruise times
Visit the world famous Cod Hole
Experience the best fish, coral and marine life biodiversity on prime Ribbon Reef sites
Less dive disruptions with superior vessel stability
Accommodation in twin/double cabins
Daily cabin service
Delicious meals & snacks, wine and soft drink are included with the evening meal
Tanks, air fills and weight belt
Nautilus Lifeline GPS
Reef ecology programme
Dive computer workshop
Vivid Pix digital photo editing software workshop
Transfer to the airport or Cairns hotel after your expedition
For Bookings Call Now!
1300 761 612
Beverages from the bar
Gear Hire: wetsuits, gloves, tanks, GPS, safety sausage, nitrox fills, tanks, weights, gauges, BCD, light/torch
Note: we recommend you bring your own wetsuit, mask snorkel and fins to ensure they fit well
Dive Courses are available on board, discuss options at time of booking
Underwater camera hire
Underwater photography course
Days of Operation
Departs Thursdays only
Departs FromTrinity Wharf, Cairns
Check in before 4.00pm at our Cairns office and then board to boat at Trinity Wharf at 6.00pm
We do not offer pickups, you must make your own way to our office for check in; however on our return to Cairns we will transfer you back to our office, the Cairns airport or an inner city central hotel
What To Bring
Dive gear (it is possible to hire dive gear on board)
Certification card and log book
A luggage allowance applies to the flight from Cairns to Lizard Island: 25kg / 55lb per person plus 3kg / 6.5lb – carry on plus an additional 10kg/22lb is allowed for professional photo/video housed systems
Excess luggage may be left at dive company office. We take care but not liability
You should bring your own personal toiletries, hair dryer, travel adaptor and plugs, batteries, personal medication, swimming costume, rash vest, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, foot wear (sandals or tennis shoes), T-shirts, shorts, sweater and sweat pants – light weight pants and tops for the evening are a good idea. Also your wildest “loud” shirt/dress for the BBQ evening
Fitness Level RequiredMedium to Active
All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.
Operator’s Cancellation Policy:
- All cancellations must be in writing.
- Less than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 30% of trip fee per person.
- Less than 30 days prior to departure - forfeit 100% of trip fee per person.
Insurance should be taken to cover: weather problem; expedition cancellations; airline difficulties; medical problems and lost or damaged luggage. Unforeseen weather or machinery problems may cause us to cancel or change an itinerary. No refund is offered for time lost due to the medical evacuation of a guest or reduction of dives due to weather conditions. No compensation is offered to guests to change flights or holiday plans. DiveAssure offers cover for both Australian residents & non-residents traveling to Australia.
This tour is recommended for confident snorkelers to advanced divers
We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5:00pm Wednesday)
Passengers MUST understand English
The nearest hyperbaric chamber is based in Townsville
Guest Dining: enjoy a sumptuous variety of meals that has earned Spoilsport an enviable reputation for catering excellence. Vegetarian, vegan and special dietary/allergy requirements are catered for with Australian and International
menus using fresh local produce. Please advise if you have special dietary needs.
Ribbon Reef dive sites: Snake Pit, Cod Hole, Lighthouse Bommie, Goggle Gardens, Steve's Bommie
If you wish to book accommodation to be near the boat for disembarkation our Cairns Holiday Specialists advisors can recommend suitable accommodation places nearby. Should you wish to buy any last minute dive supplies and equipment then the local dive shops will be near to this point and within walking distance? Before your trip it is advisable to stock up on spares like lanyards, “O” rings (dive lights and camera housings), fin strap, a collapsible snorkel (for divers who find normal snorkels get in the way) for your BCD pocket are all good last minute buys to ensure being dive ready. These liveaboard trips get booked up quickly so allow for at least 6 months lead time when booking.
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2020 - 20221 Apr 20 - 31 Mar 22
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