Some of the most vibrant and pristine portions of the Great Barrier Reef are accessible only through liveaboard diving.
The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest and best-known dive destination, spans 1,400 miles and promises 400 species of corals and 2,000 species of fish. It’s also the cruising ground of minke whales in June and July, while year-round, pelagics such as silvertip and whitetip reef sharks make appearances on most dives. Many dive sites shelter fat swathes of branching and plate corals in neon blues, pinks, yellows and other vibrant hues. Life in the form of regal angelfish, pink anemonefish, clown triggerfish, blue-green damselfish and other eye-catching species clutter the reef, while unicornfish and bumphead parrotfish cruise nearby.
Due to the distance from the mainland, the Ribbon Reefs and the North Coral Sea, which are some of the most vibrant and untouched regions of the reef, are accessible only through liveaboard diving boats. Multiple boats depart from Cairns and Port Douglas.
When to Go
Minke whale season is usually from June to August and is the ideal time to spot and interact with these gentle giants.
Water temperatures are comfortable, approximately 81°F in the north and 75°F on the southern tip, with an average visibility of 65 feet.