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The Scuba Divers guide to

Finding the perfect Liveaboard in Australia

Best time to go

Diving in The Great Barrier Reef is good all year round. The water temperature ranges from 24°c in winter (July, August) to 30°c in summer (December, January)


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Australia is a huge country, which is famous for its quality diving experiences. There are approximately 17 liveaboards available around the country, which offers some of the best diving found throughout the world.

We’ll help you find the perfect Liveaboard trip, that suits your needs:

It’s difficult to choose wich liveaboard that will suit your needs and how to find the best price on that boat.

So we’ve gathered the best boats and made it possible to compare prices across all the different booking platforms. This way, you’ll get the best boat for your needs at the best price.

Start by sorting the boats after your budget, and find a liveaboard that fits your budget and your needs:

Sort the liveaboards based on your needs

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the True North :

Average price is US$ 768 per day

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Year built: 2005
Max divers 36
Internet Yes (free)
Nitrox No
Rental equip. No
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

The True North is a fantastic liveaboard that has trips all year round to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The Yacht can house up to 36 guests. The staterooms are spread over 3 decks and each has in-cabin entertainment, satellite telephone, and ample storage space.

Diving can be done by all guest and you can choose how many or how little dives you want to complete. The True North is full of luxury and enjoyment is its top priority.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the SV Rum Runner :

Average price is US$ 153 per day

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Year built: 1984
Max divers 16
Internet No
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

The Great Barrier Reef is known as the largest reef, which is bigger than the United Kingdom, Holland, and Switzerland (combine). It is considered as the dream site for enthusiastic divers, who wish to have a budget-friendly trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The SV Rum Runner liveaboard offers exclusive dives to all divers including novice divers to the most experienced ones. Certified divers can avail the opportunity to explore the tropical marine life at the most iconic dive sites, which can be accessed by the exclusive SV Rum Runner. Reef sharks, turtles, Nemo’s cousins – clownfish and naughty dolphins are the major attraction during the dives.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MV Coral Discoverer :

Average price is US$ 437 per day

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Year built: 2016
Max divers 72
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox No
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

MV Coral Discoverer was previously known as Oceanic Discoverer and Oceanic Princess. It was built in 2005 and was last refurbished in November 2016. The lavish expedition cruise is operating in the regions of Australia and Oceania, sailing from the homeport Cairns, North Queensland. It is registered under the world-wide operation of the International Convention for the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Owned and flagged under the Australian Flag with the best and talented crew in their respective fields. It offers exclusive marine adventure trips for the discerning vacationer for 11, 12, 13 and a long trip of 25 nights.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Coral Expedition I :

Average price is US$ 685 per day

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Year built: 2016
Max divers 50
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox No
Rental equip. No
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Coral Expeditions I is a multi-hulled boutique catamaran designed to provide high-standard facilities and maximum guest comfort. It is well-equipped for an exclusive expedition cruise experience in the crystal-clear Australian coastal waters. Coral Expeditions I is flagged under the Australian registration and carries the top-notch crew of the time. The stunning catamaran was purpose-built for cruising in the region where large boats of its kind cannot reach. Having an ideal size to access the best regions of Western Australia’s phenomenal Kimberley region, the Cape York’s northern coastline and Arnhem Land and the Great Barrier Reef (listed as a world-heritage).

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Coral Expeditions II :

Average price is US$ 316 per day

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Year built: 2015
Max divers 42
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. No
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

The twin sister of Coral Expedition I, is a double-hulled liveaboard, which offers perfect cruise services for the guests at the world heritage listed destination the Great Barrier Reef. Compact boat with features and facilities as much as a large and expensive vessel offers. You can have an opportunity to explore the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and experience the breathtaking views of the natural landscapes, stunning white-sand beaches, and turquoise blue water as far as you can see. Snorkeling at this site is indeed a lifetime experience. Marvel the exotic sites, which have around 1500 fish species, turtles and pristine reef.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Coral Sea Dreaming :

Average price is US$ 154 per day

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Year built: 2015
Max divers 10
Internet No
Nitrox No
Rental equip. Yes (free)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Are you running out of time and searching for a cruise that offers personalized service with snorkeling and diving at Great Barrier Reef? Your search ends here, the unique and compact liveaboard Coral Sea Dreaming offers ultimate services to the enthusiastic vacationers. Available to book as a private charter for a family holiday, Christmas party or a friend’s reunion. You can also enjoy the company of strangers and meet new people while enjoying a solo holiday on a cruise. console yourself from the busy life and rush towards the tranquil part of the Great Barrier Reef with the stunning vessel Coral Sea Dreaming.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MV Scuba Pro :

Average price is US$ 188 per day

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Year built: 2015
Max divers 32
Internet Yes (free)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes (free)
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

The multi-million-dollar worth identical sister vessels; MV Scuba Pro I, II, and III are a well-equipped charter yacht. It belongs to the Pro Dive Cairns’ fleet. These luxurious vessels are used in concurrence for dive training and liveaboard service. All these mono-hulled vessels are purpose-built to handle the different climatic condition at the world-famous and exotic dive site The Great Barrier Reef. You can enjoy a smooth, stable, luxurious and comfortable journey, which is full of fun-filled activities. Cruising with Scuba Pro liveaboards, you can get an opportunity to explore the spectacular underwater bio-diversity of the Great Barrier Reef.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MV Sea Esta :

Average price is US$ 162 per day

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Year built: N/A
Max divers 16
Internet No
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon No

The mono-hulled vessel MV Sea Esta was built in 1982 and is a prominent member of the Adrenalin Dive fleet. This fleet is famous for offering snorkel and dive to the best dive sites of the Australian coastline. It is one of the oldest dive training and marine adventure operator in the Townsville. The compact liveaboard cruise at the world heritage listed the Great Barrier Reef. Starting the journey from Airlie Beach to Cairns as a comfortable and safe dive vessel. The smart sailing beauty offers a 4-day cruise to the Yongala and the Great Barrier Reef. You may explore the astonishing underwater marine life, which includes pristine reef, vibrant corals and around 1500 fish species.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MV Spirit of Freedom :

Average price is US$ 283 per day

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Year built: 2008
Max divers 22
Internet Yes (free)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

MV Spirit of Freedom was built in 1992. It has a vast experience of sailing in the crystal-clear blue water of Australia. It has been voted as the best Australian Liveaboard by the potential readers of Australasia Dive Log in the year 2015 and 2017. You can enjoy a 3,4- and 7-day diving safari adventure to the best dive site of Australia including Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, Cod Hole, and the most happening Far Northern expedition. Diving at these sites, you will have an opportunity to explore the untouched remote reefs and underwater diverse marine life.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the MV Spoilsport :

Average price is US$ 314 per day

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Year built: 2019
Max divers 28
Internet No
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Are you prone to motion sickness and that’s the reason you avoid vacation on a cruise? Here we are, with a solution to your problem, the beautiful twin-hulled catamaran Spoilsport, which is a purpose-built vessel offering its cruise to the best dive sites of the Coral Sea. It has been sailing for almost 3 decades now and has gone under dozens of renovation procedures to ensure the best performance, comfort, safety, and luxuries to its guests. You can choose 3,4- or 7-night cruise to the best itineraries of Australia, which includes the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea with 40-meter visibility.

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The most famous diving, that Australia is known for is the Great Barrier Reef located in Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef itself is huge, with endless diving spots to experience and discover. The most popular of which is the stunning city of Cairns, where the majority of liveaboards visiting the Great Barrier Reef start their voyage.

Cairns Liveaboard Route

Liveaboard routes that start from Cairns usually include dive sites like Cod Hole, North Horn at Osprey Reef as well as so much more, depending on the length of your trip.

 

Cod Hole

Cod Hole is one of the most famous dive sites in Australia and is located within the Great Barrier Reef, in the North of Queensland. Known for the friendly potato cod that are found in the area, you can swim and enjoy being around them. The dive site is a very easy dive, perfect for trainees and beginner divers. There are hardly any currents and excellent visibility. Average depth is around 15m, making it suitable for all levels of diver.

 

North Horn, Osprey Reef

The main dive site to visit at Osprey Reef is North Horn, located on the northwest tip of Osprey Reef. Depth ranges from 2 to 20m and this is a dive site for the more experienced divers. North Horn is known for its sheer number of white tip reef sharks that have made this area their home. If you are interested in observing shark feeding, then this is the dive site for you. Divers will also get to see silvertip and grey reef sharks, potato cod and a huge variety of reef fish.

 

Port Lincoln Liveaboard Route

If you are interested in having an experience of a lifetime, then a liveaboard trip leaving from Port Lincoln will outweigh all of your expectations. Diving with great white sharks is a thrilling experience that, if you’re game, should not be missed.

 

Great White Safari

Great white safaris will usually take you to dive sites around Great Neptune West and Great Neptune East, which are both small islands that are frequented by great white sharks. On these liveaboards you’ll get to dive within metal cages located on the ocean floor, which allows you to get up close and personal with these giant creatures.

Information to know about liveaboard diving in Australia

  • When planning a dive trip or a liveaboard trip in Australia it is really important that you have a ‘recreational medical certificate’. This is also essential to have if you are planning on doing a diving course in the country. If you do forget this, it is good to know that doctors in Cairns or other large cities can make one for you very easily.
  • Make sure you travel with your diving certification cards.
  • If you’re starting in Queensland, it is possible to dive pretty much all year round. However, in the southern part, weather can be very unpredictable between the months of May to October, so make sure you keep this in mind before booking a trip to this location around this time.
  • The hot season to travel to Oz is between November through to April and the colder season is from May through to October.
  • As Australia is so huge, diving conditions as well as air temperature does vary, so if you have an area of Australia in mind to travel to, it’s always a good idea to research that particular area before visiting.
  • Usual temperature on land varies from 20C/68F to 35C/95F depending on your location and the season.
  • Water temperatures vary dramatically from 20C/68F to 31C/88F. However, water temperature drop considerably in the South during the winter months.
  • If you choose to dive on a liveaboard and visit locations that are slightly further afield, then visibility can reach up to 50m. If you are a little closer to land, you can expect to have visibility from 15m to 20m.
  • Depths range from 5m to 40m depending on the dive site as well as your qualification level.
  • The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar. There is 1.38 Australian Dollars to $1.
  • You can travel to Australia from pretty much any country in the world, making transfers on the way as Australia is usually on the other side of the world to some countries.
  • Language spoken in Australia is primarily English.
  • Make sure that you have your usual travel vaccinations before going to Australia.
  • Depending on what country you come from, you may need a visa to enter the country, so check this out on their governmental website.
  • Australia has a Reef Tax, which is payable by cash to the liveaboard crew of 6.50AUD per day per person.

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