Liveaboard Diving in Cod Hole

What To Expect On A Cod Hole Liveaboard

When anyone looks into liveaboards in Australia and the best and well known sites for diving on the Great Barrier Reef, they'll inevitably come across famous Cod Hole sooner rather than later. As it's name suggests, this unique place has become world renowned due to it's resident family of huge Potato Cod, which have made this site their permanent home. Along with the main attraction, you'll see a wealth of underwater life, and be gliding through water with visibility commonly in excess of 25 metres with only gentle currents.

Cod Hole is located around 100 kilometres north of Cairns in Queensland, at the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef, and forms part of the Ribbon Reef section (reef number ten to be exact). Being so far away from the coast, the only realistic way to experience the best of Cod Hole is via liveaboard, lasting for a few days. Most liveaboard diving tours that visit Cod Hole, will also cruise through many other beautiful diving spots in the Ribbon Reefs over the duration of the trip. The conditions allow for year round diving, with water temperatures ranging from 22 to 29 degrees celcius.

What You Can See

Many of our Australian liveaboard operators offer itineraries which visit Cod Hole as part of the dive schedule.

Even though they are expecting it, divers are constantly wowed by the sheer size and presence of the giant Potato Cod that have made this one of the most talked about dive sites worldwide. They have become used to human contact, and are comfortable in close proximity to people, allowing a great opportunity for detailed photos of these beautiful creatures. Weighing up to a massive 60 kilograms, feeding of these fish has been sanctioned by the Queensland government, and feeding time initiates a wave of activity as other animals such as Solomon's Sweetlips, Coral Trout and Trevally all try to get their fair share. You're likely to encounter large numbers of Maori Wrasse here aswell, also known as Humphead Wrasse, another huge specimen - sometimes growing to 2 metres long and a whopping 180 kilograms.

If you're visiting during the Australian winter (July/August), you may strike lucky and have the rare experience of viewing dwarf Minke Whales. They are curious characters, and often hang around when divers and snorkellers are about - a truly unique and wonderful spectacle. Your liveaboard operator may be involved in Minke Whale research and monitoring, and there may be a possibility of you participating in this.

How To Get To Cod Hole

This stunning area of the Coral Sea is situated to the very north of the Great Barrier Reef, in a remote spot far from the nearest coastal town. As such it's only possible to visit Cod Hole on an Australia liveaboard, which will sail you in comfort to this and other outer sections of the GBR. The best place to board your liveaboard cruise is Cairns, the most common port for departing cruises. Some Liveaboard.com operators include a stunning low level reef flight as part of their package, either to commence or end the trip.

Cairns has a busy airport which is served by many large international carriers, making it easy to fly in directly from a multitude of overseas locations. In the unlikely event that this is not possible, you'll be able to catch a domestic flight from one of the larger Australian cities such as Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney.

As with most liveaboard cruises, your operator will likely pick you up from your chosen accommodation (and take you back afterwards), as part of their service.


Cod Hole Diving Reviews

  • 9.4 Superb
  • 40 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Clarissa Y
  • United States United States

This was a fun dive, though since we were more new to diving, and this was our first dive site, we were with the crew on a dive to make sure we felt comfortable and did not go far from the boat. We still saw the large cod, but others saw many more and even some rays.

Diving Cod Hole in September on the Spoilsport

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Catherine A
  • Canada Canada

Great site, giant potato cods and nice topography

Diving Cod Hole in September on the Spoilsport

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Emily S
  • United States United States

Another highlight of my trip.

Diving Cod Hole in June on the Spoilsport

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Justin Y
  • United States United States

Potato Cod are friendly and have character!

Diving Cod Hole in April on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Roy H
  • United States United States

Cod hole was fun. The large potato cod fish, had their own personalities. Lots of interesting sights to make you want to return.

Diving Cod Hole in March on the Spoilsport

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Jun C
  • China China

Great, not only did we fed the cod, but also saw a huge school of bumphead parrotfish!

Diving Cod Hole in February on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Myriam G
  • Switzerland Switzerland

all very nice. Top reef and very nice underwater experience.

Diving Cod Hole in May on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jun G
  • China China

Amazing diving, great underwater sceneries, biosphere and visibility

Diving Cod Hole in July on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Dirk V
  • Belgium Belgium

Unique, it was the reason I booked this trip and it didn't disappoint

Diving Cod Hole in March on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Francesco T
  • Philippines Philippines

so-so marine life, except for the giant cod

Diving Cod Hole in February on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Faith R
  • United States United States

Cod hole was a lot of fun! It added some variety into the diving.

Diving Cod Hole in January on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Mitchell G
  • United States United States

So cool to see these giant prehistoric looking potato cod! One was very curious and followed us around! Loved this dive!

Diving Cod Hole in January on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ben L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great, warm 30°c water means you only need to wear t-shirt and shorts, no need for a wet suit if you don't want to wear them. At all dive sites, we were the only dive group and the vast majority of the time you and your buddy do not bump into anyone else during the dives.

Diving Cod Hole in January on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Russell H
  • United States United States

Although we did not get to see the large potato cod fish, the dive site was still very fun and interesting.

Diving Cod Hole in November on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Vernon J
  • United States United States

Loved It . I think the cod enjoy the attention. They are photo hogs. They want to fill the whole frame.

Diving Cod Hole in November on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Dan P
  • Australia Australia

although the cods were very friendly and inquisitive, I had seen bigger on the north coast of NSW. The sight itself was great to adventure through the shallows of the reef. plenty of swim throughs

Diving Cod Hole in August on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Enrique H
  • Spain Spain

The potato cod are amazing, the coral completely broken

Diving Cod Hole in August on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Anna M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

I loved seeing the enormous cod there. It was our first dive so it was a thrill fire me to be back under the water.i just love the feeling of weightlessness and manouvrability.

Diving Cod Hole in May on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Gerald B
  • Canada Canada

interesting. Liked it at night.

Diving Cod Hole in March on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Michael S
  • United States United States

It's great to see the cod hole but I didn't like that we have up attract the cods with food

Diving Cod Hole in April on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Sidney N
  • Australia Australia

:-( didn't see any Cod!! And there was a tough current

Diving Cod Hole in April on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Bruno P
  • Portugal Portugal

Loved the night dive with the cods hunting!

Diving Cod Hole in February on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Keryn A
  • Australia Australia

Amazing, huge cod coming right up and swimming all around you.

Diving Cod Hole in September on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Walt B
  • United States United States

Diving amongst the giant potato cod is definitely memorable but the site itself is only so-so.

Diving Cod Hole in September on the Spoilsport Liveaboard

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Roger V
  • Netherlands Netherlands

The divesite is not great, but the feeding was amazing and to be recommended.

Diving Cod Hole in July on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard