Liveaboard Diving in North Horn
What To Expect On A North Horn Liveaboard
North Horn liveaboards will take divers to one of the best dive sites in Australia and possibly the world for shark viewing. If Osprey Reef is on your liveaboard itinerary, then you'll most certainly be visiting here. Famous for it's legendary shark feed, this reef is at the very northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in the Coral Sea. It is located some 350 kilometres from Cairns, therefore is only accessible via a liveaboard diving tour. You'll be wanting to spend at least a few days and nights exploring this remote part of the GBR (most liveaboard cruises here last 5 days, and some up to 8!), so that you can view as much of this underwater paradise as possible.
North Horn and all of the sections of Osprey Reef have almost guaranteed visibility of well in excess of 30 metres, and commonly over 40, ensuring that the full array of marine life will be visible for everyone diving (and also snorkelling). Conditions for liveaboard diving at North Horn are fantastic all year round, with an average water temperature of between a pleasant 25 and 30 degrees celcius. It's isolated position ensures that North Horn is never crowded, and the reef has been able to thrive, remain healthy and support a pristine, biodiverse ecosystem.
What You Can See
One word: SHARKS! North Horn is THE place to view sharks, sharks and more sharks in Australia. Whether you are a lover or hater of these sleek predators, one can only marvel and respect at how elegant they are, as they glide swiftly through the blue with little to no effort. At the edge of the reef, the wall drops to around 1000 metres, creating a natural theatre where Australia's most well known shark feed takes place. There's an incredible range of fish life here, but it'll be the sitings of high numbers of Hammerheads, Grey Reef Sharks, White Tips and Silkys that will ensure this dive remains long in the memory of any underwater enthusiast. The population of sharks here have resulted in their behaviour being monitored as part of a University Research Project. Make sure you have a camera with wide angle lens if possible as you'll want to fit as many of these wonderful creatures into your photos as possible!
Sharks are of course the main attraction here, however they are far from the only residents. Amongst a backdrop of astoundingly colourful and huge soft corals, it's common to see green and loggerhead Turtles and also the occasional majestic Manta Ray. All you really need to do is hover and look around through the crystal clear water to witness all of this, however there are many fabulous shallow caves and deeper overhangs for divers to swim through, adding to the experience.
How To Get To North Horn
The only way to dive at North Horn is by boarding an Australian liveaboard that will sail you to this turquoise speck of the Coral Sea - normally as part of a tour that will also include the magnificent Ribbon Reefs. Some operators will take you on one leg of the journey by boat, and have you complete the other by low level reef flight, allowing you to appreciate the splendour of the GBR from the air.
Liveaboard.com has several boats to choose from, departing from the conveniently situated Queensland town of Cairns. It's a great town to visit in it's own right, but serves mainly as a jumping off point for trips to the Reef. The airport is close by and is served by many international airlines, meaning that most of the time visitors can fly directly here from overseas. There are also regular daily flights from the likes of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
North Horn Diving Reviews
- 9.5 Exceptional
- 22 Verified Reviews
Really cool, the drifting dives were nice and even if we were not lucky enough to see some hammerhead or tiger sharks, it was still completely worse it. The landscapes and the rest of the fauna (including other shark species) were crazy.
Diving North Horn in August on the Spirit of Freedom
This is where we did our Shark Dive. It was such a fabulous experience. 40 sharks, 2 large potato cod and a smaller one. What a thrill watching those incredible beasts charge tuna heads.
Diving North Horn in May on the Spoilsport
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 North Horn in January on the Spoilsport Liveaboard
I loved the shark feed and wall dive
Diving North Horn in December on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
These were intended as drift dives, but because of unexpectedly mild currents, these became fairly long swims rather than drifts. Still, good and manageable dives with lots to see.
Diving North Horn in August on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
Shark experience fantastic and very well managed.
Diving North Horn in March on the Spoilsport Liveaboard
Had to miss due to weather conditions
Diving North Horn in February on the Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard