Liveaboard Diving in Ribbon Reef

What To Expect On A Ribbon Reefs Liveaboard

Liveaboards to Ribbon Reefs will visit this famous chain of ten spectacular reefs, in an isolated part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. They are located north of Cairns, and form a 120 kilometre string of turquoise water and coral, which can only be explored properly by a liveaboard cruise to Ribbon Reefs. Lying on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef, approximately 50 - 100 kilometres from the Queensland shore in the Coral Sea, the reefs here thankfully have very little human contact, which has ensured that they can support an outstanding range of biodiversity and marine life for divers and snorkelers.

There are dozens of unique dive sites within the Ribbon Reefs, and as a result will be sure to please every level of diver, from the curious novice open water diver, to the keenest underwater photographers. It's likely that your Australian liveaboard trip will be in this area for at least a few days, allowing you to jump into many of the different sites on offer, where you'll be sure to witness as many of the GBR's 1500 fish and 400 coral species as possible. Much of this life will be encountered in warm shallow waters, and in fact it is rare that you'll be diving deeper than 20 metres, which of course means more time underwater! Needless to say, the visibility is great all year round.

What You Can See

The abundance of life and diversity at Ribbon Reefs really does mean that there is something for everyone. Whether your interest lies with fancy corals, large fish or macro life, you'll be able to find it here. Divers regularly come across sharks and rays at Steve's Bommie (ask your guide how this name came about!), whilst gliding in between schooling Trevally and Barracuda. In the Australian winter, it's not uncommon to see some beautiful dwarfe Minke Whales here, and depending on your choice of liveaboard dive cruise itinerary it may be possible to participate in the monitoring and research associated with these wonderful mammals.

Divers move on to wonder at the array of hard corals at Acropolis, frequented by uncountable amounts of small fish - which as ever will attract their large, graceful, awe inspiring predators.

A liveaboard trip here will enable you to view the beautiful olive sea snake, which is only found in a handful of places along the GBR. Aptly named Snake Pit is where divers can see these curious creatures - don't worry if they come close for a look - just make sure you have your camera!

Every liveaboard diving cruise visiting this area of the Coral Sea will stop at famous Cod Hole, where the resident family of massive Potato Cod will bring a smile to every member of the group, especially when they are happy to pose for a photograph aswell!

Getting To Ribbon Reef

The reefs here are located a long way from the coast of Queensland, far beyond the reach of any day trips. Therefore the best way to experience what this stunning area of the Coral Sea has to offer is by liveaboard from Cairns. has several boats and operators to choose from, each with their own specific itinerary lasting a comfortable 3 - 7 days.

Cairns is situated in the North East corner of Queensland, and is the most common port for departing Australian liveaboard diving cruises to the Great Barrier Reef. The airport is well connected internationally, offering a large number of direct flights to and from overseas. If diving the GBR forms the only part of your Australian holiday, you'll likely be able to fly directly into Cairns, although if not there a regular daily flights from the likes of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

The vast majority of liveaboard operators will offer a complimentary pick up service from your accommodation, and will often drop you off afterwards as well.

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