Liveaboard Great Barrier Reef – 7-Day Cod Hole and Osprey Reef
Join this spectacular Liveaboard on the Great Barrier Reef for 7 Days. Dive the World-Famous Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs and Osprey Reef! See the amazing Potato Cods up close, and witness hundreds of sharks on the Shark Attraction Dive.
This 7-Day dive liveaboard tour departs from Cairns every Thursday. Combining the Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs Liveaboard and Osprey Reef Shark Diving Expeditions. This itinerary creates one of the most legendary liveaboard dive boat expeditions.
Explore the Great Barrier Reef
To begin with, you will step onboard the state-of-the-art and roomy “Spirit of Freedom”. After a quick introduction and tour of the vessel, the first leg of your Great Barrier Reef liveaboard adventure begins! Spend the first three days cruising over 240 kilometres to the Ribbon Reefs as well as the world-famous Cod Hole dive spot. Due to the minimal visitation these reefs receive, the condition up in these remote reefs is phenomenal!
Take part in up to 11 dives along the Ribbons Reefs. Clouds of colourful tropical fish and an unbelievable diversity of brilliant healthy corals. As well as the enormous clams, anemones, and huge schools of cruising pelagic fish, we can’t forget the highlight of this area – the giant potato cod.
On Saturday, we will steam over to Lizard Island (Jiigurru), a remote island 90 kilometres off the coast of Queensland. We will anchor for the night in the center of Watson’s Bay, where we can enjoy an evening BBQ meal on the top deck.
Here we say goodbye to some of our guests who only joined us for the 3-day Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard before departing for their flight back to Cairns. Join one of the crew and travel across to Lizard Island to enjoy breakfast on the beach, visit Watson’s cottage and a walk up to the lookout.
Onto Osprey Reef and the Coral Sea
Once our new friends have joined us for their 4-Day Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard, we will begin steaming out to the Reef. We make our way to the top of the Ribbon Reefs to dive into stunning sites such as Challenger Bay and Lighthouse Bommie. After a couple of dives, it will be time to fill our bellies and bunker down. While all tucked up in bed, we commence the overnight passage to the legendary Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
Osprey Reef is a 220-kilometre-long volcanic atoll known for its 1,000-meter-high walls, giant soft corals, shark action, and especially for the remarkable visibility! Across two days, we will be spoiled by some amazing dive sites. So peer down into the depths and watch as the walls give way to the deep blue. See the amazing colours in the coral gardens, and explore swim-throughs as well as caves.
North Horn, at the top of the Osprey Reef, is where grey Reef sharks and Silvertip sharks come together. Here we hold the Shark Attraction dive, giving you the opportunity for a close encounter with up to 30-40 sharks.
The last leg
Your last day is spent at Ribbon Reef Number 3 or, if the weather permits, Bougainville Reef, which is located to the south of Osprey Reef. Overnight sailing on the final night will bring you to Cairns early on Thursday morning, where you will enjoy breakfast before departing the vessel with up to 26 incredible dives in your logbook and many happy memories of your Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard dive vacation onboard Spirit of Freedom.
So the best part of your trip?
Dive, Eat, Dive, Eat, Dive, Eat and Sleep! For 7 Days!
- Luxury Dive Vessel
- 26 Dives along remote reefs
- Cod Hole
- Osprey Reef
- Lizard Island
- Chef prepared Meals
Pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11:00 am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf.
You will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before a 12noon departure. Enjoy lunch on board while we cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon check-out dive and a twilight or even night dive. So once we have dinner it’s time to bunker down while we travel north to the Ribbon Reefs.
Friday and Saturday
These two days are spent diving at the most northern Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 Ribbon Reefs. With this in mind, dive sites and sequences may vary depending on the weather conditions.
You will certainly get a dive at the Cod Hole, where you can look forward to an encounter with a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. But other sites we visit may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, to name a few.
If the current is right, you can also take a drift dive at Dynamite Pass. This dive site is certainly well known as a channel for sharks to pass through. You will have 4-5 dives available each day, including a night dive on Friday.
On Saturday evening, we anchor at Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.
After breakfast, you will have the opportunity to go ashore at Lizard Island. A good chance to stretch your legs on land at this halfway point! Take part in the guided walk from Watson’s Beach to Mary Watson’s cottage over Chinaman’s Ridge and up to the lookout over the bay.
Around 11.00 am, we will cruise back to Ribbon Reef Number 10 for two dives at a choice of sites, including the Snake Pit, Cod Hole, Challenger Bay, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Wall, and Pixie Pinnacle. If the tide permits, we may repeat a dive at the Cod Hole or visit new sites. We depart in the evening for a 10-hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
Monday and Tuesday
Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are well known for crystal clear water with visibility ranging from 30 to 100 metres. The landscape is fantastic, with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, as well as bright yellow soft corals rising from the ocean floor thousands of feet below.
‘North Horn’ is a dive site at the tip of Osprey where grey reef sharks, Silvertips, and the occasional oceanic congregate. Experience a close encounter with the Spirit of Freedom shark attraction dive. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Monday.
On Tuesday night, we will depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to back to the Ribbon Reefs.
At Ribbon Reefs Number 3 we will dive such sites as the sensational Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. Then again, if we are lucky to have great weather conditions, we will head south from Osprey to Bougainville Reef. This stunning Reef has unusual underwater landscapes and caverns, as well as a partially submerged wreck. On Wednesday evening, we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.
Just as the sun rises, we arrive back in Cairns around 6:30 am. Before our trip is complete, it’s time for a quick light breakfast on board. As well as a quick group photo with your new friends! But now it’s time to say goodbye, as we travel back to our Cairns hotels around 8:00 am.
This Itinerary is a sample only and sites may vary or change. Access to Cod Hole and the Coral Sea is tide and weather conditional.
So what is included?
- 7 days 7 nights liveaboard accommodation onboard ‘Spirit of Freedom’.
- Up to 26 scuba dives including Night Dives
- Time ashore at the beautiful Lizard Island
- Bus transfers to and from Cairns City accommodation
- Wonderful chef-prepared meals daily
- Complimentary wine and soft drinks with evening meals
- Air-conditioned, en-suite cabins with daily service
- Tanks and Weights
- Snorkelling Equipment
So what is not included?
- Full Equipment Hire
- Regulator and Dive computer
- Dive computer only
- Buoyancy Control Device
- Torch and Cyalume sticks
- Wetsuits 3mm and 5mm full Length
- PADI Advanced Course
- PADI Nitrox Course
- 7 Day Nitrox Fills Package
What to bring
And what will I need to bring?
- Personal luggage, clothes, toiletries etc
- Maximum 20 kg (45lb) luggage allowance per person including carry-on.
- Excess baggage secure storage available upon request
- Personal Dive Equipment – Also available for hire upon booking if required.
- (Snorkel-only passengers snorkel equipment provided free of charge)
- Certification card or divers logbook
- Cash or credit card for onboard purchases, Reef Tax & Fuel Levy to pay onboard (mandatory national park fees)
How to get there
But how will I get there?
Hotel pickups are included from Cairns and Northern Beaches accommodation.
Safety Comes First!
- Advanced Diver Certification with a minimum of 20 ocean dives including five dives in the last 12 months.
- Less experience may result in limited diving due to environmental conditions and remote isolation of dive sites.
- We recommend a Scuba diver Refresher course before your trip.
- Diver Health. If you have a medical condition or are currently taking prescription medication, you will need a Dive Medical clearance under the Australian standard AS. 4005.1. Before being allowed to Scuba Dive.
- Maximum 20 kg luggage allowance per person including carry-on. Excess baggage secure storage available upon request
- Please inform of any specific dietary or other requirements upon booking
- Scuba diving is only available to Certified Divers with Open Water level qualification or higher.