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Thread: Diving Great Barrier Reef in January

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    Diving Great Barrier Reef in January

    I'm plannning a trip to Australia this January, and would like to spend a couple days diving the GBR.

    Is January a good time of the year to dive? Anything in particurlar I need to know? What are good op's to go with?

    Thank you so much for the help!

    Ted

  2. #2
    Grouper
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    If you haven't already, do a search here, as there has been quite a bit posted on GBR dives. I was there last November (did a trip report, too), and was disappointed with the closer-in reef dives out of Cairns. If you really want to get the best of the GBR, I'd recommend a liveaboard that takes you out to the Coral Sea area.

    Also, a fabulous dive was out of Townsville, south of Cairns, on the Yongala wreck. We took the train down from Cairns, did the dive, then flew out of Townsville back to Sydney.

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    Thanks for the tips Sansho. I really have no reference point yet, on what to expect, so I hope we can make our short time there count.

  4. #4
    Guppy
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    If you decide to just to do the beautifull dive at yongala , you should also do the wheeler reef dive (50nm east of townsville) & see the reef itself. Adrenaline dive do a full day trips to wheeler on tues, thurs, fri & sunday unless its over 20knots. Only max 20 divers and nice bommie 50 me behind the only mooring 10- 28me and beautifull coral gardens 0-10 me around the reef edge. Adrenalin Dive Townsville - Great Barrier Reef - SS Yongala - Learn to Dive - Townsville Scuba Diving - Reef Trips - Prodive

    I reckon cairns is a bit of a meat market but some great trips up the ribbons and out to osprey reef in the coral sea 4-8 days.
    january is nice 30-32c, very humid, water 27c. light winds except when the odd cyclone is about...then forget it all.
    "Scenery, serenity & adventure."

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    Unluckily January is the wet season up there, stifling humidity, lots of rain and regular cyclones (read HURRICANE in Yank), you may get some nice weather in between though. I think the liveaboards still run though, although you are at the mercy of the weather warnings, agree with the other posts the further out you get the better the reef, recommend Mike Ball, Spirit of Freedom and Taka.
    Any dive you survive is a good dive

  6. #6
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Concur with those that recommend a liveaboard if you can swing it. Sites are much nicer than those closer to shore.

  7. #7
    Grouper
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    wow--really hot that time of year---really.really hot. Cairns is a cattle call for all looking to get certified. Most stay with in a couple of three hours boat ride from Cairns. If you have the time and money the liveaboards which go above Cooktown are amazing.

    Yongla is worth everydime--if the seas are calm. If there is big seas--it can be a long boat ride.

    Dive safe have fun and take in a Sunday session in Cairns for me

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    We're really excited about making plans and hope the weather will cooperate!

    Yongala is highly recomended, so I'm looking into that for sure.

    I checked Mike Ball and some other recomendations, and realized they were out of my budget, way out. Also we only have a couple days, maybe one or two night liveabored, not three for sure.

    Any specific recomendations for shorter liveabord trips? Is it worth doing a liveaboard for a one or two night trip, as opposed to day trips?

    Thank you,

    Ted

  9. #9
    Guppy
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    The 2-3 day liveaboards can be hit and miss. I have been on all of them here in Cairns and can honestly say it is just luck. I've been on the cheapest, crapiest boat here and had the best GBR experience ever, just happened to have a 300'+ vis day (I'm understating it), no current, just perfect. But I've had the opposite as well. Coral Sea trips are always good however. Just as someone mentioned having a great dive at Wheeler Reef off Townsville - I wish I could say the same on my 4 dives there!

  10. #10
    Guppy
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrdiver View Post
    The 2-3 day liveaboards can be hit and miss. I have been on all of them here in Cairns and can honestly say it is just luck. I've been on the cheapest, crapiest boat here and had the best GBR experience ever, just happened to have a 300'+ vis day (I'm understating it), no current, just perfect. But I've had the opposite as well. Coral Sea trips are always good however. Just as someone mentioned having a great dive at Wheeler Reef off Townsville - I wish I could say the same on my 4 dives there!
    * Hey GBR .....sorry to hear your wheeler reef trips have not been up to scratch, i'm feeling giulty as i'm always telling people how good it is. We go out in our own boat so i'm wondering if the local dive charter boat is doing it justice nor not??
    Its one of my favorite spots. I 'll start a thread with some photo's and description of the dive sites at "Wheeler reef" . Feel free to comment as to what you have found there.
    rob
    "Scenery, serenity & adventure."

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