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Thread: Diving Great Barrier Reef in January

  1. #11
    Grouper
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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!
    So would it be just as worthwhile to do day trips, or is it really too far out for that?

    Ted

  2. #12
    Grouper
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    So would it be just as worthwhile to do day trips, or is it really too far out for that?
    If I were to do it again, I'd see about trips out of Port Douglas, just North of Cairns. My sense is that it's not as busy as Cairns, and for shorter trips the reefs might be in better shape.

    In term of Cairns, the outfit we used was OK, it's just that the reefs weren't in the greatest shape. See http://forum.scubatoys.com/australia...ownsville.html

  3. #13
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sansho View Post
    So would it be just as worthwhile to do day trips, or is it really too far out for that?
    If I were to do it again, I'd see about trips out of Port Douglas, just North of Cairns. My sense is that it's not as busy as Cairns, and for shorter trips the reefs might be in better shape.

    In term of Cairns, the outfit we used was OK, it's just that the reefs weren't in the greatest shape. See http://forum.scubatoys.com/australia...ownsville.html
    I guess the poor quality of the reef had to do with it's proximity to shore? Is this typical? Since I'm expecting this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me I'd hate to blow it on mediocre diving. Of course we are at the mercy of the weather, but that can't be helped . . .

  4. #14
    Guppy
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    The operators out of Port Douglas are good. Their sites, like the Cairns companies are dictated by the weather (strong SE winds most of the year) as well as plethora of other factors.

  5. #15
    Guppy
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    Day trips out of Cairns don't get many peoples tick of aproval, Yongalla out of Townsville does (often in the top 10 world listings).

    Other possabilities - Strabrooke island (just off Brisbane), can beat the inner reef at Cairns with a big stick most days. Little backpackers diving lodge there does good business.

    A few hours North of Brisbane is Wolf Rock - not very well known to tourists, but an excellent option if you can find another reason to be in the area (Fraser Island is the best excuse). Very many Grey Nurse Sharks + other fun stuff.

    Other North Morton dives are good out of Birsbane if you are about at the weendend (not enough trade for week day diving - therefore not too busy with other divers).

    Heading South QLD / North NSW a bit you can try Byron/Kirra - very nice stuff round there. then down to Coffs, further down to Fish Rock cave - then you are well into NSW and out of my range ;o)

    Hope that helps.

  6. #16
    Shark
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    Some where I have enjoyed is Heron Island about an hour off Gladstone via Helcopter.....Great Island you can walk around it in about an hour...and dive around the Island....some good diving.

  7. #17
    TadPole
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    Hi there. I live and work in Cairns as a dive instructor (since 1991) and have experience with most of the trips there. Also I run a small web booking site that offers discount on the trips there for divers from these forums.

    I solidly recommend Ocean Quest for a 3 day or 2 day trip out of Cairns.

    If you can go a little bit more upmarket and have the time - Spirit of Freedom, Taka and Mike Ball are the best 3 that run to the Ribbon Reefs (best of the Barrier Reef and includes the Cod Hole) and Coral Sea.

    Info on these trips can be found here and please feel free to contact me if anyone needs any unbiased advice.

    Kevin

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Discount dive travel to the Barrier Reef and Coral Sea - live aboard and day trips.

    http://www.aquaprodive.com/Cairns_diving_trips.html
    Last edited by aquapro; 09-04-2009 at 04:01. Reason: syntax error when copying and pasting

  8. #18
    TadPole
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    double post, so deleted. Sorry!
    Last edited by aquapro; 09-10-2009 at 03:26. Reason: double post

  9. #19
    Grouper
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    Followup, a wonderful family member is helping to sponsor the trip, so we were able book with Mike Ball! Yay! Thank you everyone for the helpful suggestions.

    Ted

  10. #20
    Grouper
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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!

    Is there a website that provides profiles for the GBR dives, since they seem ot be so various?

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