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Great Barrier Reef Liveaboards, Freedivers accepted???

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New Member
Mar 26, 2002
Im going down to Cairns, Australia, with two friend in about half a mounth.

I wonder if any of you have been on liveonboards, as freedivers.

If so how much did you pay??
Any special part of the great reef you recommend??
How deep are the divespots generly?


Sorry mate, I only just noticed this!

My parents have just moved up to daintree (couple of hours north of cairns) , so I'll be up that way from sorta mid dec to mid jan. In terms of freediving of charters, most of them frown on it pretty highly. It's also illegal to wear a weight belt on any snorkel charter. There are however a lot of snorkelling charter boats that go out. These cost sort of $70-$200 per person for the day, and each of them go out to different reefs. You can take your own gear out on them, but I'd be hesitant to bring along a mono or long bladed fins, because they might tell you off.

There's two charter boats that I love that really stand out. The first one of these is probably the most expensive, and it's called the 'Quicksilver'. It heads out from Cairns and port douglas daily to Agincourt reef, which is on the southern end of the ribbons (they go along the continental shelf). The water here is really clear, and you'll see a lot of fish. In terms of depth, where you jump in off the pontoon is only about 15m, and most of the reef is about 3m. The Quicksilver is pretty luxurious in terms of a snorkel charter - it goes the furthest out, you'll get an all you can eat seafood buffet for lunch, and it's a really comfy ride. Head out the back while you're on your way and check the wash from the engines... twin 3000hp jets! :D The trip out to Agincourt takes maybe 2 or so hours, but inside the boat are TV's with a GPS pic of the boat overlayed on a map, its good fun to watch :)

The other charter boat I love is called the Compass, and it's the total opposite. It's pretty old, pretty slow, and really cheap - about $70 per person. It goes to some of the inner reefs, but usually the ones that not many other boats go to. It'll take you about 3 hours to go (and it's only about half as far!), but the reefs it goes to are amazing. The added bonus with this one is that most of the reefs it goes to have big walls and drop offs - if you're lucky, you might even get a 30m dive in there, but 20 should be easy to find.

If you're on a budget, then there's a ferry leaving from Cairns, I think it's about $20 return. It'll take you out to Fitzroy island. I haven't had a chance to dive out here yet, but I'll definitely be giving it a good workout when I'm up there. You can do all your own shore dives, and should be able to find 20m+ pretty easily, within a comfortable swim. You can also take a gun over here, but some of the area is closed to spearfishing.

that's pretty much it - in terms of exchange rate, we get about .7 euros or so to $1 australian... www.xe.com should have more accurate numbers if you like. If you want any more information, throw me a PM or put up another post.

And most importantly - enjoy your holiday! It's one of the best places in the world :D
We have found one liveaboard thats cruising the outer reefs, hope its gonna be a good one(3days/2nights). Paying 290A$ so it better be good...hehe :)

The only problem is that I've this huge cold....so currenlty im unable to equalize.... :(
Hopefully I'll be fit for fight in a couple of day.

We're thinking to take a daytrip to Fitzroy or Green island.

Thanks for the input!!!
Skip Green Island
we've done the Quicksilver cruise to the Angincourt reefs first and then did green island.... big disappointment
starting from the island itself you will only see sand.
I did a scuba trip that took me further away, lot of dead coral,
certainly not as beautiful as the angincourt reefs.
And it's only 8-10 meters where they go diving.

Green island is fun for tourists that want to shoot a 'bounty island' photo, cause that's what is looks like. Under water certainly not great.
Thanks for the warning, wont go there if its like that...

The guy that runs the hostel were living at said that Green Island was better than Fitzroy...hmm i don't think we'll any of those places then.

How much did you guys pay for the Quicksilver???

I think we are taking that slow 'Compass' out to the live-aboard boat.

Hi Squip,
If you just got the cold or had it a few days try using Zicam, its a homeopathic Zinc nose or throat spray ( I would use both if nose and scratchy throat) that doesn't have any side effects of any kind and works very quickly and effectively. I've used it prior to freediving and had no ill effects and others buddies have used it and works like a charm and I don't have stocks in it.
G'Day again Squip,

I've dived under the wharf at Green Island, and there's a lot of fish there. Obviously you're not going to get the same depths in close as out close, but if you're after a cheap day trip, it'll give you something to do. Generally, the outer reef is much better quality (ie bluer water, more vivid coral, etc) than the inner. The Quicksilver is about $200 australia per head (maybe as much as $150US?) for a day trip.

What times will you be up there? If you're going to be around later in Dec and are looking for someone else to dive I'll come say hi :)

Longfin: I been using something simular to Strepsil(The same manufactor) a couple of days now, can't say that if i did any good or not, but my cold is slowly(to slow if you ask me) clearing. Did little pool testing today, my ears are almost ok, but the sinuses won't clear properly.
I will take a look for the Zicam you recommended, and if its if I find it and its not too pricy I will give it a go. Don't want to spoil a 300A$ trip will equalizationproblems.

Loopy: Hi again, so green island was good value for money(its much cheaper)...?? We were thinking of going there to as you say have something to do, the city of Cairns isn't that exciting when you been here a couple of days.

We're leaving 14 Dec, heading for Tahiti :)

Hahaha yeah Cairns town gets boring - I think Fitzroy is a bit cheaper than Green Island, but they're different dives... actually, I think Fitzroy is probably set up better for some deeper dives if that's what you're after.

Bummer, I arrive on the 14th :p
Just came back from a 3 days 2 nights live-aboard. Was really nice to finally hit the water after all those days waiting for the cold to clear. Went on the Kangaroo Explorer, run by CDC. We cruised the southern outer reefs, with some really nice dives.
Saw a lot of turtle and some white tips, but my favorite was the napoleon wrasse. Lovely peacefull fish(I could pet it), and they grow huge!

I paid 277 A$ + 18A$ Reeftax.

Good to hear you had a good time mate :)

My plane leaves tomorrow afternoon, hanging out for it :D
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