Discover Scuba Dive and Snorkel Reef Sites For Liveaboards

There are some unique items when discussing dive reef sites of the Great Barrier Reef in general and around the Cairns area specifically.

reef sites that are full of Great Barrier Reef animals
Lion fish

While there are some very famous dive sites such as Cod hole, Steve’s Bommie, and Pixie Pinnacles in the Ribbon Reefs, most of the dive reef site names are not that commonly known.

That the other dive sites are not well known, does not mean that they are poor in quality.
Outer Reef Liveaboards

The outer reef Liveaboards have a vast range of dive reef sites to choose from.

Both day boats and Liveaboards use the dive sites of the Outer Reef.

Many of the Liveaboards are planned in such a manner that guest can join any day, as a day boat will meet the Liveaboard to transfer guest.

Dive site names are not as well known in the outer reef partial because of the vast number, and partially because not all of them have a name.

While scuba divers from other areas will find this strange, the manner that the Greater Barrier Reef Park Administration manages the reef has lead to the number of dive reef sites.
Policies designed to protect the reef has created a system where in most places mooring buoys are required to be used.

There are both public and private moorings.

Each mooring has a restriction of what size boat can use it as well as weather based restrictions.

Each reef used for diving has one or maybe two public moorings and a number of private moorings.

The number is based on a number of factors but of primary concerned is the protection of the reef.

There are seventeen reefs in the outer reef that are visited by the Liveaboards from Cairns.

At Milln Reef is a dive site named Three Sisters.

The dive site sits just off the reef and consists of three Bommie. The largest rises from 30 metres to near the surface.

It’s two sisters sit about 40 meters away in 20 meters of water and only a couple of meters apart from each other.

Three sisters is a dive site accessed by a private mooring, only the company that owns the mooring or those it gives written permission to can use the mooring and dive the site.

While an impressive site, it is only one of the 15 private moorings on Milln Reef.

On Thetford Reef, you will find 14 private moorings on dive sites with names such as: Canyons, Blue Lagoon, Stepping stones and three sixty.

Hastings Reef has a total of 21 private moorings. To add to the name confusion, one of the sites is also called Blue Lagoon.

Out of the 17 reefs that are visited in the outer reefs, these three have 50 dive sites.

Lizard Island reef site is wonderful for snorkeling
Lizard Island

The private mooring system creates a condition where the number of divers at any given time is limited.
Ribbon Reefs Cairns To Lizard Island
Most of the Liveaboards that sail to and from Cairns to Lizard island follow a route that takes them along the Ribbon Reefs.

Along the reefs are a number of mooring Buoys. While the buoys are privately owned, many of them are owned by a co-op that is made up of the dive operators who visit the area frequently.

The co-op maintains 20 moorings, with additional ones by individual members and the resort at Lizard Island. There are 38 mooring sites around Lizard island alone.
They say a rose by any other name will still smell as sweet. In this case a no name dive site can still be world class.

Take a Liveaboard from Cairns and enjoy a selection of dive reef sites that are truly world class