Enjoy waking up on the reef

The Liveaboard scuba dive vacation has been an important part of the diving industry for decades.

In the past the Scuba dive Liveaboard was utilitarian, it only function was to support the diver with a place to sleep and eat till the next dive.

That concept has been replaced and the modern Liveaboard generally provide comfortable accommodations as well as chef prepared meals in most cases.

This article is about what to expect on board, however, the focus will mostly be on the scuba diving itself as opposed to the function of the vessel.

Australia liveaboard
Reef Encounter


What To Expect Scuba Diving On A Liveaboard

Australian liveaboards are usually spacious and stable at sea

your shown to you room, given a safety briefing, and your scuba gear is organised for you to start your Great Barrier Reef scuba dive experience.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef provides outstanding scuba diving conditions, the azure blue  waters are generally crystal clear and warm.

Once you have boarded there are generally 2 day dives followed by the night dive, its an early start on your next day with the morning dive its worth waking up for as it really is always the best dive, you can capture both the nocturnal and diurnal marine life, the waters are generally the calmest.

All meals are chef prepared and delicious and the dining room is always full of exciting scuba stories what everyone saw.



On a Liveaboard, things are a bit more casual

Safety rules are of course enforced but things are more relaxed.

Many Liveaboards have what is sometimes called an open gate policy.

Imagine that a boat is on a dive site for two hours, the gate may be open for an hour meaning you can start your dive any time in that time frame.

It gives you the option of taking more time for breakfast or if it is not the first dive extend your surface interval before diving again.


Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef
scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef


Some people have times that they enjoy diving the most.

A Liveaboard gives you flexibility of when you dive, for example the MV Reef Encounter is a scuba diving Liveaboard that sails from Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef outer reefs. On a full day, divers have the option of diving four times.

They have a total of six different water sessions to choose from.

After breakfast and before lunch the dive gate is open twice for additional scuba dives or snorkeling.

After lunch the process is repeated with two more sessions.

After dinner, the scuba diver has the opportunity for a night dive.

Every Liveaboard is different, some are small with space for as few as four divers, some are even sail boats.

Others are large Mega-yachts with all the comforts you can imagine.

However, the one thing that you can say about Liveaboards is that they take you scuba diving where the day boats can not.

Dive Computers Are A Great Benefit.

Many Liveaboards require the use of a dive computer, even if it not required it is an excellent tool to have

All Reef Encounter certified dive packages include a dive computer


If you do not have one and are not ready to purchase one consider renting or borrowing one.

If borrowing, ensure that the previous dive it was used on was at least 48 hours before you use it.

Scuba Dive computers allow better tracking of your dive profiles and with the number of dives available each day can make a big difference.

Consider Purchasing An Underwater Camera

The amount of marine life you will see in Australian waters and the great visibility on most dive sites are natural for photography.

Liveaboards and dive centres near departure points often provide the opportunity for digital camera rentals.

Unless you are a student diver, purchasing a camera before going on a liveaboard is a great option.

These rentals are often top of the line models and most scuba divers who do not own their own cameras will not need all features.

For the price of a 4 day rental you can get an excellent entry level camera.

One word of caution, make sure that it is a scuba diving camera.

Many camera manufacturers are selling underwater cameras but they are only rated to 3 metres/10 feet.

A camera should be rated to at least 30 metres.