Ribbon Reefs Expedition from Cairns


Prepare yourself for an incredible liveaboard adventure up to the famous Ribbon Reefs!

This four-day trip gives you the opportunity to enjoy up to 14 stunning dives along the beautiful Ribbon Reefs north of Cairns. You will encounter clouds of tropical fish, an incredible variety of vibrant healthy corals, giant clams, anemones, huge schools of cruising pelagic fish and so much more!

Starting in the North of Cairns, and finishing to the east of Lizard Island, the Ribbon Reefs are a stunning turquoise chain of 10 individual reefs. Fringing the edge of the continental shelf, this 200km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef lies in a remote region of North Queensland and is only accessible by a few liveaboards.

This expedition will take place on our liveaboard vessel OceanQuest. With air-conditioned cabins, each with en suite bathroom, a comfortable lounge and bar and an onboard chef delivering delicious hearty meals, you’ll have everything you need to rest and relax as you explore the wonders of these vibrant dive sites.


4 days, 4 nights

Dive sites:

Ribbon Reefs including Steve's Bommie & Lighthouse Bommie (exact sites dependent on conditions)

Accommodation Options:

OceanQuest has 18 twin cabins and four double cabins. All cabins are air conditioned with en suite bathrooms.


  • Snorkel equipment, including wetsuits
  • Air fills
  • All meals on board
  • Fresh chilled water, tea and coffee
  • Prescription masks (deposit required)
  • Dive guides
  • Transfers from Cairns city accommodation

Get in touch with our reservations team if you’re interested in knowing about upcoming Ribbon Reefs expeditions with Divers Den.


Ribbon Reefs Expedition

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 
Your journey starts here! Our crew will collect you from your city location and check you in at our Divers Den shop, 319 Draper Street at 7.30am. From there we’ll go straight to our liveaboard OceanQuest and set off for the outer Barrier Reef. Here you’ll enjoy one afternoon dive and one night dive at either Saxon or Norman Reef, before we steam to the Ribbon Reefs overnight.

Day 2 
Wake up to the sun rising over the Great Barrier Reef at Steve’s Bommie, one of the best dive sites on the reef thanks to its huge array of marine life including schools of fish, sharks, rays, nemos, octopus and more. You will enjoy four dives today, two at Steve’s Bommie and two others (including one night dive) at various other sites on the upper Ribbon Reefs.

Day 3 
We kick the weekend off with more diving and snorkelling opportunities throughout the Ribbon Reefs, giving you the opportunity to explore some of the Great Barrier Reef’s most untouched areas. Four dives are included in today’s itinerary. Your two morning dives will be at Lighthouse Bommie. You’ll also have an afternoon dive and another night dive.

Day 4 
Explore more of the Great Barrier Reef at various dive sites along the Ribbon Reefs over four incredible dives – two in the morning, one in the afternoon and one night dive. The reef locations that we visit are less frequented by any other boats, and are home to many tropical fish species and bright mesmerising coral. After your night dive (finishing around 8pm) we will steam south towards Cairns.

Day 5 
Wake up to your last morning on OceanQuest. After breakfast, you will be transferred back to your Cairns city accommodation at approximately 9am, so you’ll be able to plan other activities on this day.

Please note this itinerary is subject to change. Exact itinerary may vary depending on factors like weather and sea conditions.

Additional info


What to bring

  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Overnight bag with changes of clothing, including warm clothing and socks for overnight wear
  • Toiletries
  • Cert card and logbook (for certified divers)

Bedding and bath towels are supplied on board. Excess baggage can be stored at our Draper Street office at check in.

Diving and Altitude

Currently the rules state that for a single no decompression dive, you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 12 hours, or 18 hours after multiple dives. Divers Den recommends waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible. These are guidelines only, there is no guarantee that these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness. There are no current guidelines regarding diving after flying.

Altitude is defined as 300m/1000ft above sea level. This includes going to the Atherton Tablelands (a popular local scenic attraction), so be careful if booking tours to follow your dive trip. Under normal circumstances, you should be out of the water on your last dive at 8pm the night before you return to Cairns.

Cancellation Policy