The best 2 day 1 night Outer Barrier Reef encounter

If you’re looking for a 2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef liveaboard trip, please read on to find out about two great liveaboards. Each one is totally different and cater for each end of the spectrum.

2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef - 2 day 1 night Outer Barrier Reef encounter

2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef is available from two very different Great Barrier Reef liveaboards. This are the Ocean Quest liveaboard (up to 48 guests) and the Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard (up to 12 guests). Both these liveaboards offer a 2 day 1 night Outer Barrier Reef encounter.


2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef

The following two liveaboards offer 2 day 1 night Outer Great Barrier Reef encounters:

  1. Ocean Quest Liveaboard - Rated 9 out of 10 and Superb, with 4.5 stars. This Great Barrier Reef liveaboard is 36 metres (118 feet) and caters for up to 48 guests.
  2. Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard - Rated 9.2 out of 10 and Superb, with 4.5 stars. An 18 metre (59 feet) sailing yacht liveaboard offering 2 day 1 night Outer Barrier Reef encounters for up to 12 guests.

So let's now take a closer look at both of these liveaboard boats that offer 2 day liveaboard trips to the outer Great Barrier Reef.

Ocean Quest liveaboard

Ocean Quest liveaboard
Ocean Quest liveaboard - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

The Ocean Quest Liveaboard is a 36 metre (118 feet) catamaran that offers trips to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

The Ocean Quest liveaboard is one of the largest dive boats on the Great Barrier Reef offering accommodation for up to 48 guests. Unlike many liveaboards that sail from port, the Ocean Quest is permanently moored at the Outer Reef. Guests are transferred by fast boat direct from Cairns.

2 day 1 night Outer Barrier Reef encounter on offer from Ocean Quest

The 2 day 1 night Ocean Quest dive package offers 6 dives in total across the two days. To enjoy this two day trip you need a minimum of an Open Water certification, together with a minimum of 4 logged dives.

Fantastic trip! "Night diving,Seeing multiple species of underwater organisms, seeing the reef at various sites. Overall a fantastic live aboard, would return in a heartbeat. #bringbackthehashbrowns #bringbackthehotchocolate #bringbackthemusic." Recommended for: Justin the cook was fantastic, the dives were fantastic, everything was well organized which was great.

Michael C, United States - Rated 10 out of 10 and Exceptional, with 5 stars.

The diving from the Ocean Quest is focused on the Norman Reef, the Saxon Reef and the Hastings Reef. The diving includes a night dive on your single night on the Ocean Quest.

More Reading: What Is Night Diving (21 Night Diving Tips)

Features on the Ocean Quest liveaboard dive boat

  • 23 cabins with air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.
  • Nitrox available.
  • Food options include western food and vegetarian options. But also catering for diets governed by religious reasons or dietary requirements.
  • Scuba gear rentals.
  • Non-diver (snorkeler) friendly.

Out Barrier Reef dive sites on offer with the Ocean Quest liveaboard

Norman Reef

Norman Reef is located 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Cairns off the east coast of Australia. This reef is on the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef along the continental shelf. If is claimed to be one of the best places to snorkel and dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

Norman Reef has clear water with great visibility together with a wide range of marine life to enjoy. Norman Reef is made up of various bommies and coral canyons. Dive sites include the Secret Garden, Turtle Bay, First Bommie and Troppos.

Marine life you'll encounter includes turtles, sharks, stingrays, moray eels, barracuda, many coral fish species and Wally the friendly resident Maori Wrasse.

Saxon Reef

Saxon Reef is found between Norma Reef and Hastings Reef and is also on the Outer Barrier Reef. It's located about 55 kilometres (34 miles) Northeast of Cairns.

Saxon Reef itself is made up of a collection of coral “bommies”. Each of these bommies has its individual features where you’ll dive amongst moray eels, large cod, barramundi, and painted crayfish.

Hastings Reef

Hastings Reef is also on the Outer Barrier Reef, lying about 54 kilometres (34 miles) from Cairns. Due to its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean means the water is clear and visibility is good.

Here you'll find plenty of coral caves, canyons, overhangs, and water drop offs to explore and enjoy the marine life.

Click here for more reviews, to find out availability and prices for the Ocean Quest liveaboard.

Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard

Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard Great Barrier Reef
Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

The MV Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard also offers 2 day 1 night liveaboard trips to the Outer Barrier Reef too. However, this liveaboard is at the other end of the scale of size and caters for just 12 guests instead.

This sailing yacht is just 18 metres (59 feet) in length and has just 5 cabins. These are set up as three private doubles, one quad share cabin and a single bunk bed for two. This liveaboard is much smaller and means the dives will be more intimate and less crowded.

Amazing trip with a great crew! "Waking up on the reef in the morning and being able to jump right into the water." Recommended for: The crew, the coral, and the amount of ocean life.

Jaimie R, Canada - Rated 10 out of 10 and Exceptional, with 5 stars.

2 day 1 night Outer Barrier Reef encounter on offer from Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard

The 2 day 1 night Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard dive package is called the "Dive and Sail" and offers 6 dives in total across the two days. To enjoy this two day trip you need a minimum of an Open Water certification, but no minimum logged dives.

Diving on the Outer Barrier Reef from the Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard

One the first day you'll get to dive either Flynn or Milne Reef on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The visibility is fantastic and the depths range from 1 to 30 meters (3-98 feet).

This first dive site is great for both snorkelers and divers and provides for a wide range of options depending upon experience. There is an extensive coral garden with an incredible amount of marine life.

You'll hopefully encounter turtles, reef sharks and large schools of pelagic fish. The second day on Milne Reef there's a chance to see the Whale that frequents this region.

More Reading: Best Place To Scuba Dive With Turtles (Where To See Turtles Underwater)

Features of the Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard liveaboard

  • 4 cabins with air conditioning.
  • DIN adapters
  • Food options include western food, vegan and vegetarian options. But also catering for diets governed by religious reasons or dietary requirements.
  • Scuba gear rentals.
  • Non-diver (snorkeler) friendly.
  • Family cabins.

Click here for more reviews, to find out availability and prices for the Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard.

Please note with the Coral Sea Dreaming that the price quoted does not include diving. The diving is purchase separately as a diving package

I hope you enjoyed this article about 2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about 2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.

Have fun and be safe!

More Reading: Where do you fly into to go to the Great Barrier Reef?


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