It’s our Can do attitude to your Great Barrier Reef stay that makes the difference !

We are sure that you will want your Great Barrier Reef stay to be outstanding one that you will remember for a very long time the good news is that we want that too.

  • Can you combine different packages for your Great Barrier Reef stay ie snorkeling with Scuba diving ? yes we certainly can
  • Can you cater to my dietary requirements ?yes we can
  • Is there a bathroom in my room? yes there is
  • Can I join your trip on a Tuesday ? yes you can in fact we do daily transfers you can join our trip on the day that suits you best!
  • I have never been scuba diving can I try scuba diving ? yes you can


The best way to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is to head straight to the Outer Barrier Reef and stay for 1 or several nights on our liveaboard, Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter is permanently located about 50 nautical miles off the coast from  Cairns serviced daily by our sister vessel Reef Experience

When transferring on Reef Experience one of our Marine Biologists will give you an awesome talk about the reef,  history, marine life and what we can all do it to look after it so it is here for our grandchildren and theirs

We are a small family owned and operated company that has a passion for showing our guests the very best Great Barrier Reef experience

When you stay on the reef you will experience so much more than there is on offer on any day trip for example do you know parrotfish sleep in a sleeping bag ?

Check in and Out

Reef Encounter is serviced by a fast catamaran departing from the Marlin Marina in Cairns at 8:00 am every morning and returning to the Marlin Marina on your return date at approximately 4:30 pm or via a spectacular scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef landing directly onboard Reef Encounter’s own helipad available at your convenience to co-ordinate with your travel plans (helicopter flights are restricted to day light hours)

Accommodation Onboard

Reef Encounter has 21 staterooms all with private ensuite bathrooms and large picture windows overlooking the Great Barrier Reef, The vessel is fully air conditioned

There is a hot tub on bow of the boat a perfect place to relax to watch the sunset

Our large sundeck has deck chairs for those who wish to work on their suntan and is also a great place to see the Southern Cross at night

Stateroom packages include meals served in the dining room,

Twin or Double stateroom accommodation

Shampoo & Conditioner are included as is bath and deck towels

Top Deck Club

If you would like to add some special treatment to your Great Barrier Reef stay our Top Deck Club may be just the answer,  Top Deck Club includes your own Great Barrier Reef guide who will make sure all your gear is ready for you, act as a private guide for your water activities, serve your breakfast to your room and organise your dinner under the stars

Top Deck Club packages include bathrobes, bath towels and deck towels


Delicious Meals

We believe food is a very important part of any good holiday, so at Reef Encounter we have fantastic chefs who are always preparing delicious meals using the best North Queensland produce.

Our chefs can cater to all dietary requirements

We have a large saloon area with dining room where all our meals are served, licensed bar which serves cocktails at the end of the day

We sourced a locally roasted North Queensland coffee bean for our guests who love good coffee

Add Magic

If you have someone in your travel party who is celebrating a special event our chefs can bake you a cake and everyone on Reef Encounter loves a celebration

We can help you make any celebration special even underwater proposals and weddings just let us know the details and we will be very happy to assist.


If you want to show your children the Great Barrier Reef a stay on Reef Encounter is a great way to do it.   As we grow up we seem to learn to tone our excitement down it is so awesome to have kids onboard they are so excited at seeing brightly coloured fish, turtles and even sharks the Great Barrier Reef is exciting and it’s such a great joy to hear the exciting tales of what they saw on their in water sessions


 Discovering the Reef

Discover outstanding Outer Barrier Reef locations allowing our guests easy access to discover the treasures that lie beneath from sunrise to sunset.

Stretching for 2300 kilometres along the coast of North Queensland, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is bigger than Victoria and Tasmania combined.  More than 1500 species of fish live on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so you will need more than one day,  see our Great Barrier Reef page for more information.



First we will start with a snorkeling briefing this is when we will tell you about the reef location and what you can expect to see and check what level of snorkeler you are

You may be surprised to know that every year we take hundreds of people snorkeling that a can’t swim many of those are terrified of the water…  this is when you need the best crew on the reef so if you are unsure about snorkeling one of our crew will get in the water and take you snorkeling they will even swim for you.

Try Scuba diving on an introductory scuba dive

If you have never scuba dived before and would like to try a scuba dive our professional dive crew will suit you up in the scuba gear and take you under water to see if you can get comfortable breathing under water

It’s actually really easy and it allows you to see more of the reef, our free scuba dive demonstration can let you try before you buy there is even a chance for you to do an introductory night dive


Certified Scuba Divers

Onboard Reef Encounter certified scuba divers can choose to dive with their buddy or choose to dive some or all of their dives guided by one of our dive crew who dive the reef every day and who know where lots of great marine life live

If you would like further your scuba diving we do offer the SSI Advanced Adventurer course as well as the SSI Stress and Rescue course

If you are interested in a career In scuba diving we do run a very comprehensive Dive Master Traineeship to find out more you can email our  Operations Manager email address is [email protected]



Reef Encounter is a perfect venue for small conferences, team building, weddings etc if  you would like to know about chartering Reef Encounter for a special function please send an email to [email protected]