Marine life of

Australia » Cairns, Qld

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Cairns is located on the east coast of Australia in the north of the province Queensland. Cairns is the main gateway to the Great Barrier Reef (Coral Sea) and most of the liveaboards start from here. Finding a reef tour operator will not be difficult and exploring the Great Barrier Reef can be done in a number of ways. The Great Barrier reef is known for it's big diversity of marine life animals.

If your time or budget is limited you can book a daytrip. Between 1 -2 hours by boat you can reach several interesting destinations. You can visit sandy cays like Michaelmas and Upolu, go to Green Island or visit nearby reefs like the Thetford reef, Moore reef, Sudbury reef or the Arlington reef. Divers, snorklers and non-swimmers can usually join the same tour.
In this part of the Coral sea / Great barrier reef the visibility is between 10-20 meters, depending on the weather and time of day. Besides different kinds of soft- and hard corals, you can expect batfish, clown fish, giant trevalies, green turtles, baby blacktip reef sharks and schools of snappers and fusiliers.

If you have more time and a bigger budget it is definitly worth if to join a liveaboard trip. It gives you the chance to visit the more remote reefs, like the Ribbon Reefs or the amazing Osprey reef.
The Osprey reef is known for its shark activity. Silky sharks, Whitetip and Blacktail reef sharks are frequently seen here. You have a fair chance to encounter Manta or Eagle rays and big schools of Barracuda and Tuna. If you are lucky you might see Silvertips, Hammerheads, Whalesharks, Whales, Dolphines or Sailfish.

Organised liveaboard trips usually range from 2 days (one night) up to 7 days (six nights). During a liveaboard trip you will visit different kinds of reefs, see more marine life species, see less people, have better visibility and have the opportunity to do night diving. It's no surprise that many people have this set to their bucket list. It will be an experience you will never forget!


  1. Yellowtail clownfish

    Amphiprion clarkii

    Tiago Sa Brito (C) All rights reserved

  2. Pink anemonefish

    Amphiprion perideraion

    cbpix (C) All rights reserved

  3. Yellow clownfish

    Amphiprion sandaracinos

    Stubblefield Photography (C) All rights reserved

  4. Sixbar angelfish (adult)

    Pomacanthus sexstriatus

    walkdragon (C) All rights reserved

  5. Yellowface angelfish

    Pomacanthus xanthometopon

    iliuta goean (C) All rights reserved

  6. Regal angelfish

    Pygoplites diacanthus

    aquapix (C) All rights reserved

  7. Great barracuda

    Sphyraena barracuda

    aquapix (C) All rights reserved

  8. Blackfin barracuda

    Sphyraena qenie

    C.K.Ma (C) All rights reserved

  1. Humpback batfish (juvenile)

    Platax batavianus

    Ethan Daniels (C) All rights reserved

  2. Longfin batfish (adult)

    Platax teira

    brian.gratwicke (CC: BY)

  3. Longfin batfish (juvenile)

    Platax teira

    Dray van Beeck (C) All rights reserved

  4. Glasseye (appearance 1)

    Heteropriacanthus cruentatus

    One Breath (C) All rights reserved

  5. False cleanerfish

    Aspidontus taeniatus

    stephan kerkhofs (C) All rights reserved

  6. Leopard blenny

    Exallias brevis

    ligio (C) All rights reserved

  7. Yellow boxfish (juvenile)

    Ostracion cubicus

    Stubblefield Photography (C) All rights reserved

  8. Whitespotted boxfish (female)

    Ostracion meleagris

    Karl Keller (C) All rights reserved

  1. Reticulate boxfish (male)

    Ostracion solorensis

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

  2. Humpnose big-eye bream (adult)

    Monotaxis grandoculis

    Derek Keats (CC: BY)

  3. Bluelashed butterflyfish

    Chaetodon bennetti

    cbpix (C) All rights reserved

  4. Saddle butterflyfish

    Chaetodon ephippium

    cbpix (C) All rights reserved

  5. Eightband butterflyfish

    Chaetodon octofasciatus

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

  6. Spotband butterflyfish (whitish)

    Chaetodon punctatofasciatus

    Luiz A. Rocha (C) All rights reserved

  7. Latticed butterflyfish

    Chaetodon rafflesii

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

  8. Copperband butterflyfish

    Chelmon rostratus

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

  1. Pyramid butterflyfish

    Hemitaurichthys polylepis

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

  2. False moorish idol

    Heniochus diphreutes

    Rich Carey (C) All rights reserved

  3. Large toothed cardinalfish

    Cheilodipterus macrodon

    Levent Konuk (C) All rights reserved

  4. Pajama cardinalfish

    Sphaeramia nematoptera

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

  5. Whitespotted hermit

    Dardanus megistos

    Tiago Sa Brito (C) All rights reserved

  6. Porcelain crab

    Neopetrolisthes maculatus

    Tim Sheerman-Chase (CC: BY)

  7. Pharaoh cuttlefish

    Sepia pharaonis

    Rich Carey (C) All rights reserved

  8. Scissortail sergeant

    Abudefduf sexfasciatus

    orlandin (C) All rights reserved

General tags:
Marine life, Fish, Fishcard, Fishslate, Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Underwaterphotography, Uwphotography, Reeflife, MyFishGallery.

Marine species tags:
Anemonefish, Angelfish, Barracuda, Batfish, Blenny, Boxfish, Butterflyfish, Cardinalfish, Clownfish, Crab, Cuttlefish, Eagle ray, Frogfish, Lizardfish, Manta ray, Moray eel, Nudibranch, Octopus, Parrotfish, Porcupinefish, Pufferfish, Scorpionfish, Seahorse, Shark, Shrimp, Snake eel, Snapper, Squirrelfish, Stingray, Trevally, Triggerfish, Turtle, Unicornfish, Whale, Wrasse.

Marine life tags:
Big blue octopus, Blackspotted puffer, Blue shark, Bluespotted stingray, Common dolphinfish, Golden trevally, Great barracuda, Green turtle, Harlequin sweetlips, Hawksbill sea turtle, Humpback whale, Humphead parrotfish, Leaf scorpionfish, Malabar grouper, Mandarin dragonet, Pharaoh cuttlefish, Ribbon moray, Scribbled filefish, Snowflake moray, Spotted wobbegong, Starry moray, Straited frogfish, Thorny seahorse, Tital triggerfish, Weedy scorpionfish, Whale shark, White shark, Yellow boxfish.

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