Macro Shootout Expedition

2017 Departure dates: 10 April.
2018 Departure dates: 9 April.

3 Nights / 12 Dives. Discover the big and the small. Coaching by award winning underwater photographer Damien Siviero on how to get that iconic underwater macro shot.

The Macro Shootout showcases the best of the Great Barrier Reef featuring:

  • A spectacular low-flying start to Lizard Island.
  • Guaranteed access to restricted dive sites.
  • All dives over 100 miles north of Cairns.
  • 50% reduced cruise time and within sheltered waters.
  • Macro photography coaching by Damien Siviero.
  • Ribbon Reef’s Best fish & coral biodiversity.
    Cod Hole, Snake Pit, Lighthouse Bommie & Pixie Pinnacle.
    Goggle Gardens, Blue Lagoon, Flare Point & Trolly Shoals.
    Steve’s Bommie, best fish biodiversity.

3 Night Macro Shootout follows the 4 Night Shark Shooter Expedition. Damien Siviero runs daily workshops for you to capture that iconic shark shot. For more details click here Shark Shooter Expedition.

Get Spoilt:
Spoilsport is Australia’s most awarded liveaboard.
Enjoy sumptuous cuisine and a superb combination of diver conveniences, space & stability.

Macro Shootout Expedition

The Ribbon Reefs sites of best biodiversity gives you the opportunity to photograph pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, mantis shrimp. As well as the not so small critters at the world famous Cod Hole.

Getting that iconic Macro Shot

Your underwater photography coach is the award winning Damien Siviero. An accomplished technical and recreational diver with a passion for the underwater world, Damien will coach you on his techniques to achieve that iconic macro shot.

What awaits you?

Imagine yourself on a spectacular ‘flying start’ to Lizard Island. On the way you will have a birds-eye view of the Great Barrier Reef. Half of your 150 mile flight is at a very low 180 metres (600ft) above the sites you will dive along the Great Barrier Reef’s continental shelf. A truly spectacular beginning to your expedition.

Lizard Island

See where the famous English navigator James Cook climbed in 1770 to find a way out of the labyrinth of reefs. Naturalist Joseph Banks lamented that he had too little time to study the wealth of strange creatures he saw in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Will you have time to record the wealth of creatures you find?

The turquoise chain of Ribbon Reefs

This 55 mile chain of reefs from Lizard Island to Cooktown is the most prized dive region of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Marine life encounters range from pygmy seahorses to manta rays and whales. The Great Barrier Reef has 9 species of anemone fish, 43 species of butterfly fish, 1001 species of nudibranch, and 6 of the world’s 7 turtle species.

Diver size fish at the Cod Hole!

The Cod Hole is home to a family of ‘diver sized’ potato cod; incredibly inquisitive and often boisterous, these beautiful fish will wow you with their mere presence. Fantastic close up photographs or simply hanging out, either way you’ll be left with an indelible impression of these magnificent characters.

Snake Pit - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

An isolated platform reef shoaling up to form a number of deep coral bommies festooned with multi coloured crinoids. Olive sea snakes are commonly found and are both very curious and very complacent, allowing the more adventurous diver and photographer to get very close indeed!

Lighthouse Bommie - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

Big schools of brightly coloured yellow and blue snapper cruise the top of an adjacent reef, while numerous species of anemone fish have also made it their home. During minke whale season (June to August) this is one of the best spots to see these magnificent creatures.

Goggle Gardens - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

Goggle Gardens is a diverse site requiring more than one dive; spectacular coral formations rise from the depths of the ancient ‘starky river’ adorning walls, bommies and sandy flats to the reef edge crevasses.

Steve’s Bommie - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

On the final day, you will find yourself at one of the Great Barrier Reef’s best and most popular sites, Steve’s Bommie. This site is a photographers dream! It’s hard to put into the words the quantity and variety of Great Barrier Reef fish and corals that you will see here. A showcase of the best of the best.

Returning to Cairns

Disembark Thursday 8:00am at Trinity Wharf, Cairns.

Courtesy transfers are provided from the vessel to the Mike Ball office, inner city hotel locations and the Cairns Domestic and International Airports.

Dive Site Guarantee!

Spoilsport’s outstanding stability minimizes disruption to your itinerary and your scuba diving experience. If weather forces an itinerary change we divert to the best, ‘safe, accessible sites’ to ensure you get the best scuba diving available. 9% of Coral Sea itineraries are diverted to the Great Barrier Reef.

All itinerary details are subject to change, specific marine life cannot be guaranteed.

April 2016 – March 2017

Reef Tax $6.50/day
Fuel Levy $0

April 2017 – March 2018

Reef Tax $6.50/day
Fuel Levy $0

Openwater Referral (PADI)$245
Openwater Referral (non-PADI)$350
PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade$350
PADI Open Water Diver (3 Night Expeditions only)$395
PADI Advanced Diver$250
PADI Deep Diver$300
PADI Nitrox$300 or $200 Referral (incl 3 days free fills). NB referral is from shop (not elearning).
PADI Discover Scuba (Resort)1 free per day (conditions apply). Not available during Minke Season.
PADI Underwater Photography$250
PADI Underwater Naturalist$220
PADI Self-Reliant Diver$275
Photo Services
Camera Rentals & Extras
Canon GX7 MK2$50/day OR pre-book: 2 days $90; 3 days $120
USB Stick - 8GB$12
USB Stick - 32GB$25
Holiday Video & Photos
Standard Holiday Video$70
Standard Holiday Photos (+ 'Best of')$50
Purchase of second set of video or photos1/2 price
Personalized Video & Photos
Private Shark Shooter Dive (Coral Sea only)$75pp
Personalized Holiday Video$250 (Max 4 people)
Personal Holiday Photographs$100
Hire Gear
Reg, Ocy, Gauges$15/day
Snorkel Gear$5/day
Safety Sausage (SMB)$10/trip
Nautilus Lifeline GPSNo charge
All of the above$44/day
2L (13 cu.ft) Pony Bottle + Reg$15/day
15L (120 cu.ft) Steel Bottle$25/day
Nitrox Fills$75 for the 3 or 4 night/ $150 for a week
Extra Charges
Reef Tax$6.50/day (max 3 days)
Sole OccupancyBerth cost + 70%
Fuel Levy - Standard Expeditions$0 (subject to change)
Fuel Levy - 7 Night Far North Coral Sea Exploratories$44/pp (subject to change)
Private Shark Shoot (Coral Sea expeditions only)$75pp
Personal Dive Guides$350/day (not available during Minke Season)
Nitrox Fills$75 for the 3 or 4 night/ $150 for a week
Special Catering Admin Fee$30/trip
Bar and Ship Shop PurchasesVariable
Hire GearVariable; see below table
CoursesVariable; see below table
Photo ServicesVariable; see below table
Hire Gear - Sizes
BCDAqualung Wave x5 sizes.
FinsTechnisub Stratos (full foot) x6 sizes. We recommend wearing sturdy or neoprene socks with full foot fins.
Wetsuits5mm full length steamer. 6 male and 6 female sizes. Includes 3mm hood.
Non-diver10% (not applicable on Minke Whale expeditions)
Non-diving child (8-15 years)25% (10% during Minke Whale season)
Global Shark Diving5% (must quote card number)
Airline Staff5%
Dive Industry Staff$200.00
Agents / Media / ResearchersVariable discounts offered
Discounts applicable to cruise fares only, are only accepted at time of booking and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Proof of employment is required.

Fitting extra small and extra large people can be difficult. Please bring your own equipment if concerned about fit. View Sizes chart


Best Marine Biodiversity
Novice to Advanced Divers and Snorkelers
Monday 7am - Mike Ball Office, Cairns
Thursday 8am - Trinity Wharf, Cairns
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