Whether your interests lie with 1 day reef trips, live aboard dive cruises, extended diving expeditions to the far northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef or learning to scuba dive for the first time Cairns represents the perfect home base for opportunities to enjoy and explore all diving related activities.
Dive the world renowned "Cod Hole", take part in advanced training for certified divers or gain your PADI Scuba Certificate, your passport to scuba diving anywhere in the world.
Cairns' easy and quick access to the best sections of the Great Barrier Reef cater to all your underwater aquatic fantasies. This is the home to some of the most spectacular reef systems in the world with rich marine life, stunning coral formations, comfortable year round water temperatures and amazing visibility.
Whether you are a beginner or expert diver, Australia's Cairns Great Barrier Reef should be at the very top of your scuba diving bucket list.
Great Barrier Reef as a diving destination is the pinnacle of any other Marine Park dive destination anywhere in the world. When diving on the Great Barrier Reef you are actually at the worlds largest marine park and a World Heritage Listed site on one of the great wonders of the world.
Scuba diving has always been a big attraction along the Great Barrier Reef, and in recent years it has become simply enormous with millions flocking to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns every year, now the secret is out from Sir David Attenborough, Nemo & Dory who is trying to find her family.
You will find a huge array of marine life, stunning coral formations, comfortable year round water temperatures and amazing visibility.
Whether you are a beginner or expert diver the Cairns Great Barrier Reef should be at the top of your list. From introductory to certified diving, the dive masters are ready to take you into the beauty of the coral sea for the dive of your life.
Cairns is literally the gateway not only for the magic of the Great Barrier Reef but is also home to hundreds and thousands of species of marine life ranging from Moari Wrasse to clown fish to sea turtles, you will find it all.
From jumping off the back of the boat, to the activity pontoon platforms to the Great Barrier Reef islands of your dreams, you will not be disappointed.
Introductory Scuba Diving
Introductory diving is made comfortable and easy by the incredibly knowledgeable and experienced dive masters from all over the world working at the Great Barrier Reef. A brief dive medical questionnaire must be completed and passed before you move onto the dive briefing.
The dive briefing is approximately 45 minutes and is done during the boat ride out to avoid taking time away from you while at the Great Barrier Reef.
The video explains how to pressurize your ears and lungs, how to make your descent / ascent, the rules of the marine park when up close to the reef as well as how to comunicate with your dive group and master without words. The dive master will briefly now go over all of this verbally with the group and is open to questions.
The crew will help you every inch of the way from getting you geared up to testing your equipment. Once in the water and ready to go, you will be taken down a maximum of 10 meters, one by one.
This is done so personally to ensure that everyone makes it down with no pressurization problems and is comfortable. During the dive, just remember to continuously pressurize your ears, by popping them and your lungs by simply breathing.
If you feel any discomfort, the dive master is right by your side to take care of your problem.
The dive master will be continually pointing out the magnificent underwater life and corals and will even let you have a feel of certain parts of the reef such as the spaghetti corals. Get ready for the surprise when your dive master pulls out the fish food and you find yourself in a school of hungry but gentle fish.
Your dive will be aproxamately 25 - 30 minutes in length but will leave you with memories for a lifetime. If you enjoy the dive, then why not get certified?
Certified diving is made so easy and many of the boats even come with the option of doing up to three dives! Being a certified diver can give discounts of up to 50% on diving and allows divers to go as deep as 18 meters. You have the option of simply diving in the buddy system or with a guide.
Many certified divers often choose to dive in the buddy system but in reality what could be better than having your own complimentary guide show you around a reef that they have dove over 100 times and know the best places to see the vast varieties of corals and marine life?
Where introductory diving is only 25 - 30 minutes, certified diving allows you to dive longer based on your tank air. Unfortunately you cannot get certified in one single day at the Great Barrier Reef but there are 4 day courses or 2 night livaboard trips that are available right on the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns that will give you your certification or you can go on simply for leisure.
Cairns Dive Courses
Open water PADI diving certification is considered a memory for life if obtained at the Great Barrier Reef. The first two days are pool theory where you practice the required diving skillsin a pool, watch the DVD’s, take your medical (see attached) as well as take your written exams.
These two days can optionally be done at home with a PADI licensed company if you wish to conserve those two days of your Cairns Holiday.
The next two days of the work is the fun part and is all done in the beautiful Coral Sea amongst the world’s largest marine park. Your dive master will work closely with you to ensure that you are comfortable, having fun and are competent in the work needed to be an open water diver.
This can all be done during the day with a return to accommodation at night or this can be done through a livaboard vessel.
Cairns Livaboard Diving
Weather you are already certified and want that extra time at the reef or weather you are going for your dive license, just go on, spoil yourself and book a livaboard trip at the Great Barrier Reef. Trips range from 2 day / 1 night to 4 day / 3 night with a choice of double, twin or quad bedrooms.
This is a great way to not only get the most time with the reef but is also one of the only ways to get out on a night dive. Night dives are fantastic as you get the opportunity to see the mass variety of fish / turtles and reef sharks that appear so much more frequently at night.
You will be given a light torch and cyalumes (Glow - Sticks) to aid your vision. All meals are included, dive equipment and even dive masters who will speak your specific language.
These reefs are accessible by day boats and offer safe diving in shallow waters. Due to the regular flow of water and strong tides between the mainland and reef, whip and fan formations are common. Small colorful fish are also plentiful in these shallow waters. Between coral bommies, stingrays are abundant and even the odd Dugong has been spotted feeding on the sea grasses. Birds are plentiful because of the islands and cays around. These sites are recommended for easygoing casual dives.
Reefs on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef offer bigger variation in species, plus underwater canyons and gorges which cut mazes through the coral. The water in this area can also be clearer than shallow water. These sites are recommended for all levels of scuba divers. Experienced divers will appreciate the wide range of corals and wildlife, while inexperienced divers will be treated to a truly remarkable trip that will set a foundation for future exotic dives.
Far Northern Reefs
The Far Northern Reefs include the Ribbon Reef system. This is a series of reefs stretching out like a multi-coloured ribbon to the north where the famous Cod Hole is located. Here, a family of friendly Potato Cod live with huge schools of fish and Maori Wrasse. Divers swim among these enormous fish and 2m wide giant clams surrounded by hard and soft corals.
Manta Rays, the huge elegant rays, glide past making a shadow on the reef. During night dives, sleeping green turtles and a variety of sleeping reef fish can be seen. A trip to these reefs is usually around 4 to 5 days in length.
Diving Australia's Coral Sea
This is serious stuff! 1000 metre vertical walls on the continental shelf with 40 metre (120+ ft) visibility is common. This is where the Great Barrier Reef meets the depths of the Pacific Ocean, so Grey Whalers, White Tips, Silver Tip Whalers, and circling scalloped hammerheads patrol for food.
Schools of Barracuda and large Dogtooth Tuna are always nearby. Scuba Diving on the Coral Sea is deep and can quite often have roaring currents. Trips are usually 5 days in length and include the Ribbon reefs as well.
The safety record of the North Queensland diving industry is amongst the best in the world through a balanced mix of professionalism amongst dive operators, and industry guidelines and regulations designed to maximize the safety of all divers.
Regulations and requirements are somewhat different here compared to other countries, and one that you will come across regularly is the concept of the Dive Medical. Please take some time to read about them.
No matter which Cairns diving tour you choose to select while visiting the Great Barrier Reef, you are bound to have fun as Cairns prides itself on being your gateway to the Great Barrier Reef; so enjoy experiencing the place we call home in Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tour | 3 Reef Locations | 1 Day | MV-SS
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal Cairns
5 Hours to explore the Great Barrier Reef at 3 different sites
Return cruise approx 1.5 hours each way
MV - SS visits the best dive sites off Cairns including Flynn, Milln, Thetford and Pellowe Reefs, known for their abundance of marine life and water clarity. With a unique roaming permit and over 16 different sites to choose from, each site is chosen for ecological and visual diversity, and selected for the best experiences on the day.
Small Group Great Barrier Reef Tour | Cairns | Queensland | Australia | POP
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal Cairns
9 hours (approx)
Travel with us one one of the most fun and popular reef trips from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef on a magnificent 25 meter custom designed catamaran. We depart daily to beautiful Michaelmas Cay and our private reef location called Paradise Reef, giving you the choice of two destinations where you can soak up the sun, snorkel with the fish, scuba dive, glass bottom boat ride or simply enjoy sailing on a really special boat. We only carry small numbers of guests making it a day all about you and your reef experience. Snorkel and scuba dive with us to some spectacular locations
Full or Half Day Outer Barrier Reef Tour | Free Scuba Lesson | Upgrade to Helicopter Package | MV-EVO
- Departs From: Marlin Marina (A Finger - Gate 5) 8:20am
8 hours (approx)
Join us for a comfortable high powered cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef with 5 hours of in water time snorkelling and scuba diving. On our day tour you can even ride around in our semi-submersible submarine to glide along with the marine life. Indulge in a low level scenic helicopter flight over the reef or try an introductory scuba dive or a snorkelling lesson. This is a great reef tour for certified scuba divers also.
Learn To Scuba Dive (PADI Open Water) Courses | Best Value in Cairns | Great Barrier Reef
- Departs From:
Some of the most fun and best value scuba dive courses in Cairns. 2 days theory in the swimming pool and class room and 2 days on a liveaboard boat on the amazing Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Learn to become a certified PADI diver and then go on for and Advanced Dive Certificate, a Rescue Diver Certificate and even and Instructors Dive Master Certificate. How cool would that be just diving the oceans of the world and teaching others about the underwater world?
Luxury Liveaboard Expedition Dive Tours Great Barrier Reef | SP Freedom
- Departs From: Cairns
Choice of 3, 4 or 7 Days
The most luxury liveaboard scuba dive expedition boat on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef harbour an ecosystem rich in marine diversity and exquisite natural beauty. Join us for a dive adventure on MV - SF for your choice of a 3, 4 or 7 night expedition to world renown diving destinations of the Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs, and Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. These unique ecosystems showcase an amazing diversity from picturesque coral gardens crowned with delicate anemones and colorful reef fish to the 1000 metre walls of the volcanic atolls of the Coral Sea, home territory for reef sharks, whalers, schooling hammerheads, mantas, schools of barracuda and mackeral, and massive red and yellow soft corals. MV -SF is one of Australia's most comfortably appointed live-aboard dive vessels, with three decks of living space, generous cabins with private bathroom, and all the amenities of a hotel, complimented by first class meals and outstanding service.
Cairns Best Value Reef Trip | Snorkel 2 Sites On The Outer Reef | Budget Conscious Reef Day Tour
- Departs From: Marlin Marina (A Finger) at 7:30am
The perfect scuba and snorkelling adventure for the budget conscious travellers from Cairns. Backpackers and teenagers alike just love this Great Barrier Reef tour as it visits 2 locations, has a boom net on the stern, unlimited snorkelling, a scuba diving demonstration and a big buffet lunch and it is cheap. Be quick to book this cheap reef trip as it sells out very fast due to its budget price. See Australia's Great Barrier Reef for under $100.00 AUD
Dive Trip Port Douglas | Dive & Snorkel Cruise | Swim With Whales | MV-SS
- Departs From: Port Douglas Marina Mirage
08:30 - 16:30
Join us for a trip to 3 spectacular snorkel and dive locations in the one day! The skipper will choose the locations in the morning based on wind, tides, currents and marine activity. This way you will get to see the best of the best of the outer Barrier Reef from Port Douglas. Multi award winning tour operators and small numbers of only 80 guests on board this big boat. If you suffer from seasickness then this boat is for you. And if you want the chance to swim with Dwarf Minke Whales then this is the reef trip boat for you.
Port Douglas Dive & Snorkel Trips | Great Barrier Reef Cruises | Swim With Whales (Seasonal)
- Departs From: Port Douglas Marina
8 hours (approx)
Jump on board with one of the most popular day tour boats from Port Douglas. Visit 3 reef locations on the one day and even have the chance to swim with Dwarf Minke Whales in the months of June to August. Carrying only 80 guests you will be able to snorkel and dive in some really beautiful locations on Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Frankland Islands Cruise & Dive - Full Day Tour
- Departs From: Deeral Landing on the Mulgrave River
9 hours (approx), that's 4 hours on the island
This is our favourite Cairns Island tour as the boat only carries 100 guests for the day and they are the only people allowed on these beautiful islands each day! A stunning Island with reef on the northern side of the island protecting you from any potential wind and the place you will likely find lot's of Turtles All of their tours include:Fresh Tropical lunch with seafood Glass bottom boat or semi-submersible coral viewing tours Guided Island Walk Reef Ecology Presentation Maximum 100 People Great place for families both young and old a really great reef day tour from Cairns All day snorkelling plus equipment Morning and Afternoon Tea
2 Day - 1 Night | Sleep On The Great Barrier Reef | The Greatest Pontoon Experience Ever
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal Cairns
2 days - 1 night
Wow this is a new and exciting way to see and explore the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Sleep on the Reef. You get to stay on the outer reef pontoon for the night with just a few other guests after all the day trippers have gone so you may just sit back relax and watch a perfect sunset over the distant islands and reef. Sleep in tents on the pontoon and wake up to the first daylight of a brilliant sunrise in the east over the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the pontoon with only 18 guests in total. this 2 day 1 night reef trip really is a unique adventure in paradise
Cairns Pontoon Reef Tours | Dive-Snorkel | Helicopter | Glass Bottom Boat Moore Reef
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal Cairns
90 minute cruise each way
4 hours on pontoon
Luxury travel to the reef on-board our air-conditioned catamaran; Informative presentation hosted by our marine naturalist; Delicious chef-prepared buffet luncheon featuring fresh seafood, hot dishes, salads and sumptuous tropical fruits; Guided coral viewing from our semi-submersible craft and glass bottom boat; On-board touch tank to experience unique marine life up close; All snorkelling equipment; Afternoon tea; Optional activities to personalise your day on the water including Certified and Introductory Diving, Seawalker® Platform Helmet Diving and Guided Snorkel Tours; Scenic Helicopter Flights are also available and may be booked onboard.
Snorkel & Dive The Spectacular Wonder Wall | MV - OF
- Departs From: Cairns, Marlin Marina, A Finger
Approx 1 hour return boat cruises
6 hours at 2 reef sites
One of Few Boats that goes to the World Famous “Wonder Wall” and yes it really is a Wonder Wall as the variety of marine life here is huge and there are not many other snorkel and dive boats that have the permits to visit this part of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. We also have the highest crew to guest ratio so if you were wanting to try scuba diving for the first time then we are the dive boat and crew you need to see. We have one dive instructor for every two guests and we promise we will not tea bag you we will give you the best introductory scuba diving experience of your life!
Great Barrier Reef Tours | Small Numbers 25 Guests | Green Island Snorkel & Dive Tour
- Departs From:
9 hours (approx.) including sailing time
4.5 hours (approx) at Pinnacle Reef & Green Island
Explore the outer depths and vivid reef systems of Green Island just one hour from Cairns in Queensland Australia. We moor our vessel away from the shores of Green Island and you can snorkel and scuba dive with no other reef tour boats around our reefs. Jump in our tender and take a ride to visit all of the facilities of Green Island for a few hours and then come back to the boat to enjoy a beautiful lunch and relax in the sunshine before jumping in the ocean again for some more snorkelling and diving. Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is known as the most favourite place in the world to visit for Sir David Attenborough so come and book a trip with us before it is all gone
Snorkel & Dive Tour Cairns
- Departs From: Cairns Marlin Marina
9 hours (approx)
You have now arrived to see one of the seven wonders of the natural world so why not do it in style and without the crowds. MV - TS is one of the newest boats in the Cairns fleet and is a custom built fast moving streamlined machine that has you on the outer edges of Australia's Great Barrier Reef in just 90 minutes from Cairns. Limited to only 60 passengers but built to carry 120 you can lounge around in style and receive personalised service from the attentive MV - TS crew members. The company motto is "Diving the Reef is our Passion but "Sharing it is our Obsession" and this rings true once you board this beautifully presented Dive and Snorkel boat. Rate is inclusive of Government Reef Levy.
2 Day 1 Night Liveaboard | Sail - Snorkel & Dive | Great Barrier Reef | SV-CSD
- Departs From: Berth 2, 'A' Finger, Marlin Marina Cairns
2 Days - 1 Night
Departs at 8:00am and returns at 4:00pm the next day
Free "Try" Introductory scuba dive on our liveaboard Great Barrier Reef tour from Cairns Queensland Australia. We have a maximum of only 12 guests on board our dive & snorkel boat and take you to explore some magnificent locations on the outer reef. We have exclusive permits to 28 spectacular reef locations and each one is chosen based on the time of year, currents, visibility and marine life at the time. All our tours are flexible and full of fun and professionalism and safety at the same time. Book early as we only cater for 12 guests on each overnight reef trip
New Best Value Snorkel & Dive 3 Times 2 Reefs | Great Barrier Reef | DSDD
- Departs From: C Finger, Cairns Marlin Marina
Jump on board our brand new custom built reef boat and join us for a day exploring Australia's Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. We limit the number of guests on board to only 80 on our luxury day cruiser and visit some of the most spectacular outer reef destinations like Norman Reef, Saxon Reef and Hastings Reef. You will see superb coral formations and lot's of marine life such as Turtles, Stingrays, Maori Wrasse and much more. We explore the reef for four hours and offer snorkelling lessons and certified scuba divers can take up to 3 dives on the day.
Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving Courses | PADI Dive | Learners | Advanced | Rescue | Divemaster | DUCD
- Departs From:
4 days, 5 days, or 7 days
Join us and learn to scuba dive on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Become a fully certified scuba diver in only 4 days. Class room theory in our Cairns scuba diving training centre and then join us on an adventure on the beautiful outer reef for a few days on a daily reef trip or a liveaboard diving expedition. Our professional team cater for lntro divers, advanced, rescue & dive masters so what are you waiting for book with us now for the adventure of a lifetime out on the reef that Sir David Attenborough says is the most spectacular in the world. You never know you may just find Dory's family.
Only 20 Passengers | Full Day Sailing Reef Trip | Outer Great Barrier Reef | SV-RD
- Departs From: Check in is at D Finger, Marlin Marina Cairns
2 hours sailing each way
4 hours at Upolu Reef
With only 20 excited guests on board our Great Barrier Reef Day tour we are in high demand all year round. We visit two reef locations on the Upolu Reef. We will have up to four hours of in water time to scuba dive and snorkel and you can also enjoy a nice lunch and afternoon tea with all the other guests and boat crew members. Come and enjoy a day with us on the reef and see if you can help Dory find her family.
MV-SOF Private Charter Liveaboard Scuba Diving Adventure
- Departs From:
This is the top end in luxury private charter boat dive expedition tours of the Great Barrier Reef. Departing from Cairns Queensland Australia we make our way up to the world famous Cod Hole. Charter her for a 3, 4 or 7 day dive adventure with 25 of your closest friends or business partners. Dive with sharks and Giant Potato Cod, see some of the worlds biggest fan corals, dive deep trenches full of marine life and enjoy gourmet meals and balmy nights on the top deck
1 Day | Snorkel & Dive Trip | Great Barrier Reef | Port Douglas | MV-CAL
- Departs From: Reef Marina Port Douglas
8 Hours Approx
Pick ups are from 6:50am to 8:20am depending on location
Calypso leaves the Port Douglas Marina at 8:45am
Return to Port Douglas at 4:30pm
Transfers back to accommodation start from 4:40pm
3 Snorkelling & scuba diving locations in the 1 day on Australia's Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas in Queensland. Luxury day boat carrying a small number of guests to the reef for a day of exploring and enjoying each other's company. From June to September see Dwarf Minke Whales and Giant Humpback Whales as they arrive to calve and mate in these safe Tropical waters and coral lagoons. Jump on board and help us to find Dory's family with Nemo and the gang.
Liveaboard Dive Trips Cairns | 3 Day 2 Night Dive Expeditions | MV-PD
- Departs From: Cairns, Cairns Beaches
Vessel departs 7am on Day 1 - Returns 3:30pm Day 3
Cairns number one 3 day 2 night liveaboard dive boat is available with fully air conditioned double & twin share cabins. Take up to 11 dives 9 day dives and 2 very exciting night dives on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia. Snorkellers are very welcome on this liveaboard dive boat also. We have licences for 16 exclusive dive spots to provide our guests with the best there is to see of the fabulous reef that Sir David Attenborough says is his favourite place in the world
5 Day PADI Learn to Dive Trip | Great Barrier Reef Australia | MV-PD
- Departs From: Cairns, Cairns Beaches
Course Starts Day 1 and 2 at approximately - 8.30am and ends about 5.30pm Vessel departure for 3 day/2night liveaboard dive trip is at 7am on Day 3 and returns approximately 3:30pm on Day 5
If you have ever wanted to learn how to scuba dive then the world famous Great Barrier Reef is the place to do it and we have the most sophisticated dive school with the best record around of ensuring our students pass at the highest level of safety. You will enjoy 2 days of classroom theory and then 3 days of awesome diving out on the reef on our quality liveaboard dive boats. Here you then get to enjoy 11 dives in total, 9 day dives and your very first night dives x 2. What are you waiting for book your dive certificate spot now.
PADI Advanced Scuba Dive Course | MV-PD
- Departs From: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches
If you are already a certified scuba diver and are hooked on the activity and you think you would like to take your dive qualifications further then the PADI Advanced scuba diving course is for you. This course is the first step beyond the Open Water Certification course and will give you the confidence you need to go further. This is a great course as it is held out on the Great Barrier Reef on the dive boat over the 3 days where you do theory and also enjoy 5 training dives & 6 pleasure dives 2 of which will be in the darkness of the ocean at night. Finish this course and then advance to the next course and qualify to become a dive instructor one day so you can travel the oceans of the underwater world teaching others about the magnificence and beauty that is below the blue azure sea