Cairns Reef Tours | Best Value Snorkel & Dive | DD-AQ

Tour Code: 136

Departing: Cairns

Family Deal Save $171
  • Luxury, reef tour boat with state-of-the-art facilities and offering the longest introductory dives in Cairns
  • The huge upper sundeck, with a panorama of the reef behind you, is a fantastic spot for sunning yourself and admiring the view
  • With over 17 Outer Barrier Reef dive and snorkel sites for the boat captain to choose from daily, you will be sure to see some of the best coral reef sights off Cairns.  
  • Pre-book your dives and explore the thrills of swim throughs, wall and drift dives that will appeal to every level of diver experience.

Included In Price

  • Five hours at the outer reef
  • Up to three dives/snorkel sessions at two exclusive sites
  • Snorkelling and scuba equipment, air fills, tuition and briefings
  • Wetsuits/lycra suits
  • Free prescription masks
  • Guided snorkel tours
  • Fresh tropical buffet lunch with hot and cold options
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • Fresh chilled drinking water
  • Tea and coffee
  • Hot fresh water showers

Join our Cairns reef tour boat cruise to explore the Outer Great Barrier Reef onboard our state-of-the-art day trip vessel to Norman, Saxon and Hastings Reef, Meet Wally the famous Maori Wrasse.

What to Expect

Experience an Outer Great Barrier Reef tour from Cairns with Divers Den. Whether you’re a snorkeller, first-time diver, or certified diver, you’ll have an unforgettable adventure exploring the marine wonderland of the outer reef. Just a 90-minute boat trip from Cairns, you'll spend five hours at the reef, visiting two stunning dive sites selected from our exclusive moorings on Norman, Saxon, and Hastings reefs. Enjoy the best conditions and diverse marine life, including colorful corals, turtles, stingrays, and the giant Maori Wrasse.

Features and Highlights

Great Barrier Reef Tour Itinerary

  • 8:00 am: Check-in at Cairns Marlin Marina
  • 8:30 am: Depart Cairns
  • 10:00 am: Arrive at the first snorkelling site
  • 12:45 pm: Move to the second snorkelling site and enjoy lunch
  • 1:30 pm: Continue snorkelling
  • 3:00 pm: Depart reef site
  • 4:30 pm: Arrive back in Cairns

Small Group Experience

Travel aboard AquaQuest, our newest vessel designed for diving and snorkelling. With a maximum of 80 guests, enjoy ample space to relax on large sun decks, air-conditioned indoor areas, and hot freshwater showers. This setup ensures a comfortable and enjoyable day on the Great Barrier Reef.

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling is the perfect way to explore the vibrant coral gardens and tropical fish of the Great Barrier Reef. Our professional snorkel instructors provide guidance and flotation vests to ensure everyone can enjoy the water safely. Take advantage of the free guided snorkelling tours, where our experienced staff share insights and enhance your reef experience. See our tips on snorkelling safety.

Introductory Scuba Diving

For those new to scuba diving, introductory diving is available and highly recommended. Limited spots are available, so pre-booking is advised. Enjoy personalized attention with a maximum of four divers per instructor. After a thorough briefing and basic skills training, dive into the reef and explore up to 12 meters (40 feet) deep. See out tips on scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Certified Scuba Diving

Certified divers can enjoy up to three dives, each offering a unique experience. Choose from drift dives, coral gardens, and more. If it’s been over a year since your last dive, a refresher session is required. Guides are available for an additional cost to ensure you see the best each site has to offer.

Afternoon Session

After lunch, the boat moves to the second dive and snorkel site. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch to refuel before the afternoon exploration. With exclusive licenses to 17 reef sites, the Captain selects the best locations for optimal conditions. By 3:00 pm, the day's activities wrap up, and you’ll cruise back to Cairns, enjoying hot showers and reflecting on your adventure.

Luxury Day Trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef from Cairns

Experience the Great Barrier Reef in comfort aboard our state-of-the-art vessel. Visit two reef sites, providing more than four hours of exploration time. The Captain selects the best dive sites based on weather conditions to ensure an optimal experience.

Departure Details

Check-in at ‘B’ Finger, Cairns Marlin Marina, Spence Street, at 8:00 am. Look for the three-level catamaran with a distinctive octopus-inspired decal. Departure is at 8:30 am sharp.

The Trip to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns

Enjoy a 90-minute cruise to the first reef site, with only 80 passengers on a boat designed for 140, ensuring ample space. Divers will receive medical questionnaires and safety briefings en route. Arrive at the first reef site around 10:00 am, with over two hours of exploration time.

Scuba Diving for Beginners

Introductory diving is available for non-certified divers aged 12 and over. After a 45-minute briefing, enjoy a 30-minute dive to a maximum depth of 12 meters. Pre-booking is recommended due to limited spots.

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Explore the reef's vibrant coral gardens and tropical fish with ease. Instructors provide snorkeling instructions and flotation devices. Prescription snorkels and lycra sun suits are available.

Experienced Scuba Divers

Certified divers can enjoy up to three dives, with options for guided dives. Each reef location offers unique experiences, and the Captain selects sites based on optimal conditions. Bring your dive certification card and logbook.

Meals On Board

  • Lunch: Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch with a selection of steak, beef sausages, fish, prawns, salads, breads, and condiments. Dine on the decks or in the air-conditioned saloon. Vegetarian options available.
  • Afternoon Tea: Savor fruit and cheese platters on the return journey to Cairns, along with a glass of sparkling wine.

Cruising Back to Cairns

Relax with live musical entertainment on the return journey, enjoying a complimentary fruit and cheese platter. Reflect on your day’s adventures as you cruise back to Cairns, arriving at approximately 4:30 pm.

See more day trip Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns and overnight reef tours.

See our most popular helicopter and Great Barrier Reef combo turs.

Luxury Day Trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef from Cairns

Experience the Great Barrier Reef in comfort onboard a state-of-the-art vessel designed specifically for snorkel and dive trips to the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Passengers will visit two reef sites during this whole-day trip allowing more than four hours of pristine reef locations with schools of tropical fish.

The experienced Captain will pick the daily dive sites for optimum visibility to ensure you have the best possible experience based on the day's current weather conditions. 

Cairns Reef Trip Departure Details

You’ll need to be at ‘B’ Finger, Cairns Marlin Marina in Spence Street, for the check-in time of 8.00am with your boarding passes in hand.

Look out for the three-level catamaran featuring a huge octopus-inspired decal on the exterior. The boat will depart at 8.30am sharp. 

The Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Once you’ve left the port or Cairns it’s a cruisy 90 minutes to the first coral reef site you will get to explore along with the other 79 passengers.

This dedicated dive and snorkel boat can seat 140 people but the reef operator has chosen to limit the number of passengers to only 80 so everyone has enough space to stretch out and relax when out of the reef.

During this journey to the first reef site, the instructors will provide all divers with the medical questionnaire forms to fill out and a dive safety briefing.

You’ll arrive at the first reef stop at about 10.00am. The scuba divers will be the first in the water, during which the snorkel briefing will take place.

By 10.30am everyone will be in the water with more than two hours’ exploration time to meet the inquisitive underwater locals and discover the wonders of this underwater playground.

Divers,please do not forget to bring your dive certification card and your logbook with you to show to the crew.

Snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling is one of the easiest ways you can explore the world’s largest living structure with its vibrant coral gardens and tropical fish.

It’s as easy as just breathing thru your mouth and not your nose.

If you haven’t snorkelled before, or feel like you need a refresher don’t worry, the boats reef crew will provide snorkelling instructions.

Prescription snorkels are available and if it happens to be our warmer season (generally between November and May) there are lycra sun suits for protection available too.

Make sure you take advantage of the free guided snorkel tours. The experienced staff can fill you in on little titbits you wouldn’t otherwise discover on your own and this will be a highlight of your Great Barrier Reef tour.  

Scuba Diving for Beginners

Introductory diving is available for non-certified divers and we highly recommend pre-booking to avoid missing out as there are only limited dive places available each trip.  

Your first dive on the Great Barrier Reef can seem a bit daunting so it’s good to know there are a maximum of four divers per instructor, ensuring you’ll have an expert close by at all times.

Prior to partaking in any activity you will need to be over the age of 12 years, a competent swimmer and need to complete paperwork on board, including a medical declaration.  

A 45-minute briefing takes place onboard and covers how to communicate underwater, plus an overview of some of the marine life before allowing you to hit the water.

Each dive lasts around 30 minutes and you’ll dive a maximum depth of 12 metres (40 feet) all dependant on how you use your oxygen and of course based on all saftey requirements.


Experienced Scuba Divers

Certified divers have the option to complete three dives on our reef trip at 45 minutes each or two 60-minutes dives. 

Each one of our daily chosen coral reef locations offer a unique experience with drift dives often available at one of the locations. 

The varrying topography of the Great Barrier Reef presents a new experience for divers of all levels. 

If it’s been more than a year since your last dive you’ll need to complete a set of three basic SCUBA skills underwater with a SCUBA instructor as a witness.

If you can’t remember these or have a bit of difficulty, you can dive with a shared guide (additional cost).

Anyone diving can pay the extra for a guide so if you are not so confident, or would just like to have someone along to show you the secrets of each dive site,just ask the boat crew for assistance.

The Afternoon Session

At around 1.00pm, after a head count to make sure all are aboard, the boat will start moving to the second dive and snorkel site.

This is when you’ll be able to refuel on the tropical buffet in preparatiion for the second snorkel and dive session of the day.

We have exclusive licenses to dive and snorkel across 17 reef sites.

This means the Captain has the luxury of being able to pick from a range of locations to ensure the best possible visibility and comfortable condition for all on the day.

By 3.00pm the afternoon snorkel and dive session would have wrapped up and you’ll be on your way cruising back to Cairns with many a story to tell and tired bodies.

After a hot fresh-water shower you may want a cuppa as you head back to shore and reflect on your day out on the Great Barrier Reef. 

See our Cairns liveaboard dive trips.

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time

Check in 8.00am directly on the boat located at Cairns Marina, B Finger - Departs 8.30am - Returns 4.30pm

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Norman Reef, Saxon Reef, Hastings Reef
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation



8.5 hours

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Digital camera hire
  • Professional photos for purchase
  • Soft drinks, alcohol and snacks
  • Quality souvenirs
Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium, Active


Scuba Diving Restrictions

  • Certain medical conditions and medications may preclude some people from scuba diving.
  • Participation is subject to a medical questionnaire completed on board with the tour operator
  • Minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years.
  • Flying after scuba diving: a wait of 12 hours is recommended after one dive, 18 hour after 2 dives and at least 24 hours after multiple dives, before ascending to an altitude of 300 metres or greater.

Advanced Dive Medical Intro Dive Medical

Read more about Diving Safety on the Great Barrier Reef.

Additional Information
  • All introductory scuba participants must meet medical questionnaire requirements and some conditions or medications may prevent you from diving.
  • Currently the rules state that for a single no decompression dive, you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 12 hours, or 18 hours after multiple dives. Divers Den recommends waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible. These are guidelines only, there is no guarantee that these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness. There are no current guidelines regarding diving after flying.
  • Altitude is defined as 300m/1000ft above sea level. This includes going to the Atherton Tablelands (a popular local scenic attraction), so be careful if booking tours to follow your dive trip. Under normal circumstances, you should be out of the water on your last dive at 12pm (midday).
  • Minimum age for diving 12.
  • All divers must complete dive medical. 
  • Please note this ttip is not suitable for those with physical impairments. There are a number of steps to climb as passengers embark and disembark the vessel. There is no wheelchair access.
Eco Certifications
Advanced Ecotourism Certified
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Certcard and logbook for certified diving

  • Children under the age of 3 travel free of charge
  • Child price applies to children 4 to 14.
  • All children MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Minimum age for Introductory diving is 12
  • Full adult rates apply to any child scuba diver

All cancellations must be in writing.

We understand things may change, so we have made cancellations very easy.

In every instance we always recommend you purchase travel insurance for life’s last-minute hiccups.

Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

Tour Operator's T&Cs:
Cancellation Policy: 
Cancellations with 48 hours or more notice, will not be charged a cancellation penalty. 
Cancellations within 48 hours of departure, will incur a penalty of 100%.

Cairns Reef Tours | Best Value Snorkel & Dive | DD-AQ

Tour Code: 136

Departing: Cairns

Family Deal Save $171



Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$170.00
Family: au$738.00

Tour Code: 136



15 yrs & over

4 - 14 yrs

0 - 3 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745

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