Minke Whale Dive Trips | Great Barrier Reef | 3 Night Liveaboard | Fly/Dive | MB

Tour Code: 670

Departing: Cairns

NEW Swim with whales immersion experience
  • 250km low level scenic flight departs from Cairns and flies over the Great Barrier Reef and lands on Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef.
  • Whilst on the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef we also have the expereince of swimming with man size Potato Cod at the world famous Cod Hole
  • Swimming eye to eye with the Dwarf Minke Whales will give you a feeling you have never experienced before in your life. They are so curious, playful and love the human interaction.  

Included In Price

  • Accommodation in twin/double cabins
  • Delicious meals & snacks, wine and soft drink are included with the evening meal
  • Tanks, air fills and weight belt
  • Daily cabin service
  • Reef ecology programme
  • Dive computer workshop
  • Transfer to the airport or Cairns hotel after your expedition
  • Low level scenic flight from Cairns to Lizard Island

Our 3 night swim with Dwarf Minke Whale tours will be one of those memorable lifetime experiences that will be relived in your mind over and over again. Forever you will have that transcendental memory of looking at back at that moment, eye to eye with one of these gentle mammals.

Departure Dates (current as of 02/07/24):

  • 2024 Departure dates: SOLD OUT
  • 2025 Departure Dates: 9th June, 16th June, 23rd June, 30th June, 7th July, 14th July & 21st July - currently available

From Cairns our swim with Dwarf Minke whale tours are only conducted over the prime months of June and July each year, just when the Minke whales gather in their numbers on the northern section of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, giving us close to 98% chance of seeing them over the 3 nights.

Of course being wild animals/mammals nothing can be guaranteed, and thankfully to date we have not had any disappointments.

Over the 3 nights of our Cairns dive trips we will be visiting some of the most outstanding dive and snorkel locations on the Great Barrier Reef and you will encounter some of our regular characters such as the family of Giant Potato Cod at the world famous Cod Hole.

The Ribbon Reefs are teaming with a healthy variety of hard and soft corals that are home to reef sharks, octopus, stone fish, scorpion fish, sting rays and lot’s of other colourful and interesting reef fish like the Humphead Maori Wrasse that are like playful little puppies.

As our swim with Dwarf Minke Whale tours on the Great Barrier Reef are becoming so well-known worldwide, we encourage you to book your space very early to ensure your berth and not miss this wildlife experience that is only on offer here in Australia on the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.  

Start With A Reef Scenic Flight To Lizard Island

From Cairns we take an early morning low level 250km scenic flight over the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage Rainforests to meet our liveaboard dive boat on the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef for our 3 night Dwarf Minke Whale dive and snorkel expedition.

Our scenic flight lands on Lizard Island and we are met by our boat and dive crew there.

Over the next 3 nights our swim with Dwarf Minke Whale tour boat will cover a distance of 150 nautical miles inside the barrier protection of the Great Barrier Reef looking for the whales and diving and snorkelling some other amazing reef sites to see the spectacular underwater world that the Great Barrier Reef is world re-known for.

These liveaboard tours are fine for both confident snorkelers and advanced scuba divers.

We have a passenger average of 22 with a maximum of 28 and onboard boat crew of 12.

About The Liveaboard Dive Boat Accommodation

  • 4 x Premium – queen or double bed, private bathroom, ocean views.
  • 4 x Standard – twin beds, private bathroom, ocean views.
  • 4 x Club – twin bunk beds, private bathroom, no ocean view.
  • 2 x Budget – twin bunk beds, share bathroom, no ocean view.

Our dive boat was custom designed for the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and its twin hills reduce potential seasickness

Guest Facilities

  • Air-conditioned accommodation
  • Lounge and bar
  • Sundeck
  • Alfresco deck
  • Music/DVD player, large screen TV
  • 2, daily cabin service

Our Dive Services

  • Nitrox
  • Solo diving
  • Open Deck diving
  • Camera table
  • Rebreather service
  • Help for novices
  • Freedom for experienced divers
  • Digital photo shoot out on every expedition

About our Swim with Minke Whale Trips

Minke whales were first recognised in the mid 1980’s and attracted attention to themselves as they regularly approached close to boats and swimmers.

They are highly manoeuvrable and can jump from the water like a dolphin. They can swim in bursts at 12 knots but cannot maintain this speed.

They have paired blowholes and can dive for periods of 0.5-12 minutes

The life span of a Dwarf Minke Whale is thought to be around 50-60 years.

The largest minke whale that was accurately measured was 7.8 m long and adults weigh 5-6 tonnes   

These Minke Whale wildlife experiences are controlled by the Great Barrier Marine Park regulations, code of practice and guidelines.

Once our crew have spotted the minke whales we put the guide ropes in the water and guests slip quietly into the water and shimmy down the line to allow all guests to experience this amazing marine experience.

With your snorkelling gear on in the water holding onto the rope the Minke Whales swim all around you and observe you from all angles.

Some even do spy hops to see you above the water also. The largest pod we have seen to date was 28 Dwarf Minke whlaes and our longest inwater encounter with them was for 10 hours they were just so playful. 

If you are lucky enough to be scuba diving and the whales see you, then you are in for an extra special treat. 

Each and every day we will be on the lookout for the Dwarf Minke Whales to ensure you interact with them as much as possible over the 3 nights on our liveaboard dive boat.

Read more about swim with Minke whales on our blog pages.

Sample 3 Night Dwarf Minke Whale Itinerary

Monday (3 dives)

Check in at our office (Abbott St, Cairns) between 6:30am and 7:00am.

  • 7:15am: Transfer to Cairns Airport
  • 8:00am: Board a light aircraft for a low level flight over the Great Barrier Reef to Lizard Island (flight time approx. 1 hour). Board our boat mid-morning where you will be served drinks and snacks while our Trip Director gives you a welcome briefing. Time to organise any rental equipment and put your dive gear together on the dive deck.
  • 12:45pm: Dive brief and dive
  • 2:00pm: Lunch
  • 3:45pm: Dive brief and dive
  • 4:45pm: Afternoon tea
  • 6:00pm: Dive brief and night dive
  • 8:00pm: Dinner

Tuesday (4 dives + night dive)

This is a sample of a ‘typical day’, however exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.

  • 6:30am: Wake up call, light breakfast available in dining room
  • 7:00am: Dive brief & diving commences
  • 9:00am: Full cooked breakfast
  • 10:30am: Dive brief & diving. “Open decks” accommodate 1-2 dives either am or pm.
  • 2:00pm: Lunch
  • 3:30pm: Dive brief & diving
  • 4:30pm: Afternoon tea
  • 6:30pm: Night dive brief & dive
  • 8:00pm: Dinner

Wednesday (4 dives)

As per above.
Exit last dive 5:00pm
As the sun sets we pour the champagne, lay out the nibbles and get ready for an Aussie BBQ party night. Don’t forget to wear your loudest tropical shirt or dress and sing along to music played by our talented crew.

As guests are comfortably sleeping on board our crew will cruise back to Cairns.


Early morning docking.
7:00am: Light breakfast
8:00am: Disembark and courtesy transfer to Cairns inner city hotels, the airport or our office where we can store your luggage until 5pm if you have a later flight.

Please note: we will dedicate at least two hours per day to find the Dwarf Minke Whales in between all other activities.

See our 4 night and 7 night Minke Whale Tours and Expeditions and whale watching tours. Are you keen to dive with sharks? 

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time


Departure Instructions
  • Check in at the dive office between 6.30am and 7.00am
  • 7.15am: Transfer to Cairns Airport
  • 8.00am: Board a light aircraft for a low level flight over the reef to Lizard Island (flight time approx. 1 hour).
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Lizard & North Direction Islands
  • Ribbon Reefs
  • The Cod Hole
  • Lighthouse Bommie
  • Gotham City
  • Pixie Pinnacle
  • Coral Kingdom
  • Steve’s Bommie
Months of Operation

June - July

Days of Operation


2024 Departure dates: SOLD OUT
2025 Departure Dates: 9th June, 16th June, 23rd June, 30th June, 7th July, 14th July & 21st July - currently available


3 nights

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Bar Bill - Please note that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority requires us to collect an Environmental Management Charge of $7.00 per day spent on the Great Barrier Reef. This amount will be added to your bar bill at the end of your expedition.
  • Gear Hire: wetsuits, gloves, tanks, GPS, safety sausage, nitrox fills, tanks, weights, gauges, BCD, light/torch
  • Note: we recommend you bring your own wetsuit, mask snorkel and fins to ensure they fit well.
  • Dive Courses are available on board, discuss options at time of booking
  • Underwater camera hire
  • Trip videos
  • Underwater photography course
Fitness Level Required

Medium, Active

  • Experience: Snorkelers, novice & advanced divers
  • We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5:00pm Wednesday)
  • Passengers MUST understand English

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.

  • A luggage allowance applies to the flight from Cairns to Lizard Island: 25kg / 55lb per person plus 3kg / 6.5lb – carry on plus an additional 10kg/22lb is allowed for professional photo/video housed systems.
  • Excess luggage may be left at dive company office. We take care but not liability.
  • You should bring your own personal toiletries, hair dryer, personal medication, swimming costume, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, foot wear (sandals or tennis shoes), T-shirts, shorts, sweater and sweat pants – light weight pants and tops for the evening are a good idea. Also your wildest “loud” shirt/dress for the BBQ evening.

  • We seldom have children onboard however we do welcome ONE family per expedition with children minimum age 8 years.
  • We are unable to supply dive gear in children’s sizes
  • Children must be over 12 years old and must be fully qualified to be able to dive

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.

Operators policy:

Payment Schedule:
  • 30% of trip fee per passenger as deposit to confirm the booking.
  • Remaining balance 30 days prior to departure date.

Cancellations by Client:

  • Cancellations must be advised in writing.
  • Less than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 30% of trip fee per person.
  • Less than 30 days prior to departure - forfeit 100% of trip fee per person.

Cancellations by MBDE:

  • Due to weather: 85% refunded to client. 
  • Refunds are issued to client via Agent, not MBDE.


  • Minimum child age is 8 years. Those travelling with children are responsible for childminding.
  • Minimum age of diver is 12 years.
  • Allocation of one family with children per expedition.


  • Insurance should be taken to cover: weather problem; expedition cancellations; airline difficulties; medical problems and lost or damaged luggage. 
  • Unforeseen weather or machinery problems may cause us to cancel or change an itinerary. 
  • No refund is offered for time lost due to the medical evacuation of a guest or reduction of dives due to weather conditions. 
  • No compensation is offered to guests to change flights or holiday plans. 
  • DiveAssure offers cover for both Australian residents & non-residents traveling to Australia.

Minke Whale Dive Trips | Great Barrier Reef | 3 Night Liveaboard | Fly/Dive | MB

Tour Code: 670

Departing: Cairns

NEW Swim with whales immersion experience



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

Child: au$2,304.00
Family: au$9,216.00

Tour Code: 670



16 yrs & over

8 - 15 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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