Sink or Swim? Join Cairns Diving Day Trips

Cairns Diving Day Trips
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G’day, Folks! If you’re keen on exploring the breathtaking underwater world of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, then you’re in for a ripper of a time! Cairns, up in Queensland, is the perfect place to start your adventure, and the best way to do it is with Cairns Diving Day Trips.

So, what’s the buzz about Cairns Diving Day Trips? Well, we’re here to give you the lowdown on this cracking experience. From choosing the right dive centre to making the most of your day on the reef, we’ve got you covered. So, throw on your wetsuit and dive into an unforgettable Australian underwater adventure!

Best Time For Dive In Crain 

The best time to plan your diving day trips in Cairns is during the dry season, typically from April to November. This period offers favourable conditions for diving with lower temperatures, reduced humidity, and less rainfall, making it an excellent choice for underwater exploration. The average low temperature during this season hovers around 18°C, while the daytime high reaches approximately 27°C. The average water temperature is around 23.5°C, providing comfortable diving conditions.

Remember that the dry season is also the peak tourist season, so that you can expect more visitors during these months. However, if you prefer a quieter experience, October is another fantastic time to visit Cairns. The weather is pleasant, and the waters are sting-free, enhancing your diving experience.

It’s important to note that while the dry season is generally more stable, weather in Cairns can be unpredictable. The summer months may bring cyclones, heavy rains, and flash flooding, so planning your diving trips during the dry season is a more reliable choice.

Are You Ready for the Dive of Your Life? Cairns Diving Day Trips Await!

In Cairns, you have a wide selection of scuba diving day tours, with over 16 options departing daily. These tours vary in price, destination, type of boat, and what’s included, and they cater to divers of all experience levels, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced diver. It’s a good idea to explore the available options before making your final decision. You can customise your day tour package to match your preferences, including the number of dives (one, two, or three) and whether you need equipment rental.

Some Cairns dive day tours take you to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, while others venture to coral and sand cays, tropical islands, or reef pontoons. The quality of diving at all these locations is excellent, but the conditions may differ. To help you decide, here are some key points to consider.

Cairns Outer Reef Day Diving

When you’re in Cairns, you can explore the remarkable Outer Great Barrier Reef. This area features pristine coral reefs ranging from 2 to 35 metres. The dive sites offer diverse underwater landscapes, including coral caves, walls, drop-offs, towers, bommies, and swim-throughs. 

You’ll encounter an incredible array of marine life. Most tours allow you to choose between guided or unguided diving, and if you’re travelling alone, they’ll find a buddy for you. The journey to the Outer Great Barrier Reef usually takes around 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Cairns Pontoon Diving

Pontoon dive packages are a bit more expensive but offer an all-inclusive experience. In addition to scuba diving, you can enjoy various amenities on the pontoon, such as freshwater showers, change rooms, shaded seating, sundecks, underwater observatories, semi-submersible and glass-bottom boat tours, and touch tanks. 

Diving on these trips is done directly from the pontoon or by a tender transfer to nearby dive sites. The maximum diving depth is typically 18 metres, and all dives are guided.

Cairns Island And Cay Diving

If you prefer shallow, protected waters and vibrant coral reefs, you can opt for scuba dive tours to sand cays and tropical islands like Michaelmas, Upolu Cay, Green Island, and Fitzroy Island. These locations are perfect for less experienced divers or those travelling with non-divers. 

The currents here are generally milder than in open water sites, and you’ll encounter a wealth of marine life, including parrotfish, batfish, turtles, and soft corals. All dives are guided, and the maximum depths are typically over 15 metres.

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Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is a thrilling diving location known for its abundance of sharks, including white tip, tiger, hammerhead, and grey reef sharks. Diving here offers a unique adrenaline rush as you witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The clear blue waters add to the experience, making it an unforgettable adventure.

The Cod Hole

This is a world-famous diving spot that lets you witness large potato cod feeding. These cod are massive and incredibly photogenic. Located in the northern part of the Ribbon Reefs, this site is relatively unexplored, making it exclusive and exciting for divers.

Flynn Reef

For those who want a bit of everything, Flynn Reef is the perfect destination. Here, you can spot parrotfish, sea turtles, and even Nemo (clownfish). The reef is home to diverse marine life and offers a well-rounded diving experience. Multiple operators provide trips to this area.

The Outer Barrier Reef

If you’re on a budget or short on time, the Outer Reef, about 60 kilometres from Cairns, is a great option. You can explore this reef on a day trip while discovering nearby attractions. The Outer Barrier Reef provides stunning views of turtles, dolphins, Whitetip Reef Sharks, and various fish. You can also hire underwater photographers to capture your most thrilling moments.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Cairns Dive Tour

Indeed, there are several factors to consider when choosing your Cairns dive tour, especially if you’re looking for the most cost-effective options. Day trips tend to be more budget-friendly compared to live-aboard trips, which are often pricier. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting your Cairns dive tour:

Guided Vs. Unguided Diving

Not all dive boats offer the choice between guided and unguided diving. Decide whether you prefer the guidance of an experienced dive instructor or the freedom to explore on your own.

Multiple Reef Sites

Consider if you want to visit multiple reef sites during your day tour. Some tours offer the opportunity to explore different underwater locations, enhancing the variety of your diving experience.

Educational Experience

If you want to learn about the reef and its marine life, look for tours that provide educational insights from knowledgeable guides or marine biologists.

Diving Equipment

Decide if you prefer to use the same diving equipment all day or if you’re comfortable sharing gear. Some tours may provide rental equipment as part of the package.

Boat Type

Think about whether the type of boat matters to you. Some tours use sailing boats for a more traditional experience, while others use fast catamarans for speed and efficiency.

Group Size

Consider how many people will be on the boat with you. Smaller groups can offer a more personalised experience, while larger groups might have a livelier atmosphere.


If you’re prone to seasickness, choose a larger and more stable vessel that can provide a smoother ride. Additionally, take precautions, such as taking seasickness medication.

Time In The Water

Evaluate how much time you’ll have for diving. Some tours may offer longer or multiple dives, allowing you to maximise your time underwater.

Additional Features

Explore whether the tour includes extras like a glass-bottom boat tour or a visit to a sand cay, which can add more variety to your day.

Taking these factors into account will help you find a Cairns dive tour that aligns with your preferences and budget while ensuring a memorable and enjoyable diving experience.

Best Diving Schools In Cairns For You

These diving centres and schools offer various courses and diving experiences to suit the preferences and skill levels of divers visiting Cairns. Here are some prominent diving centres and schools in Cairns, each offering various courses and diving experiences:

Cairns Dive Centre

It is a well-known diving school that provides a range of courses, including Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, and Divemaster courses. They have experienced and award-winning dive instructors and operators, making it an ideal place to learn scuba diving.

Pro Dive Cairns

It is one of the most recognized and highly awarded dive centres in Cairns. They offer a selection of courses, including Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, and Divemaster. Additionally, they offer liveaboard trips to the Great Barrier Reef, providing an immersive diving experience.

Divers Den

Divers Den is another famous diving school that offers a range of courses, including Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, and Divemaster courses. They also provide day and live-aboard trips to the Great Barrier Reef, catering to a diverse range of diving preferences.

Tusa Reef Tours

TUSA Reef Tours is a diving school specialising in day trips to the Great Barrier Reef. They have experienced instructors and offer courses, including introductory and certified dives, making it an excellent choice for divers of all levels.

Silverswift Dive & Snorkel

Silverswift Dive & Snorkel is a diving school that offers day trips to the Great Barrier Reef. They feature experienced instructors and offer a variety of courses, including introductory dives and certified dives, providing options for both beginners and experienced divers.

Cairns’ Cheapest Certified Dive Tour Price List

Company Name2-Dives3-DivesGuided DivesReef Levy
Reef Kistn/an/an/aN/A
Aqua Quest$349.00$384.00IncludedN/A
Evolution Dive$275.00n/a$10.00N/A
Reef Experience$225.00$295.00$15.00N/A
Tusa Reef Tours$420.00$420.00IncludedN/A
Passions Of Paradise$330.00n/aIncludedN/A
Ocean Freedom$360.00$410.00IncludedN/A

This price includes the Reef Levies | Guided Dives per person per dive.


Is Cairns Good For Scuba Diving?

Cairns is a top destination for scuba diving in Australia. It offers a wide range of reef tours and diving courses. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or love to explore underwater, Cairns provides numerous single-day and multi-day trips to the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Is It Safe To Walk Around Cairns At Night?

It’s generally safe to walk around Cairns at night, but it’s advisable to avoid parks after dark. In poorly lit or isolated areas with no other people around, it’s a good idea to head back to more populated parts of town. Be mindful of your personal belongings by keeping them close to you.

Is It Safe To Swim In Cairns Lagoon?

Swimming in the Cairns Lagoon is considered safe year-round. This 4,800 square metre saltwater swimming lagoon provides a secure swimming location without stingers and crocodiles.

What Is The Best Month To Scuba Dive The Great Barrier Reef?

The best time to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef is June to October. This peak season offers several advantages, including pleasant temperatures from the low 60s to mid-80s and minimal rainfall, resulting in more transparent waters and better diving conditions.

Can You Swim In Cairns Oceans?

Yes, you can swim in the ocean in Cairns. However, it’s important to know potential threats like stingrays and jellyfish. While saltwater crocodiles are present in the region, they typically prefer the muddy and brackish waters of estuaries and creeks rather than the open ocean beaches.

Why Is Scuba Diving So Expensive?

Scuba diving can be relatively expensive due to the various components involved, including training, equipment purchase, and the cost of diving trips. It’s less budget-friendly than other recreational activities, but the investment is necessary for safety and enjoyment. Similarly, even in activities like running, you can incur significant costs on equipment.

Can You Do A Day Trip To The Great Barrier Reef?

Yes, you can take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. You can even enjoy a secluded island experience on Vlasoff Cay. A helicopter tour from Cairns will fly over the Great Barrier Reef and land at this sandy islet, providing snorkelling gear, flippers, and a gourmet picnic.

Warp Up The Dive 

In conclusion, Cairns Diving Day Trips in Australia are a bonza way to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. With various dive centres and schools, you can find the perfect fit for your diving aspirations, whether you are a newbie or an experienced diver. The reef’s vibrant marine life, crystal-clear waters, and diverse dive sites are a true Aussie treasure.

So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable aquatic adventure down under, go to Cairns and experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef through Cairns Diving Day Trips. It’s a journey you will remember, and it’s as Aussie as it gets!

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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