Cairns Scuba Diving

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Diving the Reef

Cairns scuba diving is the premier spot in Australia for Diving the Great Barrier Reef.

You can choose from a number of different boats that take you out for the day to various reefs and sandy cays.

You can choose to take an Introductory dive, or if you've already got a dive ticket, then you can do as many certified dives as your pocket will allow.

Great Barrier Reef snorkelling is my favourite. The marine life that you can see just by dipping your head in the water is nothing short of breathtaking.

David is a certified diver and he used to dive professionally for Trochus shells. He's seen so many amazing things under the water. He kept saying how wonderful it was, so I tried my hand at it and I couldn't equalize! I did have a stuffed up nose on the day, so that probably contributed to my problem.

Trochus Shells

Oh well, I might try it again one day, but in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy the sights with my snorkel.

The colors you'll see underwater always amazes me and it's no wonder that people all over the world come to Cairns and make the Great Barrier Reef diving trips their number one priority for things to do.

With all the trips now, the Government has places an*Environmental Management Charge for all adults and children 4 years and over entering the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area. This additional charge is applicable for all outer reef cruises.

For those who have never dived before or don't have a dive certificate, all the boats conduct Introductory Dives.

First of all you'll be taken through the steps of what to do and what not to do when underwater. The experienced instructors are there to guide you through the whole process so you can relax and enjoy your dive.

Certified Dives are for people who have a Dive Certificate so you can enjoy the day with a guide that will show you the best dive spots.

You need to show proof of certification C-Card/log book.

If you've never snorkelled before and would feel more comfortable with a guide, then take a guided snorkel tour. They know where the most colourful Great Barrier Reef fish and coral are, so you get to enjoy the reef to the full.

Now to choose your perfect Cairns scuba diving trip.

Downunder Dive

Down Under Cruise & Dive is locally owned and operated in Cairns. The operation has become so popular because of its professionalism and safety standards. Just because they have high standards, it definitely doesn't mean you won't have fun.

It's Internationally recognised because people rave about it so much.

The boat they go out to the reef on, the Osprey V is fast, comfortable and affordable. It's modern and the ride out there is smooth, even in rough conditions.

They have a number of different reefs that they can take you to, which they choose on the day, according to weather conditions. Each day they'll stop at two of these reefs so you can enjoy swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving.

Tour prices including *EMC

The second reef stop is at Hastings Reef for those who want to experience the Great Barrier Reef from the air as well. This is where you can have a 10 minute Joy Flight in the helicopter.

At the end of an exhausting fun filled day, they bring out the entertainers for the cruise back to Cairns.

Helicopter Tours on Upolo Cay

Tour prices including *EMC

Adult $139.00
Child $80.00
Family $380.00

Introductory Dive
1st Dive $65.00
2nd Dive $45.00
3rd Dive $20.00

Certified Dive
1st Dive $65.00
2nd Dive $20.00
3rd Dive $20.00

Great Adventures

The longest running outfit to go to the outer Barrier Reef and based in Cairns, it's now part of the Quicksilver group.

They have daily trips out to Norman Reef where they have a permanent platform that has undercover seating and tables so you can enjoy a delicious buffet lunch with full bar facilities. There's also a swimming enclosure for the kids and of course change rooms with showers.

They have 4 different dive sites they can take you to which depends on the days weather conditions.

Clownfish and Anenome

Tour prices including *EMC
Adult $201.50
Child $103.50
Family $512.00

Introductory Dive
Price per person $139.00

Certified Diving
Price per dive $96.00

Guided Snorkel Tour
Adult $48.00
Child $22.00

Passions of Paradise

David and I went on this trip with a group of friends and it was great. We highly recommend it. What we enjoyed most was going to a reef and also Michaelmas Cay. I love snorkelling around sandy cays as you can sit on the beach after you tire of snorkelling.

David is a certified diver so he took to the deep waters.

Both of us saw some pretty spectacular underwater scenery, as you would expect diving on the Great Barrier Reef!

As with any dive boat, you'll get a pretty yummy lunch. You can eat as much or as little as you like, because they all have buffets. If you like prawns, you can't go wrong here.

Passions Cairns scuba diving trips leave to Michaelmas Cay and Paradise Reef. Michaelmas Cay is 22 nautical miles from Cairns and is the largest of the uninhabited coral cays in the Cairns region. It's also famous for the migratory birds that nest here.

They provide a free guided snorkelling tour.

Included also is a delicious tropical buffet lunch.

The stop at two spots: Paradise Reef where they have exclusive mooring so no crowds, and also Michaelmas Cay.

Sandy Cay

Tour prices including *EMC
Adult $149.00
Child $99.00
Family $449.00

Introductory Cairns Scuba Diving
1st Dive $70.00
2nd Dive $45.00

Certified Cairns Scuba Diving
1st Certified Dive $70.00
2nd Certified Dive $45.00

Glass bottom boat tour
$20.00 per person

Pro Dive Cairns

This is Australia's premier PADI Dive Centre. They have liveaboard dive boats.

They're also part of the huge Quicksilver Connections operation.

They specialise in dive courses, 3 day and 2 night liveaboard dive tours for certified divers and sales of dive, snorkel and water sports equipment.

If you want scuba holidays, then definitely go the liveaboard dive boats.

If you want dive training then Cairns learn to dive school is here.

For diving and snorkelling day trips, you can choose from from two tours from Cairns and one from Port Douglas.

Silverswift - Cairns

Giant Clam

This is a luxury custom designed and built catamaran for small groups.

It's the fastest dive trip from Cairns and only takes 60 minutes to reach the outer barrier reef.

If you're prone to sea sickness, and want a super smooth ride, then this is probably the trip to take.

Tour prices including *EMC
Adult $180.50
Child $129.50

Introductory Dives including cruise
1st Dive $237.50
2nd Dive $282.50

Certified Diver including cruise
1st Dive $225.50
2nd Dive $245.50
3rd Dive $257.50

TUSA Cairns

TUSA Dive is another great option for Cairns scuba diving.

They have a custom built craft designed for the ultimate in luxury for day cruising.

It only carries a maximum of 60 people although it can take 120, so you can be assured of receiving personalised attention.

You'll enjoy diving or snorkelling around two of their exclusive 16 dive sites. Each site has been selected for their beautiful array of Great Barrier Reef marine life and coral.

Snorkeling at Upolo Cay

Tour prices including *EMC
Adult $175.00
Child $105.00

Introductory Dives including cruise
1st Dive $245.00
2nd Dive $285.00

Certified Diver including cruise
2 Dives $235.00
3 Dives $250.00

Reef Magic Cruises

Another really popular Cairns scuba diving tour is Reef Magic Cruises.

This is a great family option.

They take 90 minutes to get to their Marine World activity platform and it's a pretty smooth ride.

Once there, the whole family can enjoy heaps of activities.

They have semi submersible tours so you can sit in comfort without getting your feet wet, and watch all the Great Barrier Reef coral and marine life.

You can go out a little further by going on the glass bottom boat.

Feed the fish or enjoy the underwater observatory. They have it all here.

Of course, your tour isn't complete without a delicious buffet lunch.

Marine World Outer Reef Day Cruise

Scuba Diving

Adult $180.00
Child $90.00 Family $450.00

Introductory Dive
1st Dive $120.00
2nd/3rd Dive $70.00 each dive

Certified Diver
1st Dive $60.00
2nd/3rd Dive $30.00 each dive

Helmut Dive
1st Dive $120.00 2nd/3rd Dive $70.00 each dive

Marine Biologist Guided Snorkel Tours
Guided Tour 
Adult $35.00
Child $25.00

Guided Safari
Adult $45.00
Child $35.00

Most Cairns scuba diving trips include their dive gear in the prices.

When snorkelling is included in the cruise price, their snorkel mask and fins are usually included.

Click on the links for each tour for more information.

We hope you enjoy Cairns scuba diving holidays! 

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