Diving Great barrier reef

Things to do

Diving

Take the plunge

Head below the surface and into an underwater wonderland. Scuba diving gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the Great Barrier Reef in a more intimate way than snorkelling, getting up close to vibrant corals, complex reef systems and a huge variety of marine life.

Dive sites are sprinkled all along the coast of Tropical North Queensland, through the Great Barrier Reef and out into the Coral Sea. Hop aboard one of the many daily reef trips that depart from Port Douglas, Cairns and Mission Beach and discover some of most spectacular diving destinations on the planet.

There is no such thing as an average scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef. Every dive is a journey into the unexpected. You might be greeted by a friendly 2m-long potato cod at the Cod Hole off Lizard Island, swim with turtles on the edge of the continental shelf or encounter sharks at North Horn in the Coral Sea.

You don’t need to be an experienced scuba diver, either. There are dives to suit every skill level, from introductory to Advanced Open Water certified experiences. If you’ve never tried scuba diving, the reef is the perfect place to learn. Sign up for a short course and get your dive certification from one of the many dive schools in Cairns. You will go home from your holiday with a brand new skill.

Serious divers might want to consider a liveaboard tour to renowned dive sites in the Coral Sea, including North Horn at Osprey Reef, Dungeons & Dragons at Bougainville Reef and Steve’s Bommie and Pixie Pinnacle, both on the Ribbon Reefs south of Lizard Island. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions and Spirit of Freedom both run specialised expeditions on their custom-built dive boats departing from Cairns.

Scuba diving at bucket-list dive sites like the Cod Hole near Lizard Island

Explore the tropical coral gardens at Agincourt Reef

Discover spectacular coral & marine life at Agincourt Reef

Take the plunge

No matter your skill level, there’s a dive adventure with your name on it.

Great Barrier Reef
Diving 101 – Everything you need to know about scuba diving

Have you ever dreamed of scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef? Just imagine sinking down into the warm waters, exploring coral gardens and seeing this wondrous world through the eyes of a fish. Learning to scuba dive is easy and is your passport to a brave new world. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about learning to Scuba Dive.

Read more
Great Barrier Reef
12 Famous residents of the Great Barrier Reef

Only 12 residents? There’s probably a gazillion of them, but let’s start things slowly shall we. It’s not easy to keep track of every single one of the Great Barrier Reef’s inhabitants but here are some of the most famous ones in Tropical North Queensland.

Read more
Great Barrier Reef
5 Dreamy sand cays you must visit on the Great Barrier Reef

We’ve all seen those gorgeous wisps of whiteness poking out from an azure sea on Great Barrier Reef. But what are they? More importantly, where are they? And how can we get a piece of sand cay action? I’m here to reveal all.

Read more
Great Barrier Reef
25 Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef

As you’d expect from one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is home to some weird, wonderful and just plain loveable creatures. Here’s 25 fun Great Barrier Reef facts about a marine world larger than Italy.

Read more
Great Barrier Reef
Sleep under the stars on the reef

Is the Great Barrier Reef at the top of your travel bucket list? How about seeing the uninterrupted Southern night skies? Sunlover by Starlight gives you 48 hours of wanderlust-inducing experiences tied with a bow of exclusive reef tours, scrumptious food and five-star treatment.

Read more

Diving Attractions