scuba diving on the great barrier reef

Things to do

Snorkelling & Diving

Explore an underwater wonderland

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 Cod Hole off Lizard Island, swim with the turtles at the Low Isles, or spend hours hanging with a curious dwarf minke whale on the Ribbon Reefs.

You don’t need to be an experienced scuba diver to explore this underwater wonderland, either. There are dives to suit every skill level, from introductory to divemasters. The reef is also a great place to pick up some new skills, so why not sign up for a short course with one of Cairns’ premier dive schools?

Serious divers might want to consider a liveaboard tour to renowned dive sites in the Coral Sea, including North Horn at Osprey Reef, Dungeons and Dragons at Bougainville Reef and Steve’s Bommie and Pixie Pinnacle, both on the Ribbon Reefs south of Lizard Island.

Snorkellers are also spoiled for choice with reef trips available from Cape Tribulation to Mission Beach. Some islands are blessed with coral gardens just off the beach and nothing beats the thrill of stepping into the water and finding yourself drifting past giant clams, angelfish, and clownfish sheltering within the tentacles of a sea anemone. You might spot slightly largely creatures – including rays and sharks – snorkeling off Frankland and Fitzroy islands.

More adventures lie further off-shore. A trip to the outer reefs gives you the opportunity to find Nemo and snorkel with other colourful reef fish & turtles. And the Ribbon Reefs are the only place in the world where dwarf minke whales congregate in large numbers: you can interact with these gentle giants on tours offered by several operators.

A rare encounter with a Minke Whale on the Ribbon Reefs

Snorkelling the Outer Barrier Reef

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

Take the plunge

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

Snorkelling & Diving Attractions