Cairns Cheapest Dive Tours

Cairns’ cheapest dive tours allow you to experience the Great Barrier Reef on a budget. Low cost certified diving trips depart Cairns every day, with the tour price including equipment, dive briefings, transfers to and from the reef and lunch.

There really is no set answer as to ‘what is the cheapest Cairns dive tour’, as it is all relative to your qualifications, expectations and what specials may be on offer at any given time (they fluctuate throughout the year).

Outer Reef Diving

Outer Reef Diving

Dive Site Briefing

Dive Site Briefing

Cairns Diving

Cairns Diving

Please note: when researching and booking a certified dive tour from Cairns, it is important to consider other factors as well as budget. While Cairns’ cheapest Great Barrier Reef diving tour may save you money, will it deliver the experience you are looking for?

Each tour offers a slightly different experience, hence the price point varies. Some boats offer optional guided or unguided diving, some have packages with or without equipment, some visit the Outer Great Barrier Reef while others visit a pontoon or sand cay.

Gorgonian Fan

Gorgonian Fan

Cairns' Cheapest Day Diving

Cairns' Cheapest Diving

Outer Reef

Outer Reef

Cairns Dive Adventures has been on every day dive tour out of Cairns. We have reviewed the boats, tours, dive sites and equipment. We will provide you with first hand advice on which tour will deliver you the very best experience for your money.

For your convenience, please see a quick price comparison table for some of Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef day diving tours, for certified divers, below. Please note: these are the ‘standard’ prices and do not take any specials into account. These prices include travel from Cairns to the reef, lunch and all diving equipment. Other inclusions vary from tour to tour.

Cairns' Cheapest Certified Dive Tour Price List

2 dives* 3rd dive Guided Dives**
Reef Kist 180.00 n/a 11.00
Reef Quest 225.00 20.00 15.00
Osprey V 219.00 20.00 10.00
Reef Experience 230.00 n/a Included
Tusa Dive T6 235.00 3rd Free 10.00
Silverswift 261.00 15.00 Included
Passions Of Paradise 264.00 n/a Included
Ocean Freedom 290.00 n/a Included

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

When considering your day at the Great Barrier Reef, it is important to take into account the total cost of the trip including reef levies and any additional extras (equipment and/or guided dives). If you have your own equipment and just need tanks and weights, there are Cairns diving tours that offer this at a cheaper rate. Nitrox dives are also available, but only on specific boats and must be booked in advance.

White Tipped Reef Shark

White Tipped Reef Shark

Motor Catamaran

Motor Catamaran

Cairns Diving

Cairns Diving

Certainly one thing is for sure, the cheapest Cairns dive tours are the day trips. You can expect to pay a lot more for a liveaboard trip, whether it’s staying on Cairns’ Outer Great Barrier Reef or travelling further north to the Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea. Other factors to take into consideration when choosing your Cairns dive tour include:

  • Do I want the choice of guided or unguided diving (not all boats offer this)?
  • Do I want to visit multiple reef sites during my day tour?
  • Do I want to learn about the reef during my day tour?
  • Do I want to use the same diving equipment (rental) all day, or am I happy to share?
  • Do I care about what type of boat it is (sailing boat or fast catamaran)?
  • Do I care how many people are on the boat?
  • Do I get seasick?
  • How much time do I get to spend in the water?</li?
  • Options for glass bottom boat tour as well, or other features (visit to sand cay)?
  • What if I'm traveling with a non-diver?

The above points, and so much more, should all be considered when choosing your Great Barrier Reef dive tour. Often the price difference between Cairns’ cheapest dive tour and something that may deliver a far superior experience for you personally, is not that much and let’s face it, for many, this is a once in a lifetime experience so you want it to be the very best it can be.

Some frequently asked questions (FAQ) we have received from guests researching Cairns’ cheapest dive tour, include the following:

Cairns’ Cheapest Dive Tour FAQ

Does completing a Cairns Introductory Dive make me a certified diver?

No. An introductory dive gives you some general knowledge as well as basic scuba skills, enabling you to complete an underwater dive, accompanied and supervised by an experienced Instructor. It does not give you all the information and skills that allow you to be a Certified Diver, who is able to scuba dive unaccompanied. To become a certified scuba diver you need to complete an intensive theory component and several training dives: Learning to Dive Courses in Cairns take a minimum of four (4) days to complete.

Am I able to book a private dive guide in Cairns?

Yes, but please note that this needs to be arranged in advance and will be an additional cost to your trip. This is not available on all tours. Cairns is the closest mainland point to the Great Barrier Reef, meaning you spend less time travelling and more time diving! There are numerous dive operators in Cairns, which means dive tour pricing to the Great Barrier Reef is competitive. Cairns’ cheapest day diving will give you the opportunity to explore the clear, warm, tropical waters of the Coral Sea. If you are travelling without a dive buddy, don’t worry, you will be paired up with someone on the boat.

Can I get a discount on my Cairns dive trip?

From time to time Cairns dive operators will run specials / price reductions / value adds (pay for two dives get one free) on their trips. Cairns Dive Adventures knows all of the operators and has access to all of these specials. We can offer you the best price available on all dive tours. If you are a group of 11 or more certified divers, then we are able to offer you a group discount.

Can I save money in Cairns by bringing my own lunch to the reef?

Unfortunately not. All Cairns dive day tours include lunch in their package price, most also include tea, coffee and snacks. You can take your own food if you choose, but this will not save you money.

Is the diving cheaper at Green Island or Fitzroy Island?

Day tours to Green Island and Fitzroy Island are cheaper. Diving is an extra cost to the boat transfer and when you combine it, this may not be a cheaper option. Also, dive conditions around the islands generally have lower visibility and less marine life diversity than you can expect to see on the outer reef locations.

Cairns Dive Adventures is committed to providing you with the best possible advice on the tour to suit your needs, budget and itinerary. We also have the latest information on all Cairns dive specials. For more information, contact us today on

Sail to Uplulo Cay with Reef Day Tripper

REEF DAYTRIPPPER: Cairns scuba diving day tours

With a maximum of 20 passengers Reef Day Tripper offers a relaxed sailing small group day tour to the reef!
Sea Kayaking on the Great Barrier Reef, Fitzroy Island, Cairns

Fitzroy Island Boat Transfers – Raging Thunder

Fitzroy Island boat transfers with Raging Thunder Cruises offer a fast quick transfer service to the beautiful Fitzroy Island.
Lady enjoying the water-slide at Moore Reef.

Sunlover Cruises

Great day tour for people of all ages. Visit Outer Reef Pontoon at Moore Reef, with lots of inclusions: snorkelling, glass bottom boat and semi-sub tours, underwater observatory and more.
Silverswift At The Reef

Silverswift Dive & Snorkel

Only Cairns Great Barrier Reef day tour to visit 3 different reef sites in one day! Part of the Quicksilver Cruises fleet. Comfortable, high speed catamaran. Up to 5 hours at the reef.
Evolution Dive Boat Cairns

Down Under Dive: Evolution

Well priced Great Barrier Reef day tour, including BBQ lunch. 5 hours on the reef at 2 reef sites. Free guided snorkeling tours, introductory and certified diving are available at extra cost. Brand new boat.
Scuba diving Green Island

Ocean Free Sailing

Unique Cairns to Green Island sailing day tour. Max number of guests = 25. Snorkelling & diving plus time on Green Island. Buffet lunch + morning and afternoon tea included. Friendly crew.

Deep Sea Divers Den: Reef Quest

Value for money Great Barrier Reef day tour. Visits 2 reef sites. Perfect for snorkellers, certified divers and those wanting to try an introductory dive. Buffet lunch included.
Reef Magic Outer Reef Scuba Diving

Reef Magic Cruises

Up to 5 hours at the reef. Outer Great Barrier Reef pontoon with fabulous coral gardens. Meet Wally! Lots of inclusions: snorkelling, glass bottom boat, semi-sub, underwater observatory and more.
Great Adventures Green Island & Reef Package

Great Adventures: Green Island & Great Barrier Reef

This is the only Cairns day tour to combine time on Green Island with a visit to a Great Barrier Reef pontoon. Best of both worlds. Suitable for snorkellers and divers.
The Passions of Paradise boat Cairns Australia

Passions Of Paradise

Australian Tourism Award Winner. Daily dive / snorkel trips to Michaelmas Cay & Paradise Reef on 25m sailing catamaran. Free scuba demonstration & guided snorkel tour. Hot / cold buffet lunch.
Fully inclusive Great Barrier Reef day tours with Reef Experience

Reef Experience

Cairns' only fully inclusive day tour, including: city transfers, trip to Great Barrier Reef, 6 hours on reef, 2 reef locations, meals, free scuba dive, marine biologist presentation & equipment.
Cairns Dive Centre Day Boat - MV Reef Kist

M.V. Reef Kist – Cairns Dive Centre (Island Diver)

Great value one of Cairns cheapest day boats to the Great Barrier Reef. Full day snorkeling visiting 2 x Reef Locations. Includes lunch and all snorkel gear.
Ocean Freedom the quickest Great Barrier Reef day tour dive in Cairns

Ocean Freedom Cruise

Locally owned & operated. 5 star service. Up to 6 hours snorkel / dive time at 2 Great Barrier Reef locations. Best reef tour lunch in town. Friendly crew, glass bottom boat tour & much more.
Great Adventures Day Boat

Great Adventures: Outer Reef

Leaves later than most (10am) and provides up to 3 hours at their outer reef pontoon. Enjoy the sun deck, underwater observatory, semi-submersible and many optional extras.

Silversonic Dive & Snorkel

Silversonic provides daily reef tours departing from Port Douglas and visiting the ribbon reefs at Agincourt Reef. 5 hours at reef and up to 3 dives.
Fitzroy Island Beach

Fitzroy Island Ferries

Fitzroy Island Resort Ferries have convenient departure and return times from Cairns to Fitzroy Island, making this great for a full day tour of the Island. Depart Cairns 8:00am, 11:00am and 1:30pm.

Ocean Spirit Cruises Cairns

Ocean Spirit Cruises provide a luxury sailing catamaran to Michaelmas Cay. This trip is suited to swimmers, snorkelers and families. Often Sea Turtles are seen from the beach. All meals included.

Seastar Cruises

Seastar provides daily dive and snorkel tours to Michaelmas Cay and Hastings Reef. Up to 5 hours at the reef and 2 guided snorkel tours included.
Poseidon Dive Boat with Divers

Poseidon Snorkel and Dive

Poseidon provides daily tours from Port Douglas to the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs, visiting three (3) separate reef sites. Suitable for scuba divers and snorkelers. Great passenger to crew ratio.
Quicksilver Cruises Boat from Port Douglas

Quicksilver Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruises

The Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Cruise - Quicksilver Cruises provides the only Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef pontoon tour, departing Marina Mirage daily. Can snorkel and dive, Semi-Submarines & Underwater Observatory.
Green Island Jetty

Great Adventures: Green Island – Full Day

Great Adventures offer two departure (8.30am - 10.30am) and return times (2.30pm - 4.30pm) for their full day tours. Flexible option, suitable for families.
The Frankland Islands Group of Islands.

Frankland Islands

This dive and snorkel reef day tour departs from Deeral, which is 40-minutes south of Cairns, and visits the Frankland Islands group which is surrounded by fringing reefs.
Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel Reef Boat

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel Cruises

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel offers a great value for money option that spends 5 hours at a beautiful reef location. Free guided snorkel tour, glass bottom boat tour and marine presentation.

Deep Sea Divers Den: Sea Quest

Value for money Great Barrier Reef day tour. Visits 2 reef sites. Perfect for snorkellers, certified divers and those wanting to try an introductory dive. Buffet lunch included.

Aqua Quest Dive Port Douglas

Aqua Quest provides daily reef tours departing from Port Douglas and visiting Agincourt Reef, St Crispin Reef, and Opal Reef. Nitrox available on board.

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Cairns Day Diving Information

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Do You Need Help Choosing?

Do you need help choosing a trip?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.



Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service

Spend over $550.00 AUD on your Great Barrier Reef tour with us and receive the latest Digital Underwater Camera Hire. Take amazing High-Resolution images and 1080 HD Video.

Not available for any tours to the Islands as fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!

You need to come into our shop located on the Cairns Esplanade the day before departure to pick up the camera before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Camera Card and drop the camera off back at our shop before 6:00pm.