Diving With Turtles Cairns Best Locations Gear Meals Included Prices Small Groups

Diving with Turtles from Cairns. Let us show you the best locations that give you the highest chances of seeing a sea turtle from Cairns.

DAY DIVING TRIPS FROM CAIRNS:

TUSA Reef Tours Boat from Cairns Australia

TUSA Reef Tours

TUSA Reef Tours provide small group Certified Diving and Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. One of newest day trips from Cairns with over 5 hours on the reef, visiting 2 locations. Outstanding Customer Service!

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.

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.

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.

Fully inclusive Great Barrier Reef day tours with Reef Experience

Reef Experience

Cairns’ only fully inclusive day tour, including: city hotel transfers, trip to Great Barrier Reef, 6 hours on reef, 2 reef locations, meals, free scuba dive, marine biologist presentation & equipment.

Do you need help choosing?

Can't decide?
CALL US: 07 4041 1638
Or try the form below, 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.

Ok first, some information about sea turtles. Sea turtles are found all over the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, The Great Barrier Reef is home to 6 of the Worlds 7 species of marine Sea Turtles! They Are:

  • Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) ...
  • Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) ...
  • Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) ...
  • Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) ...
  • Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) ...
  • Olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) ...
  • Flatback (Natator depressa)

The Great Barrier Reef is home to the following 6 Species of Sea Turtle:

  • Hawksbill Turtle.
  • Flatback Turtle.
  • Green Sea Turtle.
  • Olive Ridley Turtle.
  • Leatherback Turtle.
  • Loggerhead Turtle.

Turtles can be seen from the beach, from sand cays, while snorkelling, scuba diving, from semi-submarines and from glass bottom boats.

A few tips on where you tend to see more sea turtles from Cairns are:

  1. Sea Turtles love to eat sea grass, algae, some eat crustations and jellyfish. In fact, many love to eat a specific type of food called - sea sponges.

Schooling reef fish

Ribbon Reefs Full of life.

Giant Potato Cod and Diver at the Cod Hole.

Giant Potato Cod, Cod Hole

Gorgonian Sea Fan

Gorgonian Sea Fan

Spotted Sweetlip Fish.

Spotted Sweetlip Fish.

Soft Coral Osprey Reef

Soft Coral Osprey Reef

Sea Turtle on the Great Barrier Reef.

Sea Turtles


Scuba diving in Australia can be broken into 3 main regions.

  1. The Great Barrier Reef located on the North East Coast of Queensland.
  2. The Central Coast of Maloolabah, Byron Bay, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie, and Sydney.
  3. The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne and Western Australia Ningaloo Reef.

The first and most famous place for scuba diving in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef offers spectacular diving on coral walls teaming with life, giant coral bays and coral gardens, deep bommies, swim thru's, small caverns, caves and a large array of marine animals.

Scuba Divers can expect to find many species of marine life, including sea turtles, giant clams, white tip and black tip reefs sharks, grey whaler reef sharks, giant mauri wrasse, schooling barracuda, queenfish, giant trevally, cuttlefish, moray eels, flame file shells, octopus, lionfish, glassfish, wobbegong reef sharks, parrot fish and sometimes whale sharks and manta rays.

The water temperatures are warm, ranging from around 22 to 29 degrees Celsius, this offers all year round diving. Check out our month by month guide for diving the Great Barrier Reef.

As the largest reef system on earth, the Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 2800klm. It is made up of hundreds of smaller reefs offering amazing bio-diversity and marine life. Divers can visit the reef three different ways.

1-Day boat diving

Day boats depart from either Cairns or from Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. There are also options for day boat diving from Alva Beach (SS Yongala Ship Wreck), Misson Beach, Townsville, Orpheus Island, Heron Island, Frankland Islands, Lizard Island, Hamilton Island and Lady Musgrave Island. But we have decided to suggest diving from Cairns and Airlie Beach for ease of access to the International airport at Cairns and the domestic Airport at Hamilton Island (Whitsundays).

2-Multi-day liveaboard dive boats

Overnight liveaboard dive boats depart from both Cairns and the Whitsundays. Although Cairns has a larger selection of liveaboard dive boats on offer due to the close proximity of the outer barrier reef systems, the ribbon reefs, and the coral sea. The Whitsundays tend to be great for visiting the Islands and white sandy beaches, but not the best visibility for scuba diving. If it is great diving you are after then you should look at a liveaboard dive boat from Cairns.

3-Coral Sea liveaboard dive expeditions

Extended Coral Sea liveaboard dive boats only depart from Cairns. Typically they dive the Northern outer barrier reef systems known as the ribbon reefs. Departing Cairns on Thursdays and returning to Cairns on Mondays, Coral Sea liveaboards also visit a large underwater sea-mount/volcano known as Osprey Reef. Osprey Reef is located 100 miles East of Australia in the Coral Sea. Coral Sea liveaboard expeditions are regarded as the best scuba diving in Australia!

What are the highlights?

The highlights of diving in Australia are absolutely diving the Great Barrier Reef. The southern parts of Australia do offer some unique diving experiences like cave diving with Grey Nurse sharks at South West Rocks and Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. But diving on the Great Barrier Reef is regarded as the real gem of diving in Australia.

Where are the best dive sites found?

The best dive sites are found on the Great Barrier Reef teaming with life, superb coral and large schools of fish. Here is a list of the top 10 dives sites on the Great Barrier Reef.

  1. Osprey Reef Shark Dive at the North Horn Dive Site.
  2. Holmes Reef located East of Cairns in the Coral Sea.
  3. Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reef Number 10.
  4. The Cod Hole, Northern Ribbon Reefs Lizard Island.
  5. Yongalla Ship Wreck (Alva Beach).
  6. Three Sisters, Milln Reef Cairns.
  7. Lighthouse Bommie (Dwarf Minke Whale Encounters)
  8. Pixie Pinnacle Dive Site Ribbon Reef 9.
  9. Whale Bommie Milln Reef.
  10. Barracuda Bommie, Agincourt Reef 2, Port Douglas.

What can you expect to see diving in Australia?

If we talk about the best place to scuba dive in Australia, nearly all signs point to the Great Barrier Reef. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef you can expect to see a large array of marine species teaming with life. Expect to find tiny nudibranchs, seahorses, and shrimps to large grey whaler reef sharks, giant mauri wrasse reef fish, schooling giant trevally, queenfish and sea turtles of all species. The Great Barrier Reef is made up of hundreds of different species of soft and hard corals. Giant Gorgonian red sea fans, Sea Whips, Sponges, Anenome's, Bolder Corals, Brain Corals and much more.

Conclusion:

If you are planning to Scuba Dive in Australia then you should seriously look at scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. With easy access by day boat or liveaboard from Cairns or the Whitsundays, diving the Great Barrier Reef should be a must do on your next visit to Australia.

If you have questions or need help choosing a liveaboard or day boat dive trip to the reef, call our friendly staff at PH: + 61 7 40411638 or send us an email reservations@cairnsdiveadventures.com. Our dive crazy staff will point you in the best place to scuba dive in Australia.

TUSA Reef Tours Boat from Cairns Australia

TUSA Reef Tours

TUSA Reef Tours provide small group Certified Diving and Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. One of newest day trips from Cairns with over 5 hours on the reef, visiting 2 locations. Outstanding Customer Service!
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.

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.
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.
Fully inclusive Great Barrier Reef day tours with Reef Experience

Reef Experience

Cairns' only fully inclusive day tour, including: city hotel transfers, trip to Great Barrier Reef, 6 hours on reef, 2 reef locations, meals, free scuba dive, marine biologist presentation & equipment.
Sail to Uplulo Cay with Reef Day Tripper

REEF DAYTRIPPPER:

With a maximum of 20 passengers Reef Day Tripper offers a relaxed sailing small group day tour to the reef!
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.
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.
The Passions of Paradise boat Cairns Australia

Passions Of Paradise

Australian Tourism Award Winner. Daily dive/snorkel trips to Paradise Reef, Hastings reef, and more on 25m sailing catamaran. Free scuba demonstration & guided snorkel tour. Hot / cold buffet lunch.

Ocean Spirit Cruises

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.
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.
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.
Great Adventures Day Boat

Great Adventures: Outer Reef Pontoon

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.
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.
Great Adventures Outer Reef Pontoon Cairns Australia

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 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.
Fitzroy Island Ferry's by Sunlover Cruises

Fitzroy Island Ferry Transfers by Sunlover Cruises

Fitzroy Island Ferry transfers by Sunlover Cruises! Depart Cairns at 8:45 am and return to Cairns at 4:45 pm! Bring your own snorkel gear or hire at the Island!
Fitzroy Island Jetty

Fitzroy Island Adventures – Boat Transfers

Fitzroy Island boat transfers with Fitzroy Island Adventures offer a fast quick transfer service to the beautiful Fitzroy Island.
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.
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. Introductory and certified diving are available at extra cost. Brand new boat.
ReefQuest

Deep Sea Divers Den: Aqua Quest

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

Calypso Dive & Snorkel

Calypso Dive & Snorkel operate a beautiful dive boat from Port Douglas. This boat was built with divers and snorkelers in mind. A large hydraulic step is located at the back of the boat, this makes it extremely easy to get in and out of the water.

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Cairns Day dive information

Click the links below to find out more.

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.

Special

FREE UNDERWATER CAMERA HIRE*

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. Only when you book online thru our website. 

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 5:30pm.

 

Please Remember there is no other way to collect our cameras! All passengers must come into our shop the day before departure day before 5:30 pm.