Is The Great Barrier Reef Dead?

A question of grave importance, Is The Great Barrier Reef Dead?

The short answer ... heck no!

In fact, huge swaths of the Great Barrier Reef are alive and well! In fact, healthy, breeding and harboring life as we know it!

The Great Barrier Reef in 2020

The Great Barrier Reef in 2020

But yes, sections of the Great Barrier Reef have come under pressure as with the well-published articles of doom and gloom from all the major newspapers. The extent of how much of the reef is dead we think is hugely blown out of proportion compared to reality. But doom & gloom does sell newspapers and it does create great clickbait to get your attention.

But we also believe there is no denying the science, carbon-emitting industries are contributing to a faster rate of global warming. This is affecting the long term health and resilience of the reef, this is well-publicized in many scientific journals.

We agree humans need to curb our energy consumption needs. Currently, the burning of fossil fuels & natural gas, current transportation, and manufacturing methods clearly points to humans having a negative effect on the natural environment.

Yes, the computer or iPhone you are reading this article has contributed to global warming!

Why is the Reef Recovering?

In the past three years since the last coral bleaching event in 2016 & 2017, we have had cyclones. Cyclones are a normal part of life in the tropical north of Australia. In fact, during 2016 & 2017 there were no cyclones. In fact, very hot water, very calm seas and not allot of tidal movement all contributed to the mass coral bleaching events of 2016 & 2017.

But cyclones bring rain, wind and large tidal movements. With that, they bring cooler water conditions. Many local people prey for cyclones each year as they bring hundreds and millions of tons of fresh water. The port city of Cairns receives 2 meters of rain per year!

The monsoon season, the hot summer months are when there are chances of coral bleaching. But as with the past 3 years, we have had cyclones in the area and with it the cooling water and Seabreeze. The summer of 2020 also saw some light coral bleaching but with water temperatures now dropping hopefully this will hold us out for another year!

What can we do to help?

Here at Cairns Dive Adventures, we are in fact huge fans of Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Bill Gates. All entrepreneurs creating carbon-reducing industries. Or at least allot less carbon polluting than the current models.

Talking with many reef tourism operators many are very interested in operating full-electric boats! Once the manufacturing of these become cost-effective, many reef tourism operators would move to this mode of transport.

As we write this article COVID-19 is taking over the world! Currently, scientists are witnessing reductions in greenhouse gas and carbon-emitting industries especially in countries like China.

It is at this moment in time our beautiful planet can breathe once again, but perhaps only for a short while. We do fear once the COVID-19 crises reside the World will get back to normal.

It is our hope and with our efforts of promoting the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, populations and Governments quickly hasten the transition to environmentally greener energy solutions.

There is a saying from Marine Biologist Gareth Phillips of Reef Teach Cairns:

"To be a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef, we encourage you, of course, to visit it, connect with it and love it. More than that, take the time to learn about it, and be a part of the journey to protect it, for today, tomorrow and our future generations."


From our own first-hand experience regularly scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef from the city of Cairns Australia. No, the Great Barrier Reef is not dead!

We welcome your feedback and questions. Please feel free to get in touch with us by email: or phone: +61 7 40411638.

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.
Tusa at the Reef

Tusa Dive T6

Tusa Dive provide quality Great Barrier Reef snorkel / dive day tours on one of Cairns' newest reef day boats, T6. Up to 5 hours on the reef, visiting 2 locations. Great service - all meals included.
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.

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.

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.
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.

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Cairns Reef 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.