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Dreamtime Dive Cairns Winter Trip Review

Cairns Dive Adventures Trip Review

A fantastic outer reef day tour with a twist! Enjoy two beautiful outer reef sites with traditional indigenous cultures.

Dreamtime Dive Cairns Winter Trip Review

Trip Review By: Clint

Welcome to our Dreamtime Dive Cairns Winter Trip Review, performed by our wonderful dive staff Miran on a cool start to winter in North Queensland Australia.

It’s the start of JUNE and it’s beginning to get cooler up here in tropical Cairns. Around this time of year is when families from down South start booking their trips to the reef for the school holidays or global visitors worldwide would book their Minke Whale trips and outer reef liveabaords. During the dry season, you can expect glass-like crystal clear water conditions, cooler and crisper air, and generally better diving and snorkel conditions than the rest of the year.

Today, we went out on the Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel Boat, and we will be giving an in-depth rundown on how our trip went and what you can expect to experience on this unique dive & snorkel adventure. Although they provide snorkeling and diving at two different reef locations like most boats do, they add a cultural twist. Onboard, First Nation Cultural Guides will take you through traditional landowner dreamtime stories, dances, and culture of Indigenous Australians and the Great Barrier Reef.

Check-in started at 8:15 am at the Reef Unlimited Counter, inside the Reef Fleet Terminal. We then headed down to the boat, which is docked at the end of Marlin Marina’s A-Finger and got on board. Inside, there is a selection of biscuits, tea and coffee which passengers can munch on while waiting for the boat to fill up before it departs at 9am. Dreamtime’s reef sites include Milln, Flynn, Hastings, Saxon, Norman and Thetford Reef, today we went out to – Hastings and Saxon Reef. They provide all snorkel equipment including masks, snorkel, fins, Lycra suits and dive equipment.

On the way out to the reef, everyone onboard must fill out snorkel and/or dive medical forms, and the staff will go through a rundown of the snorkel and dive safety briefings. Passengers could also book any introductory dives, certified dives, the snorkel experience or snorkel safari tour on the boat. The Snorkel Experience Tour is a 30-minute snorkel tour accompanied by a marine biologist, which takes place at the first reef site as a sort of snorkel refresher for beginner or weak swimmers. The Snorkel Safari Tour takes place at the second reef site of the day, lasting 30 minutes for experienced swimmers, taking snorkelers further out to the reef, away from the boat, accompanied by a marine biologist snorkel guide.

Site #1 – Hastings Reef

1 hour and 40 mins later, we arrived at our first Reef Site – Hasting Reef. We got suited up and ready to dive into the fascinating underwater marine world. All the dives on Dreamtime are guided, which is suitable for divers, who aren’t so confident self-navigating. Today, we were accompanied by a marine biologist as our dive guide. We encountered two swimming feather stars, a few nemos and a spotted sweet lip as well. It was raining on and off the past few days, so we didn’t know what to expect of the visibility. On this day, it was a little windy – 18 knots, visibility was around 13m, and the water temperature sitting at a comfortable 27 degrees Celsius. 50 minutes later we finished our first dive, and it was lunch time!

Lunch Time

Dreamtime serves a buffet-style lunch, including small bread rolls, butter, and cold meats such as salami, ham, chicken breast, coleslaw salad, potato salad, leafy greens, quiche, and fruits. While eating lunch, the boat moved to its second reef destination. When the boat docked, there was a presentation on tools that the indigenous used to hunt for their food in the water, which was insightful.

Site # 2 – Saxon Reef

While we waited for our dive upon arriving at the second reef stop, we hopped into the water to do some snorkeling where we spotted a few yellow banded sweetlips, a large starry pufferfish, Nemo, and many more fish. There were also a few swim-through caverns.

At 2 pm, it was time for our last dive of the day with plenty of macro life! This time, we spotted a very colorful cleaner shrimp resting on the bubble honeycomb-like anchor coral, a neon race stripe nudie branch, and a friendly giant moray eel chilling in its little secluded coral home.

On the way back to Cairns, the crew performed an Indigenous dance ceremony at the front of the boat, showcasing a taste of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture entertainingly and educationally. Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel offers passengers a wonderful way to explore the Great Barrier Reef and learn about Australia’s oldest living culture. It is truly a unique and unforgettable experience.


Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel Cairns offers a unique experience to explore the Great Barrier Reef and also immerse yourself in traditional Australian indigenous culture.  If you have any questions please get in touch with our dive crazy reservations team at PH: +61 7 40411638 or by email:

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.

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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.