With over 638 dives on the Great Barrier Reef, all reviews are written by the Cairns Dive Adventures team. We are passionate about the Great Barrier Reef, we write each review not as a travel story but as an accurate account of how your day will play out. The below reviews are created with the same cameras we use for our free underwater camera rental service. For tips, suggestions, and dive boat recommendations please get in touch with our dive crazy reservation team by:
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Tusa Dive T6 Review

Tusa Dive is undoubtedly one of the premium day dive operations in Cairns. The boat is modern and the staff friendly, efficient and professional. The diving and snorkelling is fantastic with great dive sites. For the certified diver, you can really see the company has a diving background and really takes care of the certified divers on board. That being said, all of the snorkelers and introductory divers had a fantastic day out on the reef as well. All in all, this was a memorable and magnificent day tour to Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef.

Approaching Fitzroy Island Jetty

Fitzroy Island Resort Review

Fitzroy Island is a continental island 30km offshore from Cairns. Access is via a comfortable 45-minute boat transfer and accommodation is available at the 4.5 star Fitzroy Island Resort. The island has tropical vegetation, a mixture of rainforest, mangroves and open woodlands and the coral beaches have fringing reefs and bommies. Guests can snorkel and…


Reef Quest Diving Review

Reef Quest is a great value day trip to Cairns’ Outer Great Barrier Reef. The boat is comfortable and the dive crew very helpful and experienced. The dive locations are good and easy to dive. A great point for Reef Quest is the number of larger tanks allowing the more air consuming divers more time underwater. If you are looking for a great value day of diving, this is the trip for you.


Silverswift (Quicksilver) Cairns Review

Silverswift is a great day tour option for certified divers and snorkelers who are comfortable swimming in the open water (with no islands or pontoons close by). Licensed to visit several different reef sites and locations, the three (3) best will be chosen on the day to maximise your experience, pending weather and conditions. The boat is fast and comfortable with excellent facilities for divers and snorkelers, including large tanks, dry change rooms and hot water showers: the crew was friendly and very helpful. With a guided snorkel tour included, as well as all meals, this is a good value Cairns Great Barrier Reef trip.

Dive time! 1st dive at Moore Reef

Cairns Dive Centre – MV ReefKist Review

Cairns Dive Centre offers the cheapest Cairns Great Barrier Reef dive and snorkel trips. These are great value for money day tours, offering up to four hours at the reef, exploring two different reef sites. The boat is comfortable for day visitors and the trip is great for budget travellers. Cairns Dive Centre is an experienced Cairns dive operator and introductory dives are available on board.

Marine World Pontoon

Reef Magic Cruises – Marine World Review

This is a great pontoon day tour with lots of inclusions and activities. It’s perfect for families, older reef visitors, snorkelers of all experience levels and certified divers who also like to add some snorkelling and other activities into their day. With a maximum of 200 guests and around 25 crew, customer service was excellent and the facilities had plenty of room for everyone to have a good day. The superior ride of the Reef Magic boat made for a comfortable transfer to and from the reef. All in all, an informative day, exploring all levels of the Great Barrier Reef, from above and below

Ocean Free moored off the island

Ocean Free – Green Island Review

Ocean Free is the only Cairns day tour to combine sailing, snorkeling, diving, Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. The 16m sailing schooner is charted to carry 52 but takes a maximum of 35 for passenger comfort (on our day there were 24). The crew is very friendly, welcoming and helpful. This is an excellent day tour option for those wanting to combine all of the above elements. Diving depth is shallow and conditions suitable for the inexperienced to experienced diver, with introductory diving available. Snorkelling conditions are good and having the time on Green Island makes it a well rounded day trip.

Here we go, check Nick with the cage!

Spirit of Freedom – Coral Sea Review

The Coral Sea delivers adventure diving by the bucket load with its reef sharks and 1,000m wall drop-offs. We were extremely lucky with the weather, enjoying flat seas, blue water and unbelievable visibility for the entire trip. For those who had booked a 7-day trip, they had also seen (snorkeled and dived) with a Whale Shark the day before we joined them! Given the depths (and currents that sometimes occur in the open ocean) a Coral Sea dive trip is more suited to Advanced Divers, or Open Water Divers with lots of experience. Spirit of Freedom is a luxury liveaboard dive boat with air-conditioned interior and spacious exteriors. Even with its full accompaniment of guests on this trip, there was plenty of room to relax and enjoy your own space. A life changing and memorable dive trip


Cairns Sunset Cruise Review

Cairns Sunset Cruises offer Cairns’ only sunset cruise, combining calm water cruising with glorious views, drinks and nibbles. A glorious way to end the day, you can also choose to combine this 90-minute cruise with a three-course dinner package at Dundee’s restaurant for a fabulous night out. The cruise departs at 5.30pm from Cairns Marlin…

Diving on Norman Reef

OceanQuest Overnight Dive Review

Deep Sea Diver’s Den provides affordable, comfortable overnight dive trips from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef. There are daily departures, thanks to SeaQuest, and OceanQuest is suitable for certified divers and snorkelers. Non-divers will enjoy the spacious, communal spaces and divers can look forward to excellent diving on varied Great Barrier Reef dive sites. If you are diver with non-diving family / friends, looking for a good liveaboard trip from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, then this is an ideal, well priced option

Norman Reef Pontoon

Great Adventures: Green Island + Reef Review

Great Adventures is the only tour operator to combine Green Island with the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The boat carries hundreds of guests, so you can expect the pontoon and boat to be quite busy. There is ample time to explore Green Island and then enjoy the Outer Great Barrier Reef, with the pontoon activities and options catering to people of all interests, from non-swimmers to snorkelers, introductory and certified divers. The pontoon has lowered, in-water platforms for entry and exit: there is also an elevated sun deck with lounges to just relax and soak up the views

Staghorn Corals spawning en masse

Tusa Dive – Coral Spawning Review

Once a year, the over 400 different types of Great Barrier Reef corals reproduce en masse, in an event known as Coral Spawning. Coral Spawning always occurs at night, with the release of the corals’ eggs and sperm tied to the moon’s presence, light and lunar cycles. In 2011, we witnessed the magic of Coral Spawning for the first time, with Cairns operator Tusa Dive. It was amazing! Diving amongst the thousands of pink eggs which floated through the water, like bubbles rising in a flute of champagne.

Another Diagonal-banded Sweetlip

Deep Sea Divers Den – SeaQuest Review

Sea Quest offers a great value for money snorkel and scuba diving trip to Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef. The crew was friendly and dedicated to ensuring all guests had a great day, particularly watchful and helpful to the certified and introductory divers, making sure everyone was comfortable in their equipment and with their weights. The boat itself is spacious and well maintained and the day’s itinerary provides plenty of time to enjoy the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, at two excellent snorkel and dive sites. We have no hesitation in recommending this as a great day out.

Lifeguard lets us know it's time for lunch

Low Isles Wavedancer Review

Wavedancer is a comfortable sail boat which easily accommodates her guests (capacity 156), providing ample space to relax and unwind. The crew is friendly and professional, providing advice and assistance throughout the day. Low Isles is a good destination for those wanting to relax on the beach and enjoy the sunshine, with snorkelling on the fringing coral gardens. The Marine Biologist provides interesting information on the island and marine life. A great day tour for families, couples and people of all ages and abilities.


Passions of Paradise – Winter Review

Passions of Paradise delivers an amazing day tour to Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef, combining Outer Reef with Michaelmas Cay. This diversification in experience allows guests of all swimming, snorkeling and diving abilities to enjoy the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The crew is very friendly, committed to ensuring each and every guest is looked after from the very beginning to the very end of their day. As expected of an award winning product, the boat and equipment is in excellent condition and the trip is comfortable and peaceful. This is an excellent day tour for snorkelers and introductory and certified divers, combining the Great Barrier Reef with Michaelmas Cay

Hovering above Steve's Bommie trying to get the anemonefish

Spirit of Freedom – 4 Day Liveaboard Dive Review

Spirit of Freedom’s liveaboard trips to the Coral Sea and Ribbon Reefs, offer the ultimate in luxury diving. The 4 day / 4 night trip from Cairns departs on Thursday and returns Monday. It includes a scenic aerial flight along Queensland’s north-eastern coastline and allows for up to 15 dives, including night dives. Cabins are…

Tusa Dive Trip Review

Tusa Dive – T6 Dive & Snorkel Review

T6 is Cairns’ newest and best reef day tour boat. The crew is professional and friendly, working tirelessly throughout the day to ensure all guests are comfortable and enjoying their experience on the Great Barrier Reef, whether they are swimming, snorkeling, trying an introductory dive or certified divers. The equipment is brand new, having been brought on board when the boat was launched on 10 August 2011. Service is with a smile and lunch is delicious and healthy. This is an excellent Cairns Great Barrier Reef day tour with an Advanced Ecotourism certified operator.

Normanby Island is a National Park

Frankland Islands Cruise Review

A great day tour which takes you to the Frankland Islands Group, five separate islands that sometimes join at low tide. The river cruise is gentle and scenic, the island is glorious on a warm, winter’s day in the tropics and lunch is delicious. This tour would be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.


Cairns Whale Watching – Reef Magic Review

Whales are magnificent creatures and most people feel an affinity with these gentle giants of the deep. It is wonderful to see them in their natural environment, enjoying the “warm” waters of the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, during the Antarctic’s cold winter months. This half day tour provides a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with the Humpback Whales, as they frolic in the waters off Cairns. The assurance that you can go again for free if you do not see them, makes for good peace of mind

Fitzroy Island Beach

Raging Thunder ‘Fitzroy Flyer’ Review

Raging Thunder provides full day reef tours to Fitzroy Island, in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, daily. The full day tour departs Cairns at 8.30am and provides you with approximately five (5) hours to explore this offshore continental island with its fringing coral reefs. Day tours start at $58 adults ($31.50 for children) and…

Half-circled Angelfish at Flynn Reef, Cairns

Pro Dive Cairns: 3 Day Liveaboard Review

Pro Dive Cairns provides professional, liveaboard certified and learn to dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef. The crew is friendly and efficient. The liveaboard vessel is comfortable, with shared amenities, an air-conditioned interior lounge and spacious exterior sun deck. Meals are generous, hearty and regular, ensuring your internal tank is kept filled for the diving and swimming completed during the trip. Complimentary water bottles are provided and are a great way to stay hydrated, thanks to the filtered water cooler on the top deck. The dive deck and equipment were well maintained and there was a focus on passenger safety during the dive briefings and headcounts. Dive Instructors were friendly and informative, ensuring guests enjoyed their dive courses, while still having time for recreational dives

Passions of Paradise at Long Bommie

Passions of Paradise – Review

Passions of Paradise offers guests an award winning, Adventure Tourism experience on Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef and at Michaelmas Cay National Park. Combining these two elements allows Passions’ guests to explore the open waters of the Great Barrier Reef and swim in the shallow, protected waters surrounding the cay, which are bursting with marine life…

Crocodile Explorer

Crocodile Explorer Wilderness Cruise Trip Review

Crocodile Explorer Wilderness Cruise and Crocodile Farm is an ideal way to spend half a day in Cairns, once you have visited, dived and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef. Trinity Inlet is a stunning tidal estuary, providing an important breeding and nursery habitat for many Great Barrier Reef fish species, including the Bat fish. The…

Great Barrier Reef Starfish - second dive of the day

Ocean Freedom Autumn Review

Ocean Freedom guarantees less travel time and more time on the reef. They deliver on this promise, with guests having ample time to enjoy all of the activities and destinations, whilst also having the chance to just relax and soak up the beauty of the day. The cruiser is fast and comfortable. The crew is friendly, knowledgeable and caring, going out of their way to ensure everyone had a great day on the reef and cay. This is an excellent day tour for snorkelers and introductory and certified divers, combining the Great Barrier Reef with Upolu Cay

Green Island Beach as seen from jetty - side 2

Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises Review

Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises had friendly Reservations staff and on-board crew, providing advice and assistance throughout the day. The children enjoyed the day out, despite the windy start and passing rain showers. Big Cat and Green Island provided a protected environment, allowing them to run and explore in safety, with the added bonus of seeing / holding a baby crocodile and feeding the fish of the Great Barrier Reef. There is a lot to see and do on the island, keeping you busy throughout the day. Snorkeling from the beach, you can expect to see sea grass beds and patches of coral: coral gardens are further offshore and accessed on a tender transfer

NEMO on the Great Barrier Reef

Down Under Dive – Osprey 5 Trip Review

‘OLD Boat – Osprey – no longer running – see review for new boat Evolution below’. Down Under Dive is definitely one of Cairns’ best value day tours to the Great Barrier Reef, including a certified or introductory dive in the package price. It attracts fun seekers from around the city and world, who definitely enjoyed the sun deck, BBQ lunch and complimentary platters on the return journey. Each guest is allocated a cubby hole to place their belongings, which is a good idea. With such a large proportion of certified and introductory divers on board, the dive deck does get busy, but the equipment is kept in excellent condition by the diligent crew.

Silverswift Divers After Dive

Quicksilver’s Silverswift – April Review

Quicksilver’s Silverswift is a fast, modern catamaran offering guests superior ride stability on their Great Barrier Reef day tour. Its spacious interior and exterior has plenty of room to relax and enjoy the day. The crew is committed to ensuring their guests are fully briefed on the day and its activities, providing care and attention on the dive deck for divers and snorkelers. Equipment is well maintained and the lunch is delicious. This trip is excellent for adventurous snorkelers and introductory and certified divers, who will enjoy the three different reef sites.

Lawyer Cane Leaves at Skyrail

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Review

Cairns is home to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders. Did you know it was also home to the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforests on earth? These ancient forests are home to the world’s first flowering plants, 65% of Australia’s fern species and an amazing range of animals. When you’re…

Everyone can snorkle, flotation vests provided

Sunlover Cruises – A Rainy Day Review

Sunlover Reef Cruises provides snorkel and dive tours to the Great Barrier Reef for people of all ages. On our day, guests ranged from 2 months old to 75 years, and were a combination of tour groups, families and couples. The coral gardens were excellent for snorkeling and despite poor weather (rain did come and go throughout the day) everyone had an amazing time and left the reef with a big smile on their dial and memories to last a lifetime. This trip is suitable for all ages and abilities, even non-swimmers will enjoy the day

Are you looking at me?

Spirit of Freedom – 3 Day Diving Review

Spirit of Freedom is a professional operator committed to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and delivering their guests a luxurious, first class experience in paradise. The boat is spacious and comfortable. The dive deck, equipment, briefings and crew are modern, friendly and informative. They even help you put on and take off your fins, as well as defogging your mask prior to every dive: now that’s service! The Ribbon Reefs were a joy to dive, vibrant hard and soft corals, feather stars, sea stars, lionfish, reef sharks, turtles, stingrays, giant potato cod, tiny jewel-like damselfish and everything in between. This is a once in a lifetime trip, creating many memories. It is highly recommended




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 5:30pm.