Product Name:

Ocean Quest – Minke Whale Dive Expeditions

Cairns Minke Whale Dive Trips

Minke Whale Dive Expeditions from Cairns, Operates JUNE & JULY Each Year. Dive & Snorkel with Dwarf Minke Whales!

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All Prices in Australian Dollars.

Camera Special

Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service


Book this trip with us, you must spend over $550.00 AUD to receive our 1 x Free Cairns Underwater Camera Hire. Only when you book online thru our website. You must come into our Cairns Esplanade Shop to pick up the camera the day before departure day before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Card. Reserve your camera today!

*Not valid for any tours visiting the islands. Fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!


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.

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.

Product Name:

Ocean Quest – Minke Whale Dive Expeditions

Tour Type: 4 Day / 4 Night Trip | Operates: JULY | Departs: Friday 8am | Returns: Tuesday 9am | Transfers: Not available


Minke Whale Dive Expeditions from Cairns, Operates JUNE & JULY Each Year. Dive & Snorkel with Dwarf Minke Whales!

Certified Scuba Diving: Yes, Open-water Or Higher, Snorkelers Also Welcome! All Snorkel Gear: Yes, Snorkel, Fins, Mask and Life Jackets
Meals: Yes, Hot & Cold Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner! Guided Dives: No, But there will be instructors in the water on every dive. The crew give fantastic dive briefings!
Hot Showers and Toilets: All Cabins Have Private Bathrooms Full Dive Gear Available:  Yes, Extra Cost See Price List
Underwater Photographer Friendly: Yes, Camera Bucket and Camera Area Available Outer Reef: Yes, Ribbon Reefs, Steve's Bommie, Lighthouse Bommie, Challenger Bay

Deep Sea Divers Den is running a limited 2-month season of Dwarf Minke Whales trips, in June and July each year. During this period, their Cairns liveaboard dive boat Ocean Quest, which is usually permanently at sea cruising the Outer Great Barrier Reef, will provide weekly trips to the Ribbon Reefs in search of the Dwarf Minke Whales.

The Dwarf Minke Whales make an annual, winter migration to the warmer waters of the Ribbon Reefs. This is one of the only places on earth, where you can participate in an in-water encounter with these inquisitive creatures of the sea. Truly a once in a lifetime, most memorable marine encounter.

The Ribbon Reefs are the best place to see the Dwarf Minke Whales. Located about 120km north of Cairns, the remote Ribbon Reefs offer divers some of the very best Great Barrier Reef diving. Think an amazing diversity of marine life, from the colourful small critters to the large potato cods, turtles, anemonefish and more. Diving is suitable for all divers, from beginners to experienced. Dive depth varies from 8 – 35m, making this trip the perfect option for anyone with an Open Water dive certification (license) or higher.

Ocean Quest is a comfortable liveaboard dive boat, offering guests the choice between double and twin cabin accommodation. Plenty of air-conditioned interior spaces, as well as an exterior sun deck and dive deck. Friendly crew. Dive equipment is an extra charge at $195.00 for the entire trip. All meals are included in the price. The boat travels to and from Cairns, providing diving on the Outer Great Barrier Reef and Ribbon Reefs.

Trip departs Friday and returns Tuesday. Dwarf Minke Whale encounters cannot be guaranteed, as they are wild creatures afterall, but if we can’t deliver Minkes we will deliver fantastic Great Barrier Reef diving. You can’t lose! Includes 4-Night Dives.


All prices in Australian Dollars.
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4 Day/4 Night Diver TWIN Cabin (Share with another person)Certified Diver16$2,580.00 per person-$2,580.00 per person
4 Day/4 Night Diver DOUBLE Cabin (Based on 2 people traveling together)Certified Diver16$2,750.00per person-$2,750.00per person
4 Day/4 Night Snorkel TWIN Cabin (Share with another person)Snorkeling-$2,480.00 per person-$2,480.00
4 Day/4 Night Snorkel DOUBLE Cabin (Based on 2 people traveling together)Snorkeling-$2,650.00-$2,650.00
Full Dive Gear HireFull Dive Gear-$195.00 -$195.00 per person
Nitrox Tank FillsNitrox Fills-$240.00 Fill Package-$240.00 Fill package


For your reference, we are pleased to provide the below itinerary for this trip. Please note that this itinerary is subject to change, pending weather and conditions. It is provided as a guide only. The schedule will be altered to maximise your in-water encounters with the Dwarf Minke Whales, as much as possible.

Day 1 
Off we go! Check-in will either be at our dive center or directly onboard Ocean Quest (The Deep Sea Divers Den team will advise details with your booking confirmation). We then make our way out to the Outer Barrier Reef and enjoy two dives at either Saxon or Norman Reef. You’ll enjoy one more afternoon dive and one night dive before we steam to the Ribbon Reefs overnight.

Day 2 
Wake up to the sun rising over the Great Barrier Reef at Steve’s Bommie, one of the best dive sites on the reef thanks to its huge array of marine life including schools of fish, sharks, rays, nemos, octopus and more. You will enjoy four dives today, two at Steve’s Bommie and two others (including one night dive) at various other sites on the upper Ribbon Reefs.

Day 3 
We kick the weekend off with more diving and snorkelling opportunities throughout the Ribbon Reefs, giving you the opportunity to explore some of the Great Barrier Reef’s most untouched areas. Four dives are included in today’s itinerary. Your two morning dives will be at Lighthouse Bommie, where most of our interactions with Minke whales take place. You’ll also have an an afternoon dive and another night dive.

Day 4 
Explore more of the Great Barrier Reef at various dive sites along the Ribbon Reefs over four incredible dives – two in the morning, one in the afternoon and one night dive. The reef locations that we visit are less frequented by any other boats, and are home to many tropical fish species and bright mesmerizing coral. After your night dive (finishing around 8pm) we will steam south towards Cairns.

Day 5 
Wake up to your last morning on OceanQuest. After breakfast, you will be transferred back to your Cairns city accommodation at approximately 9 am, so you’ll be able to plan other activities on this day.

Please note itinerary may vary slightly depending on weather conditions. Our dive schedule will be adjusted to enable as much in-water interaction with the Minke whales as possible.


This trip caters to certified divers and snorkelers. Open Water certification is a minimum requirement and there is no solo diving on Ocean Quest. Any divers travelling on their own will be paired up with a buddy, of similar experience / skill levels. Most of the diving is unguided, however, Ocean Quest crew can provide assistance if required.

Those wishing to increase their diving skills and certification, have the choice of booking an Advanced Dive Course (for an additional fee); please ask for more information at the time of booking.

Diving equipment is not included in the tour price. You are welcome to bring your own (us for more information) or hire it on the boat ($195.00 for 4 day full equipment rental).

Certified divers can enjoy up to 16 dives on this trip: you do not have to do all of the dives, do as many or as few as you like. Comprehensive dive site briefings are provided before every dive. In regards to depth, divers should dive to their experience levels or certification. There are no set limits on dive time: although divers must return to the boat with a minimum of 50 bar of air left in their tanks.

Certified divers will be required to show evidence of their certification: through current dive licenses and log books. All divers will be required to sign a Waiver Release and Indemnity Deed onboard the boat. You will also be required to complete dive medical paperwork onboard.


Snorkellers are welcome to join Ocean Quest’s dedicated Dwarf Minke Whale trips, actually, most of the interactions with the whales happen on the snorkel line located out the front of the boat. The trip visits several Outer Great Barrier Reef and Ribbon Reef locations. The water quality and visibility will be good, but at some sites, the coral may be more than 8m beneath the surface. Please note that all sites are open water sites and as such, you will need to be a confident swimmer. When not snorkeling, you may enjoy relaxing on the sun deck, in your cabin or on the upper deck.

Customer Reviews:

Customer Tour Reviews & Feedback

Customer reviews are written by our customers using our 1 x FREE Digital Underwater Camer Hire Service.

An AMAZING experience!
By: Nathan Diving with a Sea Turtle
Staff Service - 5 out of 5
Reef Quality - 5 out of 5
Vaue For Money - 5 out of 5
Overall Rating - 5 out of 5

Travelled on: 19/07/2019

Had an amazing trip out on the Ocean Quest scuba diving and snorkeling with Dwarf minke whales and at some of the best reef diving, the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. This was all organized through Clint who did an amazing job making sure we were ready for the trip and had everything we needed, including loan of an underwater camera (plus tips on…

Perfect experience with so many highlights!
By: Jorja Dwarf Minke Whale
Staff Service - 5 out of 5
Reef Quality - 5 out of 5
Vaue For Money - 5 out of 5
Overall Rating - 5 out of 5

Travelled on: 19/07/2019

Shoutout to Clint from Cairns dive adventures for helping us book this trip from pre planning to post trip! We hired a camera from Clint who gave us lots of helpful tips as well which was amazing. Ocean Quest; Catered for vegans, and had some amazing yummy food cooked by the chef. Amazing dive spots with abundance of marine life our favourite was lighthouse Bommie…

Minke whale expedition
By: Brian Rasmussen Dwarf Minks whale mother and calf swimming together.
Staff Service - 5 out of 5
Reef Quality - 5 out of 5
Vaue For Money - 5 out of 5
Overall Rating - 5 out of 5

Travelled on: 15/06/2018

Amazing trip! Clint listened to what I was looking for and recommended this trip. I couldn’t have been happier. The boat, crew, equipment, dive sites, food, accommodations, and whale experts were first rate. I would recommend this without hesitation. Thanks for the memories!!

Full Reviews:

Cairns Dive Adventures Trip Reviews

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All prices in Australian Dollars.
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Tour Notes:

Remember to try any form of scuba diving everyone needs to be medically fit with no asthma and not be taking any prescription medication. PADI recommends allowing up to 24 hours after diving before flying in an airplane. Some tour operators have a no refund policy for any dives not completed for whatever reason. Please note the art of freediving is not permitted on any of the day boats or liveaboard dive boats from Cairns & Port Douglas. With the high instances of (shallow water blackout) companies do not allow this for safety reasons.

Do you have Medical Issues:

Please note if you have any medical issues you will need to go see your local GP where you live and get them to write you a letter on the practice letterhead signed and dated by your doctor that you are “Fit to dive” If you have one of these letters then all dive companies in Cairns will take you diving. Please note these letters are only valid for three months from their date of issue.

Cancelations and refunds; please note you need to give more than 30 days’ notice if you wish to cancel your trip and get a refund. Please note within 30 days’ notice of travel Deep Sea Divers Den does impose a no re-fund cancelation policy.

*Maximum of 36 guests only

Inclusions: Accommodation, all chef-prepared meals, and all snorkel gear. Please note Scuba equipment ($195.00 extra).

Scheduled Departure Dates for 2024 below:

14th June 2024 Minke Whale Trip (4 Days, 4 Nights)

21st June 2024 Minke Whale Trip (4 Days, 4 Nights)

5th July 2024 Minke Whale Trip (4 Days, 4 Nights)

12th July 2024 Minke Whale Trip (4 Days, 4 Nights)



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.