Diving in Cairns off the Great Barrier Reef


Pic taken by Colleen Mandris on Instagram

There is no question that the Great Barrier Reef; one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is one of the best locations for diving and snorkeling in the world.

Cairns is the gateway to many of these unique and beautiful dive sites, with some of the most amazing locations being anywhere from 90-minutes to 2-hours offshore.  We are so lucky to have this natural beauty at our doorstep.

A whopping 2,900 kilometers of reef stretches across 5,208 kilometers of coast, making it the only living thing visible from space.  Wow!!

Whether you are a keen, experienced diver or just starting out on your journey, the Great Barrier Reef caters for everyone.  For the beginner divers, there are well protected, calm and shallow coves rich in gorgeous fish and corals.  For the more experienced divers, there are deep ocean spots along the outer reefs, home to the most beautiful sea life imaginable.  You truly won’t want to resurface.

Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, described his experience of siting an eight foot wide manta ray off Hayman Island, really encapsulating the raw emotion felt when up close with these majestic creatures – ‘As it moved, shimmering and undulating its giant wings, folding itself through the water, I felt that I was looking at the single most beautiful and unearthly thing I had ever seen in my life.’

So we know it’s unique, large and magical and all accessible from Cairns.  But where are the best dive spots located?  This is a difficult question to answer because there are literally too many to mention?  However, to get you started, here are just a couple of great dive locations that are accessible from Cairns:

FLYNN REEF– If you’re looking for a variety of colorful and amazing sea life, Flynn Reef is a very popular diving spot.  There are excellent wall dives, swim-throughs, overhangs and night diving. Expect to see an abundance of marine life combined with plenty of corals.

THE COD HOLE – If you’re looking for big fish that aren’t going to eat you but look awesome in a pic right next to your face (let’s hope there’s no resemblance), the giant potato cod is a must see.  The perfect dive spot for these is known as The Cod Hole.  The location is quite secluded and is found on the northern part of the Ribbon Reefs.

OSPREY REEF – On the other hand if you are brave and thrive on fear, there’s the Osprey Reef dive where you’ll get up close and personal with lots of sharks.  Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies, it’s made for you.  So exhilarating and hair-raising and those underwater pics are going to be very impressive.  Your heart will almost jump out of your chest as you watch them devour a dead fish right in front of you.   

As your busy life on land powers on, and you feel the calling from the great ocean that lies beneath, take some time to book your experience, the magic of the sea will re-connect you with nature, revitalise your soul and leave you with the most amazing memories imaginable.