Top 8 Dive Sites from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef

Top 8 Dive Sites from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef

The Northern Queensland coastline is known for some of the greatest dive sites in the world. Thousands of tourists take the journey between Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, each year, in search of their very own glimpse of this underwater wonderland. Abundant in tropical marine wildlife, the dive spots between Cairns and Australia’s infamous natural wonder seem endless. If you’re planning the ultimate dive adventure, be sure to make some time to visit these popular dive sites, located just off the coast of Northern Queensland.


Flynn Reef

Flynn Reef is commonly popular amongst divers of all levels of expertise. The sheltered waters provide the perfect atmosphere for beginners, whilst the more advanced diver is sure to have a memorable experience, when exploring this natural haven. Learners to intermediate levels of divers would get the most pleasure from this site.

Thetford Reef

Abundant with opportunities for wall diving and swim throughs, various coral species flourish in this environment. Divers will have the opportunity to view an array of marine wildlife from coral and smaller fish right through to larger fish species and shark varieties.

Pellowe Reef

This dive site is great for beginner levels through to intermediate. With most dive spots ranging between 5 and 20 metres, varying depths provide great options for divers. Pellowe Reef is located close to the edge of the Continental Shelf, meaning tours and visits can often be restricted by changes in weather.

Milln Reef

Divers are spoilt for choice when visiting Milln Reef, as it offers a number of great dive sites including Whale Bommie, Petaj Mooring and the Three Sisters. White tip reef sharks and turtles can be found amongst these protected waters, making this one of the most exiting dive sites along the entire coastline.

Hastings Reef

Located off the shore of Cairns, Hastings Reef is the perfect location for beginners and trainees. An abundance of reef fish means that viewing opportunities are great, whilst calmer waters also allow for snorkelling.

Holmes Reef

Holmes Reef is a popular choice for more experienced divers, as it is not recommended for beginners or intermediate skill levels. This dive spot is truly amazing, home to sea turtles, caves, deep dives and an unbelievable place for experienced night divers.

Agin Court Reef

The Agin Court Reef is made up of four smaller reefs and provides a great marine experience for families and tourists. While there are fascinating dive opportunities available at the site, is has also been further developed to house a helicopter landing pad and an underwater observatory.


Ribbon Reef 10

This is the most northern reef of the Ribbon Reefs and is infamous for a particularly dive site named Cod Hole, frequented by divers from all around the world. Situated along the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef, the conditions can be somewhat unpredictable, but the reef is also home to some of the greatest marine wildlife in Northern Queensland.


Navigating your way along the north coast of Queensland and making your way out to some of the greatest diving spots in the world can sometimes prove to be difficult. Organised tours provide you with a professional guide and a means of transport for your journey. If you’re planning a dive getaway, talk to your travel agent about the best Cairns Tour Packages available.


Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll is the Manager of Cairns Tour Advice & Booking Centre. An adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.

Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll - Chief Travel writer and Scuba Diving enthusiast at Cairns Tour Info. Follow him on Twitter.

Do you need help choosing?

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.


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