AquaQuest Great Barrier Reef Day Trip

Discover the marine wonderland of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this exciting day trip from Cairns that suits snorkellers, first time divers and certified divers.
Cairns, Australia
8 hrs 30 min
Start & End Time
Start & End Time
8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Not included
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
What's Included

  • Get up to $20 cash back per person when you book with us
  • A full-day Great Barrier Reef day trip, with the choice of snorkelling, introductory diving, or certified diving
  • 5 hrs at the reef, with up to three sessions in the water, at 2 different & exclusive mooring sites
  • Use of all equipment including snorkel & scuba gear, air fills, tuition, briefings, wetsuits, & prescription masks
  • Guided snorkel tours with an experienced crew member
  • Morning tea, a fresh tropical buffet lunch with hot & cold options, and afternoon tea
  • Tea, coffee, and fresh chilled drinking water
  • Use of hot freshwater showers to rinse off the salty ocean water after each dive

Where we Visit:

  • Exclusive moorings at 2 reef locations (varies on the day)
    • Norman reef
    • Saxon reef
    • Hastings reef
What to Expect

Experience the Great Barrier Reef on a day trip from Cairns. Whether you’re a snorkeller, first-time diver or certified diver, you’ll spend a magical day on the open ocean.


Discover the marine wonderland of the outer Great Barrier Reef, just a 90-minute boat trip from Cairns. You'll spend five hours at the reef and visit two stunning dive sites. These are expertly chosen from the exclusive moorings on the Norman, Saxon and Hastings reefs to bring you the best quality conditions and diverse marine life, from colourful corals to inquisitive Nemos, turtles, stingrays and giant Maori Wrasse.


AquaQuest is the fleet's newest vessel and purpose-built for diving and snorkelling. It has a spacious dive deck and a sunken platform offering easy access to the water, plus state-of-the-art equipment. Choose safe and enjoyable snorkelling for you and your family, introductory diving with full pre-dive tuition, or certified diving for a choice of three spectacular dives.


During your Great Barrier Reef day trip, enjoy the large sun decks, air-conditioned indoor spaces and hot freshwater showers. After a morning spent exploring the reef, enjoy a generous buffet lunch with a range of hot and cold foods, salads, rolls and tropical fruit to refuel for the afternoon.


The Reef Sites


Norman Reef, on the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, is renowned for its clear water, beautiful and diverse corals and coral canyons. Its dive sites boast a huge range of fish, from reefsharks to anemone fish, cuttlefish and coral trout, as well as parrot and angelfish. Keep an eye out for the friendly giant Maori wrasse, Wally!


Saxon Reef is undoubtedly home to some of the best Great Barrier Reef dive and snorkel sites. Set between Norman and Hastings Reefs, it has calm lagoons ideal for snorkelling, as well as the famous Twin Peaks coral ‘mountains’ where a deeper scuba dive offers the chance to spot species like reef sharks, trevally, large cod, and moray eels.


Hastings Reef is among the best Great Barrier Reef locations for snorkellers and divers of all levels, with very shallow reefs offering a great snorkelling experience, and large coral bommies to be seen. Corals cover much of this 10km² reef and are even seen in its caves. Out on the edges, there are schools of incredible fish species like butterflyfish, damselfish, plus clams, turtles and small reef sharks.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Certcard and logbook for certified diving
  • Reusable water bottle
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All our day and overnight trips visit the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The outer reefs are the sections furthest from the coast.

These reefs have fewer crowds and benefit from flowing nutrients distributed by the vast Coral Sea. Here, good climate conditions and clear water bring out the best in the coral colours and the incredibly diverse marine life.

With more than 18 sites from Cairns, this tour has the most choice of outer reef locations of all the local operators. On the day trips we visit two sites per day, based on weather and visibility conditions, to ensure you have the best possible dive or snorkel experience.

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In Cairns and the rest of the tropical north, the weather is warm year-round, so you can enjoy a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in any season! 

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As long as you’re comfortable in the water, you should be able to snorkel or even do an intro dive. Before you enter the water you will fill out a form that includes information on your level of competence in the water and any medical conditions. Depending on your response, we may require that you use a flotation device while snorkelling.

Our friendly instructors will talk you through using all the equipment. If you’re unsure, feel free to contact us to discuss.

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Child snorkel age is 4-14. Please see below for learn to dive age restrictions. There is no minimum age restriction for travelling on vessels when accompanied by a parent or guardian, but children must remain supervised at all times if they are not undertaking a course.

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  • Introductory diving: 12 years or over
  • Open Water dive courses: 10 years or over, but must be accompanied by guardians and a private instructor if under 12 years. If the diver is under 12 years we must be informed before the course starts.
  • You must be aged 18 or over to travel unaccompanied on day or overnight trips. Anyone younger than this must be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • Please note snorkelling is not suitable for children under 4 years old
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Your lunch onboard our day trips will be a freshly-packed picnic-style lunch box. If you have special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of booking.

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All our vessels are catamarans, which offer greater stability and a smoother ride than monohull vessels.

If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend buying natural ginger tablets, available at all local chemists. We also have some available for sale onboard.

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Box jellyfish, also known as ‘stingers’, are pale blue, transparent jellyfish. They can measure up to 20 cm along each side of their cube-shaped bodies, and their tentacles can reach up to 3 metres long. Their sting can be very painful, and even fatal in some cases.

Box jellyfish live in the warmer coastal areas sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef, and are most numerous between November and May. We provide protective lycra suits during these months to protect all snorkellers and divers.

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Terms & Conditions:

  • The Operator will endeavour to adhere to the advertised itinerary, but reserves the right to alter the itinerary or cut short the tour in the event of a medical emergency, inclement weather conditions, or for reasons involving passenger, crew or vessel safety, at the sole discretion of the Master of the Vessel
  • All introductory scuba participants must meet medical questionnaire requirements and some conditions or medications may prevent you from diving
  • The Operator requires all Certified Divers to present a valid Certification Card. Failure to show a Certification Card may result in the customer not being able to dive on the tour. This includes but is not limited to dive equipment that varies from standard and any specialty cards needed such as Full Face Mask Distinctive Specialty or Nitrox
  • To participate in scuba diving/snorkelling, ALL customers are required to agree to, and sign, our liability forms relevant to the activity they will be undertaking
  • Tours are subject to the risks and perils of scuba diving in changeable conditions in an open water environment. The Operator reserves the right, for our customer’s safety and/ or the safety of our crew or other scuba divers, to prevent any customer’s participation in scuba diving if they are deemed physically or medically unfit to do so or in our sole discretion

Cancellation Policy:

  • More than 24 hours before course/trip commencement date: No Charge
  • Within 24 hours of course/trip commencement: Full course/trip fee

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