Our Exclusive Dive Sites

As one of the first dive companies in Cairns, we have exclusive access to a range of the choicest Outer Reef dive sites.

The MV Sun-Kist departs daily from the Marlin Marina, travels via Fitzroy Island, to the Outer Great Barrier Reef.  We visit 2 different dive locations each day.

With registered moorings at Milln, Briggs, Moore, Elford, Sudbury, Channel and Thetford Reefs–our experienced teams will select the best locations for your visit on a day-by-day basis: guaranteeing you the best visibility and conditions available on any given day. 

Our Outer Great Barrier Reef sites are approximately 65-70 kilometers from the coast of Cairns.  Out outer reef sites are chosen for their abundance of hard and soft corals, amazing marine life, their diversity, splendour and visibility.  The sites chosen on the day will offer the best in terms of safety and passenger comfort.  


Thetford Reef

Thetford Reef is made up of numerous coral bommies where you can experience some very exciting wall dives and many swim-throughs. Cathedral and Blue Lagoon are our two favourites.

This reef is home to many soft and hard corals like staghorn and plate coral and an abundance of marine life. Look for the giant clams, butterfly fish, damsels and angelfish. Access to the reef is very weather and tidal dependent.

  • Rating: Novice - Intermediate 
  • Moderate Currents
  • Visibility - 15 to 20 metres
  • Depth - 5 to 30 metres

Elford Reef

Situated about an hour from the Cairns Coast. This beautiful reef system stretches for several kilometres within a depth of 15 meters. This reef is enveloped in spectacular coral growth and teeming with a large array of marine life.

  • Reef Experience: Novice
  • Max Depth: 15m
  • Avg Visibility: 30m
  • Currents: Light
  • Access: Boat
  • Marine Life: Dwarf Minke Whales, Rays, Manta Rays, Reef Fish, Turtles, Groupers, Various Marine Life


Moore Reef

At Moore Reef, on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, you can dive over staghorn thickets on sand that slopes and drops to 22m. Explore around the bommies or stay close to the reef edge. There is an abundance of hard coral, damselfish hide in the soft coral and dash out to catch planktonic food. Wrasse, parrotfish, emperors, butterflyfish and surgeonfish are common. A good macro-photography site - especially at night.

  • Depth: From 1m to 25m
  • Dive Rating: Novice
  • Dive Type: Reef
  • Dive Activities: Guided Snorkelling, Non Diver Facilities, Snorkelling, Helmet / Underwater Scooter

Milln Reef

Milln Reef offers a number of exciting dive sites such as Whale Bommie, Petaj Mooring, Swimming Pools I, Swimming Pools II and the Three Sisters to name a few. Our dive site at Petaj is home to resident turtles and white tip reef sharks. At the Swimming Pools you can expect to see schools of diagonally banded sweetlips and nudibranchs to name a few.

Milln Reef offers excellent wall dives and swim throughs and is great for night diving. Some of the walls are full of sleeping

parrot fish in their mucus sacks, turtles and barracudas and the occasional bull ray. Whale bommie provides you with a good dive in depths exceeding 20 metres. A great site to dive at night where you can expect to see sleeping turtles, reef crabs, painted lobsters and some great soft corals, gorgonian fans.

  • Rating: Novice - Intermediate
  • Mild Currents
  • Visibility - 15 to 20 metres
  • Depth - 5 to 30 metres

Briggs Reef

  • Depth: 1-25 metres
  • Rating: Novice or Advanced
  • Features: For the more advanced, go from stern of boat and follow six large bommies along edge of terrace to 24 meters
  • Staghorn thicket patches
  • Sea cucumbers on the sandy floor
  • Nudibranchs, Christmas tree worms, feather and sea stars for a great night dive
  • Fan and whip corals on the bommies and in the swim-throughs
  • White-tip reef sharks, wrasse, parrotfish, damsels, butterflyfish, angelfish, rabbitfish and surgeonfish are all common visitors
  • Less common are green turtles
  • Watch for blue-spotted rays and seasonal manta-rays

Sudbury Reef

Depth: 1-53 m

Rating: novice


  • Closest reef to Fitzroy Island
  • Sand cay on northern end of reef.
  • Good all round scuba diving
  • Lots of snorkelling
  • Many different dive locations around this vast reef
  • Steep drop offs
  • Numerous tropical fish
  • Coral very much alive
  • Large sea fans
  • Many sea whips
  • Lots of vase and tree corals
  • Small tropical fish
  • Scribble angelfish
  • Numerous butterflyfish
  • Some schooling batfish
  • Plenty of sweetlips
  • Good for all round photography

Channel Reef

All of these trips are open water diving. This means you are scuba diving on reef sites in the open ocean. Conditions (current etc.) will be dependent on the weather and time of day. Outer Great Barrier Reef sites are generally around 60km offshore, which means good visibility year round (varies anywhere from 5m on a bad day, to 35m).

Travel time to and from Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef is anywhere between 90-minutes to 2-hours.

Outer Great Barrier Reef dive site depth varies, but is usually no more than 30m.

These trips are suitable for divers of all experience levels.