2023 Minke Whale Trips with Divers Den

Key Facts
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Price: From AUD 1870

Travel between: 02 Jun 23 to 31 Jul 23

Book between: 05 Aug 22 and 31 May 23

Ask us about group trip departures!

Dwarf Minke whale encounters are a highlight of the diving calendar, an event that can only be experienced at the Great Barrier Reef. Encounters with these inquisitive whales happen at the peak of their migration every June and July, when the whales move from Antarctic waters up to the Ribbon Reefs.

Divers Den operate four-day, four-night minke whale expeditions every year during June and July. Spaces are limited and trips sell out quickly!

2023 Dates:

  • 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 June
  • 7, 14, 21, 28 July
  • Trips depart at 8AM every Friday, returning at 9AM on Tuesday (see detailed itinerary below).


  • Diver Twin Cabin………………………………….AUD 2040 pp
  • Diver Double Cabin……………………………….AUD 2162 pp
  • Snorkeler Twin Cabin…………………………….AUD 1940 pp
  • Snorkeler Double Cabin…………………………AUD 2062 pp

* Please email us for Sole Occupancy rates.

Pricing includes:

  • Up to 16 in-water snorkel or scuba dive sessions
  • Snorkel equipment, including wetsuits
  • Air fills
  • All meals on board
  • Fresh chilled water, tea and coffee
  • Prescription masks (deposit required)
  • Dive guides
  • Master Reef Guides onboard for educational presentations
  • Transfers from Cairns city accommodation
  • All port fees and levies

Expeditions are open to both snorkelers and divers, with whale interactions strictly controlled. Dwarf minke whales grow up to 8 metres (26 feet) long, and a closeup encounter with these majestic 6-tonne creatures is an experience you will never forget. Minkes often approach snorkelers, divers and boats, so there is every chance to see them close up. Divers Den boast a success rate of 90% for close sightings over the peak season and your interaction with the whales could last two hours or more. After your encounter, guests are invited to participate in citizen science research to help understand and protect these gentle sea giants.

Minke whale expeditions take place on OceanQuest. With air-conditioned cabins, each with en suite bathroom, a comfortable lounge and bar and an onboard chef delivering delicious hearty meals, you’ll have everything you need to rest and relax after your minke whale encounter.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 
Off we go! Check-in will either be at our dive centre or directly onboard Ocean Quest (our 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 mesmerising 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 9am, 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.

Booking Terms