Day 1: Gather at Gate E or 'D' Marlin Marina in Cairns to depart at 8 am to travel on MV Sunkist to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for an amazing day of snorkelling or diving around Milln, Briggs, Moore, Elford, Sudbury, Channel or Thetford reefs. Then you will be transferred to Fitzroy Island, a beautiful national park, on the Great Barrier Reef, just 50 minutes south east of Cairns. The island is covered in lush rainforest, surrounded by calm water beaches and its own fringing reef.
Arriving at approximately 4 pm, you will have time to do some Fitzroy Island activities if you wish. These include additional dives or nights dives, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking and sea kayaking.
You will stay overnight in the 3 star Butterfly Bungalows, which are self-contained and overlooking the beach. The bungalows are twin share accommodation and feature a small internal food preparation area with mini bar fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster. There is an outdoor deck with tables, chairs, large coolbox and Weber BBQ.
The resort has a restaurant, cafe, and a small general store with provision for very basic food supplies such as milk, bread and eggs. You can bring your own food to the island, however the consumption of BYO alcohol and the lighting of fires are not permitted. Alcohol can be purchased at Foxy's Cafe on the island.
Day 2: Meet at Fitzroy Island jetty at 8:45 am to travel on MV Sunkist for another amazing day on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Outer Barrier Reef is a must if you are looking for some easy, entry-level scuba diving off Cairns. Visibility is usually excellent and the dives tend to be quite shallow with sunlight dancing all along the top of the reef. This area attracts plenty of marine life and interesting critters. Turtles, groupers, large wrasses and white tip reef sharks are commonly sighted, and in some areas even dolphin sightings are possible.
The typical seascape is a sandy floor featuring coral bommies and staghorn thickets. Cairns' dive sites feature excellent positions from where to observe the daily life cycle of the reef, including passing schools of fish. The sea conditions are usually calm, with minimal current, so you can make your way around the reef in a leisurely fashion.
Enjoy lunch on board the boat and arrive back in Cairns around 4:45 pm.
Snorkelling: AUD 400 per person
Cruise price per person includes: Twin-shared bungalow accommodation, lunch on both days, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trip prices above), rental dive equipment, tanks, weights, weight belts.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Breakfast and dinner.
Optional extras: Transfers to/from the boat and Cairns hotels, dive guides (AUD 15 per person), torch, dive computer, Fitzroy Island activities, alcoholic drinks, dive insurance.
Open Water certification is required to join these trips; there is no additional minimum logged dives requirement.
How to get there: MV Sunkist departs from Gate E or D Marlin Marina in Cairns every at 8 am. For more information on getting to Cairns see our How to get there section. The last dive of the trip may be at around 1 pm. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
We work with an overnight tour provider that is a highly professional outfit and a trusted name in scuba diving in Cairns. Our Great Barrier Reef day trips and this Fitzroy Island overnight tour are run by a local scuba diving operation with over 35 years of experience.
MV Sunkist is a 17m mono-hull dive boat and has a top speed of 15 knots, meaning a fast 2 hour transfer to the Outer Barrier Reef. The vessel is capable of carrying up to 48 passengers, however a maximum of only 30 guests is set to ensure greater comfort.
There is no doubt that The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's number 1 destination and a must see for many scuba divers. For those short of time or budget, then the Outer Barrier Reef can be the best way to sample what the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. This Fitzroy Island overnight trip allows you to spread the boat transfers over 2 days and overnight in comfort on terra firma. Spend less time on the boat and more time having a mini-holiday within a holiday! Get a feel for what to expect of the dive sites you will visit: Watch our Cairns Barrier Reef diving video.