Cairns shark diving
Cairns snorkeling
Welcome aboard S.V. Rum Runner, the little big motor sailor that can do it all
Australia’s premier budget dive expedition and Cairns’ most affordable outer reef liveaboard dive and snorkel tour operator
Contact Rum Runner Cairns
Get ready to start your next reef adventure today!


Rum Runner Cairns 0429 638 744 or e-mail:

Book direct and receive free gear hire (Save $140 per person)


3.5 million years the Coral Sea reefs were similar in coral coverage of today's very magnificent Great Barrier Reef. When the Great Barrier Reef was being formed 300,000 years ago, the Coral Sea Reefs were an important source of Coral for the GBR, both during the Great Barrier Reef formation and during sea level lowering. The Coral Sea is known for its array of large pelagic life as well as small creatures including myriad crustaceans. So despite weather and bleaching events throughout its history, the Coral Sea reefs appear resilient, boasting an impressive number of both hard and soft corals.

Technically, the Coral Sea reefs and Islands are not a part of the Great Barrier Reef; they lie from 60 - 400 km outside of the Great Barrier Reef boundaries.

Yet, even though both are different ecosystems, they form the largest mega system of corals found on the planet.

Of the 2500 species corals in the world, 1400 are found in the nutrient rich waters of the GBR and Queensland coast, and with a few hundred of these found in the Coral Sea reefs.

Of the corals remaining in the Coral Sea, it is of the more robust and encrusting types able to survive the warm nutrient poor waters of the Pacific Ocean.

And even though the Great Barrier Reef is now under tremendous stresses from climate change, it is still the Great Barrier Reef that offers snorkelers and divers the most diverse array of coral formations and tropical fish species on the planet.

Cairns scuba diving
Cairns PADI course
shark diving Cairns
Reef Trips Cairns
snorkeling Cairns


scuba diving Cairns PADI course Cairns
Cairns shark diving
Cairns Reef Trips
Cairns snorkeling
Cairns scuba diving
Cairns PADI course
shark diving Cairns
Cairns snorkeling
Full Day Reef Tour
Dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef with the experts who have more than 20 years’ experience
Cairns scuba diving
2 Day Snorkel & Dive
This is our specialty tour that departs all year round on selected Wednesday’s and Saturday’s
Cairns PADI course
Shark Diving
3 nights, 3 days with up to 9-10 dives at Holmes Reef, including 1-night dive and 1 twilight dive
shark diving Cairns
Special Charters
Private charter and extended expeditions can be catered for all special diving tours and intimate groups
Operational Update 2021
Live-aboard trips re-started since June 2020

Great news as we are now operating our all our tours within any of the new COVID limitations. Now up to 2 Sq meters per person.

We have been working continuously and we are ready to operate trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea and have our COVID safe plans and signs on board. Departures are scheduled on selected dates, and we will need a minimum number of passengers to make it viable. So, we ask to please accept some flexibility and a lot of understanding as you start to book on to our tours.

New COVID restrictions means guest numbers of 16 persons only plus the crew, everyone gets their own equipment for the entire trip: no sharing. All day help yourself snacks, and all meals prepared individually on board. We are also ready to operate our Full DAY 2 dive Outer reef trips (6am to 6pm ) in the summer months, and we return to the Shark Diving / Coral Sea / Holmes Reef between October through to April.

Call to book to guarantee the best rate and ask Captain Richard about the best sailing conditions and departure dates. Look out for select scheduled departures on our booking page, and COVID SPECIALS direct bookings secure free dive gear hire and reef tax included!

At this stage we are still bound by many restrictions such as ‘ social distancing 1.5m ’ so to make that possible we like to schedule departures on ‘fair weather and sunny dates’. By selecting days where we can assure the best cruising conditions possible, we can manage numbers accordingly ensuring social distancing measure onboard the S.V. Rum Runner.

If you would like to be added to our ‘potential guest register’ with further updates, please e-mail us with your interest at Any bookings made direct with Rum Runner Cairns, which we are unable to honor or which you need to cancel, or are unable to reschedule, will receive 100% full refunds.

Rum Runner Cairns have been providing Cairns Reef Trips since 2005 and in that time we have gained valuable experience of the area we tour and where the best spots to go are. We take regular groups of up to 16 people for Cairns snorkeling expeditions where guests get to see some of the most beautiful parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Our services are value added with Cairns scuba diving expeditions to some very unique parts of the Great Barrier Reef marine park and we ensure all of our services are operated in the most professional way. If you have never been scuba diving before don't worry! We have trained and certified Cairns PADI course instructors who can help you get the skills necessary before you come out with us for a reef diving trip. And if you ever wanted to go shark diving Cairns this is our specialty with trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea expeditions to take divers to places where spotting all types of sharks is possible.

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