Cairns Reef Trips
Cairns scuba diving
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
Become PADI certified
Get certified to scuba dive with our PADi dive courses


Have you always wondered what it’s like to breathe underwater?

If you want to try scuba diving, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into a certification course, Discover Scuba Diving is for you. Rum Runner offers this course during all tours.

While not a scuba certification course, Discover Scuba Diving is a quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world.

To start in a PADI Discover Scuba Diver course, you must be 12 years old or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required. Maximum of only 4 students per course.

No prior experience with scuba diving is required. Maximum of only 2 or 3 students per course.

Breathing underwater for the first time is thrilling, especially at the Great Barrier Reef, so what are you waiting for!

Introductory diving starts from $120.00 per person


If you’ve always wanted to take scuba diving lessons, experience unparalleled adventure and see the world beneath the waves, this is where it starts. Get your scuba diving certification with Rum Runner’s PADI Open Water Diver course – the world’s most popular and widely recognized scuba course. Hundreds of our guests have learned to scuba dive and gone on to discover the wonders of the aquatic world through this course.

To start in a PADI Open Water Diver course, you must be 10 years old or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required. Maximum of only 2 or 3 students per course. To Book a PADI Open Water Diver course contact Rum Runner directly . This course cannot be booked directly online as we need to make sure we have trips departing and our Instructor’s are available for the dates your after.

You will complete the academics via PADI’s eLearning. PADI's Online Training program is designed so that you can learn the academics at your own pace when it is convenient for you before you arrive.

COST OF ELEARNING IS $220 PLUS GST - Use the link to register and pay direct to PADI for your eLearning.

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Starts the day before the liveaboard trip. 3 to 4 hours. We will advise the start time that is suitable for all participants.


In the PADI Open Water Diver course, you learn to use basic scuba gear, including a mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device and a tank.


Once you're fitted with your scuba equipment we can begin your pool training. Your instructor will put into practice the techniques you learned in the academics program. Your training dives will be logged and approved by your instructor before you move on to open water.


Get ready to experience everything you've learned with the freedom of open water during your liveaboard tour. As soon as your open water training dives are approved by your instructor you will be a certified diver. PADI Open Water Diver certification is recognized worldwide so your diving experiences will be limitless.


PADI eLearning $242.00 (pay direct to PADI)
The Cost of your liveaboard Tour – From $440.00 plus $40 Reef Tax
Full Gear Hire $180.00 inclusions: BCD, Regulator with computer, wetsuit, plus any other snorkel gear as required.

(TOTAL COST with a 2 Day 1 Night GBR Liveaboard tour $902.00)


Includes PADI eLearning $242.00 (pay direct to PADI), 2 Day / 1 Night GBR tour, 5 scuba dives (4 training dives plus 1 certified dive), Full Gear Hire and Reef Tax. Save $220.00!!


This course is available on all liveaboard trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea for only extra $220.00. As an Open Water certified scuba diver you’ve already experienced the thrill of exploring parts of the underwater world, but know there’s more to discover. Whether you’re looking for new dive adventures, to improve your scuba skills, or both at once, taking PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course will help you gain more confidence and meet more dive buddies.

In the course, there’s a long list of scuba specialty dives to try. On Rum Runner we prefer Fish identification, boat diving, underwater naturalist, night diving, deep diver and underwater navigator for you to choose from. You do five different dives all under the expert guidance of our PADI Instructor.

No formal classroom session, just a lot of diving. You can start learning everything during your trip.

Includes 5 Adventure dives plus all extra certified diving, PADI Manual, Slate and Certification Fee.


The PADI Open Water Diver Course can only be booked by calling or email reservations. This is to make sure our Dive Instructors are available for the start dates you require.

The PADI Advanced Open Water Course can be booked online or you can talk to our dive crew once onboard.

Rum Runner Cairns 0429 638 744 or e-mail:


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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
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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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