Experience firsthand, the awe, and serenity of swimming with the majestic Dwarf Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef!
Experienced, local Expedition Guides
Flexible itinerary to maximise time with the whales
Up to 10 dives on the Ribbon Reefs
Suitable for snorkelers
Low guest numbers - maximum of 12 per trip
Dwarf Minke Whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), are one of the smallest species of Baleen whale, and right here in Queensland is the only place in the world where humans can interact with these amazing marine mammals. Each winter (June-August), the Minke's make their annual migration along the east coast of Australia, often aggregating in a particular area of the Great Barrier Reef - The Ribbon Reefs.
Since the 1980s, when Minke Whales were first discovered on the Great Barrier Reef, special trips to swim with the whales have been conducted, and in that time, an almost 100% success rate has been achieved with many interactions lasting several hours, and often with multiple whales. Being wild animals, no guarantee can be given that we will encounter the whales, but due to their predictable migratory pattern at this time of year, there is an excellent chance of
Our Minke Whale Expeditions are all about the Minkes, meaning that we plan the trip in a way that gets us to the hotspots where Minkes are most likely to be found, and then aim to get as much time in the water with them as possible. This also makes our Minke Expedition a fantastic option for snorkelers, with the best interactions being while on the surface, snorkeling. Time is also set aside for diving, giving us the chance to dive on some of the most well-known sites on the Great Barrier Reef. These include 'Steve's Bommie', plus other famous spots.
SWIM WITH MINKES
WHEN YOU SWIM WITH THE CURIOUS MINKE WHALES, YOU'RE NEVER REALLY SURE WHO IS WATCHING WHO.
AVERAGE INTERACTIONS LAST FOR 90 MINUTES, WITH 2-3 WHALES AT A TIME. THIS MEANS THAT ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS SIMPLY LAY ON THE SURFACE, PUT YOUR FACE IN THE WATER, AND WATCH ONE OF THE GREATEST SHOWS ON EARTH UNFOLD IN FRONT OF YOUR VERY EYES!
IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD, THE RIBBON REEFS ARE THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF THE FAR NORTHERN GREAT BARRIER REEF.
COMPRISING 10 SEPARATE REEF SYSTEMS, AS WELL AS NUMEROUS UNNAMED PATCH REEFS, THIS REGION OFFERS SOME OF THE MOST MAGNIFICENT DIVING IN THE WORLD. WITH AN INCREDIBLE RANGE OF SITES TO CHOOSE FROM, AND AN ASTOUNDING LEVEL OF BIODIVERSITY, "THE RIBBONS" NEVER DISAPPOINT
WE HAVE TEAMED-UP WITH THE SUPERB MV ARGO, A LOCALLY-BASED EXPEDITION GRADE VESSEL, TO OFFER OUR AMAZING DIVE EXPEDITIONS TO THE RIBBON REEFS AND BEYOND!
HAVING CONDUCTED NUMEROUS WILDLIFE AND RESEARCH EXPEDITIONS OVER THE YEARS, MV ARGO WAS A NATURAL CHOICE WHEN IT CAME TO CHOOSING A VESSEL THAT COULD HELP US DELIVER HIGH-QUALITY DIVING EXPEDITIONS TO THE FARTHEST REACHES OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AND THE CORAL SEA
23/06: Overnight passage from Cairns to Ribbon Reef #10
• Time TBC: collection from Cairns accommodation
• 1800 Board vessel, and departure briefing
• 1900 Depart Cairns for the overnight passage to Ribbon Reef #10
*Please note that dinner is not served on this first evening so we advise eating prior to boarding
24/06: Ribbon Reef #10 - Swim with the Minkes!
• 0700 Wake up call, and breakfast
• 0800 Snorkel brief followed by in-water activities
• 0900 Full cooked breakfast
• 1000 Snorkel brief followed by in-water activities
• 1300 Lunch
• 1500 Snorkel brief followed by in-water activities
• 1630 Afternoon tea
• 1715 TBC Dive brief & night dive
• 1930 Dinner
25 & 26/06: Ribbon Reef #10
• As above
27/06: Ribbon Reef #3
• 0600 Wake-up call, light breakfast
• 0630 Dive briefing & diving
• 0800 Cooked breakfast
• 1000 Dive brief & diving
• 1200 Lunch
• 1330 Dive brief & diving
• 1600 Afternoon tea
• Last dive to be completed by 1730
• 1800 BBQ Dinner and end of trip festivities
28/06: Cairns - end of the expedition
0700 light breakfast
0800 Disembark and transfer to Cairns accommodation