Photograph by Julia Summerling @seajewlz

Minke Whales 4 Night Fly Dive

Where:Check in at MBDE office (3 Abbott St, Cairns) between 8.30am and 4pm
Cost: $2592 Club, $2872 Standard berth per person
Skill level: Intermediate
Capacity:13 people
  • 13 June 2019 3:00pm - 17 June 2019 12:00pm (4 nights)
How to book:
  • To book this experience please contact MBDE Reservations & Groups Manager (Bre) for bookings: T: 07 4053 0504 or 1300 998 018 (within Aust) E: - and quote Canon Collective
Underwater image of Minke whale

About the event:

Minke Whale Dive Expeditions - A unique opportunity on the Great Barrier Reef
Dwarf minke whales travel through the Great Barrier Reef each winter, with most sightings occurring during June and July. The Great Barrier Reef is the only location where snorkel and dive tours with minke whales are available and Mike Ball Dive Expeditions is one of a handful of operators licensed to operate them.

Swimming with minkes – an incredible experience!
It is a truly remarkable moment when these big, beautiful whales slowly approach you and glide gracefully past. As you come eye to eye with these amazing marine creatures you’ll realise just how privileged we are to share the ocean with them.

The close-up whale action combined with excellent winter visibility on the Ribbon Reefs makes for great diving. A code of practice is in place to manage safety for both divers and whales, providing the maximum opportunity to see whales at very close range while ensuring the whales interact on their terms. Most diver and whale interactions occur while snorkelling.

The itinerary is dictated by the whales, visiting areas of high minke activity and our key dive sites. The number of scuba dives advertised is the approximate number of dives provided but may vary to enable our whale-focused itinerary. Since commencing Minke Whale Expeditions in 1996 we have had a 98% success rate. The largest pod seen was 28 whales, the longest encounter was 10 hours. Every day has a high probability of whale encounters. If we are not able to locate whales at our usual sites, up to two hours at a time is spent searching for whales further afield. If none are sighted, we will dive as many of the Ribbon Reef sites as possible.

The Whales
Dwarf minkes whales grow up to eight metres in length, weigh several tonnes and are very inquisitive. An average interaction consists of 2- 3 whales for approximately 90 minutes. The largest minke pod seen was 28 whales, the longest encounter 10 hours. However, minke whales are wild animals and can be unpredictable; past success does not guarantee future success.

Research is continuing to define the exact species of the dwarf minke whale that visits the Great Barrier Reef. There are two known species of minke whales, the North Atlantic minke whale and the slightly larger Antarctic minke whale. It is thought that the Great Barrier Reef dwarf minke whale is related to the North Atlantic minke, or is an un-named species.

Canon Collective Experience
We have booked 13 places for qualified divers for this experience. We will be hosting this event with half of the ship 'Spoilsport' booked for our group. Collective will provide you with a PowerShot G1 X Mark III and underwater housing for the duration of the trip. You will need to mention that you are with the Canon Collective group at the time of booking. There will be a $19.50 fee for an Environmental Management Charge with the Great Barrier Reef Marina Park Authority added to your bar bill. All meals, accomodation and some drinks are included in the price. Dive equipment hire is $44 per day and $150 per week for Nitrox. All the information you need can be found at Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.

Water temperature is usually between 24-26 degrees for June

The little details:

Techniques covered:

Colin will be available to show you how to get the best from your PowerShot G1 X Mark III and Canon underwater system.

Recommended equipment:

Bring your own Dive equipment, camera equipment, laptop & SD Card . A full version of Lightroom Classic and Photoshop is recommended.

Event location:

Meeting at the check in at MBDE office (3 Abbott St, Cairns) between 8.30am and 4pm. Thursday 13th June, 4.00 pm: Make your own way to Mondos Café, Bar & Grill (200m from MBDE office) to meet your fellow passengers. Please note that dinner is not provided on the first evening so you may wish to eat before boarding. You will need to make your own way to Cairns - Remember last Dive is 4pm Sunday 16th of June, book your return flight more than 24 hours after.

Important Information

No Strobes (underwater flash) can be used when photographing Minke's. 5mm Wetsuit recommended - rental gear available. Bring a pair of underwater gloves for extended time on the line in the water. Rigid Snorkel is recommended (that can stay upright). Last Dive is 4pm, Sunday 16th June - you should not fly inside 24 hours after the last dive. 20kg equipment wight limit per person. Bring Beanies, gloves and warm clothes. You may leave equipment at the MBDE office while on the trip.

Share your images with us

We'd love to see what you capture, please share your images from this event by tagging @canoncollectiveofficial or #canoncollective, @mikeballdive or #spoilsportlive #LoveTheReef or #gbrmarinepark #visitqueensland #seeaustralia #tnq #ttnq @cairnsaustralia or #CairnsAustralia