Swim with Turtles

Swim with Turtles in the Great Barrier Reef

Swimming with turtles through the calm waters of the Great Barrier Reef is a dream come true.

Yes, you can swim with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef all year round! But you need to be lucky enough to find one when you go swimming.

How can I swim with turtles?

There are three different ways you can swim with turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. You can either do snorkelling, scuba diving or helmet diving. You don’t need previous experience for either activity, as the crew will show you what to do before you go swimming.


Snorkelling is the most popular option among travellers to the Great Barrier Reef. Even if you aren’t a confident swimmer, you can have a go at snorkelling and still have the chance to get close to the turtles. Snorkelling is a great way to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

Scuba diving

To head deeper under the water, you can try scuba diving. Even if you have never dived before, beginner dives give you the opportunity to head to a max depth of eight metres with no experience. Scuba diving is a great way to be able to go swimming with turtles and other marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s relaxing to swim through the calm waters with all the marine life.

Helmet Diving

Helmet diving offers the chance to see turtles, without even getting your hair wet. You’ll wear a helmet which allows you to breathe underwater. Then you’ll descend to a depth of 3.5 metres on a view platform where you can walk around and observe the sea life. Hopefully some turtles will swim by to say hello while you’re down there!

What reefs can I swim in that have turtles?

Most turtles in the Great Barrier Reef are found around the northern and southern reefs. You are more likely to find turtles to swim with during the warmer months. These reefs have turtles, other marine life, and colourful coral.

Saxon Reef

Snorkelling is the most popular activity at Saxon Reef, but you can also go diving. Saxon Reef has a lot of fish swimming around and coral to see. When you’re snorkelling, hopefully a turtle will swim close to you when they take a breather.

Breaking Patches

If you want to swim with turtles, you might have some of the best luck going to Breaking Patches. You will be able to swim with turtles, a lot of fish, and friendly white-tip reef sharks. Breaking Patches is popular to go diving and has shallow waters compared to other reefs.

Norman Reef

Norman Reef is the most northern reef from Cairns that is visited by boats to go swimming. This is one of the best reefs to be able to see and swim with turtles. You might also swim with manta rays and moray eels.

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