Norman Reef is a stunning outer Great Barrier Reef

  • Latitude -16.252278S, Longitude 145.59.71E
  • Access by boat and helicopter
  • Depth Range 1 to 20 metres
  • Visibility up to 30 metres
  • Size: 430 hectares

Norman Reef has been a green zone since July 2004.  Visitors to this Site will see the abundance of large fish and marine life benefits.

Norman Reef, several tour operators head for this outlying reef on the continental shelf, a favourite of experienced divers for its clear visuals and variety of marine life.  There are also shallower sites suitable for less skilful scuba divers.

Norman Reef Caves

Mini caves are found in the coral wall of this dive site, which appeals to inexperienced divers in the shallows and offers veterans a full range of plant and marine life at greater depths.

Marine Life

Spotted moray eels can be found in the nooks, and watch for reef sharks.

Fingers (Norman Reef)

Depth 8 metres to 21 metres

Perfect for beginners and advanced divers, Finger is a shallow cove making it well protected.  The reason the Site is named Fingers is from a Birdseye view.  It looks like the fingers of a hand.

The fingers sit to the South-West of the Site and can get quite deep.  It also has these three swim-throughs sitting to the North-East and 1 to the South-West of the Site. 


Marine Life

Fingers reef site offers a wide variety of wildlife.  The most common are Maori Wrasse, Giant Clams, White Tip Reef Sharks, Moray Eels, Cuttlefish and Octopus.


Green Sea Turtles and Hawksbill Sea Turtles visit this Site as a cleaning station.


Tropos (Norman Reef)

Our hidden gem Tropos sits at the northern point of Norman Reef.

Tropos is beginner friendly as it has a lovely shallow sandy lagoon with many nooks and crannies to explore.  It also has a deep scenic reef wall with a sloping sandy bottom, perfect for any Advance diver wanting to gain some depth.  It is at the tip of Norman Reef.


Marine Life

It offers the most diverse marine life, such as Green Sea Turtles, White Tip Reef Sharks, Schooling Bump Head Parrot Fish, Garden Eels and Blue Spotted Rays, to name a few.


Norman Reef Map

FAQs about Norman Reef: Exploring a Dazzling Coral Wonderland

Q: What is Norman Reef?

A: Norman Reef is a stunning and diverse coral reef system located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, approximately 70 kilometres off the coast of Cairns, Australia.  It offers an exceptional opportunity for snorkelers and divers to witness the beauty of the underwater world.

Q: How can I reach Norman Reef?

A: Accessed through various reef tour operators in Cairns.  Day trips and liveaboard options allow visitors to explore the reef’s wonders at their own pace.

Q: What marine life can I expect to see at Norman Reef?

A: Norman Reef is teeming with an array of marine life.  Snorkelers and divers may encounter colourful coral formations, Reef fish, turtles, rays, and even the occasional Reef shark.  The reef’s biodiversity ensures a memorable encounter with fascinating sea creatures.

Q: Is Norman Reef suitable for beginner snorkelers and divers?

A: Norman Reef caters to both beginner and experienced snorkelers and divers.  Shallow areas near the reef’s edge are ideal for those new to snorkeling, while more experienced divers can explore deeper sections and stunning drop-offs.

Q: What snorkeling and diving facilities are available at Norman Reef?

A: tour operators provide all necessary snorkelling and diving equipment, including masks, snorkels, fins, and wetsuits.  Dive guides and instructors offer expert guidance, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Q: Can I visit Norman Reef year-round?

A: Yes, Norman Reef can be visited year-round.  However, the best time to explore the reef is during the dry season (April to October), when the weather is generally calm and underwater visibility is at its peak.

Q: Are there guided tours available at Norman Reef?

A: Guided tours are available for snorkelers and divers at Norman Reef.  Expert guides lead visitors to the best spots, providing insights into the reef’s ecology and identifying unique marine species.

Q: What are the transportation options to Norman Reef?

A: Reef tour operators typically offer transportation to Norman Reef from Cairns and Port Douglas. Catamarans and boats are commonly used to transport visitors to the reef’s pristine waters.

toggle icon=” plus ” title=” Q: What makes Norman Reef special?”]A: Norman Reef’s uniqueness lies in its abundant and diverse marine life, thriving coral formations, and awe-inspiring underwater landscapes.  It offers a truly immersive experience, allowing visitors to connect with the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.[/toggle]

Q: Can I visit Norman Reef as part of a day trip?

A: Yes, visitor day trips to Norman Reef are popular options.  These tours allow you to experience the reef’s wonders in a single day, making it a convenient choice for those with limited time.

Q: Is Norman Reef part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?

A: Norman Reef is within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, ensuring its protection and conservation.  Visitors are reminded to follow sustainable practices and respect the delicate marine environment.

Q: Is there accommodation available at Norman Reef?

A: Norman Reef is a popular reef site for Cairns Liveaboards, Reef Encounter and Ocean Quest.  Norman Reef is a fantastic reef site for night diving.

Explore the wonders of Norman Reef, a jewel in the Crown of the Great Barrier Reef.  From vibrant coral gardens to captivating marine life, this underwater paradise beckons adventurers of all ages to dive into a world of unparalleled beauty and discovery.


Nearby Coral Reefs

Explore Norman Reef today.

Please note that the reef operators that visit Norman Reef also visit other sites.  Normally, the Operators skipper will decide based on weather conditions.  This is worth considering as they cannot guarantee to visit Norman Reef daily.

Day Tours


Liveaboard Trips