Thetford Reef

  • location –  Latitude 16°48’23.6″S Longitude 146°10’30.4″E
  • Access by boat
  • Depth Range 5-20 metres
  • Visibility 15-20 metres
  • Suitable for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Thetford Reef is one of Cairns Southern Reefs.  This reef site is considered an essential reef for tourism and recreational use.

This reef is closer to the mainland than other more popular but distant sites. Thetford Reef is a 2 km long reef that seems to have it all. With good visibility, plenty of colours and many coral heads, several sites with canyons and passages to explore.  This reef has several large bommies and numerous swim-throughs.   Thetford Reef is located 70 km east of Cairns.

This protected lagoon offers snorkelers and scuba divers several bommies to explore with a vast array of smaller fish.

It is ideal for first-time introductory divers, making it a popular choice for Prodive’s learn to dive course.

An excellent overnight anchorage and shallow night diving is available at this reef location.


This reef has large Gorgonian Corals, Boulder Head Corals and Soft Corals.  Keep an eye out for pygmy seahorses in the Gorgonian Coral.

Marine Life

This reef has Anemones, Damselfish, Butterflyfish and Angelfish out for pipefish, giant clams and Rabbitfish.

The popular dive site at Thetford Reef

Popular reef sites include 360 and East meets West, Cathedral, and Blue Lagoon.

Silverswift and also Prodive visit have moorings at this reef.


Thetford Reef Map