Why choose us?
John Rumney and his dedicated team of researchers and crew have been running swim with minke whale trips for 17 years and pioneered the swim with whale experience in Queensland. They were also instrumental in the development of guidelines that ensures all encounters are carried out on the whales’ terms and have now been adopted by industry as World’s Best Practice.

We believe in connecting people with nature in a profound and meaningful way. Our aim is to create the best minke experience along with excellent reef snorkelling and diving.

What make Eye to Eye Marine Encounters unique?

  • Minkes are our priority. We maintain a flexible itinerary in order to maximise the time and quality of whale encounters.

  • Dive sites are selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine attractions, not on a predetermined timeframe

  • Researcher presence. Our scientists actively conduct field work while on board and appreciate and encourage guest involvement (i.e. by contributing photographs and behavioural observations to the Minke Whale Project)

  • Our dedicated and highly skilled crew has worked with us for years and shares our passion, values and thirst for adventure and fun.

  • We believe in the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge as a means of enriching the marine experience.

We want to give YOU the best wildlife experience possible in the hope that it will inspire you to protect our marine treasures. Our ethos and reputation has made us the first point of call for documentary film crews, universities and marine institutes around the world. We have been fortunate enough to introduce the beautiful minke whales to IMAX, Galatee (Oceans), National Geographic and the BBC and wish to continue sharing one of world’s most incredible wildlife experiences with others.




Minke Whale Research Trip - for the ultimate whale watching experience join Minke Whale Project scientists on board our 4, 5 or 6 day expeditions to swim with and study these extraordinary animals. The focus of these trips are in providing the best Minke encounters possible but also involves diving/snorkeling at some of the best sites on the GBR. The original and the best, our team has been conducting these unique trips for 15 years (and has a 100% sighting record) and focuses on providing intimate and unforgettable Minke encounters. Vessel: Undersea Explorer  Max 20 guests.

2014 Departures


Trip 1: Tuesday 24 – Sunday 29 June:
5 night/ 4 day
Depart: Port Douglas Marina meet at vessel 4:30pm
Return: Cairns (10AM) via scenic flight from Lizard Island (9AM)
Cost: $ 2850 (includes cost of flight)

Trip 2: Sunday 29 June – Thursday 3 July: 4 night/ 4 day FULL
Depart: Cairns (7:30AM) to Lizard Island (8:30AM) via scenic flight
Return: Cairns (10AM) via scenic flight from Lizard Island (9AM)
Cost: $ 3050 (includes cost of flights)

Trip 3: Thursday 3 – Monday 7 July: 4 night/ 4 day
Depart: Cairns (7:30AM) Arrive Lizard Island (8:30AM) via scenic flight
Return: Cairns 12:45pm) via scenic flight from Cooktown departing @ noon
Cost: $3050 (includes cost of flights)

Trip 4: Tuesday 8 –Monday 14 July: 6 night /5 day
Depart: Cairns (4:50pm) Arrive Cooktown (5:35pm) via charter flight
Return: Port Douglas Marina on vessel
Cost: $3,510

* Please note that this itinerary may change from steaming back to Port Douglas on the vessel to * flying back from Lizard Island to Cairns pending confirmation of a whole boat private charter (Trip 5). This would incur an additional $200 p/p for the flight. We will notify you and adjust for this later if necessary.

TRIP 5: 14 – 18 July 2014 PRIVATE
Whole Boat Charter (To Be Confirmed)

What is included?

  • All linen, including two towels per person We recommend you bring an additional deck towel if possible.
  • Superb meals - freshly prepared onboard using local produce.
  • Delicious snacks after every dive
  • Complimentary tea, coffee, Milo, water, cordial, biscuits and fresh fruit are available 24 hours a day
  • Tanks, weights & Safety Kits (safety sausage, whistle, cylume stick)
  • Optional guided dive (subject to instructor/divemaster availability)
  • Interesting & educational presentations on marine life biology, ecology, conservation & research.

Please note: Itinerary is flexible and may be adjusted at any time due to weather conditions, tide and at the discretion of the skipper.

Extra Costs (payable onboard)

  • an Environmental Management Charge ($16.50 per person) collected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • dive gear hire
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks available on board
  • merchandise


Experience the profound sense of connection that comes from looking into the eye of another species…

Dwarf Minke Whale Expeditions run for 6 weeks each June/July and all encounters take place on the whale's terms. Learn about their biology, behaviour and life history through onboard lectures by marine biologists and scientists. Guests will be given the opportunity to assist the ongoing research by helping to identify individual whales and be involved in behavioural observations. This is truly one of the most unique under water experiences available (and don't forget that it is accompanied with magnificent diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef!)

Code of Practice for dwarf minke whale interactions

Sample itinerary:

TRIP BEGINS: Day 1: (4:30 - 5:30pm)
Board your vessel at Pier 319 (behind St Mary’s By the Sea church), Port Douglas. Meet your crew, organize/hire dive gear and complete paperwork. Enjoy a meal in town with fellow guests and return to the boat at 8:00 PM for a safety and minke whale briefing. Depart around 9:00 PM. Steam overnight and awake at your first dive/snorkel site.

DAY 2:
Wake up to the Ribbon Reefs stretching out before you. Enjoy a light breakfast before the first dive/snorkel, followed by a hot cooked meal. This will be accompanied by an in-depth briefing on swim-with-whale guide-lines. Afterwards, travel to your next destination, searching for whales whilst underway. If whales are eager to interact, don your wetsuit and enter the water, ready for the experience of a lifetime. Watch as their confidence and curiosity grows, bringing them eye to eye with you. If no whales are found, continue your dive/snorkel adventure on beautiful coral gardens and pinnacles. In the evening, attend an interpretive talk (and power point presentation) by researchers on whale biology, behaviour and the history behind the Minke Whale Project.

DAY 3:
Depending on the events of previous day, focus upon either diving/snorkeling on the reef, or spotting whales. Dive site will be selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine highlights. Night dives are offered most evenings. During mealtime, enjoy informal talks with onboard biologists and researchers.

DAYS 4 - 6:
Spend the day looking for whales (very often the whales will find us!) and exploring the northern Ribbon Reefs and visiting famous dive sites including the Cod Hole, Pixie Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie. During encounters help researchers identify individuals and key behaviours and be sure to keep an ear out for the minke’s unique acoustic repertoire. Increase your marine knowledge and enthusiasm by attending another interpretive talk offered by our onboard biologists.

DAY 7:
Final day of the expedition! Enjoy your last two dives and/or minke swim in the morning as we steam south towards Port Douglas. Relax whilst underway taking in the beautiful views of our emerald rainforest clad coast. If we are really lucky we could even see one of the first Humpback whales of the season! Vessel returns to Port Douglas late afternoon (4:00 – 5:00) where you will disembark and say your good-byes!

4 & 5 Day Trip :

Our 4 and 5 day day itineraries are flexible and will be similar to that of the 6-day trip (including interpretive talks on board). The focus will be on whale interactions (both above and below water) but we also include snorkeling and diving at some of the Great Barrier Reef's best dive sites such as the world-famous Cod Hole, Pixie’s Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie.

Eye to Eye also offers private swim-with Minke whale charters across a range of vessels.

Please contact us at : info@marineencounters.com.au


For more information of our scheduled itineraries :contact Eye to Eye Marine Encounters:

 on 61 (0) 7 4098 5417  or   email : info@marineencounters.com.au



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