Things to do in
Great Barrier Reef

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From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

1. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hope aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive a free 10-minute scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared by the onboard chef. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

2. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

3. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Tour the Outer Great Barrier Reef by boat with time to snorkel and explore this world-famous National Park. Complement your experience with a gourmet buffet lunch, glass of wine, and a light snack. Board your high-speed vessel, and visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a seamless experience with knowledgeable staff to ensure a safe and fun-filled tour. Stop at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations and snorkel with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Later, sit down for a delicious barbecue lunch with salad before taking off for the second half of the tour.

Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

4. Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

Climb aboard the Silversonic catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. With daily departures from Port Douglas Marina at 08:30, and a return to Port Douglas Marina at 16:30, experience unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life, and exceptional underwater visibility, and snorkel or dive in the company of an experienced dive instructor. The ultramodern 95-foot (29-meter) Silversonic catamaran is custom-designed for small groups of adventure-minded people. You will spend over 5 hours at the reef, visiting 3 different Agincourt ribbon reef sites, each chosen for its visual and ecological diversity. First time divers can enjoy up to 2 dives and take the plunge in complete confidence with an experienced dive instructor by your side. Certified divers will enjoy up to 3 dives, all guided to maximize your experience. Silversonic features everything you’ll need to experience an underwater world of colorful marine life in safety and comfort, including a state-of-the-art ride control system ensuring a super smooth journey, hydraulic dive and snorkel platforms for easy water access, spacious deck areas, hot freshwater showers, change rooms, and even a licensed bar to share tales of your adventure. As an added bonus during the whale season, Silversonic has one of the few permits available from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allows guests to swim with dwarf Minke whales if encountered – a truly unforgettable experience from July through September.

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

5. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

6. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned, 35-meter catamaran and sail towards the Green Island, a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Take in magnificent views of the ocean throughout your journey. After you arrive, you can go on a stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Scenic Helicopter Flight

7. Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Scenic Helicopter Flight

Join this fast, comfortable cruise, with five hours spent visiting two spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations. Travel on 'Evolution'- a brand new, purpose-built, state of the art, 35-meter (120ft) superyacht, providing a superior ride in all weather conditions. Visit exclusive, protected locations on the pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef with superior reef quality. Professional, friendly and attentive staff ensure a safe and enjoyable fun-filled experience. This vessel is the most stylish and luxurious reef vessel available in Cairns. Depart the marina at 8.00am and travel to the true outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Choose from an abundance of seating inside air-conditioned, modern lounges or outside on full-length sundecks for sunbathing. Spend 5 hours snorkelling spotting diverse marine wildlife below, coral gardens and much more. For lunch, enjoy a delicious Aussie BBQ including steak, fish, prawns, and tropical salads (vegetarians are catered for.) At the second reef site, take to the skies for your 10-minute Scenic Helicopter Flight to and from the exclusive Heli-Pontoon. Have your camera ready as you lift off from the helipad for an incredible scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef. Appreciate from the air, the sheer size of the reef system as you search for marine life in their natural habitat. Be amazed at the colours and beauty of the coral gardens before touching back down to re-join the crew onboard the vessel. A complimentary glass of wine and a light snack is served on the return journey back to Cairns. Return to Cairns at 4:30 PM.

Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

8. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this full-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

Cairns: Outer Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

9. Cairns: Outer Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

Take in the full spectacle of the Great Barrier Reef from the sky during a scenic flight from Cairns. Onboard a fixed-wing plane, see up to 140 kilometers of the Outer Barrier as well as many inner islands, reefs, and sand isles. Within 10 minutes of departing Cairns, the real adventure begins, as you get wonderful photo opportunities over Green Island, Oyster Reef, Vlasoff Cay, Upolo Reef, Pixie Reef, and Arlington Reef. Sit back in air-conditioned comfort as you glide through the sky. Take in the spectacular hues of green and blue from your window seat while listening to the pilot's informative commentary about the sights below. Get a chance to spot marine life with manta rays, green turtles, dugongs, sharks, and, if in season, whales, in clear view from the aircraft.

From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

10. From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this half-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned 24-meter catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,759 reviews

Overall this experience was great. The snorkeling was breathtaking and an experience I will cherish for many years to come. The staff were really nice and welcoming making the experience more comfortable. A downside was inside the vessel as the air conditioning was set way too cold and was an unpleasant experience inside.

Very nice and friendly crew and extremely careful and vigilant with the diving and snorkeling guests. wonderful, very tasty lunch and coffee with cake a great experience on the reef

Well organised tour from start to finish. Staff very helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. Very clean and food was very good

Very tasty food, nice snorkeling spots and a friendly crew. I would do it again anytime.

Very friendly staff. Great location for snorkeling.