Great Barrier Reef
Ecotourism

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Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Ecotourism

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

1. 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.

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: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

3. 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.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

4. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 3 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks and refreshments can be purchased.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

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

Hop 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 onboard. 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 Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

6. 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: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

7. 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.

From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

8. 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.

Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

9. Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

Experience the best of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef in one day: from the water and the air. Visit the Whitsundays’ most iconic destinations. These include the famous Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and secret, exclusive snorkeling locations. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bush walk, all in one day. Visit both ends of the world-famous beach. Departing from Airlie Beach, take to the skies and experience a once-in-a-lifetime, 60-minute scenic flight. Soar over the islands and Great Barrier Reef, including famous Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach. Guests will have a bird’s eye view of many of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, flying over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations, Heart Reef. The comfortable fixed-wing aircraft offers big window viewing, pilot commentary, and the best views of the Whitsundays. Then, take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Departing from Airlie Beach, climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays. This means it is not only an adventurous ride, but distances are covered in a shorter time, leaving more time for activities. The semi-rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing guests to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, enjoy a guided bushwalk to spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout to view and capture photographs of the stunning swirling silica sands and aqua water. This operator is the only tour to have direct access to all areas of the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach to ensure you enjoy the most memorable experience of this special place. If you have selected the 'North Whitehaven' option: This eco-adventure is a favourite amongst avid snorkellers because it is the only Whitsunday adventure which includes two different snorkel destinations. Not only that, but it includes a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, north end of Whitehaven Beach, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Guests explore the restricted area of beautiful Hill Inlet at Whitehaven Beach.  If you have selected the South Whitehaven Option: This tour visits both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach with more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the world famous white silica sand, a guided walk to Hill Inlet Lookout and experience the Southern Whitehaven Lookout, enjoying breathtaking views of Pentecost Island and the tropical waters of the Whitsundays. Snorkel for over an hour at Border Island, Dumbell Island or one of the “secret” snorkel spots, enjoying the amazing hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs.

Airlie Beach: Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

10. Airlie Beach: Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

See the wonders of the Whitsundays without getting in the water. Cruise around the best coral reefs around Airlie Beach with your family or friends on a tour that is suitable for all ages.  Enjoy a photo opportunity stop at Lions Lookout prior to your departure. Marvel at the views over the harbor and the stunning Whitsunday Islands and add a charming portrait to your holiday photo collection. Then, venture out on a glass-bottom boat that is fully shaded from the sun. Discover breathtaking coral worlds and marine wildlife such as turtles, rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Explore the valuable ecosystem that lives within the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Get up close and personal with a spectrum of vibrant hard and soft coral and underwater critters as you cruise through the idyllic islands. Listen to funny and informative commentary about the reef from your guide.

Frequently asked questions about Great Barrier Reef Ecotourism

What are other things to do than Ecotourism that are worth visiting in Great Barrier Reef?

The other unmissable things to do in Great Barrier Reef are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Great Barrier Reef

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

The team were fabulous, friendly and knowledgeable. We’re British so had a lot of questions. The journey was not too long and didn’t cause my hubby any sickness which is a win in itself. NOW the touristy important bit, the sea was crystal, there was so much to see snorkelling, and to be honest if you just lay in the water the life came to you. I got to see an octopus outside of an aquarium which is a real thrill. Everything on the island was clean and easily accessible. We couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you

We did this tour with our young kids 5 and 2. It was fantastic! The boat crew were amazing, the island was great and had lots to do. When I went snorkelling we instantly saw fish, rays and turtles. It was so much fun for our whole family. The driver of the glass bottom boat was awesome! We highly recommend this tour. Well worth your $$

The crew were very informative on trip out to green island. The glass bottom boat was fantastic guide was also informative

Really friendly crew. Such a lovely day. Green Island is just lovely and I definitely recommend snorkelling.

What an incredible day. The staff were amazing. Food was great. Reef bloody awesome.