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Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

star-5
8,223 Reviews
Free admission
Pier Marina, Pier Point Road, Cairns, Tropical North, 4870

The Basics

Seeing the entire Great Barrier Reef could take weeks, but the most important scuba diving and snorkeling spots include the Saxon, Hastings, and Norman reefs in the outer Great Barrier Reef. Join one of the area’s many snorkeling and scuba dive–centric cruises or day trips, or turn your trip into an educational opportunity by getting your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certificate.

Alternatively, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site from above with a cruise in a catamaran or a glass-bottom boat. Scenic helicopter flights offer an overview and will give you a sense of the immensity of this remarkable ecosystem.

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Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
$144.68 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Fantastic day
Had a fantastic day, the crew go above and beyond to make sure u have a great time throughout the day, I did the helicopter ride which shows u a quick view of the reef which is stunning, if u like watching fish and exploring this is the perfect day trip
Adam_M, Sep 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Cairns & the Tropical North

star-5
Best Experience of the Reef!!!
Jennifer_M, Jul 2021
Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns
The best experience for my family, first time in The Great Barrier Reef. The boat was very clean, in compliance with the COVID precautions. The crews are very nice, helpful, attentive and well knowledgeable. The food is a wide variety, sumptuous and delicious, too much for everyone. Highly recommended. We thank you for this great experience.
star-5
One for the bucket list
Lilia_S, Jul 2021
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
Wow, just wow. Being able to snorkel to see a tiny bit of paradise that’s the Great Barrier Reef is an experience of a lifetime. Brianna and Phil were excellent in guiding us while snorkeling while Cedric really looked after us while we were on board the Endeavour. The helicopter ride back to Cairns gave us a different perspective of the reef. So much fun! You can get seasick so consider taking seasickness tablets beforehand to maximise your enjoyment.
star-5
Best Crew
HMKB, Jun 2021
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Loved the Great Barrier Reef, the crew were one of the best crew's I've done a day trip with, congrats and keep up the amazing work
star-5
Best experience ever
Christine_B, Aug 2021
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Great experience, wonderful staff that were very friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. Snorkelling was amazing and Phill junior has us giggling with his commentary. The Evolution was kept super clean and food was great! Loved it even though I got a little sick I give them an 11 out of 10 and I’d go back again any day ⭐️
star-5
Mesmerising!
Sanchita_S, Aug 2021
Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns
This was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. The trip was amazing with great tour guides - Ben, Chris, Mateo, Sophie and Antoinella. Ben and Chris were very knowledgeable and shared a lot of great info and facts about the reef. We were travelling with an infant and were made to feel very comfortable in the Catamaran. The food served was great and the boat was clean and luxurious.
star-5
Fab
V_P, Jul 2021
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Fantastic friendly and happy crew who truly loved their job, clean big boat with loads of space and places to sit and enjoy the ride to/from the reef, yummy lunch, all just added the dot to the i to a fabulous day out on the reef!
star-5
Brilliant day!
Roger_W, May 2021
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
Fantastic day. The boat Evolution has to be the best in Cairns. Spacious, clean, fast and the crew are excellent. The chopper trip home was brilliant! Brand new helicopter (had that new helicopter smell!) and the pilot was great. I asked him his background and he is super over qualified to be flying tourists around (Rescue/Oil Rig pilot). Can't recommend this tour enough.
star-5
Great vibe
Tino, Apr 2021
Silversonic Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas
The team was fun and professional, they took a lot of care for everyone and the catering was yummy. I lived the trip, the extensive knowledge of the guided tours and the vibe on the very clean catamaran sailing boat - all finishing with a romantic sunset in a dramatic sky. Highly recommended - I’ll do it again.
star-5
Fantastic day out
Karen_S, Aug 2021
Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise from Cairns - only 25 guests
Friendly helpful crew, beautiful lunch, great snorkelling spot & travelling back with all the sails up was superb
star-5
Great fun family trip for adult kids
Tracey_P, Jul 2021
Quicksilver Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas
Diving was great. We don’t have a ticket but the instructor was fantastic. The snorkelling was also great - so much coral and fish varieties.
star-5
Great experience
Nicole_M, Jul 2021
Silversonic Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas
I did two intro dives. My instructor Simon did a wonderful job ensuring you felt comfortable with the whole process and was a great guide under the water always on the look out for cool marine life. I highly recommend.
star-5
Awesome experience & value for money
Gayle_J, Jun 2021
Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns
Great value for money …friendly & knowledgeable staff, clean boat & facilities - awesome reef experience. Thankyou for a wonderful day!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia's most iconic and must-see attractions for all visitors.

  • Keep in mind that strenuous water activities are not recommended for people with medical conditions affecting the heart or lungs.

  • If you experience motion sickness, take preventative medication at least 30 minutes prior to boarding the boat.

  • A stinger suit to protect you from jellyfish is recommended to swim in the waters off Green and Fitzroy Islands or the Frankland Islands.

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How to Get There

The Great Barrier Reef runs 1,426 miles (2,300 kilometers) from Bundaberg to Australia’s northernmost tip, coming closest to the continent right around Queensland. Scuba diving excursions, snorkeling trips, and reef cruises depart from Cairns, Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, and Townsville. The boat ride from Cairns can take 45–90 minutes, depending where you’re headed.

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When to Get There

The water is at its clearest from April to October, but the reef can be enjoyed all year round. From December to March (summertime in the Southern Hemisphere), the water temperature is around 86℉ (30℃). From May to August whales migrate to the reef, and in the spring the coral spawns.

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Reefworld

A popular way to experience the Great Barrier Reef, Reefworld consists of two giant pontoons floating over Hardy Reef, one of the site’s smaller reefs. Here, you can snorkel, scuba dive, explore in semi-submersibles, or stay dry in an underwater viewing chamber. Tours to Reefworld depart from Port of Airlie, near Airlie Beach.

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Great Barrier Reef