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Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns

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Cairns City, Australia
Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
iconOffered in: English and 6 more


Enjoy the natural delights of the Great Barrier Reef on an activity cruise from Cairns that gives you several ways to experience this renowned underwater world. After traveling by catamaran to a pontoon moored on the reef, you can observe marine life on a glass-bottom boat or semi-submersible vessel; go snorkeling to spot sea turtles; get your hands wet in the touch pool; upgrade to include a Seawalker Helmet dive; or upgrade to include an introductory or certified scuba dive. A buffet lunch is included, and the pontoon is equipped with showers.
  • Full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise
  • See the underwater sights without getting wet from a glass-bottom or semi-submersible vessel
  • Enjoy a buffet lunch
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Snorkeling equipment
Glass bottom boat and Semi-Submersible tours (unlimited)
Sunlover waterslide and spacious sun deck
Great Barrier Reef and fish feeding presentations by our marine experts
Underwater observatory and ocean enclosed pool
Coffee and/or Tea
WiFi on board
Fresh water showers and change rooms
Environmental Management Charge (EMC)
Additional cost: Wetsuit and prescription snorkel mask
Additional cost: Guided Snorkel Tour, Intro or Certified Diving, Seawalker Helmet Dive, Heli Filghts
Additional cost: professional photos or camera hire
Additional cost: Secure lockers
Additional Cost: Hotel Transfers can be added directly with Sunlover

Departure Point

1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

The Sunlover reservations desk is inside the Reef Fleet Terminal on the ground floor. All guests must check in and collect their boarding pass between 8:30 am and 9:15 am. The boat departs from the A finger right beside the terminal.

Departure Time

9:30 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Your day on the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, begins as you depart Cairns by high-speed catamaran, listening to commentary from a marine naturalist about the array of marine life that call the reef home (safety and snorkeling instructions are also provided). Arrive at a spacious pontoon moored on the outer reef, your base for the day, where you can spend your time however you wish to make the most of your experience on the water.

The pontoon is equipped with Wi-Fi, change rooms, and showers. A buffet lunch is provided for beverages, you may purchase soft drinks and alcoholic drinks from the onboard bar, as well as additional snacks or ice cream. For protection from the elements, Lycra sun suits are included or you can hire neoprene wetsuits (additional cost); the Great Barrier Reef is home to jellyfish and other stinging species (jellyfish season is November to May).

After ample time on the pontoon, your day trip ends with the return cruise to Cairns.

Included activities

If you prefer to stay dry, take a glass-bottom boat ride or tour by semi-submersible vessel to spot clownfish, starfish, clams, anemone coral and more. Watch a fish-feeding demonstration, and check out the onboard touch tank for a hands-on look at marine life. When you want to cool off, jump in the water with your provided snorkeling equipment to look for resident sea creatures like Dolla the turtle or Wally the hump-headed Maori wrasse. Watch for manta rays, clownfish and maybe even whales in the winter months.  

Optional upgrades

Seawalker Helmet diving: Take a walk on an underwater platform to enjoy the thrill of scuba diving without the scuba requirements. No diving experience is necessary to participate in this guided activity, and numbers are limited to six people per group to provide personalized attention.

Introductory dive: If you’re a beginner scuba diver, take an introductory dive with a group.

Certified dive: If you are an experienced diver, enjoy two certified dives.
Stop At:  
Great Barrier Reef
Sunlover's Marine Base at Moore Reef on the Outer Great Barrier Reef is teeming with colourful coral and abundant marine life in every colour of the rainbow.
Duration: 4 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Fitzroy Island
On our Moore Reef Daily experience we make a brief stop enroute and on the way back from the reef to pick up and drop off passengers. Fitzroy Island is favourite trip for Cairns' locals with 99% of its landscape covered in lush tropical rainforest as well as granite outcrops, open woodlands, mangroves and coral beaches. Learn more about the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef with a visit to Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre or the Reef Restoration coral nursery, take a bushwalk to the Summit or Lighthouse, snorkel straight off the beach or simply relax on the sandy shores of the famous Nudey Beach - voted the best beach in Australia. Inquire about our Fitzroy Island Transfers, which give you 6 hours to explore this paradise. Or, for the ultimate tropical island and reef experience combine it with a Moore Reef Daily cruise and save.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 12 years for SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet dive
  • Please ensure you bring your dive certification for Certified SCUBA dives
  • All dives are subject to an on board medical checklist, please contact us for more information.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 308 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Sunlover Reef Cruises

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.
What is the social distancing policy during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.
What is the maximum group size during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 308 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "It costs extra, but I would do it all over again." See review
  • "Seasickness pills are a great suggestion, as there were a lot of people suffering." See review
  • "I would recommend this trip for those with varying ages in your group including non-snorkelers." See review


304 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 304 reviews
Very relaxed and...
, Aug 2021
Very relaxed and informative day, staff were friendly and knowledgeable, all activities were great. Only downside, lunch left a bit to be desired lunch left a b
Excellent day!
, Aug 2021
Friendly,efficient staff Great location for diving,snorkeling. Excellent equipment. Plenty of time allowed for all activities.
Great day on the Reef
, Jul 2021
Great day out! Friendly helpful team, amazing reef, we loved the snorkelling guided tour and excellent vegan food choices.
Spectacular experience
, Jul 2021
Spectacular part of the Great Barrier Reef to visit with plenty of activities to take part of for all ages.
, Jul 2021
Lovely experience with a set of activities suitable to everybody can enjoy the reef to their own way, with lot of information provided and safety tips. The infrastructure is very complete and the staff is very nice.
Fabulous Adventure
, Jul 2021
The crew were fabulous. It was a very rough crossing and I became seasick and they couldn’t do enough to assist me. The glass boat and submersible were great. The boat and pontoon are getting tired and could do with a refresh, however it was still an experience I would do again
Fantastic Day
, Jul 2021
The staff were fantastic!!! Lots of sick people on our very rough ride, but it didn’t faze them. They answered all questions asked and were so informative and courteous. They made our day so memorable. A massive 10/10 !!
Family fun
, Jul 2021
Every thing was awesome, very well planned etc ,if food was little bit better it could be 5 stars . But wonderful family fun
Awesome family day out
, Jun 2021
The reef was amazing, the boat was great the crew were absolutely awesome - so greatful for an amazing day!
Not to be missed
, Jun 2021
The staff were so helpful and did everything they could to make sure we had a safe and fun experience. Thoroughly enjoyed the day.

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