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CAIRNS REEF TOURS

Sea turtle at Green Island.
Sea turtle at Green Island.

With the city of Cairns being the closest point to access the Great Barrier Reef on the entire East Coast of Australia. The city has become the main gateway for visiting the Great Barrier Reef. With over 39 Cairns reef tours to choose from, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

HOW TO CHOOSE A CAIRNS REEF TOUR

There are 3 variations on how to visit the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. Day trips are typically a full day, include all meals and all snorkel gear like mask, snorkel, and fins. Some tours also include life jackets, pool noodles, lycra suits, semi-submarines, underwater observatories and glass bottom boats. Some offer certified and introductory scuba diving.

OPTION-1: FAST DAY BOAT TO OUTER REEFS

One way to visit the reef is by taking a fast day boat to the outer reef systems. Trips like these are typically full day and include all meals and all snorkel gear. They tend to be smaller in size and travel to multiple reef locations in the one day. Good for people who like to swim, snorkel and even try a scuba dive.

OTPION-2: OUTER REEF PONTOON

The second option of visiting the reef from Cairns is taking a fast boat out to one of the outer reef pontoons or floating platforms as they are commonly named. Trips to the pontoons are more suited to people who perhaps do not swim, are traveling with children and or are prone to sea sickness.

OPTION-3: VISIT ONE OF THE ISLANDS

The third option of visiting the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns is to travel to one of the nearby Islands. Visiting the islands allows you disembark the boat and stand on the hard ground. Typically you can walk into the ocean from the beach and try snorkeling from the shallows. Trips to the Islands are suited to people who would like to relax on a beach, maybe are prone to sea sickness or just want to get your feet wet in shallow waters.

Still confused? Try our tour finder, let us help you choose the best tour. Our staff have been on every reef tour.

Reef Trips

SELECTED TOURS

Silverswift Dive & Snorkel Cairns

SILVERSWIFT

The only boat in Cairns to visit 3 outer reef sites in the one day! Includes all snorkel gear!

TUSA dive & snorkel Boat Cairns.

TUSA DIVE

Tusa Dive operate a high-quality day tour to the reef. A highly experienced crew, great diving.

Quicksilver cruises operate from Port Douglas

QUICKSILVER

Quicksilver operate luxury day cruises to the very outer barrier reef systems.

Reef Magic cruises from Cairns Australia

REEF MAGIC

Reef Magic Cruises are a local family run pontoon. Beautiful snorkeling for families.

Ocean Spirit Cruises Cairns.

OCEAN SPIRIT CRUISES

Ocean Spirit Cruises operate a luxury sailing catamaran to beautiful Michaelmas Cay.

Green Island Cairns Australia

GREEN ISLAND

Visit Green Island, day trips include snorkel gear or glass bottom boat. Great for families and relaxing.

Great Adventures Outer Reef Pontoon.

GREEN ISLAND + REEF

Visit Green Island, and the Outer Barrier Reef all in the one day. 2-hrs at Green Island, 3-hrs at Reef!

Still confused? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.