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Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

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
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
$149.15 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing Experience
Amazing experience, really polite and friendly team! Beautiful coral reef, great lunch and an overall great day 😁
Charlotte_W, Jun 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Cairns & the Tropical North

star-5
Once in a Lifetime Experience
Susan_Y, Jun 2022
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
From the moment my daughter and I walked onto the boat we were treated very well. The crew is incredibly friendly and positive and just downright delightful. They obviously had everyone’s safety in mind but they also encouraged everyone to have a great experience while out at The Great Barrier Reef! It didn’t hurt that they also had delicious food all day long available to us sightseers. I would highly recommend this company for anyone looking to have a once in a lifetime experience!!!
star-5
Fabulous boat, crew & reef
Kaylene_G, Mar 2022
Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests
What a fabulous way to see the Great Barrier Reef. A fantastic family owned local business that couldn't do anymore for us to ensure we had the best experience. We were treated like royalty and had crew that knew all about the reef (Sharn, Matt & Perry)and its inhabitants. The day felt like going out with family with food, drinks and laughs throughout the day with safety always first for the guests. Cannot recommend more highly. Will definitely use this company again
star-5
Excellent
Priscilla_L, Feb 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Excellent, jam packed day! Scuba instructions were clear and safety was paramount. Snorkeling was excellent too! There were many snorkel guides there if you weren't a confident swimmer. The Great Barrier Reef is a must see! Shout out to Nivi who was SO kind to take care of me when I was vomiting my heart out (from sea sickness. Take your pills!) AND took care of me out on the water, keeping our group safe and entertained while snorkeling. What a champ!
star-5
First time in a...
Mary_M, Mar 2022
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
First time in a helicopter and surpassed all expectations. The viewing of the Great Barrier Reef from the air was fantastic and then snorkeling at the Reef was a very special occasion. Really brings home the importance of conserving this beautiful planet of ours.
star-5
Wonderful experience
Melissa_S, Jun 2022
Sunlover Reef Cruises Cairns Great Barrier Reef Experience
Very well organised day. Lovely helpful staff. The glass boat was a bit disappointing as the glass had not been cleaned. But worth the ride just for the experience.
star-5
5* tour
Lynn_W, Jun 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
All staff on board were very supportive and adjusted communication and direction according to everyones ability. A very well organised tour and the lunch was tasty too. On the reef itself it was good to see safety measures being followed. Thanks to Jorge for his guided snorkel and pointing out specific fish. The underwater photographer was great too. Great to see an Australian based company and staff "passionate" about what they do.
star-5
Fun snorkelling trip of the reef
Sangev_S, May 2022
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Enjoyed the entire experience. The boat ride was fun; pleasant & knowledgeable crew & food provided was good. The boat was clean & comfortable. Good value for money in my opinion.
star-5
Great experience!! Kids...
Trionne_S, Apr 2022
Sunlover Reef Cruises Cairns Great Barrier Reef Experience
Great experience!! Kids enjoyed all activities. Friendly and supportive staff with high attention to safety.
star-5
Best Reef tour hands down
Kelly_S, Apr 2022
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Great boat, clean and modern. Great staff, especially Eddie. Two reef sites that had so many different species of fish with great visibility, by far the best I have been to over the last two years with different tour providers. We did an introductory scuba dive at a good price, which was a great experience for our teens. If you are going to pick a reef tour, don't over look this one.
star-4
Bloody great
Adam_S, Mar 2022
Silversonic Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas
It was a fun and relaxing day. The snorkelling spots were great. Staff were fantastic. The boat’s facility were clean and tidy.
star-5
Overwhelming experience -LOVED IT
Sean_B, Jun 2022
Quicksilver Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas
Seeing the Great Barrier Reef was amazing! Let alone the way quicksilver showed us. The staff were so nice and welcoming! So easy to talk to if you had a question or just to have a chat. The activities for the day were so amazing and fun and they made sure you knew of the schedules for the day so you didn’t miss out on anything. Would definitely recommend this to anyone!!
star-5
Diving and snorkelling the reef
Emma, Mar 2022
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
Amazing day! The crew were all friendly and accomodating. Matt explained the diving safety and skills very clearly and made us all feel at ease getting into the water. Plenty of food and drinks provided
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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
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Great Barrier Reef?
A:
Attractions near Great Barrier Reef:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Cairns & the Tropical North?
A:
As well as visiting the Great Barrier Reef, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: