Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's greatest natural treasure, and the world’s largest coral reef. This underwater wonderland stretches for 2,300 km (1,426 miles) from Bundaberg to Australia's northernmost tip. At its closest, it's only 30 km ... 

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Andrina O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

this 3 day pass is a big bang for your buck! on first day, i did the great adventure's outer great barrier reef at moore reef. the amount of marine life there is staggering. you will get to meet wally, the maori wrasse at the outer reefs. he's like a giant puppy- he likes getting petted and he follows swimmers around in the water.

on the second day, i hopped on the silverswift scuba diving boat to check out 3 different sites around flynn reef. it is a more intimate boat- unlike my cruise with great adventures' 150 passengers- this boat has no more than 85 folks. this is also the ultimate boat for divers- both certified and introductory dives are offered here. i learned how to scuba dive for the first time ever and loved every minute of it!

on the last day, i joined the oceanspirit caramaran at michaelmas cay. if you don't know how to snorkel, this is a great beginner session. your boat will stop several meters away from the cay and a boat buggy will ferry you to and from the beach. warning: this cay is inhabited by migratory birds so the first thing that greets you to the beach is the smell of bird poo.

Doing what: Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass

Karen G United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

This was the best money I spent in Australia! We had 3 very long full days of tours, but we really got a true tour of the Australian countryside, Great Barrier Reef, river cruise to see crocks, Rain Forrest tour with a native ranger.

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

Stephanie M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Friendly, helpful, and funny staff, and great reef locations! Must-do while in Cairns!!

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Linh N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

This whole three day trip was worth every penny. My absolute favorite part was the Great Barrier Reef day--the boat was brand new--only 3 days old! I was scared to try scuba diving but the crew was so great in convincing me that I could do it. BUY IT NOW!

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

gezkeller

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

The crew were very professional and organized! I loved the cubby where we placed
our snorkelling eqpts! The cost for lycra/wet suit rental was a bit pricey for AUD10, could
be cut in half. Hidden cost of AUD20 for reef fees paid at check-in, should have been
included in the price of the tour. However the reefs we visited namely Saxon and Hastings
Reef were UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL!!!! A MUST SEE and EXPERIENCE!!!
Also, THANK YOU for the free motion sickness organic tablets!!!
Food selection was great but the STEAK was a bit tough.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Kelly F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

I had a great time on this trip. It was great to see the Reef and all the amazing critters that live there. My only complaint is that the crew did nothing to educate people about not touching the coral and damaging the coral. This is a fragile eco-system and it takes a long time for coral to grow. Some coral cannot come back from being stood on. Please educate all the snorkelers and scuba divers so we can have this great place for a LONG time.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Ivor F D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

we got changed from the low isles tor the outer barrier reef trip becuase if lack of numbers to the low isles biut the change was well worth We were upgraded withoout any extra cost good weathr and a gra day

Doing what: Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise from Port Douglas

MaryJo A United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Our guides were fantastic! This was very well organized and informative. They give you wet suites to wear and supply all the dive and snorkel equipment. Lots of food and beverages. We saw so many fish and coral on our 3 reef experiences. Loved it!

Doing what: Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Cairns

Thomas C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Well planned and executed. Very careful for your safety. I was nervous and a guide took me out holding to a life ring until I felt able to go on. Good lunch and wine,cheese and entertainment on the way home. Elvis you rock! Reef coral is amazing. Not many fish or much color in summer water but we even saw giant clams and Nemo.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

zorro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

These tours were just amazing. Viator picked the best tour companies in Port Douglas and Cairns. We did the Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from both Cairns and Port Douglas. We liked the trip from Port Douglas better, but both were amazing and included a great lunch.
We also did the Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas which visits the Agincourt Reef platform and includes an amazing semi-submersible submarine with spectacular views of the reef.
All three tours were great and are highly recommended

Doing what: Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass

Margarida A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

The high point was the marvelous day at the reef with lots of opportunities to see it from various aspects from boat, snorkeling, helicopter, etc. The train and cable car at Kuranda were also excellent to get a sense of the rain forest. The Cape Tribulation beach was paradise, but the day trip was more tiring due to the long distance covered by bus and many sites visited, but certainly worth it to see many things in a relatively short time!

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

sidhesh v

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Everything was good., well organized and fun. the down under package for reef was extra ordinary

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

Jack L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Most bang for the buck! All of these tours were super and about half the price......loved them all, especially the last that included 3 separate reefs to dive/snorkel. Best deal ever!

Doing what: Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass

Elma D E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

We were very happy to get this Cairns Super Saver. Specially the Barrier Reef Cruise and Cape Tribulation Day.

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

Michael B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

The experience was greater than I expected it to be. I am new to diving and the crew were exceptional in helping me understand and experience diving safely. I also enjoyed snorkeling on the reef. The locations we were at were amazing and full of life and color. The food was excellent with a good selection. The crew was personable and memorable. I strongly recommend this to anyone visiting the area who wants lifetime memories and experience the great barrier reef!

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Audrey W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

When you are short on time this tour is the way to go! It was so nice to have each day planned out and just have to show up to see some of the most amazing things on this earth! From the cruise to the Daintree Rainforest, Crocodile Cruises and gorgeous coastline, this tour gives you a little taste of what the beautiful North QLD of Australia has to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed every tour guide each day and all were very happy to answer any questions and assist in any way that they could. They were full of fascinating information as well and I learned quite a bit!

I also have several food allergies which everyone was more than happy to accomodate for the meals that were included. They're quite tricky too - but I was still easily able to find something or be provided with a delicious meal. One of my favorites was grilled Barramundi and greek salad on the reef cruise!

I highly recommend this experience for anyone looking for a way to pack in a lot in a short amount of time.
I was traveling solo and had a fantastic time meeting so many other people doing these tours!

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

1viaje

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

THE BEST!!! Since We check in at the counter James make us feel very Welcome, the whole staff Was IMPRESIVE, NICE, AMAZING,HELPFUL, Shakira, Elvis, Matt walk the extra mile, Thanks They do really make the whole excursion worth ,the food excellent, the afternoon entretainment Happy ocation after experienced the Great Barried Reef! , snorckling, scuba diving,immersible boat for the ones that where not able to swim, helicopter ride to see from above the 7th Marvel of the World!!! Thanks I really recomend this activity.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

richardgravells

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

This was a fantastic tour, it was a relaxing cruise out to one of the reefs. I did one dive which was enough for me, there were options to do more at a heavily reduced rate. Snorkling was amazing along with the great tasting BBQ. The semi submergeable boat was an excellent upgrade of 5 Aus dollars, it was a 25 minute tour of the reef in the dry with an expert guide. At the end there was free wine as we made our way back to Cairns.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Carl M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Fantastic tour company and boat... they were professional and helpful.. delightful people... served us well with entertainment, food, conversation. Great location on the Reef!

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Karen K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Highly recommend this package! It was a great way for us to see several of the things we would have had on our top ten list anyway. The great barrier reef cruise and snorkeling was the highlight for me. Great crew, food, and entertainment on the boat, and a fun time diving at two different reef locations!

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

Barry W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Both the train trip and the gondola through the tropical forest were great. I also really enjoyed snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef although the weather wasn't the best the reef was still something.A big thanks to the crew of our boat for looking after my other half she had bad sea sickness and couldn't get on the helicopter back quick enough, which was a great ride

Doing what: 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Anne B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

These three tours were outstanding and should be done by all. The snorkeling on the reef was the best. Our bus did breakdown at Cape Tribulation but we really enjoyed the extra time at the Beach House and we did receive a refund for the part of the tour we did not get to complete. The shopping in Kuranda was good.

Doing what: Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

Milts

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Diving in the reef was a great experience and seeing the aerial view of the reef thru the helicopter back to Cairns was really just jaw-dropping! Will definitely come back and dive in the Great Barrier Reef!

Doing what: 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

pablo.m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Very friendly staff, comfortable boat, all the equipment in very good conditions. Great time in the Reef!

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Preston S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

We had an awesome time on the reef. Water was cool and the weather could not have been better. The boat was comfortable with plenty of room for everyone. Crew was energetic about getting us out there to have fun and making the most of our time on the reef. The wine at the end of the day was a plus too. Would recommend this to any medium to advanced swimmers. Anyone can go but it is more fun with some swimming skills of your own.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

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