Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

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

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Edward L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2009

Helicopter ride was fantastic. The boat ride on the way back was really tough for those who can get sick on a boat. It was several hours of the boat rocking back and forth across some really choppy conditions. Their snorkeling was far more structured than at most places, which I thought was great. Snorkel guides were available for people who are not comfortable during their first time snorkeling. They had life jackets, those noodle things, and other things to grab onto if you get tired. I wish we had a bit more time on the boat to snorkel though, I felt like it was a bit short. Other than that and the rocky boat ride, it was absolutely amazing!

MIRAN S Slovenia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2008

Definitely must do while in Cairns! You get to see the Great Barrier Reef from the water and from the air. Underwater world is just amazing!

Ada S United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2008

An absolutely wonderful day out.

Louise P United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2008

The trip from Cairns was excellent, it was well organised the staff were very helpful. There was plenty of time to snorkel, the food was excellent and we would recommend the fly back option as it is the only way to appreciate the reef.

Mary C United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2008

This trip was amazing and should be on everyones list of things to do before you die. Snorkling on the Great Barrier Reef was awesome, especially the sight of the basking sharks swimming below us. I was so excited I nearly wet myself. Crew on helicopter and ship were very friendly and knowledgeable and helped to make this trip unforgettable. If I ever win the lottery I'll be back.

John S Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2008

By far the best way to see the Great Barrier Reef. I took the fly-cruise option and was a brilliant day out. I don't like heights but that was forgotten about once over the reef. Friendly staff made the day a pleasure. What would have made the day better was being able to find the office at Cairns Airport.

Kathryn A United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2007

The whole experience was positive - the crew were fantastic, all very helpful and accommodating ensuring that people were happy and comfortable in what they were doing something new for most people! The food and facilities provided were of a high quality and the scenery just spoke for itself really! I highly recommend a flight back over the reef as well - the whole trip was a once in a lifetime experience I and my friend will always remember! Thank you very much.

Margaret B United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2007

An absolutely must-do trip. The crew was very friendly and helpful, and nothing was too much trouble for them. We had an added bonus, we saw whales on the way out to the reef. This trip was definitely one of the highlights of our holiday.

Patrick P USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2007

The helicopter trip is worth the cost alone! Then you get to enjoy snorkeling as well!

Sharnie R Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2007

This was the best trip I have ever been on, from the helicopter to the boat and the snorkeling. Everyone made us feel welcome, and nothing was a problem for the staff on board. We were lucky it was a nice day and there was no swell, so no one was seasick, which made the atmosphere fantastic.

William T United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2007

One of the best experiences we've ever had.

Roger T United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2007

Excellent value for money. Staff very friendly and helpful. Would highly recommend.

Trevor H United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2007

Brilliant trip, we were supposed to meet a platform with underwater viewing but met a boat. Anyway, unbelievable trip.

Stefan D

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2016

The tour was great, the staff - very professional. My only note is that I would like to have a bit longer flight - something like 45-60 minutes and I would like the helicopter to fly/hover a little lower over some spectacular places.

Jef T

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

Satisfaction mostly. Boat part of the tour had too many people though.

Jiahe Z

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2015

helicopter back was amazing! The boat on the way there was pretty small. It takes a quite while to get there and it's very choppy. Many ppl have to use plastic bags. The crews are great!

Tsit Fiona C

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2015

A very nice trip with good value! The staff on boat were excellent. The only thing bother me was the pick up driver forgot us but they eventually sent another one to pick us up.

Rachel D

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2015

Originally I wanted to do the cruise out and heli ride back (better value for money) but this was fully booked so we did the heli out and cruise back. The helicopter ride was amazing, out of this world and I would definitely reccommend it to anyone. The snorkelling/ boat/ cruise was okay (nothing special) but it was all worth it for the heli ride.

Craig R

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2014

My Wife and I had a great day despite website says you visit 3 reefs we only got 2 and 5 hours on the reef no way by the time you have lunch which is very nice by the way and safety briefings with the helicopter if you are taking this option you have no more time to get back in the water on the 1st reef then it's off to the 2nd reef which you get about an hour of swimming time there if you are taking the Helicopter back which is fine and worth every cent especially if the water is a bit rough like it was on our trip 2hrs to reach the reef a lot of sick people on board. Staff were all very friendly and helpful Elvis was a great laugh and entertaining the reefs we did get to were awesome seeing Turtles and beautiful coloured fish will amaze anyone if your in Cairns it's still a great day out you won't forget.

Sheldon F

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

Overall, it was a great day!
The staff were great!
The reef is spectacular!
The helicopter 'return' was not good value as it was supposed to be a 30" tour, but turned out to
be only a quick return to shore

Chase W

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2013

The worst part by far about this was that I was the "last ride" flying back to the airport. Because of the timing of the last flight I was unable to snorkel (or dive) at the second reef. There's just wasn't enough time. So I'd suggest just doing the tour and then getting on the chopper for a scenic tour while you're there.

It was pretty awesome though.

Angiebud1

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2013

A well organised tour, except again had to wait long time for bus transfers to and from the trip. Don't think the local organisers are on the balk most of the time!! Bit lovely cruise out to barrier reef. Children got to try scuba diving, but not exactly very clear that they had to pay extra for staying down-discovered this afterwards to our cost! But they loved it! Lunch was nice, basic but nice. Didn't get to do glass bottom boat as not enough time. Due to booking helicopter tour as well, we then found it was our return trip back bit left much earlier than we wanted as didn't get much time at second reef to snorkel, try the boat tour or even get the fresh fruit, wine and cheese and biscuits. Helicopter tour was nice, booked as a surprise wedding anniversary present, but only saw first 10 mins of the Great Barrier Reef as rest of course is on open seas returning back!! Good trip, need to improve the pick ups as we waited bit too long both ways!!

David S

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2012

Had a great helicopter ride and Andy was helpful in pointing out various different sites. Would do again next time up. Thanks.

Ed USA

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2011

Other than the helicopter intercom headsets not working and therefore no commentary on the way to and above the barrrier reef, was an excellent visit. The glass bottom boat was a nice touch for older visitors like us who do not dive or snorkle.

Biju P

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2011

Excellent! Good service, food and friendly staff!

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Tour code: 3262FLY

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