Calm waters, crystal clear visibility and tons of tropical fish make Michaelmas Cay one of the best scuba and snorkeling destinations outside of Cairns. Underwater enthusiasts love the colorful coral found far below the ocean’s surface and the lively birds that fly high overhead. Time spent on a boat isn’t so bad either.
Leopard sharks, sting rays and sea turtles swim among the coral reefs, and since the sandy lagoon is protected from the elements, snorkeling conditions are ideal regardless of the weather nearby.
The Cay is 21 miles east of Cairns on Michaelmas Reef. The island is known for its green turtles, giant clams and incredible underwater wildlife. Because only a handful of water access permits have been granted to companies that host travelers, booking a tour is essential.