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Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Cairns City, Australia
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

From US$255.16

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8 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English


Customize your visit to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns with your selection from three travel options with a choice of snorkeling, scuba diving and a one-way or round-trip scenic helicopter tour. Admire views of the Great Barrier Reef from your helicopter as you get a multi-angled perspective on one of the world’s top natural wonders. Then enjoy a close experience of the coral reef by choosing to snorkel or enroll in an optional scuba diving course (additional expense).
  • Half-day or full-day guided Great Barrier Reef tour by helicopter and boat
  • Snorkel, swim or scuba dive with expert guides at exclusive locations on one of the most famous coral reefs in the world
  • Marvel at aerial views of the Great Barrier Reef during a 25-minute helicopter flight
  • Learn from informative commentary during your helicopter flight and boat cruise
  • Maximum of 6 passengers permitted per helicopter
Choose from three options for your Great Barrier Reef experience (please see details under Itinerary below). Helicopters land at Hastings Reef floating helicopter pad, with transfer from there to a high-speed 100-foot (30-meter) vessel that holds a maximum of 100 people.

Eighteen expert guides lead activities, assist with snorkel or scuba diving equipment, and provide instruction to both newcomers and experienced participants. Even non-swimmers can get in the water with flotation devices and see the reef

Optional activities include scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s top dive locations! A complimentary 10-minute SCUBA demonstration is provided before purchase of the introductory dive course. (Available only on the morning boat cruise). The full-day excursion has time for a total of three dives at two different locations for already certified scuba divers. The dives can be booked on the boat, and dive gear and dive computers are provided.

Your guides choose from 12 exclusive moorings at six locations for the best possible experience on the day of your tour. Generally, the boat visits one of the true Outer Great Barrier Reef locations (Saxon Reef or Norman Reef) in the morning. The afternoon features North Hastings Reef for snorkeling and helicopter flight connections.

A tasty Australian barbecue buffet lunch is served on the boat. The spread may include fresh fish, sausages, steak, salads and pastas. At the end of your tour, return to the mainland by boat or helicopter, depending on the tour you choose.

Traveler Photos


166 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Great experience!
Bethany S
, Jul 2019
Beautiful cruise but the absolute highlight was the helicopter tour. What an amazing way to see the reef! Viator was extremely responsive and accommodating, everything was well coordinated, and went exactly as planned. My only critique would be the number of people on the cruise (close to 200) which made snorkeling a bit chaotic and crowded. Also, many people got sick so would recommend bringing something for motion sickness. But all absolutely worth it in my opinion
Amazing and a Must do Tour - went perfectly
, Jun 2019
This tour went perfectly! Pick-up was 10 minutes early at 715am, cruise left at 815am, started snorkeling at 10am, left for another reef around 12pm, then 2pm we got onto the helicopter. My wife and I were the only ones on the 8-seat helicopter; we felt like celebrities as the boat we went out with had 100 people on-board. The snorkeling was awesome and there's an underwater professional photographer on-board the "Down Under Cruise and Dive" boat. We bought all the photographs; like 70 photos for $80 AUD. They airdropped the photos to me right on-board before we left, but sometimes they may need dropbox them in a couple days. The photos turned out amazing and we're glad we didn't have to bring our own camera / worry about it. Our possessions were safe on-board when snorkeling - no issues. Several people did get sick unfortunately, but we took Sea Sickness pills an hour before the boat left and we were fine. The boat did smell of puke after a couple people vomited inside, despite the crew telling people before the boat even left to try to puke outside if they get sea sick. The crew was awesome. They were so kind and friendly; they were quite keen to show us things underwater too (giant clam, turtles, sting ray, etc). It was a beautiful and fun day out - we highly recommend it!
Amazing Scenic Tour
Jennifer R
, Jun 2019
Professional and friendly team, from arriving to Nautilus Aviation to arriving back from our 30 minute helicopter scenic flight, they were great! The seas were a bit rough, so we opted to view the great barrier reef via chopper and it did not disappoint! I thoroughly enjoyed this and would do again. Thanks guys for a terrific flight!
Great way to see the Reef!
, Apr 2019
This was a great way to see the Reef! We stopped at two locations and got to snorkel for around an hour at both. Initially, we were led around by a crew member to help us get our bearings and then went on our own. After we finished at the second location, we jumped on a helicopter and flew back to Cairns. It really gave you a perspective of the size and scope of the Reef and also allowed us to avoid a 2.5 hour boat ride home. The staff was very friendly and I’d highly recommend the tour. The boat was large, so if you’re looking for a small group, this probably isn’t the tour for you but it really worked well for us.
barrier reef
, Oct 2018
very nice trip snorkeling was very nice and pleasant the helicopter tour is very very good and interesting
It was amazing! The staff were very...
, Apr 2018
It was amazing! The staff were very friendly and helpful! It was the first time for us to go on snokerlying. And it was our first time to travel on a helicoptor. The view of the reef was amazing! My youngest son get to sit on the frong of the helicoptor, it was a wonderful experience for him.
This was one of the highlights of our...
, Jan 2018
This was one of the highlights of our trip in Cairns while going to the Barrier Reef. The catamaran boat and staff servicing you were all extremely professional and entertaining at the same time. They really helped to make it a special event. Their first objective was to make you feel at home and then they wanted to make sure everyone was safe during this excursion. We visited two excellent snorkeling locations. The snacks and lunch provided were very tasty and good quality. Once again, they stressed how important safety was during this trip. They ensured that you had the right equipment and knew how to use it properly. I took my 85 year old parents on this excursion and they enjoyed snorkeling on the Barrier Reef. One more check mark next to the bucket list. Then the highlight was the exciting helicopter ride back to the Cairns airport. Great way to see the Great Barrier Reef from the air and see various aqua life. Transportation to and from the boat was excellent and prompt. Once again, highly highly recommend this trip to anyone in Cairns, especially looking for a new adventure.
The Tour itself is fantastic...
Friedemann K
, Jan 2018
The Tour itself is fantastic Helcopterride was great, glasbottomboat, too! There have been some mistakes happend in Organisation, Pick up has had a 45 Min delaly, Helicopter had to be changed technical problems so at the end it wasnt enough time on the reef!
Amazing! I highly recommend this...
, Jan 2018
Amazing! I highly recommend this tour. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.. a great way to see the reef, especially if you get see sick!
Everything went smoothly with this...
Ketema H
, Nov 2017
Everything went smoothly with this tour the pickup and drop off without a hitch, the helicopter ride was amazingly beautiful and fun, and the snorkeling as well was great. A must do if you go to Cairns!!

Product code: 3262FLY

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