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Make the most of your time in port and enjoy magnificent aerial views of Queensland’s star attraction. Set out from Cairns for a thrilling helicopter ride and glide over the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef, looking down over the vast coral reefs and spotting whales, dolphins and schools of tropical fish. Choose from a 30-minute flight to Green Island; a 40-minute deluxe flight over the outer reef; or a 60-minute Reef and Rainforest tour. Best of all: this tour is covered by Viator’s worry-free policy, guaranteeing on-time return to your ship.


  • Scenic helicopter flight from Cairns
  • Choice of departures and itineraries throughout the day
  • Fly over the Great Barrier Reef and white-sand-fringed islands like Green Island
  • View the lush tropical rainforest from the air
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What You Can Expect

Cairns Shore Excursion: Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest Helicopter Tours

Cairns rainforest

You'll be picked up from the cruise port and taken to the Cairns’ city-center heliport. A scenic flight is the best way to appreciate the scale and beauty of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef when you’re in port in Cairns.

30-minute Green Island Helicopter Tour
Choose the 30-minute scenic flight to fly above Mission Bay and False Cape to Green Island, a picture-perfect getaway island on the Great Barrier Reef. You might spot whales and dolphins swimming in the turquoise water below you as your flight continues to the white-sand outlines of Arlington Reef, Middle Cay and Upolo Reef before returning to land back in Cairns.

40-minute Deluxe Outer Reef Helicopter Tour
You’ll follow the same route on a 40-minute flight to the outer reef, flying above Mission Bay and False Cape to Green Island, Arlington Reef, Middle Cay and Upolo Reef, but have more time to enjoy the amazing sight of the Great Barrier Reef from the air. Trace the reef’s coral patterns and see the colors change through shades of brilliant azure as the water moves from the depths to the shallows.

60-minute Reef and Rainforest Tour
Select the hour-long reef and rainforest flight to combine Cairns’ most scenic attractions in one tour. Taking in more than 75 miles (120 km), and climbing to 2,500 feet (750 meters), you’ll fly right over central Cairns, its lagoon and marina. Zooming over the hinterland, you’ll see Copperlode Dam, the Redlynch Valley and Stoney Creek. Follow the outline of Barron Gorge to the hilltop market town of Kuranda before heading out over the water to the Great Barrier Reef. From the air, you’ll see the white-sand outline of Upolo Reef and fly over the snorkeling havens of Vlassoff Reef, Middle Cay and Arlington Reef. See the sand-ringed perfection of Green Island before returning over the ocean to land back in Cairns.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to the Cairns cruise port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

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