• Location: Cairns, Australia
  • Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 121.87 View price calendar

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If snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, don’t miss this day trip from Cairns. You’ll spend five hours at two different locations on the barrier reef for the chance to see tropical marine life in the clear waters. Lunch is included on board the boat, and you have the option to upgrade to include additional adventures such as introductory or certified scuba diving or a helicopter flight over this UNESCO World Heritage site. Both water sports enthusiasts and novices are welcome!


  • Full-day diving and snorkeling tour of the Great Barrier Reef with optional helicopter sightseeing flight, from Cairns
  • Enjoy five hours at two spectacular outer reef locations away from the crowds
  • Includes instruction and equipment provided by friendly and professional guides
  • Have the option to try scuba diving in a world-class location
  • Fuel up for more fun with a tasty Australian barbecue spread for lunch
  • Be amazed to observe the reef from the air on an optional 10-minute helicopter ride
  • Tap your toes to live musical entertainment on the homeward journey

What You Can Expect

Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

After boarding your deluxe boat, which seats a max of 100 people, including your experienced guides, your Great Barrier Reef day trip starts with the boat ride from Cairns out to the reef—one of the fastest rides from Cairns, with just more than an hour of cruising time.

Depending on the weather and water conditions on the day of your tour, your guides will head to one of 12 exclusive moorings at six reef locations, providing you with the best possible on-the-water experience that day. Most likely, you’ll visit one of the Outer Great Barrier Reef spots like Saxon Reef or Norman Reef in the morning, and then continue to North Hastings Reef in the afternoon.

Upon arrival at your first location, hop in the water with your provided snorkeling equipment for a look at multicolored fish, coral and other marine life. Instruction is provided for beginners, and your knowledgeable crew members are on hand to encourage and help you, if needed. (See the Itinerary for more details about the scuba diving options, as well as the optional helicopter ride.) Then snorkel again at your second location. If you’d rather not get wet, you can still check out this World Heritage–listed underwater world on a tour by semi-submersible vessel (own expense; payable on the day of your tour).

You’ll have five hours total on the barrier reef and can refuel from your activities with the onboard buffet lunch of Australian barbecue items such as fresh fish, sausages and steak, plus a selection of pastas, salads and prawns. On the return trip to Cairns, snack on a platter of cheese and fruit while members of your talented crew provide live music and entertainment to celebrate the end of your day on the sea.

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Customer Reviews

Keith H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

This is an amazing trip. The sea was choppy, but it did not dampen the snorkel expierence. The second stop is way beyond our expectations. Put this one on your list.lunch was amazing, buy your own drink separately.

kyaw than o

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

The very Good trip, all staff, Boat, arrangement all are perfect. even first time for snorkeling, but one staff who marine biologist show us the good place and knowledge about marine life. we enjoy very much of trip.

provencd Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Absolutely our best tour. The crew from Down Under Reef Tours were so professional and organized from check in, to storing our gear, to outfitting us for snorkelling. I was having trouble with my mask and they tried me with three different kinds in order to me to enjoy my day. Best part was taking the guided tour with Marine Biologist, Alistair who took us out beyond the barriers to show us amazing coral, exotic fish, and even a giant clam shell. We probably could have seen these on our own, but it was so great to have him share names, their habits, and most of all the amazing aquatic environment. Breaks were provided between the two reefs visited and they kept us well hydrated and fed. Fantastic experience and we would recommend it to anyone.

Alvinnie K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Fantastic crew that went out of their way to make sure everyone was comfortable, well fed, and having a great time at GBR.

Joshua J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Great time. Maybe the food could have been a little better selection, but still was good enough to hold you over for the day.

janet G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

We were so lucky. This trip was the best. Other people on the same day chose other tour companies and saw nothing but dead coral and jelly fish.We were transported in a brand new catamaran to part of the ocean where there were loads of fish and beautiful coral, we then moved on to a different type of coral and different fish. The snorkel kit was first rate as were the staff. The food was tasty and plentiful

Robert L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Awesome tour. Friendly helpful staff. Nice new ferry boats. Great snorkelling. Saw sea turtles, giant clam, all sorts of fish, different colorful, flourescent coral. Sad to see some of the coral bleached or dead.

Ryan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

My wife and I had the time of our lives! we got to swim with a sea turtle and see some amazing fish and corals.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

The snorkelling was awesome. Boat staff was amazing, very professional and passionate about reef. This experience was the highlight of our Australia trip. The boat was spotless, the equipment was very good. I am specially grateful for the life jacket, which allowed me to snorkell in the really not calm water. I was a bit scared, but I did it and it was great! We will definately come back!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

It was amazing! The view in the sea is so nice and all the staff is so nice! I think the facility is also very good too!

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