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Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Cairns City, Australia
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icon2 to 7 hours  (Approx.)
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iconOffered 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-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 scenic helicopter flight
  • Learn from informative commentary during your helicopter flight and boat cruise
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 SCUBA demonstration is provided before the 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 pasta. At the end of your tour, return to the mainland by boat or helicopter, depending on the tour you choose.
Stop At:  
Reef Fleet Terminal
For those doing the Cruise and Fly option, this will be your starting point. Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal at the Down Under Cruise and Dive desk and then make your way to the boat. Check-in is from 07.15 am to 08.00 am.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Great Barrier Reef
For those doing Cruise and Fly option you will stop at one of our wonderful snorkelling/diving sites on the Great Barrier Reef. Your second Reef site for the day is Hastings reef. This is where you will join Evolution if you are doing the Fly/Cruise or Fly/Fly option. You will spend approximately 2 hours at this site, enjoy snorkelling or semi-submersible (additional cost), before boarding the boat or helicotper for your trip back to Cairns.
Duration: 5 hours 
Admission Ticket Free

Traveler Photos


181 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Spectacular view
, Mar 2020
Well worth every penny 😃 an incredible view of a one of the wonders of the world. Recommend this to everyone going to the Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef Fly fly tour
, Feb 2020
The crews are very friendly and helpful. All the arrangements are just prefect. Crews are from different countries, can communicate in English or Chinese. Just a fantastic experience!
Amazing Tour!!
, Nov 2019
Best way to see the Great Barrier Reef by Far!! Absolutely loved our first helicopter ride. Worth every single penny! We actually wish we had taken the helicopter ride both ways as the ride back was ROUGH!! Only had about an hour to snorkel before it was time to head back, but that was enough for us. Perfect half day tour on the Great Barrier Reef!
Amazing Experience!
Carol H
, Nov 2019
The whole tour/trip was very organized and well done. The boat was a good size and very comfortable and the crew were very accommodating. The food was good (not fantastic ) with plenty of choice. The reefs are spectacular - like swimming in a giant aquarium. The helicopter back was the cherry on top - saw more beautiful reefs from the air, and made for a shorter day
, Nov 2019
This was my favorite activity I did in Australia. I loved the order we did the tour with the helicopter 1st then the snorkeling second. We got to stay on the boat and take it back to the city after. The tour included lunch and a free glass of wine. I loved the tour! The Great Barrier Reef doesn’t disappoint!
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

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