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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

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

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 lesson 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) 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.


Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Spend the money - best experience ever!

Joshlynn S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Beautiful! Great staff! Everyone was helpful informative engaging and pleasant. Just enough time to see and enjoy the reef. Helicopter view was spectacular. A day trip wasn't available when we booked so a longer day may have been nice but we were happy.

gregory m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Helicopter there, snorkel, boat back. Great time amazing sites, boat was new and clean, little crowded on/off loading so many snorkel and scubas but fun

Kevin A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great tour! Very enjoyable, well organized and fun to go on. Defiantly go for the helicopter option as it added an extra special moment to end the day.

Melissa N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Amazing! Nothing will compare to arriving at the Great Barrier Reef by Helicopter, it was breathtaking! We had a fantastic time snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. The Cruise is super relaxing and all of the staff were extremely friendly.

Jordan P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The beginning of the day started out rocky, as our bus forgot to pick us up be sure to watch the clock and have reception call if they are more than 5 minutes late!, and boarding the ship was jumbled, unorganized, and rushed.
Before boarding we were told there were cookies and coffee aboard for us, but as soon as we stepped foot on the ship we were hurried up to the top into a lonely VIP room for those who chose the helicopter option. It was cold, stinky, and it was a small room of 6 of us with no idea what was going on. They told us nothing as the other decks were getting briefed. About 10 minutes later I finally decided to leave the room and look around, apparently they were all out of cookies by that time which was frustrating since I had not had breakfast and figured there would be enough especially for us who paid extra to opt for the heli experience. I also felt that there were SO MANY crew members everywhere, as if half the ship was just crew and it was pretty crowded.
BUT the lovely sea life, snorkeling, and helicopter ride over the reef made up for it ALL. I was able to see a reef shark, a ton of beautiful coral, and a whale on the ride back up from the heli. It was an amazing experience I'll treasure a lifetime.
Side note: Wish they didn't pack the helicopter so full. I was able to enjoy the window and view, but my husband was sandwiched in the middle of a few of us in the back seat with no true window view.

louise l

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Boat was comfortable. Food was great. Helicopter over the reef was amazing.

Mark Q

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

most expensive tour for our trip but worth doing it, great fun, program well covered from the sun to the sea, signature tour for short stay in Cairns

Cynthia S T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

I would recommend the Helicopter Tour to everyone!! It was the most amazing experience to see the reef from the air. In retrospect, the catamaran return was nice but would have preferred to return on the helicopter because the view was so amazing.

Maria D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour was amazing and very well organized! Will recomend this to everyone who wants to do a tour of the GBR. Boat was big and new, bbq lunch was very decent. The reefs that we went to were beautiful! And all staff were professional, helpful and friendy. No hassles at all.

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