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Spend a day on the Great Barrier Reef with this tour by helicopter and optional catamaran ride from Port Douglas. Your base for the day is a pontoon platform on Agincourt Reef on the outer reef, where you can explore this magical, World Heritage–listed underwater world by snorkeling, semi-submersible submarine or the underwater observatory. When booking, you have three transport options to mix and match the 35-minute helicopter ride and high-speed catamaran cruise to get to and from the reef. Lunch is included. 

Highlights

  • Choose to fly by helicopter or cruise by catamaran to the Great Barrier from Port Douglas
  • Three hours on Agincourt Reef on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Swim and snorkel from a submerged platform with instructors on hand to help
  • Underwater observatory for coral and fish viewing
  • Fish feeding conducted from snorkeling platform

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Port Douglas

Outer Barrier Reef Platform

Your Great Barrier Reef tour from Port Douglas starts with either a 90-minute boat ride by high-speed catamaran or a 35-minute flight that provides aerial views of the Daintree Rainforest and white-sand cays of Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed reef; make your transportation selection when booking.

You’ll arrive at your base for the day, a sheltered pontoon permanently anchored at Agincourt Reef on the edge of the Australian continental shelf. This ribbon reef is home to an array of tropical marine life and colorful coral. You have three hours on the pontoon to experience the reef however you wish, whether you want to get wet or stay dry, be active or just relax.

Snorkeling equipment is provided; you can go on your own or take a guided tour with an experienced marine biologist. If you’d like a few tips, the pontoon staff is happy to provide advice. Or, explore the reef on a semi-submersible submarine, which glides leisurely along the coral gardens, providing a water-surface view of multicolored fish and other sea life in enclosed comfort. You can also check out the underwater observatory to view the fish and coral.

A tropical buffet lunch is provided of hot and cold items like pasta, fresh prawns, salad, meats and fruit. You can purchase beverages from the full bar. When your time at Agincourt Reef is up, return to Port Douglas by catamaran or helicopter to end your tour. 

Customer Reviews

Tamara O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

In March we had Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Port Douglas. The weather on the day when our tour was originally scheduled was absolutely awful, some leftovers of the hurricane, very strong wind, showers and thunderstorms. We were very upset, this trip was supposed to be a highlight of our entire trip to Australia. We were lucky to re-schedule this tour to the very last day of our trip. We were also very fortunate: that day weather was absolutely fantastic, actually the best weather for the entire week. Bright and sunny with great visibility and water was almost calm, cloudy and a bit rainy on our way back

It was great opportunity to explore Australia's Great Barrier Reef from the air and the water! You can choose to travel by scenic helicopter one way and cruise by high-speed catamaran the other, or take the helicopter in both directions a bit more expensive too. I have motion sickness, we took helicopter first because I was afraid to get seasick on catamaran and feel sick entire day. I was determined to do it, with patch behind my ear, Travacalm pills and bracelets on my hands I managed it! I was good on both helicopter and catamaran!

In the morning we left our car on parking lot at PD Marina and went to Quicksilver office, where we were picked by GRB helicopter tour people and brought to their office for quick safety instructions. We started with 35-minute scenic helicopter flight that took us above Fort Douglas and rainforest up to Cape Tribulation and after above the ocean to the Outer Barrier Reef platform on Agincourt Reef. We had 5 passengers and pilot on board. Mid-flight probably 300 feet above the ocean the door near my husband and my daughter opened up! I was sitting next to the pilot we could feel sudden gust right away. Interesting that we all had cameras, but at that moment everybody was checking their seat belts and not making pictures. We needed to take emergency landing on tiny sand island in middle of nowhere to close the door. If door next to me would open, I probably would die on the spot I am afraid of heights. Anyway we stopped, pilot closed the door, checked all other doors and we continue our flight to Quicksilver platform. Views from above were beautiful!

On the platform we took a 30-min semi-submersible submarine tour first, which was great, very informative. After we had quick lunch, buffet style, plenty of food, many choices, average quality food, but you will not be hungry. After this we got into full protective lycra suits, they were free that day because stingers were seen in the water, and off for the reef snorkeling. There is also the underwater observatory if you dont want to go into the water. Time on the platform went by very quickly! We would be happy to have additional hour. I would do Moon Walking - Helmet Diving, but we didnt have time left. We came back by high-speed catamaran Quicksilver to Port Douglas, 90 min trip. Hot tea and snacks were available for free and also cash bar.

Yes, we liked the trip! A bit too crowded on the catamaran. We also would like to have a bit more time on the platform. But yes, we would recommend this tour! Helicopter flight definitely added to the experience.

wwmelton

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Great way the see the Reef system. Lots of options at destination.

dawn P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Fantastic trip great snorkeling at an amazing reef. The helicopter ride was well worth the extra cost - amazing

Dawn S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This was my favorite part of my Australia vacation. It was a nice boat ride out to the reef when I did a guided snorkeling activity. The guide was great and really helped me overcome my nervousness!! It was absolutely beautiful. I took a helicopter ride back to get the most amazing views in this world. I highly recommend this tour.

Tony A United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

We had a wonderful day, blue skies and calm seas, to travel out to the Great Barrier Reef on the boat. There was plenty of staff to help and answer questions as well as advise which activities may suit. Once we arrived at the pontoon where all the activities are based, we did the underwater panoramic tour. For this you are sat in pairs behind other pairs of people in the bottom of a boat which has glass panel windows at either side. The guide for this trip was able to point out the various species of fish as well as turtles that were visible along the coral.
Lunch was served, which for all the people that were on this trip, was very good. A choice of salad with various meats and also a hot meal.
At the spot where those people who wished to go diving or snorkeling there is also an underwater viewing area, which is interesting watching the fish interact with all the people.
Our journey back to shore was by helicopter...this is definitely the way to see the great barrier reef. The view from above shows how beautiful it is and how vast an area it covers. The helicopter pilot was also very informative and willing to point out various amazing landmarks.
I would recommend this trip to family and friends.

steven w

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

absolutely amazing, a great day out

Tracey P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent trip, would highly reccomend

Ashley S Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Fantastic experience, well worth it!

Tong G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Great experience with lots of activities available, the helicopter ride was the highlight of the trip.

Alison W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

It's was the highlight of our holiday as it was our daughters 18th birthday and it was a fantastic experience. Thank you.

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