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Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Free admission
Pier Marina, Pier Point Road, Cairns, Tropical North, 4870

The Basics

Seeing the entire Great Barrier Reef could take weeks, but the most important scuba diving and snorkeling spots include the Saxon, Hastings, and Norman reefs in the outer Great Barrier Reef. Join one of the area’s many snorkeling and scuba dive–centric cruises or day trips, or turn your trip into an educational opportunity by getting your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certificate.

Alternatively, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site from above with a cruise in a catamaran or a glass-bottom boat. Scenic helicopter flights offer an overview and will give you a sense of the immensity of this remarkable ecosystem.

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Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
$143.11 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Best day out
The crew was the best so nice, funny & accommodating. It was perfect day and the experience was superb
Anahera_G, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Cairns & the Tropical North

star-5
The crew were very...
Hoani_S, Dec 2021
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
The crew were very friendly and overall cleanliness of the boat was very good, the food was good quality and the reef was awesome
star-5
The best in Cairns!
Cath_D, Oct 2021
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
The very best tour company to travel to the reef with. Friendly crew with attention to giving everyone a good day out with safety a top priority. Special thx to Matt, Chris, "Pete" & skipper Ben. It was a beautiful day.... can't recommend enough 👏☺️
star-5
Wonderful- thank you
Rachel_B, Sep 2021
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Wonderful experience and the staff were friendly with excellent service. Clean boat, goos meals, very helpful staff
star-5
Mesmerising!
Sanchita_S, Aug 2021
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
This was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. The trip was amazing with great tour guides - Ben, Chris, Mateo, Sophie and Antoinella. Ben and Chris were very knowledgeable and shared a lot of great info and facts about the reef. We were travelling with an infant and were made to feel very comfortable in the Catamaran. The food served was great and the boat was clean and luxurious.
star-5
Fantastic
Fletcher_B, Jan 2022
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Doing my first dive at the Great Barrier Reef. My instructor Phil was easy to listen to and communicated clearly instructions. Staff were very diligent and professional at all times.
star-5
Incredible experience!
Justine_B, Jan 2022
Quicksilver Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Palm Cove
This experience was incredible. Quicksilver run a very smooth and organised operation regarding the transfers and logistics. Then there's snorkelling on the reef itself which felt safe and magical that first time you look under the water. I did the guided tour with Hayley who was amazing, extremely knowledgeable and made me feel comfortable as a first time snorkelling. If I could've went back again the next day I would've. Can't wait to go again in the future!
star-5
Incredible!
Nineveh_I, Jan 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Incredible experience, the crew were so lovely and accomodating. They were very knowledgeable and had an overall good vibe! The food was so yummy and fresh Such a lovely experience, I will definitely be back!!!
star-5
Cyclone Tiffany 🌀
Elizabeth_D, Jan 2022
Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests
Other than sailing through Cyclone Tiffany… it was a beautiful day and the weather cleared up for Green Island and while we were snorkelling which was fantastic. We got to swim with a few turtles, see heaps of different fish and saw a black tip shark 🦈. The crew was amazing and the food was great and very accommodating considering the conditions
star-5
perfect experience for the whole family!
Bernd_M, Jan 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Great experience, the whole family loved it. Friendly staff and great atmosphere on the catamaran. We loved the educative part and the sustainable approach of this company. Would definitely recommend it!
star-5
Amazing experience
Amanda_M, Dec 2021
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
We had an amazing experience at the Great Barrier Reef. The crew was very friendly and responsible. I really recommend them!
star-5
Best experience ever
Christine_B, Aug 2021
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Great experience, wonderful staff that were very friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. Snorkelling was amazing and Phill junior has us giggling with his commentary. The Evolution was kept super clean and food was great! Loved it even though I got a little sick I give them an 11 out of 10 and I’d go back again any day ⭐️
star-5
Great experience
Sivakumar_M, Dec 2021
Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests
Lovely crew with dedication to work and excellent customer service. As we are a separate group we enjoyed music with the crew .

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia's most iconic and must-see attractions for all visitors.

  • Keep in mind that strenuous water activities are not recommended for people with medical conditions affecting the heart or lungs.

  • If you experience motion sickness, take preventative medication at least 30 minutes prior to boarding the boat.

  • A stinger suit to protect you from jellyfish is recommended to swim in the waters off Green and Fitzroy Islands or the Frankland Islands.

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How to Get There

The Great Barrier Reef runs 1,426 miles (2,300 kilometers) from Bundaberg to Australia’s northernmost tip, coming closest to the continent right around Queensland. Scuba diving excursions, snorkeling trips, and reef cruises depart from Cairns, Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, and Townsville. The boat ride from Cairns can take 45–90 minutes, depending where you’re headed.

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When to Get There

The water is at its clearest from April to October, but the reef can be enjoyed all year round. From December to March (summertime in the Southern Hemisphere), the water temperature is around 86℉ (30℃). From May to August whales migrate to the reef, and in the spring the coral spawns.

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Reefworld

A popular way to experience the Great Barrier Reef, Reefworld consists of two giant pontoons floating over Hardy Reef, one of the site’s smaller reefs. Here, you can snorkel, scuba dive, explore in semi-submersibles, or stay dry in an underwater viewing chamber. Tours to Reefworld depart from Port of Airlie, near Airlie Beach.

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Great Barrier Reef