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Great Barrier Reef Day Tour

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches

Free Scuba Dive
  • The highlight is the Great Barrier Reef itself!  Whether discovering the joys of scuba diving or snorkelling, you’ll never forget swimming with a turtle or swimming past corals and giant clams. 
  • It’s great that this tour includes a free scuba dive at your first destination.  What’s even better is that if you loved it at the first one – you can do it all again at the second destination (extra cost)! 
  • Free glass bottom boat tour, free city shuttle bus pick up, and a free scuba dive and bacon and egg rolls for breakfast

FREE scuba diving, FREE glass bottom boat, FREE city shuttle bus, great lunch and great value! This day tour will take you out to two magnificent sites on the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns.

This day tour will take you out to two magnificent sites on the Great Barrier Reef. You will leave Cairns in your high speed air-conditioned, catamaran to be whizzed out to two stunning locations on the Great Barrier Reef.

Your captain will select the optimal sites for your day according to the weather conditions. This tour has a wide selection of reefs to choose from at Hastings, Breaking Patches, Saxon, Norman and Jorgenses Patch.

FREE scuba diving, FREE glass bottom boat, FREE city shuttle bus, great lunch and great value!

Once at your first site you have the choice of snorkeling or diving. Yes, even if you have no previous diving experience you can dive underwater - your first dive is included in your package!  If you are certified then diving on the Great Barrier Reef is the diving mecca of the world!

If diving isn’t your thing then you can choose to snorkel at both sites or take a tour on a glass bottom boat. There is extra support for non-swimmers and first time snorkellers so whatever your swimming ability, there is an activity to suit the whole family of all ages.

Wherever you are, whether under or on the water, you will be able to see the amazing marine life that puts the ‘Great’ into Great Barrier Reef.  This area is a renowned for visiting turtles, for giant clams and shoals of brightly coloured fish of all shapes and sizes, rays and sharks (don’t worry, they only eat small fish).

Marine Biology Presentation

On your journey out to this amazing environment and stunning World Heritage site, a marine biologist will give an informative and entertaining presentation on the marine life you will see whilst on your trip.

This is truly a marine life wonderland you are visiting. The area contains the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem with over 2900 separate reef corals, 133 varieties of sharks and rays and 1625 types of fish. 

You will find out the quirky characteristics of the fish life, why parrotfish are named after parrots, how Nemo (clown fish) survive amongst the poisonous tentacles of their anemone home and how marine organisms work together to survive.

Understanding the amazing life that inhabits the Great Barrier Reef will enhance your whole experience and make it a fun and immersive learning experience for people of all ages. 

Reef Sites

This tour has a great choice of destinations that your Captain can moor up at, depending on the weather conditions on the day, to ensure you only visit the best sites.

Hastings Reef

This reef is a fantastic all weather reef that gives great protection all year round, so allowing for calm snorkelling and diving conditions. Dive and snorkel spots on this reef are aptly named after their stunning marine life “coral gardens”, “the fish bowl” and  “compass mooring”.

Breaking Patches

This is a popular destination for the second stop. ‘breaking patches’, as its names indicates, is an isolated patch of reef just off of Michaelmas Cay. This area is party central for visiting turtles and it’s even home to a resident turtle called ‘Gus’. There is a host of marine life that rest and visit this isolated reef. View the large giant clams and passing blue spotted rays with shoals of brightly twinkling reef fish, this is a stunning site that shows of the best that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. 

Saxon Reef

In the right season this reef can be a hive of buzzing marine activity – you won’t know where to look!  See young cuttlefish families as they change colour as they communicate with each other. At the right time of year you might be lucky to see passing migratory humpback whales (July – Sept) as they finish their migration from Antarctica and their 8,000 km journey to the warm waters in Cairns. The popular sites on this reef site include ‘turtle bommie’, ‘magic mooring’ and ‘twin peaks’.

Norman Reef

This is the most northerly site location that the tour visits. This site is great in calm conditions, so it can be weather dependent if this site is visited. Being a pristine site with little activity or visitors, this is a stunning reef site. There is an abundance of hard and soft corals in an array of intricate formations and colours. You might even bump into Frank – the resident humphead Maori wrasse.

Jorgensen Patch

This is a patch reef like ‘breaking patches’ and is an isolated reef system in the Great Barrier Reef. On this reef you’ll find small caves, walls, overhangs, gullies and swim-throughs, that make this such an interesting site for divers and snorkelers. These topographic features harbour a diversity of marine life.  Schools of damsels and fusiliers flit around the coral heads as blue spotted rays rest on the sandy bottom by the giant clams. You might even see a cruising white tip shark (don’t worry, when they see you they will cruise in the other direction!).

The Activities You Can Enjoy On the Tour

Snorkelling : 

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the amazing surroundings of the Great Barrier Reef, than putting on a mask and a snorkel and putting your face into the water and discovering a whole new underwater world.

You will be given a full snorkel briefing beforehand so if you have never snorkelled before or are feeling rusty, this is a great way to feel comfortable.  There will also be snorkel guides in the water to help you once you are ready and can help you and they will also be leading non-swimming snorkel tours for people that require more assistance.

All your snorkel equipment is included in the tour price – fins, masks (and prescription masks) and flotation devices (noodles and vests).

Once you put your face in the water and see the amazing marine life beneath you – you won’t want to look up!  You’ll be blown away by the mosaic of colourful reef fish, the beautiful colours of the angel and butterfly fish and you might even get to see a turtle saunter by. 

Glass Bottom Boat Tour:

If you would like to see the amazing underwater life on the Great Barrier Reef from the dry comfort of a glass bottom boat then you can go on a glass bottom boat tour.  This is a fun way of seeing the reef unravel beneath your feet as you cruise over and around the coral heads.

As you travel over the intricate formations of the hard and soft corals you will see shoals of reef fish hanging over their coral homes.  Spot the cleaning stations where cleaner wrasse clean the fish and traverse over giant clams.  You might even see a turtle going about its laid back business across the corals.

Free Introductory Scuba Dive

Yes, this tour includes one dive!  If you have never dived before you can experience what it’s like to breathe underwater and find out what it feels like to be fully immersed in this amazing underwater world.

You will be fully briefed by an experienced dive instructor who will take you through some diving theory and safety aspects, which will also include how to clear your ears effectively.

The conditions on the Great Barrier Reef make it the perfect place to try out your first dive. With crystal clarity, warm water and no currents you have one of the best places in the world for your first experience.

After completing some rudimentary exercises you will be taken under the water for a shallow dive.  Your first breaths under the water will seem strange, but as you become more used to the strange sensation and start to get up close and personal to the amazing underwater world you’ll stop feeling nervous. This new world might literally take your breath away with amazement – so remember to breathe!

You will feel as one as you swim past coral trout, Nemo (clown fish) nestling in their anemone home, parrotfish and brightly coloured angel fish and butterfly fish.

What’s great about this tour is that if you like the diving experience and want to try again, then you can dive on the second site as well (extra cost).

Free Certified Scuba Dive

If you are a certified diver then a dive on the Great Barrier Reef is included in the tour price. This is a chance to dive on the most iconic reef in the world and see why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Leave your thick wetsuit and hefty weights at home as you will be diving in one of the warmest, clearest and most diverse marine environments in the world. Equipment hire is included in your tour package. If you are worried about the safety of the equipment, be assured that all equipment is new (BCD’s and regulators) and serviced every six months.

After a full site briefing you will have the option to dive with your buddy or at an additional provisional cost to take a guided dive with one of the experienced dive guides.

You will be diving in one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world. Not only is there an amazing array of hard and soft corals in all their colours and shapes, but fish of all types. Out in the blue you can see trevally, barracuda and sharks, around the coral heads, colourful darting reef fish, angelfish and butterfly fish.  See the more well known reef creatures as well  -  parrotfish or even sea turtles, rays, eels and sea cucumbers with colour changing octopus and cuttlefish.

Whilst we recommend you bring your Dive ID and log, if you forget, all PADI certifications can be checked online. 

Included In Price

  • Cairns city transfers ex hotel in Cairns to Reef Experience
  • Unlimited Snorkeling
  • Introductory dive or certified dive
  • Marine Biologist Presentation
  • Glass bottom boat tour & commentary (weather permitting)
  • BBQ breakfast roll & tropical BBQ smorgasbord lunch & Fresh Fruit Platters
  • Morning tea & coffee, wine & cheese platter on return
  • Wetsuit hire, lycra suit and flotation devices
  • Up to 5 ½ hours on the Great Barrier Reef at 2 Outer Reef locations (weather permitting)
  • Reef tax/fuel levy/administration fees
Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From

Cairns

Departure Time

8:00 am

Departure Instructions
  • Boarding at 7.20am for an 8.00am departure
  • Arrive back in Cairns at 4.30pm
Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Complimentary transfers from Cairns CBD properties
  • Transfers from Outer Cairns, Northern Beaches & Port Douglas available at additional cost
Destinations
  • Cairns
  • Hastings Reef
  • Breaking Patches
  • Saxon Reef
  • Norman Reef
  • Jorgensen Patch
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation

Daily

Surcharge applies to Christmas Day departures

Duration

8.5 hours

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Return transfers from Outer Cairns, Northern Beaches or Port Douglas - need to be prebooked
  • 2nd Introductory or certified dive (minimum age 12) - bookable on the day of travel direct on the boat
  • Guided private dive - bookable on the day of travel direct on the boat
  • Marine Biologist guided snorkel tour - bookable on the day of travel direct on the boat
  • Professional photos - purchase direct on the boat
  • Underwater cameras are available to purchase or hire - purchase direct on the boat
  • Prescription Mask - bookable on the day of travel direct on the boat
  • Drinks, cameras, souvenirs, T-Shirts etc - purchase direct on the boat
Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium

Restrictions
  • Scuba Diving – minimum age 12
  • Dive medical form to be completed prior to all dives.
IN-WATER RESTRICTIONS

Scuba Diving Restrictions

  • Certain medical conditions and medications may preclude some people from scuba diving.
  • Participation is subject to a medical questionnaire completed on board with the tour operator
  • Minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years.
  • Flying after scuba diving: A wait of 12 hours is recommended but preferably 24 hours, if doing multiple dives, before ascending to an altitude of 300 metres or greater.

Advanced Dive Medical Intro Dive Medical

Read more about Diving Safety on the Great Barrier Reef.

Additional Information

Please note, from 3rd May 2018 to early June this tour operates from a substitute vessel.

  • Hat
  • Towel
  • Swimming costume
  • Rash Vest for sun protection
  • Dive certification (for certified divers)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Cash or credit card for additional purchases
  • Camera (charged)

  • Children under the age of 4 travel free of charge
  • Family Fare: 2 Adults and 2 Children (4-11 years old)

All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

 

  • 48 hour notice is required to make any changes to your booking
  • 20% cancellation fee 30 days or more prior to departure
  • 50% cancellation fee if within 30 days prior to departure
  • 100% cancellation fee within 14 days prior to departure
  • Tour cannot be rescheduled within 48 hours of departure
  • There is no refund or compensation given for any prepaid courses, equipment or guides if you are unable to complete the tour in its entirety
  • There will be no refund of any part of your tour costs should you fail to load on your scheduled tour

Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tour - Free Dive

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches

Free Scuba Dive

From

au$205.00

Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$125.00
Family: au$535.00

Tour Code: 456

From

au$205.00

12 yrs & over

4 - 11 yrs

0 - 3 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
Phone
1300 231 118
WhatsApp
+61 427 074 745
WeChat
BarrierReefAustralia
Phone
1300 231 118
WhatsApp
+61 427 074 745
WeChat
BarrierReefAustralia

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