Combo $$$ Saver Deal! Experience the best of the Great Barrier Reef in a day with a scenic helicopter flight, a visit to Green Island, one of the most popular tropical islands near Cairns and to top it off, an outer reef pontoon nestled upon the stunning coral reef systems of Norman Reef.
Known as one of the world's greatest natural wonders, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism and is home to 2,900 individual reef systems, 900 tropical islands and 300 coral cays.
Departing from Cairns, you can choose your own Great Barrier Reef tour and combination scenic helicopter flight adventure.
Choose from the following Great Barrier Reef Tour options:
Scenic helicopter flight
Complete with in-flight commentary, your scenic helicopter flight will have you on a low level flight above the vast and diverse beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Listen as you learn about its unique ecosystem from your helicopter pilot commentary and keep a clear eye out for spotting the amazing marine life below, especially in whale watching season.
Whilst on Green Island, enjoy a snorkel from the main beach, take a dip in the ocean or the on-island swimming pool, take a guided eco-walk around the island, and enjoy the underwater wonders.
Norman Reef activities pontoon
The Norman Reef pontoon is a multi-level activities pontoon nestled upon the very edge of Australia’s continental shelf on the Great Barrier Reef.
A hot and cold buffet lunch is also included in your Great Barrier Reef tour.
What better way to explore all that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer?
These are the perfect Great Barrier Reef tour options for non-swimmers.
Experience the very best Great Barrier Reef tour in a day with a scenic helicopter flight, a visit to Green Island and the Norman Reef interactive pontoon on the outer Barrier Reef.
Departing from Cairns, this full day tour includes a hot and cold buffet lunch and many free activities with a number of different tour upgrade options available.
Choose from the following Great Barrier Reef Tour options:
1.) Boat Cruise to Green Island, Boat Cruise to Norman Reef & 25 Minute Scenic Helicopter Flight Back to Cairns City Heliport
2.) Boat Cruise to Green Island, enjoy a Scenic Helicopter Flight direct from Green Island to Norman Reef and boat cruise back to Cairns
3.) Fly to Green Island, boat cruise to Norman Reef and boat cruise back to Cairns
Begin your day with a scenic boat cruise from Cairns to Green Island onboard a high speed catamaran.
Enjoy around two hours on the island with free use of the island’s facilities and explore the lush rainforest and white sandy beaches of this tropical paradise, before boarding your vessel to journey out to Norman Reef.
Enjoy around 2.45 hours at Norman Reef; discover the reef’s underwater wonders or relax on the sun deck at the multi-level pontoon.
Then enjoy fantastic views of the Great Barrier Reef on spectacular 25 minute scenic helicopter flight back to Cairns.
If walking to Cairns Marlin Marina check-in at 7.45am at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, then board your luxury catamaran and enjoy complimentary tea and coffee prior to departure.
You'll depart at 8.30am for a 45-minute journey to Green Island. Whilst onboard, the crew will conduct a snorkelling demonstration for the first-timers or those wanting a recap. Your crew can also provide information about optional activities available so be sure to ask.
Arrive at Green Island at approximately 9.15am. Enjoy two hours on Green Island with free use of the island’s facilities, including a tropical swimming pool, access to the array of shops, cafes and restaurants and the opportunity to indulge in plentiful optional activities.
Head to the Dive Shop and collect your snorkel, mask and fins to explore the many coral gardens and friendly tropical fish that call the island home.
Green Island is an ideal snorkelling destination for families and beginners, with many of the reefs located just a short walk from the beach.
The beaches are patrolled by lifeguards and flotation devices and lycra suits are available for hire. Keep your eyes peeled for Sea Turtles, Maori Wrasse, Nemo and an abundance of colourful and friendly tropical fish that can be found swimming on the shores of the main beach.
For the adventurous, a self-guided island eco walk is also available. The rainforest of Green Island is home to over 120 species of plant and 55 species of birds. The 1.6km return walking trail will lead you through lush rainforest greenery and coastal vegetation. Whether you are seeking adventure or relaxation, the tropical paradise of Green Island has a little something for everyone!
At approximately 11.15am after enjoying two hours at stunning Green Island, you will then board a luxury catamaran to Norman Reef.
You will be greeted with spectacular views of the outer Great Barrier Reef as you make your way to the multilevel activities pontoon.
A delicious cake selection will be provided onboard as well as a snorkel demonstration and reef presentation. If you have booked an Introductory or Certified Scuba Dive, you will attend your briefing whilst onboard.
You will arrive at the multi-level outer reef pontoon at around 12.30pm where you will have around 2.45 hours to explore, relax and unwind. Located 70km east of Cairns and upon the edge of Australia’s continental shelf, Norman Reef is well known for its excellent snorkelling and scuba diving conditions.
As you arrive at the activity platform you will be greeted by friendly staff and provided with a list of activities and tours available throughout the day.
A full hot and cold buffet lunch and tea and coffee will be provided whilst onboard. Soft drinks, wines, beers, spirits, snacks and souvenirs are also available for purchase throughout the day.
Toilets, changing rooms and showers are also available onboard the pontoon.
At approximately 3.15pm your helicopter departs to begin its 25 minute flight back to Cairns.
This is the best way to really experience the vastness of the world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef. Upon boarding the Norman Reef pontoon, you will have been provided with your departure time for your scenic helicopter flight.
When you board your helicopter, you will be greeted by a friendly and experienced guide and provided with headsets to enjoy the in-flight commentary.
As you take off from the pontoon’s helipad you will be welcomed by stunning views of Norman Reef’s swirling coral formations, colourful reefs and azure blue waters.
Soon you will find yourself soaring above the many reef sites including Saxon Reef. Listen as your Pilot provides information and shares stories about the reef’s ecosystem and its abundance of marine life.
Watch as the azure blue waters transcend into the deep blue waters of the Coral Sea, a popular location for Humpback Whales during winter and Bottlenose Dolphins.
As you soar above the reef, keep your eyes peeled for marine life including rays, reef sharks, dugongs, turtles and large tropical fish.
Don’t forget your camera as this once in a lifetime experience is full of breathtaking photo opportunities!
You will then enjoy return coach transfers back to your accommodation in Cairns or Cairns Northern Beaches.
Your day will begin with complimentary transfers from your accommodation in Cairns or Cairns Northern Beaches between 7.00am and 7.30am.
You will then check in at the Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns before departing on your luxury catamaran to Green Island at 8.30am.
Arriving at Green Island at approximately 9.15am enjoy 3 and a quarter hours at Green Island with free use of the island’s facilities. Explore the lush rainforest of this tropical paradise, snorkel the colourful fringing reef or simply relax on the white sandy beaches.
At approximately 12.30pm you'll then board your luxury helicopter at the Green Island helipad for a low level scenic flight direct to Norman Reef.
You'll be rewarded with spectacular views of Green Island and, heading north, you will soon find yourself floating above the mighty Arlington Reef System and its abundance of swirling reefs and colourful corals.
Keep your eyes peeled for large tropical fish, rays, reef sharks and turtles. Your pilot will then fly you above three stunning sand cays, Vlasoff Cay, Michaelmas Cay and Upolou Cay.
These white sand islands are nestled upon the Great Barrier Reef marine park are a true natural spectacle! Continuing north, you will then fly above the colourful reef formations of Hastings Reef and Saxon Reef before arriving at the helipad at Norman Reef at around 12.55pm.
After a memorable and relaxing few hours at the pontoon, you will board the vessel at 3.30pm before making the journey back to Cairns, returning to Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns at 5.30pm.
You will then enjoy return transfers back to your accommodation in Cairns or Cairns Northern Beaches.
Your day will begin with complimentary transfers from your accommodation in Cairns or Cairns Northern Beaches between 9.00am and 9.30am.
You will then have a scenic helicopter flight departure at 10.00am.
Arriving at the Green Island helicopter pad at around 10.20am you will then enjoy 1 hour and 10 mins on Green Island before departing for the outer Great Barrier Reef onboard a high speed catamaran at 11.30am.
At 12.30pm you will be on the Norman Reef platform. Enjoy three hours at Norman Reef, discover the reef’s underwater wonders from the underwater observatory or semi-submersible submarine tour, or snorkel the reef or relax on the sundeck or upgrade to scuba diving and scubadoo.
At 3.30pm The high speed catamaran heads back to Cairns with arrival at 5.30pm to begin coach transfers back to guests accommodation.
Green Island is the ideal destination to snorkel and dive the Great Barrier Reef. Swim through stunning coral gardens and spot for giant clams, turtles, large tropical fish, reef sharks, large rays and colourful reef formations.
With calm water conditions and fantastic visibility, Green Island is the perfect location for first-time and beginner scuba divers. Introductory divers will be provided with a 30-minute briefing before learning their skills in the on-island training pool.
Once ready, you will be led by your experienced PADI instructor to the beach before boarding a specialised diving boat.
Your first dive site will be located around seven minutes from the shore and the best site will be chosen based on weather conditions on the day.
For certified divers, Green Island is home to four spectacular dive sites that will have you getting up close and personal with the many marine animals and colourful corals surrounding the island.
Choose from a shallow canyon dive or an ocean drift dive. Keep your eyes peeled for coral trout, barramundi, sharks, turtles and rabbitfish as you discover the plentiful deep coral formations and soft coral gardens.
Upgrade to a guided boat snorkel trip for the opportunity to learn more about Green Island’s marine life. After enjoying a short five to seven-minute boat trip from the beach, you will arrive at one of four pristine snorkel sites.
Snorkel sites are chosen on the day dependent on experience and weather conditions. Discover the unique wonders of Green Island’s underwater marine world.
Meet Cassius, the oldest crocodile in captivity, witness a crocodile feeding and if you’re brave enough, hold a baby crocodile, and view one of the largest private collections of Melanesian exotic tribal artefacts at Marineland Melanesia.
Discover the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef without even getting your hair wet! The Scuba Doo Tour is a fun and memorable way to experience the Great Barrier Reef from below the water.
Jump onboard a motorized underwater scooter and whiz past tropical fish, bommies, coral gardens, giant clams and more. Led by a guide, you will be provided with a scuba diving helmet that breathes fresh air into the device, allowing you to breathe as normal.
Ideal for beginner swimmers or for those simply to experience something truly unique! Pre-booking is recommended.
Secret coral gardens, First Bommie, Turtle Sanctuary and Pontoon are just some of the world-class dive sites you can expect to explore when visiting Norman Reef. Reef locations on the day are chosen suited to diver experience and weather conditions. Diving from the pontoon is suitable for first-time divers to experienced certified divers.
Introductory divers will begin their experience with training in the pontoon’s very own diving pool. Once equipped with the skills needed for their dive, introductory divers will then be taken to the diving platform at the end of the pontoon. Paired with a buddy, divers will be guided by their experience PADI instructor whilst exploring the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from below.
Certified divers will be provided with many reef locations to choose from on the day. Enjoy a guided tour or set off with a buddy. Keep your eyes peeled for giant clams, trevally, Maori wrasse, manta rays, moray eels, turtles and of course, Nemo!
The minimum age for Scuba Doo and Scuba Diving activities is 12 years. You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire. Pre-booking for this activity is recommended.
When visiting the Norman Reef pontoon, guests can choose to upgrade to a guided snorkelling tour lead by an experienced marine naturalist. Choose from a beginner or advanced tour that will have you swimming with the fish, discovering the reef’s best locations and learning more about the magnificent marine life and ecosystem.
Please Note: Due to time limitations you may not be able to upgrade to these optional extras.
See more Non-Swimmer Great Barrier Reef tour options.
January - December
Tours beginning with a cruise to Green Island depart at 8.30am from Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal after coach pick up at 7.00-7.30am
Tours beginning with a scenic helicopter flight depart Cairns City Heliport at 10.00amafter a coach pick up at 9.00-9.30am
Weight: Up to 130 Kg / 287 Lb
Scuba Diving, Scuba Doo and Helmet Diving Restrictions
Ramp access to pier helipad
Scenic flights have no mobility restrictions (assistance from carer required for passengers with little or no mobility)
Approx. 2 steps 1 foot (30cm) into aircraft
No wheelchair access from the Helipad to the vessel
Maximum wheelchair width 600mm on boarding ramps, possible stairs to negotiate, tide dependent
Audio information available in English and Chinese with headsets
Visual information provided: safety, local area, facts
1 x wheelchair accessible toilet located at the Cairns Heli Centre
Ramp access to pier helipad
Wheelchair storage at office for scenic flights
Only available for passengers who are able to negotiate 3 stairs and have a collapsible wheelchair. The first step is approx. 300mm high.
Wheelchair taxis are available for pre-booking.
You must arrange your own local transport in advance.
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.