Cairns Reef Tour | HALF DAY Green Island Snorkelling Tour | By Big Cat

Tour Code: 12

Departing: Cairns

Family Deal Save $58
  • Visit Green Island, a tropical island paradise and experience the Great Barrier Reef on a half day tour.
  • Meet playful rays, rainbow coloured fish and sea turtles as you snorkel straight off the beach on Green Island
  • Stay dry and view the reef from the comfort of a semi-submarine or glass bottom boat on Green Island
  • Take a stroll around Green Island’s unique rainforest walkways or relax and soak up the sun on pure white sand beaches 
  • Family-friendly tour offering loads of optional extra activities and some fun, complimentary items for the kids on Green Island
  • Family Deal - Save $58 based on 2 adults & 2 children

Included In Price

  • Cruise to Green Island
  • Choice of snorkeling gear or glass bottom boat tour OR for an additional fee you can get both
  • 2 hours on Green Island
  • Snorkelling demonstration & reef presentation en route to Green Island
  • Use of Big Cat vessel during time at island as an air-conditioned base

This Green Island cruise is perfect if you’re a little pushed for time (or don't want the kids out the entire day) and want to explore the Great Barrier Reef in half a day with the benefit of lots of (wet and dry) optional activities included.

What to Expect

Fast Catamaran Ride to Green Island

  • Depart for your half day Green Island tour from Cairns Marlin Marina aboard a high-speed catamaran. This swift and comfortable vessel gets you to Green Island in just 45 minutes, offering a smooth ride with spectacular ocean views. Choose your half day tour from a morning or afternoon departure to best suit your travel plans.

Exploring Green Island

  • Once you arrive, you have two hours to enjoy this tropical paradise. Green Island is a unique destination where the rainforest meets the reef. Wander along its white sandy beaches, take a dip in the island's inviting waters, or explore the lush rainforest on well-maintained boardwalks.

Features and Highlights

Green Island Half Day Tour Packages

  • When booking you half day tour you may choose to just go snorkelling or add on a glass bottom boat tour or even add on the semi-submersible submarine ride for the full experience the choice is yours.

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling – Green Island

  • Slip into the crystal-clear waters directly from the beach to enjoy snorkelling among vibrant coral gardens. The reefs around Green Island are shallow and calm, making them perfect for snorkellers of all levels. Encounter a diverse range of marine life, from colourful fish to sea turtles, all thriving within this protected marine park. Snorkelling on Green Island is perfect for families with young children and older grandparents as they can just wade in and out of the water easily.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour

  • For those who prefer to stay dry choose the glass bottom boat tour in your booking from as it offers a window into the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef without getting your hair wet which is great for non-swimmers. Accompanied by knowledgeable commentary, this tour lets you observe the bustling reef activity and learn about the diverse ecosystems below the surface.

Semi-Submersible Submarine Experience

  • Add on a semi-submersible submarine tour to see the Great Barrier Reef from a unique perspective. This dry tour allows you to view the coral and marine life through large underwater windows, combining the thrill of diving with the comfort of staying dry.

Educational Rainforest Walk

  • Take advantage of the unique ecology of Green Island by exploring its rainforest. Informative signage along the paths explains the rich biodiversity of the area, offering insights into both the flora and fauna that inhabit this tropical paradise.

Convenience and Comfort

  • With facilities such as locker rentals, changing rooms, and places to relax, your Green Island half-day tour is both comfortable and convenient. Whether you're looking to actively explore or simply unwind, Green Island caters to all preferences.

This half-day tour to Green Island from Cairns is designed to provide a rich, immersive experience of the Great Barrier Reef without the commitment of a full-day excursion. It's an ideal choice for families with young children, cruise ship passengers, individuals, or groups looking for a quick yet comprehensive reef and rainforest adventure for half a day in paradise.

See all the Green Island tours, family tours and cruise ship passenger tour suggestions from Cairns.

Cruise to Green Island aboard a luxurious catamaran

If you’re the type of individual keen to fit in everything Cairns has to offer, you’ll love this half-day tour of Green Island.

Cruise direct from Cairns Marlin Marina to this magical cove in just 45 minutes aboard a speedy, air-conditioned catamaran.

With a choice of either an early morning 9.00am or afternoon 1.00pm cruise, both will provide an exhilarating glide across the Great Barrier Reef.

Cold drinks and snacks are available on board, so you might want to bring a bit of spare cash.

Keep your eyes peeled on your journey as dolphins and dugong have been known to make an appearance alongside the vessel as you enter the coral cay. 

Snorkelling at Green Island

On the journey to Green Island, you’ll find out some fascinating facts about the coral and marine life you're likely to see on the Great Barrier Reef.

The friendly, informative crew will also provide a safety brief about snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.

A mask, snorkel and fins are included with the hire of snorkelling gear – or as a free inclusion with your tour if you choose the snorkelling activity option. 

Lycra suits, floatation vests and prescription masks are also available for hire. 

Snorkel straight off the beach at your leisure into the clear island waters and discover colourful coral gardens just metres from the shore.

The Reef around Green Island is known for its abundance and diversity of marine life.

You'll be gazing at multi-hued streams of reef fish swimming, marvelling at the giant clams, and even spotting a few stingrays.

Green Island is also known as a haven for sea turtles, so be on the lookout for these majestic creatures grazing on sea-grass.

Supervised boat snorkelling trips are also available for more advanced snorkellers.

Glass Bottom Boat Coral Viewing tour

Experience the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from both in and out of the water!

A ride on the glass bottom boat will show you a different but no less breathtaking side of the coral gardens and marine life off Green Island.

Also great for non-swimmers or if you don't want to get wet!

The glass bottom boat tour includes a lively, fun fish feeding experience and commentary. 

Green Island Rainforest Walk

What makes Green Island unique is that it’s the only coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest.

You can explore the island's lush rainforest and diverse plant and birdlife at your own leisure on a scenic walk around the island. 

The rainforest walk begins on wooden walkways that thread in and out of the rainforest.

Informational placards will guide you along the way as you read about the island’s fascinating eco-system and history.

Though be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the exquisite flora and fauna that resides there today.

You won’t want to miss a sea eagle roosting, or a sparkling blue kingfisher flitting by!

Semi-Submersible Submarine

The semi-submersible submarine tour is a unique optional activity for non-swimmers or those who prefer to remain dry but want to experience the magical underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.

Submerged in air-conditioned comfort and seated below water level, you’ll be treated to a diver's view of the coral reef and marine life, and learn some fascinating fishy facts from the crew.

The semi-submersible submarine tour holds a comfortable group of 27 passengers and lasts for 30 minutes – but the memories will last a lifetime. 

See more Green Island tours

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time

9.00am & 1.00pm

Departure Instructions

Check in 30 minutes prior to departure time

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Green Island
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation



HDAM - 9am - 1pm morning cruise. 2 hours on the island and free choice of glass bottom boat tour or snorkel gear*
HDPM - 1pm - 5pm afternoon cruise. 2 hours on the island and free choice of glass bottom boat tour or snorkel gear*

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Glass bottom boat
  • Snorkel hire
Fitness Level Required


Eco Certifications
Advanced Ecotourism Certified

Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, towel, shirt to swim in (slip, slop, slap) cash or credit card for snorkel deposit, cash for drinks and snacks and souvenirs are available for sale on board. SNORKELLING DEPOSIT $20 "Refundable Deposit" is required for the hire of snorkelling gear - cash or credit card imprint

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

Kim A

Reviewed on July 03, 2019

My husband & I had a wonderful time on your Green Island Half Day Tour. Particularly the Crocodile Zoo. Trip over & back on the "Reef Rocket" was most enjoyable. Would recommend your company to family & friends without any hesitation. Cheers, Kim

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Kim thank you so very much for your kind review. All of our team do our best to make the right recommendations of tours for our guests who visit Cairns. Green Island is a fun trip and for your next one we highly recommend you visit the outer Great Barrier Reef. We look forward to seeing you again.

Robert M

Reviewed on March 06, 2019

Green Island is just a cash machine great publicity but not enough time to do the things booked

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thank you for your feedback, We are sorry to hear you did not enjoy your time on Green Island. We do have various tours available offering 2, 4 or 5 hours on the Island. If you are wanting to do more than 1 activity on Green Island it is better to choose one of the longer tours.

Noelle H

Reviewed on June 24, 2018

Nothing to do with the way the tour was run - just needed less wind and cloud!

Ravinder S

Reviewed on July 11, 2017

Overall good, but two event spaced so closely together, thus rushed through.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Hi Ravinder, thanks for your feedback. We are pleased you had a nice day at Green Island, it certainly is a must-do Cairns attraction. The Tour Specialists team look forward to welcoming you back soon and we can perhaps entice you to extend your time on the island so it is not so rushed.

Thomas H

Reviewed on October 05, 2016

The trip to Green Island was absolutely beautiful. The company (Big Cat) was friendly and provided great service. The island itself was just incredible - such beautiful views and great snorkeling. I highly recommend.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Dear Thomas, It is great to hear that you loved the trip to Green Island! It is only a short ferry ride away and very accessible. Maybe next time you will choose to discover Fitzroy, Frankland or Low Isles!

Sharen R

Reviewed on September 29, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed my half day trip and would enjoy visiting the island again, should I ever return to Cairns.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thank you Sharon, we look forward to have you back snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef soon!

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Containes notes on wheelchair access
Wheelchair Accessibility

Wheelchair access for folding wheelchairs only.

Boarding Access

Wheelchair ramp.

Onboard Access

Limited wheelchair ramps. Walkways not wide enough for electronic wheelchair.

Pre-order Local Transport

You must arrange your own local transport in advance.

  • Child Fare 4 - 14 years inclusive
  • Infants 3 and under travel free
  • Family Fare: 2 Adults and 2 Children (not applicable with other discounts)

All cancellations must be in writing.

We understand things may change, so we have made cancellations very easy.

In every instance we always recommend you purchase travel insurance for life’s last-minute hiccups.

Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

Operators policy:

  • A cancellation fee of 100% will apply if less than 24 hours notice is given prior to departure.
  • Some services may be cancelled or modified as a result of weather/tidal conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • In the rare event that Big Cat Green Island Cruises needs to cancel, the guest will be provided with an alternate day of travel, offered another Reef Unlimited product, or a full refund.
  • Note: A $20 refundable deposit  is required for the hire of snorkelling gear

Cairns Reef Tour | HALF DAY Green Island Snorkelling Tour | By Big Cat

Tour Code: 12

Departing: Cairns

Family Deal Save $58



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

Child: au$58.00
Family: au$290.00

Tour Code: 12



15 yrs & over

4 - 14 yrs

0 - 3 yrs

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

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