The only way to truly experience the world’s largest living organism is by air. Departing from Cairns, our Wonders of the World scenic flight tours will have you take in the best of the Great Barrier Reef from above.
Enjoy a 30, 45 or 60 minute helicopter flight as you discover the region’s lush tropical islands, colourful reef formations and white sandy cays. Learn about the Marine Park’s unique eco system and surrounding landmarks with in filght commentary provided by your Pilot and Guide on tour.
Find out why millions of people travel from all over the world to see this vast and natural wonder by seeing the reef from the air.
These scenic reef flights take guests over several amazing Great Barrier Reef destinations close to Cairns. Available in 30, 45 or 60 minute flight times. These flights can carry 2 to 5 people.
Your experience will begin with pick up from your accommodation in Cairns City, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove or Kuranda to the Cairns departure terminal at Cairns Airport. Transfers from Port Douglas can be arranged at an extra cost. Your pick up time and location will be provided at the time of booking. Upon departure you will be guided to your seat on the Helicopter in preparation for takeoff. Your tour will include a headset that will allow your experienced Pilot and Guide to share stories and provide commentary on the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding landmarks.
Departing from Cairns Airport you will make your way 27km west over the Great Barrier Reef to your first destination, the infamous Green Island. The remote and secluded Green Island is home to a resort and is the only island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where you will find true tropical rainforest growing upon it. Surrounded by fringing coral reefs, white sands and crystal clear blue waters, Green Island looks like a true tropical paradise from above! The island is a popular day trip destination from Cairns and is well known for its abundance of sea life, including Sea Turtles!
As you farewell the white sands and blue waters of Green Island, your flight will gear north west and begin its voyage to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Prepare to be marveled as you cruise above the many colourful coral cays and reef formations below including the gigantic Arlington Reef. From the air, this huge reef system will give you a true indication of just how big the Great Barrier Reef really is! Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is home to around 2,700 individual reef systems? Keep your eyes open for Manta Rays that can commonly be spotted cruising along the shallow reef lagoons and if you are lucky, a migrating whale.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is home to over 70 sand cays. A true natural wonder, Upolo Cay is a lone standing sand island sitting upon the Arlington Reef system. The white sands and crystal clear waters of the cay truly are a sight to behold and make for that perfect holiday snap. Depending on the time of day you may spot other reef dwellers walking upon the sandy cay. Upolo Cay once began as a sand bank that continued to grow in size. Today, the cay is sometimes covered by the tide however it continues to grow in size each and every year.
Make sure to pre book! This truly is a once in a life time Great Barrier Reef Experience. Upgrade any 30, 45 or 60 minute flight for the Ultimate Sand Cay Experience which includes the scenic flight and 2 hours upon the white sands of Upolo Cay. The upgrade includes a gourmet picnic and refreshments, snorkeling equipment and the opportunity to explore the cay's fringing reef, beach chairs and umbrella and VIP return transfers.
From Upolo Cay, your 30 minute helicopter ride will begin its return back to Cairns. As you make your way back to your destination over Arlington Reef and the Coral Sea’s deep blue waters, you will be welcomed by stunning views of Cairns City and its surrounding coastline.
The 45 minute ‘Wonder of the World’ flight includes all the amazing destinations of the 30 minute flight, with the addition of a flyover above Oyster Reef. You will take off from Cairns, heading west towards the famous Green Island before turning north-west to fly over Arlington Reef and Upolo Cay.
The 60 minute ‘Wonder of the World’ flight includes everything you would see on the 30 or 45 minute flight, with the addition of Fitzroy Island, Michaelmas Cay, Palm Cove and Kuranda.
Departing from Cairns Airport you will make your way 30km south west over the Great Barrier Reef to your first destination, the iconic Fitzroy Island. En route to Fitzroy Island you will take in the sights of Trinity Inlet and the secluded Aboriginal community of Yarrabah. Fitzroy Island is a popular day trip destination from Cairns and boasts dense tropical rainforest, secluded white sandy beaches and fringing reefs. Marvel at the island’s 339 hectars of towering mountain peaks, vegetation, woodlands and coastal mangroves.
After soaking in the sights of the reef from the air, the flight turns back towards the mainland. Soon you will be greeted by the stunning coastline and beautiful beach side town of Palm Cove, home to golden beaches lined by tropical coconut trees. This vibrant community is a popular day trip destination from Cairns, boasting a bustling beach front eatery scene, an abundance of resort and holiday accommodation and boutique shops.
Venturing further inland, your scenic flight will continue over the stunning McAlister Range and the lush tropics of Barron Gorge National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for the humble rainforest village of Kuranda, nestled within the heart of the mountainous rainforest peaks. Your Pilot and Guide will point out some of the area’s main attractions include Barron River, a might river system that spills throughout Barron Gorge into the Coral Sea.
Your 60 minute helicopter flight will then redirect its voyage towards the coast as you make your way back to Cairns. Have your camera ready as you make your way over the granite peaks and stunning coastlines of the Wet Tropics World Heritage listed Rainforest
Flight times are flexible.
Departs General Aviation at Cairns Airport
January - December
Does not operate Christmas Day
May be affected by adverse weather conditions
Bus transfers from Port Douglas and Mission Beach available on request at extra cost.
Weight: Up to 136 Kg / 300 Lb
One infant under the age of 3 may travel on the lap of an adult free of charge.
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.
50% cancellation fee will apply if cancelled within 48 hours of travel date. 100% non-refundable if cancelled within 24 hours of travel date.