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Great Barrier Reef Tours

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Cairns Dive and Snorkel Tour
  • The amazing sea life! With so many fantastic reef sites to choose from, the experienced skipper and crew will show you the best of the best on the day!
  • This vessel is not only eco-friendly but also does Vegan Fridays!  If you like to stay healthy on your holidays be sure to pick your travel day to suit your style.
  • If you are a bit nervous about trying a first dive this is the boat for you!  Enjoy a FREE 10 minute in water scuba demonstration on the outer reef.

A very popular boat for snorkeling, diving and sailing from Cairns. Visit two of the Outer Barrier Reef’s amazing sites on this award-winning day tour. We have a choice of 24 reefs to visit each day. Each coral reef stop is chosen for its optimal conditions on the day.

This multi award winning Cairns dive and snorkel tour takes you to two of the best sites that the Outer Barrier Reef has to offer.

We have 24 private coral reef moorings to choose from for our destination each day. The skipper choses them based on the winds, tides, currents and underwater visbility to ensure you see the reef at its ultimate best for your scuba diving and snorkelling trip. 

The new luxurious 30 m sailing catamaran, built for comfort and speed, caters for up to 110 guests will sail to sites that will have you truly believing you’re in paradise! Each stop will be at a pristine reef site that provides the best conditions of the day for snorkellers and divers.

With great water clarity and a range of features such as walls, coral heads and bommies that host a wide range of marine diverse creatures, there’s so much to see.

At both sites there’s a good chance you will encounter a cruising turtle as they come to visit this turtle mecca. Other life hanging out here are Batfish, Giant Trevally, small reef sharks (they only hunt fish) and a host of multi-coloured shoals of reef fish.

Kids love the guided snorkel tours and presentations by the marine interpreter and everyone enjoys the tropical hot and cold buffet lunch which includes prawns and fresh fruit. 

Travel In Style

From Cairns you’ll travel to the Outer Barrier Reef in your purpose-built, spacious and luxurious 30 m (98ft) sailing catamaran. Built for comfort as well as speed, your vessel is licensed to carry 130 however the operator carries a maximum of 110 to give guests personal attention. Having an award-winning local operator and friendly crew enhances the special experience.

The bow is the best vantage point to watch the world go by as well as a great place to see dolphins surfing the boat’s bow wave. The huge top deck area is an ideal  spot to relax on as you cruise to the Outer Reef. On the return trip the sails will be hoisted and you’ll travel at a respectable 12 to 14 knots or at a more relaxed pace, if less windy.

Lunch on The Reef

You are kept well sustained for the journey. When you board, freshly brewed coffee and tea with muffins are served before departure. For lunch you’re treated to a tropical hot and cold buffet, prepared freshly on board, which includes prawns, meat, breads and cheeses as well as vegetarian salads, noodles, rice and fresh local fruit to suit all preferences. There’s also a fully stocked bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase throughout the day. On the return journey, platters are served by the crew with avariety of dips and cheeses for you to enjoy.

Naturalist Presentation

As you head out into this amazing eco environment and World Heritage site, an eco-approved marine naturalist will present an immersive talk on the marine and wildlife you’ll encounter on your trip.

Find out why Parrotfish are aptly named, the strange behaviour of Nemo (clown fish) and understand more about the small creatures that make up the corals of the Great Barrier Reef. Learning more about the life you are seeing will enable you to appreciate this diverse and amazing environment even more.  The presentation is given in a friendly and informative way that makes it ideal for children as well as the ‘oldies’

Snorkeling

For all people wishing to go snorkeling there is a full brief given beforehand. So if you are a first time snorkeller or just a bit rusty, you will have support and help from the friendly staff.  All your snorkel equipment is included in the tour costs – fins, masks, (and prescription masks) snorkels and flotation devices (noodles and vests).  Free guided snorkel tours take place throughout the day.  Seeing this amazing underwater world through your mask is like discovering a whole new universe!  

Exclusive Reef Sites

Two unique outer reef locations will be visited on your tour visit. With a choice of 24 exclusive moorings and stunning underwater vistas, on the day the sites are chosen that are best suited to the weather. The exciting site choices include:

Paradise Reef

This reef certainly lives up to its name.  This pristine reef is the perfect place to snorkel or dive on and is indeed a little piece of paradise.  Paradise Reef is a hard coral reef that features ribbons of smaller reefs. You may also meet a real VIP celebrity – Wally the resident Maori Wrasse.

Long Bommie

This dive site features aptly a long bommie. A ‘bommie’ is an Indigenous word for mountain, so this dive site has a wonderful feature of having a large coral outcrop that runs the length of the site. Along the length of the bommie you will see glimmering shoals of reef fish and an array of colourful marine life and hard and soft corals. 

Split Bommie

Split Bommie is located on Hastings Reef. A bommie is an Aboriginal word for mountain and it is this large coral mountain (with a split through it) that dominates this site. You can snorkel and dive around this feature that harbours an array of marine life. 

1770
This snorkel and dive site on the Hastings Reef hosts a wide range of small critters and an array of marine life. Protected from strong winds, a shallow lagoon offers great diving and snorkelling. Divers can be dropped at the “Twins”, two bommies that rise from 20 metres.

Pretty Patches
This whole dive site is pretty! The tightly grouped bommies make for great diving in up to 18 metres. As you snorkel and dive, you’ll see a high concentration of giant clams and an array of intricately shaped hard and soft corals with stunning marine life. This operator is one of only two companies with a permit to access this reef.

Breaking Patches
Exclusive to the operator, this site offers great fish spotting, including Coral Trout and Red Emperor. A shallow Reef is ideal for snorkellers with a good wall to 18 metres for divers.

Little Tracey
Shallow walls and crevices delight snorkellers and divers at this site on Flynn Reef. Coral and small colourful reef are highlighted by the water clarity.

Point Break
Also at Flynn Reef, this site showcases many small bommies with profuse coral and fish life and offers clear calm waters when the northerlies set in.

Stepping Stones
Many coral bommies that “step” out from the boat make for great diving, especially in strong winds which means diverse coral and fish life can be observed in safe conditions. Also snorkellers can access the brilliant shallow reefs that make Hastings Reef one of Cairns’ most popular.

Extasea
Being the closest reef to Cairns makes Upolu Reef very popular and especially the  Extasea mooring which is in a shallow sandy lagoon fringed by coral and home to many varieties of soft coral. Behind the boat, the reef drops down to 18 metres.

Alan’s Wall
One of Cairns’ best sites, Alan’s wall at Norman Reef offers an amazing deep water dive with swim-throughs alongside an 18 metre drop. Snorkelling along the wall edge in clear water  is enjoyable as is observing myriad fish life including sharks and Maori Wrasse.

Shark Mountain
On Norman Reef, here at Shark Mountain you will probably see a shark and also the ‘mountain’ – a huge bommie that is a great dive to 20 metres plus. Divers will also be interested in the small shipwreck while snorkellers are always happy with the many fish and coral that makes this site one of Cairns best.

 

Extra activities

Introductory Scuba Dive
Get up close and personal to all the amazing fish life on the Great Barrier Reef; this is a great opportunity.  The conditions on the Great Barrier Reef are perfect for beginners. Glass visibility, warm water and minimal currents make for easy and relaxing diving. You’ll have a highly experienced instructor and all the quality equipment is regularly serviced. A full briefing will be given and you will be in a small group of 2-8 people. This underwater adventure will have you jowl to jowl with turtles, coral trout, Nemo (clown fish), barramundi and fish of all sizes and colours. If you’re nervous about diving or not sure if it’s really ‘your thing’, this tour offers a ‘try before you dive’ policy that gives you 10 minutes free.  

Certified Scuba Dive
If you’re a certified diver, diving the Great Barrier Reef is what divers’ dreams are made of! The dive tour includes the cost of your equipment such as wetsuits and dive computers, so you don’t have to pack anything!  All the equipment is serviced regularly and of top quality, so you can feel comfortable and safe on your dive.

There is a wonderful array of dives that can be experienced on this tour, from drift dives, to wall dives to swim throughs. You’ll be taken to the best dive sites of the day, chosen to take consideration of the day’s weather conditions.  Divers can enjoy up to two scuba dives at the exclusive sites.

Included In Price

  • Air conditioned vessel
  • A dedicated snorkeling instructor and FREE tuition
  • Free guided snorkel tour
  • Morning Tea
  • A tropical buffet lunch of hot and cold dishes including prawns and fresh tropical fruit
  • Afternoon tea
  • Filtered water on board
  • Highest quality masks, snorkels, fins and scuba diving equipment.
  • Free floatation vests to aid non swimmers
  • Staff trained to Advanced ECO Certification Standard
  • An on-board eco-accredited marine naturalist presentation
  • 10 minute free scuba diving demonstration
  • Exclusive moorings at all sites
Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From

Cairns

Departure Time
  • Depart 8:00am - return 5:00pm
  • Check in between 7:00 am and 7:30 am
Departure Instructions

If making own way to cruise, please ensure you check in at Passions of Paradise Desk, Reef Fleet Terminal between 7:00am and 7:30am

Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Palm Cove
Destinations
  • Hastings Reef
  • Norman Reef
  • Upolu Cay
  • Flynn Reef
  • Milne Reef
  • Thetford Reef
  • Moore Reef
  • Pretty Patches
  • Breaking Patches
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation

Daily

Does not operate New Years Day

Duration

9 hours (approx)

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Return accommodation transfers - Not included in price and payable on day of travel. From Cairns $18 per person, from Northern Beaches $25
  • 1st Introductory or Certified Dive must be pre-booked
  • 2nd Introductory or Certified Dive is bookable on board on day of travel
Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium

Restrictions

Scuba Diving – minimum age 12

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

All diving activities are for aged 12 and over.

Eco Certifications
Eco Advanced Tourism
Eco Climate Action Leader
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Swimming Costume
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Rash vest or swim shirt
  • Cash or credit card for reef tax & on board purchases
  • Camera

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

LAURA D

Reviewed on February 18, 2018

Really good day, but this was too long to go to the Reef and to come back to Cairns. Good staff, good information given about the day, etc Not enough to eat for everyone...

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thanks for your response Laura. The Tour Specialists are always happy to help with the best reef bookings to suit and that Free Dive offer was certainly great value. The Outer Reef is a lot further from Cairns than people realise and it can sometimes catch our guests by surprise. We are pleased you enjoyed your day.

Charles K

Reviewed on November 23, 2017

The Passions of Paradise reef tour was a fantastic adventure. The catamaran was almost new, with lots of room. The crew could not have been more friendly and accommodating. The lunch was first rate fare. All in all a great way to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thank you Charles! We are glad you enjoyed your day out with us and can't wait to get you back on the Great Barrier Reef soon!

Nick P

Reviewed on September 30, 2017

Amazing tour, the best boat, friendly crew!

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Wow Nick! It is always great to hear to hear we exceed expectations and hopefully provided a little bit of reef education on your Amazing tour too! We look forward to having you back on the best boat in Cairns & the Great Barrier reef soon.

Ashlea V

Reviewed on May 18, 2017

Taken to two beautiful reefs with wonderful staff

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thanks for your feedback Ashlea. The Tour Specialists are pleased you enjoyed your time on the Great Barrier Reef with this fantastic small group reef tour.

Olivia W

Reviewed on September 18, 2016

The crew keep us informed during the whole journey to the reef and it was nice and relax, worth the amount of money spent on the day trip. The dives were amazing, if you took the second dive you didn't have the opportunity to see the island which was unfortunate.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thanks for your feedback Olivia. We are pleased you enjoyed your day on the Great Barrier Reef and took the opportunity to enjoy an Introductory Scuba Dive. This small group tour is ideal for first time divers. Hopefully we will see you back again soon to spend some more time exploring the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and more.

ANN C

Reviewed on June 05, 2016

Fantastic! Had a beautiful calm day snorkelling on both Paradise Reef and Michaelmas Cay. The variety and colours of the many fish species was amazing. Ended up being quite an expensive day out with all the extra add-on expenses (bus transfers, ECM, underwater camera hire, stinger suit) but it's not something you do every day.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Wow Ann, we are thrilled you enjoyed your Great Barrier Reef cruise and had great weather too! Michaelmas Cay & Paradise Reef do offer a great variety of hard & soft corals and the amazing marine life is easily visible via the Glass Bottom Boat tours offered. I does get a little expensive with the additional activities but they do enhance your overall experience

  • Child's price applies to children 4 - 14
  • Family Price: 2 adults and 2 children
  • Infants 3 and under travel free
  • Children must be aged 12 years and over to Scuba Dive

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.

  • Full refund if cancellation is more than 24 hours prior to travel
  • No refund if cancellation is within 24 hours of departure

Great Barrier Reef Tour - Full Day Cairns

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Cairns Dive and Snorkel Tour

From

au$155.00

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

Child: au$110.00
Family: au$530.00

Tour Code: 88

From

au$155.00

15 yrs & over

4 - 14 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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