Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Upgrade Include Helicopter Flight
  • Swimmers and non-swimmers can choose from a range of aquatic adventures from the stationary activity pontoon on this popular Cairns Great Barrier Reef tour.
  • View the rich marine life without getting wet when riding around on an underwater semi-submersible submarine tour on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
  • This is the only place in Australia where you can cruise the reef on an underwater scooter (optional activity). Pre-book your Scuba Doo tour on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • View the awe-inspiring beauty of the Barrier Reef from 500ft up on a scenic helicopter flight (optional activity)
  • Don’t want to get wet? Snap an amazing pic of the colourful reef standing by the window of the underwater observatory. This is the perfect Great Barrier Reef tour for a non-swimmer.

Perfect for families, groups and adventure lovers. Choose as much or as little activity as you like. Depart from Cairns on this fun-filled day visiting the world famous Great Barrier Reef from a stationary activity platform. Snorkel, scuba dive, ride an underwater scooter, meet amazing marine life.

Families save $125.00 on our Great Barrier Reef tour Family Deal, 2nd child travels FREE!

After stepping off your Great Barrier Reef tour boat onto the pontoon, you can spend the next 3 hours exploring the Great Barrier Reef in all sorts of ways from this stable structure (great if you don’t fancy being on a boat all day).

There are a variety of in-water and out of water tour activities to match physical capabilities and interests, and which cater to both swimmers and non-swimmers.

  • Try snorkelling or scuba diving
  • Ride under the water on a scuba doo scooter
  • Wonder at the diversity of marine life through the window of the underwater observatory
  • Cruise the reef in a semi-submersible submarine.
  • Join the guided Eco Reef talk in the underwater observatory

If relaxation is more your style, lie back and soak up the tropical life on the sundeck while sipping a drink from the licensed bar or munching on a delicious buffet lunch.

If you prefer your fun at high altitudes, you’ll love the scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef.

This a good tour for cruise ship passengers in Cairns. 

Morning Pick Up

You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in Cairns or Northern Beaches by your tour bus and tour guide and taken to the Cairns Marina to catch a vessel to the stunning Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Coach transfers are not included in the tour price.

Journey to the Great Barrier Reef

You’re on your way! You’ll be whisked away in comfort to the Outer Great Barrier Reef aboard a spacious, luxury air-conditioned catamaran.

A morning selection of delicious cakes, teas and coffees are served on the trip out to the reef.

Great Barrier Reef Activity Platform/Pontoon

Arrive at the activity platform where you will enjoy an amazing three hours of exploration and adventure.

Learn about the Great Barrier Reef and its abundant marine life from the Eco Reef presentations given throughout your day.

There is a host of activities included in your tour as well as optional activities to choose from.

Activities included in your Great Barrier Reef Tour

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Ideal for everyone! All snorkellers will be given a pre-briefing on how to snorkel to ensure their comfort in the water and to maximise their enjoyment.

There are buoyancy vests and noodles for those who would like more support. Snorkel guides will also help you with your equipment once you are in the water.

You will be amazed at the underwater world of ornate coral structures and brightly coloured marine life. 

Reef education and guided Eco Reef Talk

Learning about the reef and its inhabitants will really bring your experience alive.

There is a guided Eco Reef Talk in the underwater observatory and a reef education presentation given on your day.

If you want to get wet and up close, then join a guided snorkel tour (extra cost); your guide will take you on an educational snorkel, introducing you to and teaching you about the exotic marine life that inhabits the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Find out what a sea cucumber is.
  • Learn amazing facts about giant clams.
  • Discover why ‘Nemo’ can live in his anemone home. 

Semi-submersible submarine tour Great Barrier Reef 

Going down! It feels like you are on a submarine but you will be sitting just under the surface of the water in a viewing gallery whilst the captain steers the vessel from above.

You will glide gently around the coral bommies (coral mountains) and see the amazing formation of the corals.

  • View the colourful darting reef fish and vibrant angelfish.
  • Observe the fascinating parrotfish (they excrete sand!).

Your captain will also point out a host of exciting sights as you take this underwater journey of discovery.

Optional upgrade activities

Introductory scuba diving (optional activity)

Yes, you can go scuba diving without a certification (subject to a medical questionnaire).

What better place to experience your first scuba dive than in the crystal blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef?

You will be taken out in a small group (maximum 4) with an experienced diving instructor.

After a pre-dive briefing and some basic skills, you will descend with your instructor slowly to a shallow depth (maximum 12m 36ft) for your dive which lasts approximately 30 minutes.

This is the nearest you will feel to being a fish underwater. You won’t want to come up! 

Certified scuba diving (subject to availability and booked on the day; optional activity)

If you are a certified diver, you can dive straight off the pontoon platform to explore the incredible underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.

You’ll be able to experience up to three dives in the day with a number of dive sites available from the pontoon to provide you with varied topography and underwater life.

An experienced Dive Instructor/Master will lead your dive, so stick with them and they'll show you all the hiding places for the best things to see.

Your maximum depth will be 18 metres (60 feet) as you swim amongst the gentle undulating coral gardens and peaks of the coral bommies.

Be surrounded by the exotic marine life of these iconic diving sites on the world famous Great Barrier Reef.

Scuba Doo underwater scooter (optional activity)

If you’re in the mood for something a little more exciting than snorkelling then Scuba Doo is for you!

The Outer Great Barrier Reef platform is the only place in Australia where you can cruise the reef on this amazing underwater scooter.

Suited to swimmers and non-swimmers alike*, you will be wearing a helmet like an astronaut as you ride on your underwater bike that resembles a wheel-less moped, and follow your guide on an underwater journey like no other.  

* must be over 12 years of age and subject to a medical questionnaire

Scenic helicopter flight (optional activity) 

Now that you have seen the reef from under the water, what better way to see it than from the sky?

Your helicopter ride will take you over the Norman Reef and 500ft above the amazing Great Barrier Reef.

You might spot turtles, sharks, manta rays and dolphins swimming below.

You can even fly from the pontoon back to Cairns.

This is a ride of a lifetime and you’ll be surprised that it won’t break the bank.

Pre-bookings essential as helicopter seats are limited to only 6 per day.  

See more cruise ship tours and Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns.

Included In Price

  • Return air-conditioned fast catamaran cruise
  • Tea and coffee served until departure from Cairns
  • Morning tea cake selection on outward journey
  • 3 hours at the outer reef activity platform
  • Hot and cold buffet lunch with seafood
  • Use of snorkelling equipment
  • Buoyancy vests
  • Reef education presentation
  • Semi-submersible coral reef viewing tour
  • Underwater observatory
  • Eco Reef Talk with marine naturalist in underwater observatory
  • Afternoon tea and coffee available whilst on the platform
  • Cheese and biscuits on the return journey
Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time


Departure Instructions
  • Departure from Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence St, Cairns.
  • It is recommended to check-in 45 minutes prior to departure.
  • Coach transfers are available from Cairns City and the Northern Beaches at an additional cost.
Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Palm Cove

Outer Great Barrier Reef platform

Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation


Between the months of Feb – April, availability is dependent on numbers and maintenance.
For Christmas and New Year there is a high demand so advance booking is advised.


7 hours approx

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Introductory scuba diving (no experience necessary, subject to medical questionnaire)
  • Certified scuba diving (subject to medical questionnaire)
  • Scuba Doo underwater scooter (subject to medical questionnaire)
  • Guided snorkel tours (subject to availability on day of tour)
  • Helicopter scenic flights (subject to availability – ask us on booking)
  • Towels – available for hire
  • Drinks from licensed bar
Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium

  • Scuba Diving – minimum age 12
  • Helicopter ride – extra cost incurred for any person over 100kg.

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.

Scuba Diving, Scuba Doo and Helmet Diving Restrictions

  • Certain medical conditions and medications may preclude some people from scuba diving and helmet diving/scuba doo.
  • Participation is subject to medical questionnaires completed on board with the tour operator.
  • Minimum age for scuba diving and helmet diving/scuba doo is 12 years.
  • Flying after 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.

Intro Dive Medical Advanced Dive Medical Seawalker Medical

Read more about Diving Safety on the Great Barrier Reef.

Additional Information
  • For scuba diving and helmet diving, medical, height and age restrictions apply; must be 12 to 70 years.
  • All schedules, activities and prices may be vary without notice.
  • If you have a specific language requirement, please advise your Tour Specialist and they can arrange for a member of staff to be on board the day required.
  • Introductory Diving and Scuba Doo offer English, Japanese and Chinese speaking staff members.
Eco Certifications
Eco Advanced Tourism
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimming costume
  • Towel
  • Cash or credit card
  • Camera (charged)
  • Rash vest for sun protection whilst snorkelling
  • Spare socks

Customer Reviews

Average Rating


Reviewed on July 21, 2018

Our family of 5 enjoyed it very much. Our only criticism would be the quality of the food for lunch - it really was not very appetising. The staff were fantastic and it's very well organised.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Thank you for your review of the Great Barrier Reef tour Siobhan. We have passed on your comments regarding the buffet lunch on the day. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cairns in the future

Gregory L

Reviewed on March 25, 2018


Response From Barrier Reef Australia

The Tour Specialists are pleased to hear you enjoyed your day on the Great barrier Reef Greg and we look forward to your next visit to our region.

Alma M

Reviewed on August 18, 2016

The trip on the catamaran and the staff were really great. We also enjoyed the semi sub and underwater viewing. Just a bit dissapointing that the lunch seemed a bit chaotic and nowhere to sit on the pontoon as tables taken over with other guests bags etc. We ate on the catamaran- thought we would have been able to relax on a sun bed but that was the same.

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

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.

  • During school holiday and Chinese New Year periods: Any cancellation made after 6.00pm on the day prior to travel will incur a 100% cancellation fee.
  • Any cancellation made between 12.00pm and 6.00pm on the day prior to travel will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
  • Outside of school holiday and Chinese New Year periods: There is no refund if the tour is cancelled by the customer within 24 hours. Other cancellations may receive full refunds at the discretion of tour operator.

Great Barrier Reef Tours - Cairns Pontoon - Non Swimmers

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Upgrade Include Helicopter Flight



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

Child: au$136.00
Family: au$643.00

Tour Code: 126



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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