If you are short on time or just seeking another way to see the reef, a 30 minute scenic helicopter flight is the ultimate way to experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
If departing from Cairns, your helicopter flight will have you flying above the iconic Green Island, Upolo Cay, Michaelmas Cay, Arlington Reef and the beautiful beaches surrounding Cairns.
If departing from Port Douglas, you will be greeted by breath taking views of the outer Great Barrier Reef as you soar above Low Isles Reef, Tongue Reef, Batt Reef and the lush rainforests and scenic beaches surrounding Port Douglas.
With return coach transfers from your holiday accommodation and an informative in flight commentary, this tour will have you really appreciating the sheer size and significance of the world’s largest living organism.
Your helicopter tour begins with a courtesy pick up from your accommodation in Cairns, Palm Cove or Cairns Northern Beaches before making your way to our waterfront helicopter pad.
Alternatively, you can check in at Great Barrier Reef Helicopters office by Marlin Marina at Cairns Esplanade.
Transfers from the domestic and international terminals at Cairns Airport are also possibly available on request.
Upon checking in, you will be greeted by your friendly and experienced Pilot for a pre departure briefing.
As you board the helicopter you will provided with a headset for in flight commentary throughout the flight.
Your scenic flight from Cairns will have you taking in the sights of Arlington Reef, Michaelmas Cay, Upolo Cay, Green Island and the surrounding beaches of the Cairns coastline.
Your helicopter journey will begin with aerial views of Cairns city as you take in the sites of the Cairns Marlin Marina, the Esplande, the Lagoon and other notable sites in this picturesque Tropical North Queensland waterfront town.
Soon you will find yourself soaring above the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living organism on the planet and one of the world’s natural wonders.
If travelling during the winter months of June and July, you may be lucky enough to spot Humpback Whales and their calves as they continue their east coast migration.
Have your camera ready as you approach Green Island and its lush rainforests, white sandy beaches and fringing coral reefs.
Green Island is a popular day trip destination from Cairns and you fly above this natural wonder you will understand why!
Your helicopter pilot will help you spot for marine life such as turtles, rays, reef sharks and larger tropical fish that can usually be seen frolicking in the island’s shallow lagoons.
Continuing east you will soon cast your eyes upon the beautiful and unique Arlington Reef system.
Marvel at the colourful swirls of reef formations and stunning coral gardens. Here you will fly above Michaelmas Cay, Upolo Cay and Vlassoff Cay, unique sand islands that sit upon the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
These natural spectacles make for a perfect holiday photo!
As you begin your return journey back to Cairns, watch as the deep aqua blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef slowly transform into a sea of azure blue and golden sands of the surrounding Cairns coastline
As your scenic flight begins its journey back to Cairns, keep your eyes peeled for the humble sea side towns of Cairns Northern Beaches.
In the distance you will gain a true understanding of the diverse landscape of the region as the green rainforest canopies play backdrop to Cairns city.
Upon returning to Cairns, you will farewell your guide before enjoying return transfers back to your accommodation.
Your scenic flight tour begins with a pick up from your accommodation in Port Douglas.
As you arrive at the central heliport, you will be greeted with a preflight safety briefing before making your way to the waterfront helicopter pad for departure.
All guests will be provided with headsets for in flight commentary from your experience Pilot and Guide.
Your scenic flight from Port Douglas will have you taking in the sights of the outer Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding rainforest, beaches and coastline Port Douglas.
Soar above Four Mile Beach, spot the ancient Daintree Rainforest in the distance, and marvel at the colourful corals and unique reef formations of Tongue Reef, Batt Reef and Low Isle Reef.
As your helicopter scenic flight journey begins, you will be welcomed by stunning views of Port Douglas and its surrounding beaches.
Your flight begins with a tour above Four Mile Beach, boasting blue waters, palm trees and golden sands.
As we make our way towards the picturesque waters of the Coral Sea, your helicopter pilot will point out the unique swirling reef patterns of Alexandra Reefs.
Heading east we will make our way above the outer Great Barrier Reef as the waters below transcend from an azure blue to a deep aqua blue.
With the reef in sight, you will be blown away by this natural wonder’s sheer size and diverse beauty.
Soon you will reach the iconic and beautiful views of Lowe Isles Reef. The reef is home to Low Island and Woody Island, both popular destinations for their rich marine and bird life that can be spotted from above.
Keep your eyes peeled for sea birds basking in the mangroves of Woody Island and help your pilot spot turtles, dugongs, rays, reef sharks and large tropical fish that can commonly be spotted playfully cruising the reef’s shallow waters and coral gardens.
Continuing east your pilot will then guide you above the colourful bommies, corals and swirling reefs of Batt Reef, a popular spot for marine life spotting!
In the distance you will see the unique corals and reef formations of Tongue Reefs before beginning your return journey to the mainland.
If travelling between July and September your helicopter Pilot may even spot a Humpback Whale or Dwarf Minke Whale cruising in the Coral Sea.
Your journey back to Port Douglas will have you marveling at the breath taking coastline, surrounding rainforest and golden beaches of Tropical North Queensland.
After arriving back to the central helicopter pad, you will enjoy return transfers to your Port Douglas accommodation.
See more Port Douglas and Cairns scenic helicopter flight options.
Departure times are flexible
Departs from Port Douglas and Cairns
January - December
30 Minute Reef Scenic Flight
Guests body and luggage weight must be advised at the time of bookin. Should a client advise a weight variance of more than 10%, the right is reserved to charge a 100% cancellation fee
Minimum of 2 passengers are required. Please contact us if you are a sole traveler
Approx. 2 steps 1 foot (30cm) into aircraft,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
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,Cargo storage for collapsible wheelchairs (size and dimensions dependant on helicopter)
Approx. 2 steps 1 foot (30cm) into aircraft
Tarago x 1 regular step
Hiace x 2 regular steps
Disabled parking at both office sites
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.