Upolu Cay Reef Cruise

Tour Code: 308

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Pre-book Dive Deals
  • Personal in-water crew assistance for first-time snorkellers and divers
  • Experience the "Wonder Wall" a spectacular dive and snorkel site on the outer edge of Upolu Reef
  • Complimentary adventure drift snorkel tour – no experience required!
  • Journey to two magnificent locations and enjoy 6 full hours on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Enjoy a delicious seafood smorgasbord lunch including smoked salmon and prawns

Included In Price

  • 6 hours on the Great Barrier Reef
  • 2 Outer Reef sites
  • Snorkelling / diving equipment (masks, fins, snorkel, buoyancy snorkel vests etc.)
  • Snorkelling tuition
  • Adventure drift snorkelling tour with marine naturalist
  • Glass bottom boat tour
  • Smorgasboard lunch
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • Maximum of 2 introductory scuba divers to 1 instructor
  • One-on-one introductory scuba diving if required
  • Tea and coffee available all day
  • Lycra suits / or wet suits (depending on the season)

Cruise in comfort and style aboard a luxury, air-conditioned catamaran from Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, where you’ll spend six hours at two amazing reef locations. Enjoy personalised snorkeling, diving, a glass bottom boat tour or simply lie back and relax.

Explore two amazing dive and snorkel locations on your trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef from Cairns in the crystal clear, shallow waters and surrounding reef of Upolu Cay and "Wonder Wall" on the outer edge of Upolu Reef.

Upolu Cay Reef

Upolu Cay is a naturally formed coral cay with fine white sand that glimmers like a diamond in the blue Coral Sea.

Located 30km from Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef, Upolu Cay’s shallow, crystal clear surrounding waters and abundant sea life make it the perfect location for snorkelling, glass bottom boat tours, and introductory and certified scuba diving.

The sand cay size and visibility are subject to tide conditions on the day but the clear shallow blue waters surrounding the cay are always there.

Outer edge Upolu Reef

Your second dive and snorkel site will be at the outer edge of Upolu Reef. At the site is a “wonder wall” that rises from the ocean floor to just under 0.5m (1.5ft) below the surface, making it an ideal snorkel and dive site.

This wall is filled with hard and soft corals, fans, giant clams, turtles, Nemos (clownfish) in the anemones and reef fish of all sizes.

You can choose to join a marine naturalist on an adventure drift snorkel tour to find out more about this amazing ecosystem.

Find out more information about cays and how they are formed

Journey to Upolu Cay and outer edge of Upolu Reef

Board your 20-meter Great Barrier Reef tour boat at Cairns Marlin Marina, and enjoy tea, coffee, fresh fruit and Danish pastries onboard, prior to the 8.00am departure.

Then it's time to sit back and relax in air-conditioned comfort or on the sundeck for the one-hour cruise to Upolu Cay Reef and the outer edge of Upolu Reef.

The friendly crew will provide an introductory safety briefing en route to the Great Barrier Reef. 

Please note the order of the two dive and snorkel destinations will be determined on the day depending on the reef and weather conditions.

Upolu Cay - Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling at Upolu Cay is ideal for beginners with a gradually sloping shore entry into the water. After a snorkelling brief, it's time to take the short swim to reach the coral outcrops and bommies where diverse marine life live. 

Marvel at the amazing diversity of marine life, from the shoals of small colourful fish to the larger, brightly coloured parrot fish or silver pelagic fish like barracuda and trevally. You might even snorkel over a grazing turtle. 

Diving off this pristine cay will unravel an underwater world of coral gardens, munching parrotfish, shoals of colourful reef fish, stingrays and nonchalant turtles. 

By not touching the turtles, divers can get quite close to them and share their journey. 

Please note snorkelling off Upolu Cay is only possible if the conditions on the day allow access to the Cay but on any other day you will still get to snorkel the reef in the beautiful crystal clear, shallow waters surrounding the Cay under the guidance of your experienced Great Barrier Reef boat crew.

Glass bottom boat tour

Experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef on a glass bottom boat tour – perfect if you want to stay dry or for non-swimmers.

As you head through the crystal clear waters surrounding Upolu Cay, look down and you will see the underwater world unfold beneath your feet.

You'll cruise over the top of colourful coral heads and shoals of reef fish, sea cucumbers, sea stars and you might just spot some turtles.  

Great Barrier Reef Activities for Non-Swimmers

If you don’t swim it won’t affect your enjoyment of this amazing day on the Great Barrier Reef.

In addition to the glass bottom boat tour, there are buoyancy aids available for you to snorkel as well as in-water assistance from staff to help put you at ease.

If you prefer to relax, the pristine white beach at Upolu Cay is the perfect place to soak up the sun or relax back on the sundeck of your cruiser. (Subject to tide conditions)

If you do not wish to enter the water at anytime please see these non-swimmer Great Barrier Reef tours. 


Lunch is served while your vessel cruises slowly to the second site. Enjoy a buffet of Tasmanian smoked salmon, Queensland prawns, cold chicken and meats, and an assortment of healthy salads and fresh breads.

Outer edge of Upolu Reef

The outer edge of Upolu reef is a spectacular snorkel and dive site. You'll be amazed by the “wonder wall” that runs from 0.5m (1.5ft) from the surface to the depths of the ocean.

This wall is home to an array of colourful coral life and under its waving tendrils shelter a wide diversity of marine life. Along the top of the wall, you’ll find larger fish and more pelagic species, and you might even see a turtle cruising by. 

Experience the abundant corals and sea life with an adventure drift snorkel with a marine naturalist. 

Introduction to scuba diving (optional activity)

This is the perfect opportunity for you to discover what it’s like to experience scuba diving.

With no experience required you have an opportunity to discover the amazing underwater life of the Great Barrier Reef.

You will be fully briefed by an experienced and qualified dive instructor before your dive. Everything is explained clearly and slowly and you are encouraged to ask questions as part of your learning experience.

All areas of diving, safety, equipment and theory of diving are explained.

By the time you are ready to dive your nerves will be fine and you will be raring to go! 

Your instructor will take you slowly under the water helping you all the time and holding your hand.

At the beginning, it will feel strange but by the end of the first dive, after 30 minutes, you will start to feel comfortable.

So much so, that you will be asking to do a second dive at the next site!

The normal divers to instructor ratio is usually 4 to 1 but to ensure you get the best experience and for your comfort we offer a 2 to 1 ratio.

Certified scuba diving (optional activity)

As a certified scuba diver, you will no doubt have heard about the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef.

High up on the list of any diver’s wish list, the Great Barrier Reef is indeed ‘Great’.

Whether a beginner or advanced the conditions on the Great Barrier Reef are ideal for all divers.

With great visibility, minimal currents and scores of marine life this is total five-star diving.

This company includes a complimentary dive guide when you book a certified dive optional extra - great value!

Your dive guides know the dive sites well on Upolu Reef and can show you all the amazing marine life and secret places to be found.

All groups are a maximum of four people, so you will be in small, intimate numbers.

Your tour will take you to two contrasting sites with different marine life and topography:  Upolu Cay and Upolu Reef – Wonder Wall.

See more Great Barrier Reef tours

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time
  • Boarding 7:30am on boat
  • 8:00am departure
Departure Instructions

Return transfers from accommodation available or self drive to Cairns Marlin Marina, 1 Spence Street, Cairns

Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Palm Cove
  • Upolu Cay
  • Wonder Wall, Upolu Reef
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation


Tour does not operate on Christmas Day or New Years Day


8:00am to 4:30pm
Approx 1 hour return boat cruises
6 hours at 2 reef sites

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Introductory scuba diving
  • Certified scuba diving
  • Return coach transfers from Cairns, Northern Beaches and Palm Cove
Fitness Level Required



Scuba Diving – minimum age 12


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 after one dive, 18 hour after 2 dives and at least 24 hours after 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

A medical questionnaire is to be filled in before the Introduction diving course. There are certain medical conditions that aren’t possible to dive with.

Eco Certifications
Advanced Ecotourism Certified
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Cash or credit card for additional purchases, drinks and snacks

  • Family price 2 adults and 2 Children (4-14 years)
  • Children 3 and under travel 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.

  • 24 hour cancellation policy with no refund applicable if cancelled within 24 hours of travel.
  • No Show on the day will incur a 100% cancellation fee.
  • No cancellation fee applies when passengers re-schedule with 24 hours or more notification.

Upolu Cay Reef Cruise

Tour Code: 308

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Pre-book Dive Deals



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

Child: au$145.00
Family: au$692.00

Tour Code: 308



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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