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Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Free admission
Pier Marina, Pier Point Road, Cairns, Tropical North, 4870

The Basics

Seeing the entire Great Barrier Reef could take weeks, but the most important scuba diving and snorkeling spots include the Saxon, Hastings, and Norman reefs in the outer Great Barrier Reef. Join one of the area’s many snorkeling and scuba dive–centric cruises or day trips, or turn your trip into an educational opportunity by getting your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certificate.

Alternatively, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site from above with a cruise in a catamaran or a glass-bottom boat. Scenic helicopter flights offer an overview and will give you a sense of the immensity of this remarkable ecosystem.

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Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
HK$1,304.27 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Best day :)
Best day - great weather, great crew and amazing reef snorkeling. Will do it again. Crew was very accommodating with our small kids and felt very safe all the way.
stephen_s, Mar 2023

Recent reviews from experiences in Cairns & the Tropical North

Great Snorkel
Robert_A, Apr 2023
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
Excellent snorkel of Outer Great Barrier Reef. They know the best spots and how to do them. Outstanding concern for safety and comfort of guests. Be sure to take narrated glass bottom boat tour - fantastic sights and narration. Plenty of food on board so you won't leave hungry. Outstanfing all around job!
Mohamed_A, Mar 2023
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
We did the fly in and cruise out option. The Great Barrier Reef is simply stunning. Must do to fly over it so you can appreciate it. Then landing next to the boat they upgraded us to the golden lounge for free. That was really nice. The bbq lunch is not much to write home about but the snorkeling experience is fabulous. Staff was very very kind. Everything worked and extremely safe. Just follow their simple instructions. We had a blast.
This Tour is a "Must Do"
Noel_K, Mar 2023
3-Day Best of Cairns Combo: The Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, and Kuranda
This is an awesome, action packed three days in Cairns. Our favorite part was the Daintree Rainforest Tour. It was so much more than just Daintree. Our guide, Steve made the very long day super enjoyable. Make sure you bring motion sickness pills for the great barrier reef tour, and lots of sunscreen. All of the meals provided were hearty and tasty. You could not ask for a better way to be introduced to Cairns. Cannot recommend enough. 11 stars!
Amazing great barrier reef
Scott_E, Mar 2023
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
The Great Barrier Reef is amazing. Terrible to see all the damage and I can’t believe how other snorkelers step on the coral, kick with their flippers. The crew should do a brief discussion on reef protection during safety briefing. It might help. The crew do an amazing job of handling the 150+ people on the boat. The food was good.
Great staff
Vicki_D, Mar 2023
Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns
We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the great barrier reef yesterday. The water was clear, and water like glass. We saw a stingray, white tipped shark, black tipped shark, and a turtle. Great trip!
Must do
miaxo, Dec 2022
Ocean Safari Great Barrier Reef Experience in Cape Tribulation
You cant visit cape trib and not go snorkelling at the great barrier reef. perfect 1/2 day adventure and was taken to some lovely snorkelling sites and the crew were super friendly and made our morning alot of fun and memories to last a lifetime. Dave & Court were the perfect guides
Beautiful experience
Elias_D, Apr 2023
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Was a beautiful first experience of the Great Barrier Reef for our honey moon, would definitely go with down under again
One more item checked off of the bucket list!
Tony_T, Apr 2023
Sunlover Reef Cruises Cairns Great Barrier Reef Experience
When we got in the ship it was nice and clean and you were greeted by friendly staff. There was a teenager birthday party onboard and it was pretty crowded but once you got in the water with the wildlife all those cares disappeared. Amazing time and well worth the money. Experience of a lifetime and now one more thing is checked off of the bucket list. Thank you Sunlover for the amazing experience.
Absolutely amazing!!!!!!
DianaMae_L, Apr 2023
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Absolutely amazing! Everything is planned really well by the crew and they make sure of everyone’s safety. They are super friendly and provides excellent service. The experience is wonderful and definitely worth a try. The yacht is really clean as well and lots of space for everyone to hang out.
Wonderful Tour
Derrick_S, Mar 2023
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Great Scuba Diving in the Barrier Reef. Crew was great and helpful. Safety oriented Had a great time and interacted with a turtle, small sharks and fish. Guide was helpful. Food was great.
Great work!
Mai_H, Feb 2023
Sunlover Reef Cruises Cairns Great Barrier Reef Experience
The staff are very informative, friendly, helpful, and care about the safety of passengers. Well organized!
Cairns in the wet season
Karen_S, Feb 2023
5-Day Best of Cairns with Daintree, Kuranda, and Great Barrier Reef
It was a great package, the motel we stayed at in the package was very comfortable and clean. Unfortunately, we had 3 days of solid rain while we were there, so one of our tours had to be cancelled (but that is no one's fault) The other two tours went ahead and they were very well planned. They would have been outstanding if we did not have torrential rain.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia's most iconic and must-see attractions for all visitors.

  • Keep in mind that strenuous water activities are not recommended for people with medical conditions affecting the heart or lungs.

  • If you experience motion sickness, take preventative medication at least 30 minutes prior to boarding the boat.

  • A stinger suit to protect you from jellyfish is recommended to swim in the waters off Green and Fitzroy Islands or the Frankland Islands.

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How to Get There

The Great Barrier Reef runs 1,426 miles (2,300 kilometers) from Bundaberg to Australia’s northernmost tip, coming closest to the continent right around Queensland. Scuba diving excursions, snorkeling trips, and reef cruises depart from Cairns, Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, and Townsville. The boat ride from Cairns can take 45–90 minutes, depending where you’re headed.

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When to Get There

The water is at its clearest from April to October, but the reef can be enjoyed all year round. From December to March (summertime in the Southern Hemisphere), the water temperature is around 86℉ (30℃). From May to August whales migrate to the reef, and in the spring the coral spawns.

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A popular way to experience the Great Barrier Reef, Reefworld consists of two giant pontoons floating over Hardy Reef, one of the site’s smaller reefs. Here, you can snorkel, scuba dive, explore in semi-submersibles, or stay dry in an underwater viewing chamber. Tours to Reefworld depart from Port of Airlie, near Airlie Beach.

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Great Barrier Reef
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Great Barrier Reef?
Attractions near Great Barrier Reef:
What else should I know about attractions in Cairns & the Tropical North?
As well as visiting the Great Barrier Reef, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: