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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
$159.47 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing day, 100% recommend!
Such an incredible day! The crew were friendly and so knowledgeable and passionate about the reef and marine life.
Tegan_W, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Cairns & the Tropical North

star-5
Fabulous boat, crew & reef
Kaylene_G, Mar 2022
Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests
What a fabulous way to see the Great Barrier Reef. A fantastic family owned local business that couldn't do anymore for us to ensure we had the best experience. We were treated like royalty and had crew that knew all about the reef (Sharn, Matt & Perry)and its inhabitants. The day felt like going out with family with food, drinks and laughs throughout the day with safety always first for the guests. Cannot recommend more highly. Will definitely use this company again
star-5
Once in a Lifetime Experience
Susan_Y, Jun 2022
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
From the moment my daughter and I walked onto the boat we were treated very well. The crew is incredibly friendly and positive and just downright delightful. They obviously had everyone’s safety in mind but they also encouraged everyone to have a great experience while out at The Great Barrier Reef! It didn’t hurt that they also had delicious food all day long available to us sightseers. I would highly recommend this company for anyone looking to have a once in a lifetime experience!!!
star-5
Excellent
Priscilla_L, Feb 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Excellent, jam packed day! Scuba instructions were clear and safety was paramount. Snorkeling was excellent too! There were many snorkel guides there if you weren't a confident swimmer. The Great Barrier Reef is a must see! Shout out to Nivi who was SO kind to take care of me when I was vomiting my heart out (from sea sickness. Take your pills!) AND took care of me out on the water, keeping our group safe and entertained while snorkeling. What a champ!
star-5
First time in a...
Mary_M, Mar 2022
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
First time in a helicopter and surpassed all expectations. The viewing of the Great Barrier Reef from the air was fantastic and then snorkeling at the Reef was a very special occasion. Really brings home the importance of conserving this beautiful planet of ours.
star-5
Great trip. Great experience
Paul_T, Jul 2022
Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns
Great crew Very organised & helpful Food good Snorkelling excellent even though sea was a bit choppy Really enjoyed our trip & experience of the great barrier reef
star-5
Exhilarating , safe ,fun
Joseph_L, Aug 2022
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
Trip to the reefs were excellent Staff adhered to all safety precautions Staff were very friendly and informative
star-5
Awesome tour for my...
Shannon_B, Aug 2022
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
Awesome tour for my family! Captain Perry and his entire crew went above and beyond to ensure everyone's safety throughout the day. The reef was beautiful and we had a perfect day out snorkeling. Highly recommend for anyone who is interested in exploring the reef!
star-5
Amazing
Tam_L, Jul 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
I would go again in a heart beat. The crew was absolutely the best: courteous, gentle, caring, the catamaran was beautiful, clean and comfortable. Book it, what are you waiting for?
star-4
Great learning experience and a very enjoyable day
Stan_S, Jul 2022
Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns
The guided snorkeling tour. Watching the amazing fish live on the Great Reef. The crew was very knowledgeable and practised Health and Safety.
star-5
Memorable day at the Reef!
Dean_C, Jul 2022
Passions of Paradise Great Barrier Reef Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns by Luxury Catamaran
Well organised trip, very friendly crew who were supportive and attentive throughout. The two reef sites we visited to snorkel were magnificent, and the crew were in the water with safety rings to enable the less confident snorkelers to experience the wonders of the reef. A special thank you to Ada for her expert guidance at both reef sites.
star-4
The Great Barrier Reef!...
MC_J, Aug 2022
Sunlover Reef Cruises Cairns Great Barrier Reef Experience
The Great Barrier Reef! What an experience. Sunlovers crew were excellent. Lunch was better than expected.
star-5
Staff were super friendly and very patient with everyone on the boat. Food was great with lots of variety.
Renee_D, Jul 2022
Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns
A trip that was booked two years ago and constantly cancelled due to covid and weather events. Seeing the reef in general was an amazing experience that we had been patiently waiting for.
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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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Reefworld

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.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Great Barrier Reef?
A:
Attractions near Great Barrier Reef:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Cairns & the Tropical North?
A:
As well as visiting the Great Barrier Reef, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: