Great Barrier Reef
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

1. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

2. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

3. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 3 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks and refreshments can be purchased.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

4. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

Explore the stunning biodiversity of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this diving and snorkeling tour from Cairns. Sail on s boat 3 sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy water access. Have drinks and a packed lunch. Depart Cairns in the morning for the outer reef on this 8-hour tour. Whether you are a snorkeler, first-time SCUBA diver, or already certified diver, join a once in a lifetime adventure aboard a luxury day trip to the great barrier reef. Enjoy a light morning tea and a delicious pre-packed picnic lunch. Complimentary tea, coffee, and chilled water are served throughout the day (snacks, soft and alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase). Discover the Great Barrier Reef in the easiest way possible: with a snorkel - it is as simple as breathing. If you have never snorkeled before, don't worry, a briefing is held on board, explaining how to put and use the snorkeling gear. The private reef locations are approximately 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) offshore, these unique sites offer superb coral formations and an abundance of coral and marine life including inquisitive Nemos, Turtles, Stingrays and Wally the friendly Maori Wrasse. Visit 2 different reef locations daily, these are chosen en-route considering weather and sea conditions to ensure the best in-water experience. Visit either Normank, Saxon or Hastings Reef.

Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

5. Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

Begin your adventure to the Great Barrier Reef by boarding the Island Spirit between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM. You will need to wear your swimmers to walk from the beach through water up to your knees. Take a quick 10-minute transfer to the beautiful Dunk Island and there you will board the MV Reef Goddess. Upon arrival receive an introduction and safety briefing from your captain, then depart Brammo Bay at Dunk Island and head off to the East at 16 knots.  Reach your first location in under 1.5 hours. In the water at your first Outer Great Barrier Reef location, take 1 hour to explore the untouched reefs with your crew on hand to assist with your gear. A snorkel or dive briefing will cover what to do and what not to do to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Depart the reef and take a 30-minute cruise to the second snorkel location. Here, the ship's captain will cook your BBQ lunch, which will be served alongside fresh prawns, salads, and fresh tropical fruit.  After your well-earned lunch, begin your second snorkel or dive exploration. After this snorkel or dive, your crew will up anchor and head for home back to Dunk Island.

From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

6. From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

Board a catamaran in Cairns and set sail towards the idyllic Green Island. Discover the natural beauty of this 600-year-old coral cay in an afternoon and explore the very best of what the island has to offer. You decide how you'll spend your time once you arrive at Green Island. Indulge in a few hours of relaxation and lounge on white sandy beaches or take a self-guided walk through the island's lush forest. If you prefer to stay dry, join a tour of the island's reef on a glass-bottom boat. Feeling more adventurous? Make use of the snorkeling gear provided and view the thriving marine life and reef up close. 

Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Overnight Snorkeling Boat Trip

7. Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Overnight Snorkeling Boat Trip

Discover the vibrant underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef on this snorkeling trip. Stay overnight on a comfortable ship and enjoy delicious meals onboard and fresh chilled water, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Purchase refreshing drinks and tasty snacks at the onboard bar. On the first day, board the transfer vessel at Cairns and head to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for the first part of your snorkeling and diving adventure. After 90 minutes, arrive at the first destination on the reef. On the way, your talented and experienced crew will take you through a safety briefing for the boat and snorkeling. Once out on the reef, it is time to gear up and get in the water to explore the hidden wonders that make it the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet with a choice of salads, cold meats, and fruit. Tea, coffee, and water are also available. After lunch, it is back to the water to explore a new reef location. In the afternoon, board your overnight accommodation and after settling in and meeting your new family, there is the chance to hit the water again. Then take in the sunset over the Great Barrier Reef as dinner is freshly prepared and then served in the evening. Then it is time to find out what goes bump in the night on the Great Barrier Reef. Get the opportunity to see the sharks in the dark program. After the final snorkel of the day, head to the bar, trade stories, and get some rest for another big day on the reef tomorrow.  On the second day, wake up to the sunrise on the reef as you get ready for another day of exploration. Enjoy a delicious breakfast before jumping in the water for some snorkel activities. In the afternoon, there is time to relax and do your third snorkel of the day. Once again, enjoy a delicious dinner before heading out to see the sharks up close. On the final day, wake up to the sunrise over the Great Barrier Reef again. After breakfast, make the most of your final day on the reef with two morning snorkels. Then it is time to pack up and get ready to say farewell. Enjoy a delicious lunch before you are picked up and returned to Cairns.

From Cairns: Luxury Great Barrier Reef Snorkel & Dive

8. From Cairns: Luxury Great Barrier Reef Snorkel & Dive

Depart in the morning for your once in a lifetime adventure to the spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef aboard this modern, luxury vessel. The friendly crew will ensure you get the most out of your day on the reef, whether you’re a snorkeler, trying SCUBA diving for the first time, or you are an experienced diver.  Purpose built, the vessel boasts 3 large sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy access in and out of the water. This new vessel has everything you need to experience the Great Barrier Reef in unrivaled comfort, and numbers are capped at 80 to ensure everybody has a great day.  You will have the opportunity to snorkel or dive at 2 exclusive reef locations across your day, allowing you to see an abundance of marine life that calls the Great Barrier Reef home. The reef sites are chosen on the day by the experienced skipper, depending on weather and sea conditions to ensure the best in-water experience.  If this is your first time snorkeling, don’t worry — it’s fun and safe for the whole family. You can see the best of the Great Barrier Reef just floating on the surface, including colorful coral, many fish species, and other wildlife. Free guided snorkeling tours are available, meaning you won’t miss a thing. These free tours are great for those who aren’t as comfortable in the water. All of the snorkeling equipment required is supplied as part of your trip, including a wetsuit or stinger suit.  If you would like to try diving but don’t have a diving licence, then why not try an introductory dive? You can see the underwater world in the care of an experienced instructor. If you are already certified, you can go guided or non-guided during your time on the reef — it's up to you.  You will enjoy a light morning tea, afternoon tea of fruits, cheese and crackers, and a delicious pre-packed picnic lunch. Complimentary tea, coffee, and chilled water are served throughout the day (snacks, soft and alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase). Whether you are a snorkeler, first-time SCUBA diver, or already certified diver, you will love this once in a lifetime adventure aboard a luxury day trip to the great barrier reef.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Great Barrier Reef

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

We had a great day exploring the Great Barrier Reef! After a very choppy crossing we stopped at 3 beautiful spots. The guide gave a tour at the second spot pointing out some of the amazing things we were swimming over. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea were all provided and were excellent. The only downside we found was that it wasn’t really made clear things that were included and things that were additional costs (such as soft drinks). Other than that though it was an excellent day!! We would definitely go again!

The trip was very well organized and the whole crew was super nice! I got a great dive lesson from Francesco. The dive was just awesome! I never once felt unsafe thanks to him. We saw so many great things!

Very well run activity. Loved snorkeling on the 3 sites of the reef. All the staff were friendly and ensured our safety.

Love it. I'll surely do it again and try other activities next time with loved one's and friends

Must do for first time travellers to Cairns. Great experience for all ages.