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Green Island

Just 45 minutes from Cairns, this coral cay dazzles with its azure waters, shimmering reefs, and white sand beaches.

Green Island: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

1. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned, 35-meter catamaran and sail towards the Green Island, a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Take in magnificent views of the ocean throughout your journey. After you arrive, you can go on a stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

2. 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 2 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: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

3. From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this half-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned 24-meter catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

4. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this full-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

From Cairns: 40-Min Scenic Reef Window Seat Airplane Flight

5. From Cairns: 40-Min Scenic Reef Window Seat Airplane Flight

Experience bird's eye views of the Great Barrier Reef aboard a high-wing airplane with guaranteed window seats on a 40-minute scenic flight from Cairns Airport. Make your way to the Cairns Airport to climb aboard the panoramic flight. Then, experience the ultimate views of the reef system and surrounding landscape, including Green Island, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Discover for yourself why the reef is considered one of the "7 Natural Wonders of the World. "Marvel at the contrast of colors as you fly over the Coral Sea and look down on some of the 2,900 reefs and 900 islands that make up the reef system. Get an informative commentary from your pilot as you fly over Arlington Reef, Upolu Reef, Michaelmas Reef, Oyster Reef, Double Island and Palm Cove.

Cairns: Great Barrier Reef 30-Minute Helicopter Flight

6. Cairns: Great Barrier Reef 30-Minute Helicopter Flight

Discover the beauty of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef from above with this 30-minute helicopter tour from Cairns. Search for stunning wildlife like whales as you soar over one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  Enjoy spectaculars view of Cairns city as you take off towards the world's largest coral reef system. Experience the sheer size and beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and gain a true appreciation for the size of the reef which covers 344,400 square kilometers. Have the chance to spy manta rays, turtles and other marine life that are native to the reef. Fly in the winter months for the chance to spot whales. Listen as your guide tells you about the wildlife, sights, and the helicopter. Return to Cairns at the end of the tour.

Cairns: Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

7. Cairns: Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

Board a classic sailboat with its crew and head out on a Green Island and Great Barrier Reef sailing cruise. Onboard, grab a Danish pastry, a piece of fresh fruit, and tea or coffee, and settle in the aft section or anywhere on the foredeck. Lend a hand or just relax and watch, feeling the salty breeze in your hair as you glide over the waters. Enjoy the journey as your full-day program begins and Cairns disappears in the distance. Within 2 hours, arrive at the exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring that’s just 1-kilometer off Green Island. From there, make your way to the pinnacle part of the reef. After a snorkeling briefing, receive your snorkeling equipment, including a wet suit or lycra suit and snorkeling jacket. Be assisted as needed for the first snorkeling adventure. The crew will conduct many small, personal snorkeling tours that can be enjoyed throughout the day. Explore the pinnacle area of the reef which is a coral garden featuring several outcrops that allow for easy viewing. Expect to see hard and soft corals and numerous schools of colorful reef fish meandering through the coral garden. Stingrays, turtles, and black-tipped reef sharks (very shy and perfectly safe) are also a common sight. Enjoy a personal first dive (optional extra) with just 2 divers per instructor. No previous experience is required. If you are a certified diver, expect a small group with a complimentary dive guide. This tour is great for conservative diving, but not for deeper water or drift dives. After a morning of snorkeling and/or diving at this exclusive site, enjoy a large smorgasbord lunch back on board the boat. Feast on fresh Tasmanian salmon, prawns, mixed meats, chicken, and 3 different salads. Enjoy some land time on Green Island and relax on the beach or enjoy island activities (not included in the tour price). The short transfers to the island are by dinghy. You can opt to enjoy a cocktail at the island’s resort, walk across the island along an interpretative trail, or visit Marine Land Melanesia where you can see crocodiles (in captivity) and other marine life. Glass bottom boat tours and semi-submersible tours are also available. If you are interested in any of these optional island extras, inform the skipper when boarding the boat in the morning so that they can be booked. Note that the cost of these options is payable directly to the island operators on the day. You’ll have 4.5 hours to enjoy the reef and island, and how you divide your time between the reef and the island is up to you. Some opt to spend all day on the reef. After a day of reef and island activities, set sail for the return trip. Enjoy fresh fruit, cheese, and crackers, a glass of wine, and finally, a piece of cake to end on a sweet note.

Green Island Fly & Cruise Package

8. Green Island Fly & Cruise Package

Experience the best of both worlds with this Fly and Cruise package. GSL Aviation have partnered with Big Cat Green Island to offer an amazing full-day experience. Start your day with a birds-eye view of Cairns, Green Island, and the Great Barrier Reef. Soar overhead with GSL Aviation aboard a high-wing aircraft, with guaranteed window seats for everyone on-board. The 40 minute ‘Reef Hopper’ flight departs Cairns Airport and gives you an appreciation of the region that you can only get from the air. Following the flight and your complimentary bus transfer, you’ll find yourself at the Cairns Reef Terminal ready to depart on a full day adventure cruise to Green Island with Big Cat on board Reef Rocket. Your full day cruise includes everything you need for the day, with a range of extras and activities available for no extra charge. Included in your cruise is a buffet lunch, and glass bottom boat coral viewing tour or snorkel equipment hire. On top of your tour inclusions are other activities on Green Island such as self-guided walks and fish feeding. After your entertaining afternoon, cruise back to the Cairns Reef Terminal where your tour concludes. *Please note that a return transfer is extra and can be booked with Big Cat on your day of travel if required.

From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

9. 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. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Green Island

Want to discover all there is to do in Green Island? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Green Island

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 487 reviews

Was a great short trip across especially if you don’t want to do a whole days trip. Food on the island was also good. Great short trip overall…

Great crew, awesome food, great snorkelling despite windy and choppy weather. Sailing back to Cairns was beautiful.

Great day out at green island. The staff at big cat were wonderful and really knew their stuff.

The directions weren’t clear onboard. It was all abit confusing

Green Island is beautiful. Want to come back to explore more