Great Barrier Reef Pontoon Cairns – the perfect base for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike!

Our Great Barrier Reef Pontoon Cairns day tour takes you to an activity platform that is permanently stationed on the Outer Great Barrier Reef – an ideal base for any type of visitor to the GBR.

During three hours at the pontoon, you can enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, scuba doo, an underwater observatory, a semi-submersible coral reef viewing tour, and a guided eco reef talk. This pontoon tour has heaps to do for those who don’t want to get their hair wet and still offers a range of underwater activities as well!

The Itinerary

Our day begins at 9:30, when check-in commences at the Great Adventures Reservations Counter inside the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal.

At 10:30, our vessel departs. We enjoy a selection of cakes whilst heading for the Outer Great Barrier Reef via Green Island, and watch a presentation of the Reef on the vessel’s monitors. A snorkelling demonstration by the crew gets our underwater explores ready to jump in the water upon arrival.

At 12:30, we arrive at the activity platform pontoon! From here, our reef activities commence. Passengers are free to enjoy a range of underwater and above-water activities: snorkelling directly from the platform, a semi-submersible coral viewing tour that departs every 30 minutes, and visiting the underwater observatory for coral and fish viewing. Optional, additional cost activities also commence, such as introductory or certified scuba diving, guided snorkel tours, Scuba-Doo, or scenic helicopter flights.

From 13:00-14:30, a yummy hot and cold buffet lunch is available for passengers to fill up on before getting back to more reef activities. Otherwise, just relax on the sundeck and take in the views!

A blast of the ship’s horn at 16:30 signals it’s time to return to the vessel before departing back to Cairns via Green Island. Complimentary cheese and biscuits are served before arriving back to the Cairns Marina at 17:30.

Included activities

  • Air conditioned fast catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing tour
  • Snorkelling (all gear, buoyancy vests & stinger suits included)
  • Underwater observatory with Guided Eco Reef Talk
  • Morning tea, coffee & cake
  • Hot & cold buffet lunch
  • Reef education presentation
  • Cheese & biscuits on return journey
  • 3 hours at Outer Reef activity platform

Optional additional activities

  • Introductory or certified scuba diving
  • Guided snorkel tours
  • Scuba-Doo underwater ‘moped’
  • Scenic helicopter flights

What you need to know

  • Check in is from 9:30 at the Great Adventures Reservations Counter inside the Cairns Reef Fleet terminal
  • There are a number of parking stations throughout Cairns that are in walking distance of the Marina. Click here to see where.
  • Vessel boarding commences at 10:10 for 10:30 departure
  • Passengers enjoy 3 hours at the reef
  • Arrive back in Cairns at 17:30
  • Wear your swimming costume. Bring a beach towel, hat, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and money for drinks, souvenirs and optional activities

Important Information for Scuba Diving

We have a passion to show you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record.   We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and / or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.

It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Medical Questionnaire

We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have.   Please Contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected],

Or alternatively, you may like to consult your own Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive.  For multiple dives you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive.  If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive.  We recommend waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible




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