Great Barrier Reef Tour Cairns, the Best way to see the Reef

The best way to see the Reef is with Reef Experience!

A 90-minute catamaran ride from Cairns will transport you to the vivid underwater world that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Our all-inclusive day trip gives you the chance to snorkel, scuba dive, relax, eat, drink, and see the reef from a glass bottom boat all for one price.

During the day, we visit two different Great Barrier Reef locations and show off the breathtaking beauty of this World Heritage-listed wonder to swimmers and non-swimmers alike.

Our Amazing Itinerary

Get ready for an early start as boarding begins at 7:30 for an 8:00 departure from the Cairns Marina.

While on our 90 minute trip out to the reef, we get you ready to jump straight in the water with a safety talk and snorkel briefing.

Once your head is full of information, we fill your bellies with a delicious BBQ breakfast roll prepared on board (don’t worry, vegetarians – we cater for most dietary preferences and food allergies ). All our food is locally sourced where possible and prepared fresh by our onboard chef.

As Reef Experience sails closer to the first reef site, our knowledgeable marine biologist begins to introduce you to the mesmerising species we hope to encounter underwater.

And if you’re doing a scuba dive? Whether it’s your first or your four hundredths, we make sure you know the ropes with a detailed scuba dive briefing.

Around 9:30, we arrive at our first spectacular reef site, where snorkelers, scuba divers, and swimmers jump in the water and interact with the vivid tropical marine life.

Our passengers usually see schools of tropical fish, giant clams, brilliant coral and more.

Our friendly and professional crew is there ready to help non-confident snorkelers and jump with everyone who requires assistance to have fun and experience the magic of the reef!

Before lunch, we set out on a glass bottom boat tour, letting you glide across the tops of the beautiful coral formations and families of sea turtles without getting your feet wet.

Afterwards, it’s time to tuck into a buffet BBQ lunch with an assortment of fresh salads. Relax on the sun deck or in the air-conditioned saloon as we cruise to the second reef location.

Once there, its time to snorkel and dive again to your heart’s content!

15:00 means it’s home time, as we start our trip back to Cairns. Relax and enjoy a glass of wine, tropical fruits, cheese and biscuits before arriving back in Cairns at around 16:30.

(The Long List of) INCLUSIONS

  • Unlimited snorkelling and all snorkelling equipment, including stinger suits
  • Scuba Dive* (Certified Dive qualified OR Resort Dive no-experience necessary at the first reef location for everyone over age 12 and medically fit to scuba dive) Medical Conditions do apply – click here for more information
  • Free glass bottom boat tour (weather permitting)
  • Pick up and return to Cairns city accommodation
  • Breakfast of BBQ bacon and egg rolls, coffee, tea and fruit platters
  • Buffet lunch with an assortment of fresh salads
  • Cheese and fruit platter with complimentary wine on the return journey
  • Flotation aids for anyone who finds them necessary
  • Up to 6 hours at two pristine Outer Barrier Reef locations
  • Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees.

Optional Extras

  • Second scuba dive
  • Underwater digital camera hire
  • Snack bar purchases such as soft drinks, snacks and alcohol
  • Guided snorkel tours and dives
  • Prescription Masks
  • Souvenirs such as t-shirts, hats, etc.

What to Bring

  • Cash and/or credit card for purchases
  • Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream
  • Proof of qualification if you’re a Certified Diver

How to Get There

Reef Experience departs from
Cairns Marina: ‘A-Finger’ View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:30 am for check-in, directly on the vessel ‘Reef Experience.’

Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 4:30 pm

Where Can I Park?

Several parking stations throughout Cairns are in walking distance of the Marina.  Click here to see where.

Important Information for Scuba Diving

We have a passion for showing 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.   The Queensland Government Code of Practice regulates us and comply with all regulations, 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 before 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.

Reef Experience Medical Questionnaire

We are 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 you may like to consult your 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 of 24 hours whenever possible

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30 Reviews for “Great Barrier Reef Tour, Reef Experience”

  1. Kate + Erith Davies
    5

    Attentive, friendly, and very professional crew. Snorkelling with Georgia (marine biologist) was the best part of my day. The food was great and overall it was a very well explained trip.

    Reply
  2. Cody
    5

    Amazing day! Did both intro scubas and had 2 separate instructors who were both incredible! Food was great! Loved seeing FRANK!

    Reply
  3. James
    5

    Everyone was a legend, all very chilled. Swimming with turtles was the best. Definitely would recommend.

    Reply
  4. Koorin
    5

    I have the biggest love for the ocean, and this tour offered a lovely day out. The crew were so good! Thanks for helping out - thanks "Mac" for being my last minute dive buddy! :) Great opportunity to sneak in a quick dive! Thank you. The food was great, staff attitude was great. Super lovely day out seeing the reef! :) Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Shika
    5

    Amazing, really friendly & nice. Snorkeling was amazing (& lunch). Great value for money, would definitely recommend!

    Reply
  6. Lucie
    5

    Fantastic! Thanks to everyone. Shark sighting, introduction to diving, marine biology snorkel - absolutely loved the day. Food was great as well. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Vipin
    5

    Excellent. Crew are great. You guys are doing a great job. Very professional and well balanced. Quite interactive tour. Staff were great. Chef doing a great job. Food was excellent and well presented in a great way. Terrific experience.

    Reply
  8. Beth
    5

    Super friendly. Felt very comfortable as I was a little nervous about getting in the water. They weren't pushy and were very knowledgeable - snorkeling/the hospo on the boat was great! Great crew, great food beverages, awesome day on the reef.

    Reply
  9. Katherine
    5

    Phenomenal - helpful, kind, patient, funny, attractive, knowledgeable, passionate, safety-conscious crew. Intro dives and an overall great ambience set by the crew were a the best part of the day. And ok the food! Way better than expected! Thank you! Also, wine & cheese?! What a lovely finish to the day. Bravo.

    Reply
  10. Elizabeth
    5

    Fantastic - helpful, knowledgeable, super friendly, patient, fun-loving. The crew love their job! (And it can be tough dealing with tourists) What a fantastic time! Thank you so so much! Oh! And the food was amazing. Thank you chef Aaron!

    Reply
  11. Mark
    5

    A wonderful day will remember for a long time

    Reply
  12. Ximena
    5

    We booked Reef Experience because it was attractive to us, moderate on price, and had great reviews. The crew were amazing, very cordial, great attitude. The whole experience was just fabulous and exceeded our expectations. We'll come back some day and will refer you to our friends & family.

    Reply
  13. Ebba
    5

    Booked for the good diving/snorkeling locations. Very good value for the money!! Very nice! Helpful, social and overall very nice. Seeing a shark and scuba diving were the best. Delicious food! Would recommend this boat to others! Thanks for a lovely day! <3 :)

    Reply
  14. Kate
    5

    Marine biology tour with Harry was excellent. Really great food, service + experience. Whole day flowed really well

    Reply
  15. Samantha (USA)
    5

    AMAZING crew!!! Greg was awesome:) This was the best part of my trip to Australia!

    Reply
  16. Kevin
    5

    Incredible, engaging, funny, good laugh, educational, welcoming, great team =) The VIP tour with Harry was educational fun + passionate about the reef. Special kudos to Harry, 5 stars!! Thank you for an amazing experience. Experience to remember for a lifetime.

    Reply
  17. Sarah
    5

    Knowledgeable, friendly + fun crew. Snorkelling twice in one day was amazing! Marine biologist snorkel trip was great. I didn't know what to expect. I have never previously snorkeled. The reef + coral + fish etc. were beyond what I would have ever expected. Brilliant experience.

    Reply
  18. Leah A
    5

    I booked Reef Experience to see the Great Barrier Reef for a good price with food included. The crew were very friendly and helpful! Snorkelling and seeing all the amazing marine life was the best part of the day. Thank you for an amazing day, would do it again in a heartbeat! :)

    Reply
  19. Martine
    5

    Awesome! Crew were young people, dynamic, customer service oriented, good information. The first snorkeling in the morning was the best. Good organisation, great meals, good schedule from 7:20 to 16:30! White wine at the end: great idea! Thanks for having motion sickness pills aboard! Appreciated!

    Reply
  20. Olivia
    5

    Very accommodating and welcoming. Lovely team, lovely boat. Scott was very chatty and really made us feel welcomed. Thank you for a lovely day. :)

    Reply
  21. Chris
    5

    The diving was the best! But lunch was also good! Thanks so much to the whole crew, this was an awesome adventure. :)

    Reply
  22. Angela
    5

    Thank you everyone, we had an amazing time. The crew were excellent! informative, great energy and welcoming! the 2nd reef we visited was huge and full of unique fish! Absolutely beautiful. We will definitely book with you again in the future! <3

    Reply
  23. Lisa
    5

    Awesome! Best part was scuba diving + 2nd snorkel. Food was great. Than you for an amazing experience and memories!

    Reply
  24. Nehal
    5

    Booked because of the great reviews. It was excellent - 5 star. Loved snorkelling. Fantastic helpful crew. Good on board facilities. Excellent food + drinks. Nothing is too much trouble for the excellent/hardworking crew members!! They're very knowledgeable. Felt very safe.

    Reply
  25. Morgan
    5

    Wanted to visit the reef and this was the cheapest option. It was amazing! Very helpful crew throughout the whole day. Second dive in the afternoon and the food were the best. Thank you for a fabulous trip! :)

    Reply
  26. Antonio
    5

    Fantastic crew. Great snorkelling. Way to go guys, keep rocking! You gave me a great life experience. I'll be forever thankful!

    Reply
  27. Jess P
    5

    Thanks so much for everything team! Despite being ill a lot of the day, I still had a great time seeing the Great Barrier Reef and scuba diving. Absolutely loved it :)

    Reply
  28. Belinda K
    5

    We loved the glass bottom boat. Scuba diving wasn't really for us, but the whole experience - including the captains deck was perfect! Mike looked after us like we were royalty. Thank you so much, we will always remember this trip!

    Reply
  29. Phill S
    5

    Friendly happy staff makes for a fun relaxing day for the tourist! Thank you for a great day, we had a ball diving at Saxon Reef and seeing so many fish :)

    Reply
  30. Kim
    5

    I booked my day reef trip with Reef Experience. It is a very good package. Crew was all super professional, well-organised, very patient, Aisah was particular helpful and patient and encouraging. The whole experience was the highlight of the day. Super experience, happy to recommend to others. Food was great and well thoughtful.

    Reply

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