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Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

  • Unforgettable views of the Great Barrier Reef by helicopter and boat
  • Marvel at the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Options for all: snorkeling, certified dives, or introductory dive course
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
From US$273.47
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Cruise and Fly Reef TourMost Popular
Check-in at Reef Fleet Terminal at 7:30am Cruise to Hastings Reef & either Norman or Saxon Reef. 4-hours on the Great Barrier Reef. 25-min helicopter flight to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear
Fly and Cruise Reef Tour
Depart Cairns at 12:40pm for 25-min helicopter flight to Great Barrier Reef; 2 hrs on the Great Barrier Reef and swimming; cruise to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear
Fly/Fly Reef Tour
Depart Cairns at 12:40pm for 25-min helicopter flight to Great Barrier Reef; 1.5 hrs in the Great Barrier Reef and swimming; helicopter to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most visited attractions, and the UNESCO-listed landscapes are home to an incredible variety of marine life. With this tour, choose to experience the natural wonder from all angles—flying overhead in a helicopter, taking a boat cruise to the outer reefs, then jumping in to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive along the reef.

What to Expect

Depending on the tour option selected, make your way to Cairns Airport or Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, and set out for the outer reefs by either boat or helicopter. While boats set sail in the morning, helicopter flights depart around midday and take around 25 minutes, affording spectacular views over Cairns as well as the reefs and islands of the Great Barrier Reef. On arrival at the Hastings Reef floating helicopter pad, transfer to the cruise ship, which has space for up to 100 passengers and is fully equipped for snorkelers, scuba divers, and nonswimmers.

During your time onboard (1.5 to 4 hours, depending on the tour option selected), visit two different locations around the Saxon Reef, Norman Reef, or Hastings Reef, stopping at exclusive moorings. On the full-day excursion, scuba divers can enjoy up to three dives, either taking part in a beginner’s introductory course or exploring dive sites accessible only to certified divers. All tours offer swimming and snorkeling along the reefs, with floatation devices available for nonswimmers.

After working up an appetite in the water, enjoy a delicious onboard buffet lunch, including fresh fish, barbecued meats, and a selection of salads and pastas.

Finally, you are dropped back at the helipad for the return journey to Cairns, where your tour ends.

Write a ReviewReviews (167)

1 - 5 of 11 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago
Not what we expected

I am sorry to give a negative report of this trip. The staff were amazing, given that they spent much of their time shuttling vomiting people out to the back of the boat for fresh air while remaining cheerful and adeptly managing the heavy rocking...More

Thank karin_thomas6
Reviewed 18 June 2018 via mobile
Amazing experience

We had great time in the reef despite rough weather. Snorkeling spots were the best, crew is amazing chef prepared yummy lunch. Boat is new and specious. We booked helicopter tour on the way back which was absolutely the best experience. Highly recommend!

Thank Dr. Anna F
Reviewed 29 May 2018 via mobile
Spectacular Sights

We went to two great spots to do snorkelling (was also offered to do scuba diving there). We had a delicious lunch on the boat that was cooked during the first dive spot. The helicopter ride is a must do attraction when visiting Cairns.

1  Thank Amy W
Reviewed 27 May 2018 via mobile
So much more than expected!

The coral reefs were amazing to see, both through snorkelling and through the helicopter ride, highly recommend to do both, as both are very different experiences, but both equally amazing. I also took part in the submarine tour, which is run when the conditions are...More

Thank laurenzarateasdale
Reviewed 27 April 2018
As tour of a lifetime! The best adventure!

This was one of the highlights of our Oz adventure! It was well run from start to finish. Upgrade to the gold and you'll be so happy! The boat crew is great, the snorkeling was wonderful and the helicopter was fantastic (I got to ride...More

1  Thank Elizabeth M
Questions & Answers
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Clark W
6 April 2018|
Response from Traveldocs5 |
One you fly to the reef and the other is you cruise to the reef on the boat and fly back on the helicopter.