The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest tropical coral reef system in the world, comprising of over 2,900 separate coral reef systems. The Great Barrier is about 2,300 kilometres long, stretching along Queensland’s coast from the northern tip of Cape York to just north of Bundaberg.

The reef is scattered with over 600 beautiful islands and numerous idyllic coral cays and covers more than 300,000 square kilometres.

The Great Barrier Reef was World Heritage Listed in 1981 and is home to over 1,600 species of fish, 3,000 species of molluscs, 630 species of starfish & sea urchins, 215 species of birds including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds, six of the world's seven species of marine turtle, 30 species of whales and dolphins and much more.

A visit to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and Islands is a must for any visitor to Tropical North Queensland!

For more information about the Great Barrier Reef visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website

Some of the many tours to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns and Port Douglas include:

Big Cat Green Island Cruises

"Big Cat" is a comfortable air-conditioned 35-metre catamaran with spacious interior cabins and a relaxed atmosphere. Travel time to Green Island is just over one hour from Cairns. Passengers can take part in the many activities available or simply relax on the beach. The friendly crew will help you to organise your activities to make the most of your time on Green Island.  Green Island is a beautiful coral cay on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.  Green Island is a Marine National Park with unique rainforests, surrounded by white sandy beaches and magnificent coral reefs and abundant marine life. 

Great Adventures Cruises

To experience the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, Great Adventures exciting day cruise will take you to a spacious activity platform on the outer edge. Guests of all ages, swimmers and non-swimmers can enjoy a magical day of discovery. Explore from the air-conditioned semi-submersible and underwater observatory, snorkel and dive amongst beautiful coral gardens and colourful marine life, or just relax on the sundeck with a delicious buffet lunch and enjoy the amazing marine-scape! 

Passions of Paradise Cruises

Experience the adventure of diving, snorkelling and sailing on the Great Barrier Reef with Passions of Paradise on board Cairn’s newest luxury catamaran.

Passions of Paradise have a selection of over 24 outer Great Barrier Reef locations to choose from so each day so they offer a 2 destination itinerary tailored to the day’s conditions. Soak up the sun sailing back to Cairns with a local award-winning operator who has achieved the highest level of accreditation for environmental practices. The personalised trip includes snorkelling equipment, a freshly prepared hot and cold buffet lunch plus friendly, trained staff to teach snorkelling techniques and explain the Great Barrier Reef. 

Quicksilver Cruises

Quicksilver takes you to Agincourt Reef, at the very outer edge of the Barrier Reef. Here, special reefs known as ‘ribbons’ run parallel to the Continental Shelf.

Adjacent to the Coral Sea trench, these ribbon reefs are recognised as the most pristine ecosystems in the reef’s environment.

Clearwater provides the best possible underwater visibility, encourages rich coral growth and supports spectacular marine life. As the region’s outer reef pioneer, we chose the best location available to show you nature’s finest. 

Sunlover Reef Cruises

Discover the Outer Great Barrier Reef with Sunlover Reef Cruises and experience a full day enjoying a large range of adventure activities, designed to cater for everyone. Departing daily from Cairns, your adventure includes a high-speed air-conditioned catamaran to their new multi-level pontoon at Moore Reef, approximately 40km from Cairns, complete with sundeck and the only theme-park style spaghetti water slide on the reef. Take advantage of the free inclusions during the 4 hours at the pontoon, such as all snorkelling equipment, guided glass bottom boat and semi-submersible tours, fish feeding, fully enclosed children's pool, an underwater observatory and touch tank presentation to get up close with marine life. Plus enjoy a sumptuous hot and cold buffet lunch featuring fresh local prawns. Even if you cannot swim, you will still enjoy a complete experience with Sunlover Reef Cruises. Combine your Skyrail journey with Sunlover Reef Cruises Outer Barrier Reef for a 2-day reef and rainforest experience.

Please note these reef cruises are not able to be booked via, please visit the website of the reef trip you wish to experience and book directly with this operator.