Reef Tours

Welcome to the Natural Wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef……..

There are plenty of options available to suit the needs of everybody. We will typically ask, “Who is travelling?”
The Pontoons accessible via Port Douglas and Cairns are great for families with Young Children, and those not overly comfortable with water. They afford an opportunity to see the Reef in a more relaxed environment via Semi-Submersibles, Glass Bottom Boats, Viewing Platforms, and snorkelling in a well patrolled perimeter. This doesn’t mean that Introductory or Certified Divers are not catered for also. These pontoons have enough interactive activities to keep the kids amused for the 4-5 Hours on the Reef (Depending on the operator).

Quicksilver has a pontoon at Agincourt Reef, located on the edge of the continental shelf. Great Adventures has a pontoon at Norman Reef and Sunlover Cruises has one at Moore Reef.

GBR Helocopters have landing platforms and can do Joy Flights providing a new aspect of the Reef, and also do transfers than can be packaged into the Reef Trip.

There are also boats under Sail that take vistors to either Michaelmas Cay out of Cairns or Low Isles out of Port Douglas. These are still a full day cruise however allow for strolling on a Coral Cay whilst still offering good snorkelling at depths to suit the comfort of the individual.

For the more serious Snorkeller or Diver, smaller boats have access to numerous mooring sites around the Reef. The depths vary however ar typically 10-20mtrs. Coral and fish veiwing from these sites can be fantastic, however the smaller boats are more at the mercy of the elements.

Finally if you only wanted to spend a Half-Day, your only option is Green Island. This experience is largely tide dependant, however can still offer the facilities of the Pontoons. Big Cat and Great Adventures both offer this trip, and there are Morning & Afternoon Departure times available.

So….When considering a Reef Trip please think about the needs of your party, the weather (particularly wind & swell), the size of the boat or number of passengers.


Travel in style on Quicksilvers Wavepiercer catamaran to Agincourt Reef on the edge of the continental shelf. Once at the platform, view the abundance of sea life whilst staying dry, using the underwater viewing platform or Semi-Submersible, or getting wet using complimentary snorkelling equipment.
For the more adventurous, try an Introductory Dive or an Ocean Walker experience. The ultimate way to see the reef though is from above and below. Quicksilver Helicopters can fly you to the reef, showcasing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from above, before joining the boat at the pontoon for the underwater activities.
This is a “Family Friendly” experience as it caters for all ages and comfort levels with water, is well supervised and offers a diverse way to view the Reef. Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea are all supplied.
Editor: “Quicksilver is a one stop shop way to see the reef. Families groups tend to have varied needs. The young ones have lots to do to keep them amused, the older ones can snorkel for hours and for those that just want to stay dry, the options are there to watch the fish have the room to relax whether on the boat or pontoon. Yes, it does deal with larger numbers, but the area is also much larger with more activities.”

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Silversonic & Silverswift are purpose built Dive & Snorkel vessels. These 29 metre high speed catamarans can get to 32 knots & boast a ride control feature making for a fast & smooth ride. Getting to the reef quicker means 5 hours on the reef & both boats offer 3 dive sites in a day. They also have an abundance of sites to choose from allowing them to pick the best sites based on weather. The equipment, the boat, the dive sites, and the staff are all great.
Silverswift heads out of Cairns to sites at Flynn, Pellowe, Milln or Thetford.

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Silversonic heads out of Port Douglas to selected sites located on the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs
Editor: “I’m a diver & I’ve done both. They are a great option to get 3 dives in for a good price. There is diversity & the equipment is good. Probably wouldn’t do it with young kids though.”

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Wavedancer is a 30 metre luxury sailing catamaran that offers comfort and room to relax. It sails from Port Douglas to Low Isles which is part of The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. After spending the day snorkelling and lazing about, with the right winds, the sail back to Port Douglas can make for a perfect day.
The trip includes snorkelling equipment, Morning & Afternoon teas, smorgasbord lunch, glass bottom boat tours, guided beach walks and guided snorkelling tours with the onboard Marine Biologist.

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[h2]Ocean Freedom[/h2]

Ocean Freedom is a 20mtr vessel that boasts 6 hours on the Reef.  This boat offers probably the highest diver to instructor ratio on offer and that makes it ideal for the Introductory Diver.  Ocean Freedom goes to two sites, one being Upolu Cay, the other is “Wonderwall”.  Ocean Freedom is normally the first to Upolu so the Cay is still pristine with not so much as a footprint.

Editor: Great dive & serious snorkellers boat.  Wonderwall is a fantastic site & the crew will take you on a drift snorkel involving little energy & some beautiful coral.  The crew were excellent with the kids, but bear in mind a 9 hour day is a long day.  There is a shade cloth that can cover the top deck, and makes for a good spot for some serious relaxation in the salt air. 

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[h2]Great Adventures[/h2]

Great Adventures offer an entire portfolio of options with boats leaving daily from Cairns harbour. Book the “Great Barrier Reef Adventure” and you’ll travel by luxury catamaran to their purpose built pontoon located at Norman Reef caters for the whole family or those wanting to see the Reef under their own terms. The pontoon boasts a Semi Submersible, Underwater Observatory and Reef education presentations. Morning Tea, Hot & Cold Buffet lunch and Afternoon Tea are served during the course of the trip. The pontoon also caters for the Introductory and Certified Diver alike.

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[h2]Great Adventures[/h2]

The “Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure” offers the variety of seeing Green Island for a Two Hour stopover then heading to the Pontoon at Norman Reef.

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[h2]Big Cat Green Island Tour[/h2]

Big Cat Green Island Cruises are a locally Owned & Operated businesses that have been taking vistors to Green Island for years…………

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