8. Cairns: Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour
Board a classic sailboat with its crew and grab a Danish pastry, a piece of fresh fruit, and tea or coffee. Settle in the aft section or anywhere on the foredeck. Once all guests have boarded, the boat pulls away from the dock and the sails are hoisted. Lend a hand or just relax and watch.
Enjoy the journey as your full-day program begins and Cairns disappears in the distance. Within 2 hours, arrive at the exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring that’s just 1-kilometer off Green Island. From there, Pinnacle Reef awaits, and it’s just a step off the boat.
After a snorkeling briefing, receive your snorkeling equipment, including a wet suit or lycra suit and snorkeling jacket. Be assisted as needed for the first snorkeling adventure. The crew will conduct many small, personal snorkeling tours that can be enjoyed throughout the day.
Pinnacle Reef is a coral garden featuring several outcrops that allow for easy viewing. Expect to see hard and soft corals and numerous schools of colorful reef fish meandering through the coral garden. Stingrays, turtles, and black-tipped reef sharks (very shy and perfectly safe) are also a common sight.
Enjoy a personal first dive (optional extra) with just 2 divers per instructor. No previous experience is required. If you are a certified diver, expect a small group with a complimentary dive guide. This tour is great for conservative diving, but not for deeper water or drift dives.
After a morning of snorkeling and/or diving at this exclusive site, enjoy a large smorgasbord lunch back on board the boat. Feast on fresh Tasmanian salmon, prawns, mixed meats, chicken, and 3 different salads.
Enjoy some land time on Green Island and relax on the beach or enjoy island activities (not included in the tour price). The short transfers to the island are by dinghy.
You can opt to enjoy a cocktail at the island’s resort, walk across the island along an interpretative trail, or visit Marine Land Melanesia where you can see crocodiles (in captivity) and other marine life. Glass bottom boat tours and semi-submersible tours are also available.
If you are interested in any of these optional island extras, inform the skipper when boarding the boat in the morning so that they can be booked. Note that the cost of these options is payable directly to the island operators on the day.
You’ll have 4.5 hours to enjoy the reef and island, and how you divide your time between the reef and the island is up to you. Some opt to spend all day on the reef.
After a day of reef and island activities, set sail for the return trip. Enjoy fresh fruit, cheese, and crackers, a glass of wine, and finally, a piece of cake to end on a sweet note.
You’ll arrive back in Cairns at around 5:00 PM to 5:15 PM.