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Great Barrier Reef

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Family-friendly Activities

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

1. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned, 35-meter catamaran and sail towards the Green Island, a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Take in magnificent views of the ocean throughout your journey. After you arrive, you can go on a stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

2. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

3. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this full-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

4. Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

Departing from Airlie Beach, cruise through the Whitsundays on a high-speed, luxury vessel. Enjoy morning tea as you pass by deserted islands, secluded bays and beaches en route to the outer Great Barrier Reef. The vessel features spacious lounges, full air-conditioning, huge outside view decks and a duo of bars that will gladly serve you your favourite refreshment, including both alcohol and soft drinks. Arrive at the permanently-moored, spacious and innovative pontoon on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The water quality and diverse marine life is unrivalled. Meet hundreds of fish species and admire a variety of hard and soft coral. This makes for unbelievable snorkelling and diving if you wish (at an extra cost on the day). Spend the time as you please: make use of the undercover seating and tables, sun decks to top up your tan, freshwater showers and changing rooms. Visit the underwater chamber if you prefer to see the underwater world below without getting wet. Take a ride on a semi-submersible boat. Optional extras also include scuba dives and scenic helicopter flights. Indulge in a delicious tropical-style buffet lunch and drinks from the bar as you please (extra cost). The return journey back to Airlie is a beautiful end to the day.

Airlie Beach: Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

5. Airlie Beach: Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

See the wonders of the Whitsundays without getting in the water. Cruise around the best coral reefs around Airlie Beach with your family or friends on a tour that is suitable for all ages.  Enjoy a photo opportunity stop at Lions Lookout prior to your departure. Marvel at the views over the harbor and the stunning Whitsunday Islands and add a charming portrait to your holiday photo collection. Then, venture out on a glass-bottom boat that is fully shaded from the sun. Discover breathtaking coral worlds and marine wildlife such as turtles, rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Explore the valuable ecosystem that lives within the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Get up close and personal with a spectrum of vibrant hard and soft coral and underwater critters as you cruise through the idyllic islands. Listen to funny and informative commentary about the reef from your guide.

Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Marine World Pontoon

6. Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Marine World Pontoon

Sail to the Great Barrier Reef on a catamaran from Cairns. Explore the reef in the way that suits you with snorkeling, diving, or admire it from inside a glass-bottom boat. Then, enjoy a buffet lunch. Depart directly from Cairns on a fast, stable catamaran providing a smoother ride and reduced travel time, leaving more of your day to experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef.  The all-weather Marine World platform caters to all activity levels. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, join a marine biologist on a guided snorkel safari, and try SNUBA, the latest activity on the reef, or a traditional scuba dive (no experience necessary). You can also select the option to try a Helmet Dive for a scuba-style experience without getting your hair wet. If simply relaxing and soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style then take time out the spacious sundeck. 

Frequently asked questions about Great Barrier Reef Family-friendly Activities

What are other things to do than Family-friendly Activities that are worth visiting in Great Barrier Reef?

The other unmissable things to do in Great Barrier Reef are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Great Barrier Reef

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

Great experience at the pontoon. Nice vessel, though very bumpy ride going there (almost scary). Rough waters during our visit, even the glass-bottom boat ride was very bumpy. No semi-submersible, which is a bit of a bummer. Good lunch, good gear, good thing that there are delegated “watchers” in case anyone gone too far, so we felt safe. We loved the snorkeling experience! And we regret not availing of the snorkeling tour with the marine biologist.. overall, I’m glad we booked this tour as it made our first Great Barrier Reef experience really great!

This is by far the most family friendly reef trip we have been on. Our grandson had dreamed of coming up here from Victoria for 3 years. His wish was fulfilled and more. Thank you to all the staff and captain for making a little boys dream come true.

Love green island carins ️ so much ❤️❤️ I'm coming back ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ best time of my life dream come true I'm telling everyone to book a great day with you?

It exceeded my expectations. The staff/crew were amazing, friendly and helpful.

Very amazing experience. Felt very comfortable & happy.