Great Barrier Reef
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Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Food & Drinks

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

1. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hope aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive a free 10-minute scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared by the onboard chef. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

2. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Tour the Outer Great Barrier Reef by boat with time to snorkel and explore this world-famous National Park. Complement your experience with a gourmet buffet lunch, glass of wine, and a light snack. Board your high-speed vessel, and visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a seamless experience with knowledgeable staff to ensure a safe and fun-filled tour. Stop at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations and snorkel with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Later, sit down for a delicious barbecue lunch with salad before taking off for the second half of the tour.

Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

3. Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

Climb aboard the Silversonic catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. With daily departures from Port Douglas Marina at 08:30, and a return to Port Douglas Marina at 16:30, experience unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life, and exceptional underwater visibility, and snorkel or dive in the company of an experienced dive instructor. The ultramodern 95-foot (29-meter) Silversonic catamaran is custom-designed for small groups of adventure-minded people. You will spend over 5 hours at the reef, visiting 3 different Agincourt ribbon reef sites, each chosen for its visual and ecological diversity. First time divers can enjoy up to 2 dives and take the plunge in complete confidence with an experienced dive instructor by your side. Certified divers will enjoy up to 3 dives, all guided to maximize your experience. Silversonic features everything you’ll need to experience an underwater world of colorful marine life in safety and comfort, including a state-of-the-art ride control system ensuring a super smooth journey, hydraulic dive and snorkel platforms for easy water access, spacious deck areas, hot freshwater showers, change rooms, and even a licensed bar to share tales of your adventure. As an added bonus during the whale season, Silversonic has one of the few permits available from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allows guests to swim with dwarf Minke whales if encountered – a truly unforgettable experience from July through September.

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

4. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

5. 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.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Scenic Helicopter Flight

6. Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Scenic Helicopter Flight

Join this fast, comfortable cruise, with five hours spent visiting two spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations. Travel on 'Evolution'- a brand new, purpose-built, state of the art, 35-meter (120ft) superyacht, providing a superior ride in all weather conditions. Visit exclusive, protected locations on the pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef with superior reef quality. Professional, friendly and attentive staff ensure a safe and enjoyable fun-filled experience. This vessel is the most stylish and luxurious reef vessel available in Cairns. Depart the marina at 8.00am and travel to the true outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Choose from an abundance of seating inside air-conditioned, modern lounges or outside on full-length sundecks for sunbathing. Spend 5 hours snorkelling spotting diverse marine wildlife below, coral gardens and much more. For lunch, enjoy a delicious Aussie BBQ including steak, fish, prawns, and tropical salads (vegetarians are catered for.) At the second reef site, take to the skies for your 10-minute Scenic Helicopter Flight to and from the exclusive Heli-Pontoon. Have your camera ready as you lift off from the helipad for an incredible scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef. Appreciate from the air, the sheer size of the reef system as you search for marine life in their natural habitat. Be amazed at the colours and beauty of the coral gardens before touching back down to re-join the crew onboard the vessel. A complimentary glass of wine and a light snack is served on the return journey back to Cairns. Return to Cairns at 4:30 PM.

Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

7. Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

Begin your adventure to the Great Barrier Reef by boarding the Island Spirit between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM. You will need to wear your swimmers to walk from the beach through water up to your knees. Take a quick 10-minute transfer to the beautiful Dunk Island and there you will board the MV Reef Goddess. Upon arrival receive an introduction and safety briefing from your captain, then depart Brammo Bay at Dunk Island and head off to the East at 16 knots.  Reach your first location in under 1.5 hours. In the water at your first Outer Great Barrier Reef location, take 1 hour to explore the untouched reefs with your crew on hand to assist with your gear. A snorkel or dive briefing will cover what to do and what not to do to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Depart the reef and take a 30-minute cruise to the second snorkel location. Here, the ship's captain will cook your BBQ lunch, which will be served alongside fresh prawns, salads, and fresh tropical fruit.  After your well-earned lunch, begin your second snorkel or dive exploration. After this snorkel or dive, your crew will up anchor and head for home back to Dunk Island.

Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

8. 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.

Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

9. Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

Climb aboard Quicksilver’s luxury 30-metre (99-foot) Wavedancer sailing catamaran and sail to the idyllic Great Barrier Reef island of Low Isles. Enjoy a relaxing day out for families and couples in a tropical island paradise ambiance. Set like a jewel in the Great Barrier Reef, Low Isles is an unspoilt coral cay island, and from the moment you moor in the calm waters of a picturesque lagoon, a host of reef activities awaits. Before your arrival at Low Isles, a marine biologist will conduct an informative talk to provide passengers with an appreciation of the reef, enabling you to view the corals with informed eyes. Once at Low Isles, they will take you on a snorkel tour to view the various colorful creatures of the reef. Alternatively, see turtles and many brightly colored tropical fish from a glass bottomed boat. Back on the beach, join a marine biologist guided beach walk to discover the unique marine life living at the water’s edge. Then relax and tuck in to a delicious tropical buffet lunch.

Cairns: Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

10. 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, make your way to the pinnacle part of the reef. 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. Explore the pinnacle area of the reef which 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.

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

The experiences on offer were excellent. The safety and other instructions were easy to follow and remember. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The food was great and of course the reef itself was fantastic. I would definitely return one day. Thanks to all and a special thanks to the little Asian girl who put up with me for my first snorkelling experience, and dragged me along the reef.

A well organized excursion with good food on board. The only negative is that a lot of people get seasick on the boat, so you have to prevent it by taking some pills that you can buy on the boat or buy them beforehand.

Sailing was such a lovely way to see the area. Smaller group size was also fantastic. Crew super knowledgeable. A wonderful day definitely worth the money!

Staff are brilliant!! Lots to see and do, lunch is ample and tasty and the amenities are clean and maintianed

Atmosphere great Captain awesome Crew the best Food even better