Great Barrier Reef National parks

Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef National parks

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

1. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard a modern catamaran to sail into Green Island National Park on a beach and snorkeling cruise from Cairns. Discover a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and explore its coral reefs with snorkeling gear. Choose to enjoy a buffet lunch and go on a semi-submarine tour. Make your way to the harbor to meet your friendly crew for the day and climb onto your catamaran. Relax in the sun as you set sail towards the Great Barrier Reef. Experience picturesque views of the ocean as you arrive at Green Island National Park. 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.

From Airlie Beach: 60-Minute Whitsundays Scenic Flight

2. From Airlie Beach: 60-Minute Whitsundays Scenic Flight

Delight in a 60-minute scenic flight over the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the big window views from your comfortable fixed-wing aircraft, and learn all about the area with your experienced pilot's expert commentary. After pickup from your accommodation in Airlie Beach, head to the nearby airport for take-off. Unlike flights offered by other companies in the area, the local partner is able to take-off from much closer to Airlie Beach, saving you the long 40-minute travel time. Once up in the air, marvel at the best bird's-eye views of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. Fly over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations Heart Reef. After you land, transfer back to your accommodation in Airlie Beach.

Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

3. Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

An exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. This half-day eco-tour visits two different snorkel destinations, each with an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. The tour begins at Cape Tribulation beach where guests board the vessel bound for the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Safari vessel takes a maximum of 25 passengers allowing guests to experience tropical paradise and the pleasure of a small group. After a fast 25-minute ride, guests are ready to snorkel two fabulous locations at Mackay and Undine Reefs. On most days, the rainforest can be seen along the mainland beach whilst snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef alongside sea turtles, which are found in abundance swimming over reefs full of colourful coral, along with myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams, and starfish. The vessel is based on the original design of a rescue craft and is a rigid inflatable boat driven by 700hp engines. The experienced Skipper and Eco Host ensure the trip is filled with fun and appreciation of the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal rainforest of the Daintree, two world heritage areas side by side. Magical memories like these sometimes only happen once in a lifetime.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

4. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Go on a Green Island eco-adventure from Cairns to explore the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Connect with nature on a tropical island with over 120 native plant species, birds, coral gardens, and abundant marine life. Choose from a glass bottom boat coral reef viewing tour or snorkeling gear. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or the use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self-guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well-appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, and dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks, and refreshments can be purchased.

Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

5. Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

Experience the best of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef in one day: from the water and the air. Visit the Whitsundays’ most iconic destinations. These include the famous Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and secret, exclusive snorkeling locations. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bush walk, all in one day. Visit both ends of the world-famous beach. Departing from Airlie Beach, take to the skies and experience a once-in-a-lifetime, 60-minute scenic flight. Soar over the islands and Great Barrier Reef, including famous Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach. Guests will have a bird’s eye view of many of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, flying over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations, Heart Reef. The comfortable fixed-wing aircraft offers big window viewing, pilot commentary, and the best views of the Whitsundays. Then, take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Departing from Airlie Beach, climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays. This means it is not only an adventurous ride, but distances are covered in a shorter time, leaving more time for activities. The semi-rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing guests to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, enjoy a guided bushwalk to spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout to view and capture photographs of the stunning swirling silica sands and aqua water. This operator is the only tour to have direct access to all areas of the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach to ensure you enjoy the most memorable experience of this special place. If you have selected the 'North Whitehaven' option: This eco-adventure is a favourite amongst avid snorkellers because it is the only Whitsunday adventure which includes two different snorkel destinations. Not only that, but it includes a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, north end of Whitehaven Beach, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Guests explore the restricted area of beautiful Hill Inlet at Whitehaven Beach.  If you have selected the South Whitehaven Option: This tour visits both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach with more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the world famous white silica sand, a guided walk to Hill Inlet Lookout and experience the Southern Whitehaven Lookout, enjoying breathtaking views of Pentecost Island and the tropical waters of the Whitsundays. Snorkel for over an hour at Border Island, Dumbell Island or one of the “secret” snorkel spots, enjoying the amazing hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs.

From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

6. From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this half-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned 24-meter 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.

From Airlie Beach: 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing & Camping Trip

7. From Airlie Beach: 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing & Camping Trip

Discover the best of the Whitsunday Islands on this 2-day sail from Airlie Beach. Enjoy captivating snorkel excursions each day, visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed islands, and explore the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Visit locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Hook Island, Hayman Island, Border Island, and Whitsunday Island. Stop to snorkel at Luncheon Bay, Caves Cove, and Blue Pearl Bay. Sleep on a spacious maxi yacht on the first night and camp on one of the islands surrounding the Whitsundays on the second night. Help assist the crew by hoisting the mainsail and dropping anchor at each exciting destination. Alternatively, sit back and relax on the spacious deck and enjoy the view of the pristine Whitsunday Islands. Every evening, roll up your sleeves and help the crew prepare mouth-watering specialties like beef stew, spaghetti bolognese, fresh bread, green salad, pasta salads, and much more. Or, position yourself at the ship’s prow where you can watch the sky change from yellow to magenta as the sun sets.

Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

8. Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

Experience white-water rafting in Barron Gorge National Park, known for its rugged rainforest mountains, steep ravines, and the falls carved out over thousands of years by the Barron River. Enjoy optional pickup from Cairns or Port Douglas before heading to the national park. Meet your guide at Lake Placid, and get ready for your river rafting tour on the river. Enjoy the area’s scenic beauty and a combination of calm water and a series of white-water rapids as well. Spend two hours navigating rapids up to grade three. No experience is necessary, making this a good choice for beginning rafters. There is also plenty of excitement for the more experienced.

From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

9. From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

Get an adrenaline rush on a fantastic river tubing activity in a beautiful rainforest close to Cairns. Escape the usual tourist path and join the locals in the Behana Gorge, where a canopy of trees arch over gently tumbling waters, or experience the small rapids of the Mulgrave River in safety. Navigate the river fully supervised by a minimum of two guides on the water at all times. Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, the activity requires no previous experience and includes all safety equipment. Spend a couple of hours floating down a pristine stream in the rainforest and soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural surroundings.

Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach Seaplane Tour

10. Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach Seaplane Tour

Discover the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach with this seaplane tour from Airlie Beach. Enjoy a stop to explore this World Heritage-listed location and savor a freshly-prepared lunch. Your experience starts with pickup from selected locations. Board the seaplane and soar over the Whitsunday Islands, admiring aerial views of Heart Reef, Hill Inlet, and more. Listen to the in-flight commentary as you cruise towards Whitehaven Beach. Land at a private location in Hardy Lagoon. Relax on the beach, go snorkeling, or paddle across the calm waters on a stand-up paddleboard. Enjoy coral viewing in a semi-submersible vessel, with an underwater viewing chamber, sun and shade deck areas, and easy access to the water. Swim in the refreshing waters and explore the coral gardens teeming with marine life. During the stop, you’ll enjoy lunch served on the beach. At the end of the trip, board the seaplane back to Airlie Beach, where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

J'ai fait cette excurssion avec une amie et nous n'avons pas été déçues du tout! Il faut oublier son confort fortement restreint sur un bateau mais il est finalement peu important. Vous avez la chance de voir une des plus belles plage du monde (et totalement d'accord) mais aussi de nager au coeur de l'océan avec les poissons. De plus, les soirées sur le bateau sont supers sympas! Vous partagez avec les autres et assistez à un super coucher de soleil! Le personnel est top! Je recommande fortement cette excurssion.

This scenic flight was the amazing thing my friends and I have done. We were all in awe of the sights we got to see. Our pilot was great and he had a great wealth of knowledge about the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. He made sure everyone on board our flight got a very good view for beautiful photo opportunities. I would highly recommend do this scenic flight. You get to see so much

This is the best way to see the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory. Felt totally safe with Nick and took amazing photos! Loved all the information about the reef

Well organized from pick-up to drop-off. Amazing views on Whitsundays & Reef. Nick, our pilot, made it a 5-star experience!

Well worth the trip. Beautiful Island. Even saw a couple turtles. Staff were helpful and friendly.