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Customize your visit to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns with your selection from three travel options with a choice of snorkeling, scuba diving and a one-way or round-trip scenic helicopter tour. Admire views of the Great Barrier Reef from your helicopter as you get a multi-angled perspective on one of the world’s top natural wonders. Then enjoy a close experience of the coral reef by choosing to snorkel or enroll in an optional scuba diving course (additional expense).
  • Half-day or full-day guided Great Barrier Reef tour by helicopter and boat
  • Snorkel, swim or scuba dive with expert guides at exclusive locations on one of the most famous coral reefs in the world
  • Marvel at aerial views of the Great Barrier Reef during a 25-minute helicopter flight
  • Learn from informative commentary during your helicopter flight and boat cruise
  • Maximum of 6 passengers permitted per helicopter


Choose from three options for your Great Barrier Reef experience (please see details under Itinerary below). Helicopters land at Hastings Reef floating helicopter pad, with transfer from there to a high-speed 100-foot (30-meter) vessel that holds a maximum of 100 people.

Eighteen expert guides lead activities, assist with snorkel or scuba diving equipment, and provide instruction to both newcomers and experienced participants. Even non-swimmers can get in the water with flotation devices and see the reef

Optional activities include scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s top dive locations! A complimentary 10-minute SCUBA demonstration is provided before purchase of the introductory dive course. (Available only on the morning boat cruise). The full-day excursion has time for a total of three dives at two different locations for already certified scuba divers. The dives can be booked on the boat, and dive gear and dive computers are provided.

Your guides choose from 12 exclusive moorings at six locations for the best possible experience on the day of your tour. Generally, the boat visits one of the true Outer Great Barrier Reef locations (Saxon Reef or Norman Reef) in the morning. The afternoon features North Hastings Reef for snorkeling and helicopter flight connections.

A tasty Australian barbecue buffet lunch is served on the boat. The spread may include fresh fish, sausages, steak, salads and pastas. At the end of your tour, return to the mainland by boat or helicopter, depending on the tour you choose.


Helicopter-Cruise Reef Tour (4 hours)
Fly by helicopter to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, have lunch and enjoy two hours at the reef, then cruise by boat back to Cairns. Departs Cairns at 12:40pm and return at approximately 4:45pm. Hotel pick-ups commence between 30-60 minutes prior to this time.

Cruise-Helicopter Reef Tour (6.5 hours) - If you will be scuba diving, you MUST choose this option during the booking process

This option gives you the most time on the Great Barrier Reef! Depart by boat from Cairns and enjoy four hours of snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming, plus the barbecue lunch. If you take the boat in the morning, when you arrive at the reef you stop at two prime locations to see multi-colored coral gardens and schools of fish. In the afternoon, transfer to the helicopter pad for your return flight to Cairns. Check-in at Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal at 7:30am, then cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and return by helicopter at arrving back to Cairns at approximately 2:15pm. Hotel pick-ups commence between 30-60 minutes prior to this time.

Round-trip Helicopter Reef Tour (3 hours)
Fly by helicopter to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, enjoy one and a half hours for lunch and your snorkeling, swimming then depart by helicopter for Cairns. Departs Cairns at 12:40pm and returns to Cairns at approximately 3pm. Hotel pick-ups commence between 30-60 minutes prior to this time.


156 reviews
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, Apr 2018

It was amazing! The staff were very friendly and helpful! It was the first time for us to go on snokerlying. And it was our first time to travel on a helicoptor. The view of the reef was amazing! My youngest son get to sit on the frong of the helicoptor, it was a wonderful experience for him.

, Mar 2018

Altamente recomendado, tuve la oportunidad de bucear en la Gran Barrera de Coral, una experiencia inolvidable. Los miembros de la tripulación fueron muy amables en todo momento.

, Jan 2018

Loved the experience

, Jan 2018

This was one of the highlights of our trip in Cairns while going to the Barrier Reef. The catamaran boat and staff servicing you were all extremely professional and entertaining at the same time. They really helped to make it a special event. Their first objective was to make you feel at home and then they wanted to make sure everyone was safe during this excursion. We visited two excellent snorkeling locations. The snacks and lunch provided were very tasty and good quality. Once again, they stressed how important safety was during this trip. They ensured that you had the right equipment and knew how to use it properly. I took my 85 year old parents on this excursion and they enjoyed snorkeling on the Barrier Reef. One more check mark next to the bucket list. Then the highlight was the exciting helicopter ride back to the Cairns airport. Great way to see the Great Barrier Reef from the air and see various aqua life. Transportation to and from the boat was excellent and prompt. Once again, highly highly recommend this trip to anyone in Cairns, especially looking for a new adventure.

, Jan 2018

The Tour itself is fantastic Helcopterride was great, glasbottomboat, too! There have been some mistakes happend in Organisation, Pick up has had a 45 Min delaly, Helicopter had to be changed technical problems so at the end it wasnt enough time on the reef!

, Jan 2018

Amazing! I highly recommend this tour. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.. a great way to see the reef, especially if you get see sick!

, Nov 2017

Everything went smoothly with this tour the pickup and drop off without a hitch, the helicopter ride was amazingly beautiful and fun, and the snorkeling as well was great. A must do if you go to Cairns!!

, Nov 2017

The tour was good but the reef is dead and brown.

, Nov 2017

Regardless of the weather, when all was well I still had a revised schedule that still delivered the best trip ever...thank you viator

, Oct 2017

This rating was difficult for me because right off the bat, Down Under Cruise and Dive were asking for money everywhere drinks, wetsuits, which you don't need, cameras, etc.. It really bugged us. We selected the all day cruise out and helicopter back w/Nautilus, the latter of which I HIGHLY recommend. In fact, due to unseasonable weather rough, rainy, the heli ride SAVED our trip.

On the way out, which takes at least 90 minutes, 3/4 of our boat was sick...and I mean sick, with the rest of the passengers simply green. The staff helped some, but it was a disaster due to weather. Very rocky. The first snorkeling area was rough and staff suggested many wear lifejackets, which wasn't conducive to floating on your stomach. Just take a noodle! The water was warmer than the air, and I didn't need a wetsuit even though I usually get cold.

Flying home was always planned, and required us to reserve weeks in advance since it fills up and only a few fit in the helicopters. If your budget allows it, DO IT, particularly if you're not much of a snorkeler. Even in bad weather, the view of the reefs is AMAZING, so I can only imagine what's it's like with the sun shining!

What bothered me the most was the nickel and dime approach to all the extras, even if weather was good. The lunch was okay, but most didn't eat much and the shrimp had to be peeled by the eater. A tip is to reconfirm your p/u location with the company. We were in Palm Cove and originally the choices didn't include our hotel but they all work together so check it out.

Finally, when I tried to confirm that the trip was still on we had rain, thunder and lightening all night w/o letting up, the phone rang then cut my line off. I suggest Viator recommend that each company should have a message on their machine rather than dropping calls before 7AM, no matter what the weather!

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Product code: 3262FLY

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