• Location: Cairns, Northern Beaches and Palm Cove, Australia
  • Duration: Flexible
From USD $ 273.15 View price calendar

Low Price Guarantee

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

What You Can Expect

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Nautilus Aviation and 'Evolution'

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.


Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 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.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 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.

Paul M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Loved the experience


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 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.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

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

Ketema H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 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!!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 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


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

The diving was wonderful. The crew was very friendly and knowledgeable. The helicopter had mechanical issues the day we were out, so we did not get to go on the helicopter tour. A refund was easily issued once we returned and I could contact Viator. We were supposed to take the helicopter back to the dock area, but I ended up glad that we didn't. There was singing and entertainment on the boat ride back and we had a wonderful time.
There were a lot of people on the boat, so it was a little hectic trying to get everyone suited up and into the water. However, they did have a plan of action and routine for getting off, if only people would calm down and follow their directions.
I would definitely book this tour again.

Natalie T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

The team onboard were amazing. Having a marine biologist on board is another big plus. Highly recommended.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2017

Best way to see the Reef! Yes, it is a little pricey, but it is totally worth it! If you are at all worried about getting sea-sick this is the way to go. Years ago I tried to view the reef from Cairns, but really had no idea of how long the boat ride was, and how choppy the waters could be. I tried taking precautions, but they didn't work, especially while trying to get some air but having to stand downwind from a cigar smoker! By the time we got to the reef for snorkeling, I couldn't even get in the water. Luckily we had another opportunity to see the Reef while at Hamilton Island, it was only by helicopter. At that time, we thought it was pricey, but less than the heli/cruise today! This time, I wasn't going to take a chance, and it worked out well. Seeing the GBR from the air is amazing in itself, something the cruises can't show you. The 25 minute ride was smooth, and closer to reaching the landing platform, the pilot explains what you are seeing. By the time you have been briefed on the equipment and procedures, you have about and hour and an a half of water/snorkeling time. It does go by quickly, but I noticed that some of the the passengers that had done the full day cruise and had already snorkeled in a different area, didn't stay in the water the whole time. Be prepared for beauty overload! The cruise back turned out to be fine, though we did have rough waters for just enough time to start to experience that feeling, but luckily, we weren't in it long. My advice to anyone who wants to have an amazing Reef Adventure, is to book this package. Nautilus Aviation was great, and the Down Under Cruise staff was too! If you think you won't have enough snorkel time, my advice is to do this one first and then if you need more, book another cruise.

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