Great Barrier Reef Tours Cairns,  the Best way to see the Reef

Join us onboard our high-speed Catamaran “Reef Experience” for an unforgettable day visiting two pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef tour locations and discover the breathtaking wonder of this World Heritage environment.

Reef Experience is Cairn’s only ALL inclusive Great Barrier Reef tour, including a FREE Scuba Dive and Glass-bottom boat tour.

Catering for all Swimming, Snorkeling and Scuba Diving levels, everyone will find the perfect way to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

First, we will pick you up from your Cairns accommodation. Next, we will start the day with our famous BBQ bacon and egg burgers and some tropical fruit.

We will introduce what your day will look like while we are on our way to the outer barrier reef.  During the trip, our Marine Biologists will give you an informative marine presentation.

When we reach the reef, there will be snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities, even if you can not swim.

Experienced Swimmer or Snorkeler?

Our crew will show you the best patches of coral and tell you where to find the marine marvels that call the Great Barrier Reef their home.

Never Snorkelled before or can’t Swim?

Our friendly and professional crew is always ready to jump in and assist everybody who needs help.  In the water is the best place to introduce you to some of our brightly coloured tropical fish.

We are passionate about our guests having the best day experiencing the magic that is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

A day on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Tour will be one of the most memorable days in your life.

If you would like to stay longer on the Great Barrier Reef, please click here to read about our floating hotel.


About your day at the Great Barrier Reef

  • Up to 6 hours at two pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef Tour locations
  • Unlimited Snorkeling at morning and afternoon locations. All equipment, including wetsuit hire.
  • Scuba Diving (Certified Dive qualified OR Resort Dive no-experience necessary at the first reef location for everyone over age 12 and medically fit scuba) Medical Conditions apply.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour (weather permitting)
  • Pick up and Return to Cairns City Accommodation
  •  Marine Biology Presentation
  • Breakfast consisting of barbecue bacon and egg rolls and also coffee, tea and fruit platters
  • Lunch delicious bbq  with an assortment of fresh salads
  • Cheese, fruit platter and complimentary wine on the return journey
  • All dietary requirements catered for. (Vegetarian/gluten-free etc.: please advise upon booking).
  • All food is locally sourced where possible and prepared fresh by the onboard Chef.
  • FREE Crew assistance for non-confident snorkelers (flotation aids available). Friendly and professional crew are ready to jump with everyone who requires assistance to have fun and experience the reef’s magic!
  • Large Sun Deck with padded loungers and air-conditioned indoor areas
  • Reef tax, fuel levy and national park fees. Unlike other operators, mandatory levies for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are included in this trip cost, so there won’t be extra charges on the day.
  • No hidden costs


  • 07:30 – Board Reef Experience boat at the Cairns Marina ‘A-Finger’ for check-in
  • 08:00 – Approximate departure & Safety Talk with snorkel briefing
  • 08:30 – Marine Biology presentation,
  • 09:00  – Scuba diving briefing
  • 09:30 – Arrive at our first spectacular reef site, snorkel and scuba diving.
  • 10:30 – Glass Bottom Boat Tour (approximately 20-minute tour)
  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 13:00 – Cruise to our second location to explore forests of coral, large sea fans and black coral trees in its shallow lagoons
  • 15:00 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 15:30 – Glass of wine, tropical fruits, cheese & biscuits
  • 16:30 – Arrive back in Cairns


Shuttle Bus

For those staying in the Cairns Business District area, bus transfers to and from your accommodation to the boat are included on your day trip.


BBQ bacon and egg rolls are served.

Your dietary requirements will be met; please advise upon booking. All food is locally sourced and prepared fresh by our onboard chef.

Marine Biology Presentation

is a great way to learn about the marine life on the Great Barrier Reef from our resident onboard expert as you journey to your first reef destination.

Free scuba dive

All scuba dive equipment hire is included in your trip along with one free scuba dive (certified or resort dive)!*
Everybody over 12 can have a go who meets medical requirements.  See the ‘Important Information’ page.

Glass bottom boat tours

are a great way to witness life beneath the waves comfortably and have it all explained by our marine experts.
(weather permitting)


Buffet style lunch is served with a wide variety of meal options with healthy salads on the side.

Your dietary requirements will be met; please advise upon booking. All food is locally sourced and prepared fresh by our onboard chef.


Unlimited morning and afternoon snorkelling at two reef locations. Non-swimmer snorkel tours are also included throughout the day for those who require assistance in the water.

Wine, cheese and crackers

Enjoy a light snack with wine on the journey back to Cairns.


Tea and coffee are served throughout the day except when the boat is moving.


A reef-friendly sunscreen is provided onboard free of charge.

Reef Levy

We include mandatory reef tax and fuel levies for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in the trip cost, so there won’t be extra hidden charges on the day.

Optional Extras

  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Marine Biologist Guided Snorkel Tour of the reef: Snorkel with an experienced Marine Biologist and learn about the marine life you see on an educational and interactive tour
  • Great Barrier Reef souvenirs – T-shirts, hats etc
  • Dive Guides for already qualified ‘Certified’ scuba divers (dive guides included for beginner divers)
  • Prescription Mask Hire if you require stronger lenses to see (contact lenses can be worn in most circumstances)
  • Bus transfers from accommodation outside of the Cairns Business Area
  • Second Scuba Dive at our beautiful afternoon reef location

What to bring

  • Cash and/or credit card for purchases
  • Swimming Clothes
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Proof of qualification if you’re a Certified Diver

This is a barefoot tour. Once onboard, no one wears shoes.

How to get there

Reef Experience departs from
Cairns Marina: ‘A-Finger’ View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:30 am for check-in, directly on the vessel ‘Reef Experience.’

Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 4:30 pm

Where Can I Park?

Several parking stations throughout Cairns are within walking distance of the Marina.  Click here to see where

Important Information

Scuba diving Information

We have a passion for showing you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia, has some of the strictest scuba diving rules globally and the safest scuba diving record.   We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all regulations, including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel, we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire before booking as some medical conditions, age and/or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.   It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Reef Experience Medical Questionnaire

We are happy to help you with any questions you may have.   Please get in touch with our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us.

Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

It would be best if you did not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive for a single no decompression scuba dive.  For multiple dives, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive.
If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning, you must wait 24 hours after your dive.
We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.


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Add your review for Great Barrier Reef Tours, Reef Experience


15 Reviews for “Great Barrier Reef Tours, Reef Experience”

  1. Marek & Jana

    GREAT!!! Very helpful, kind, we felt very safe. We really appreciated all your services. Everything was just great!

  2. Pelussa

    We booked with Reef Experience because it seemed trustable, safe, it had good food, professionals and a great price!! Awesome, lovely crew. Everybody was so good at their work and really nice. Congrats to the crew, I'll definitely recommend this tour and hopefully come back again

  3. Jean Roche

    Fabulous, friendly, helpful, reassuring crew. It was amazing all day - from start to finish. So happy to have had this experience as we only had 2 days in Cairns.

  4. Dympna

    Absolutely fantastic crew, very helpful and encouraging to a nervous beginner. The dive and glass bottom boat were the best parts of the day! A great experience after a nervous start. At my age (62) I didn't think I would get to attempt a dive. I will definitely recommend this trip.

  5. Thays

    The crew were fabulous, very nice and helpful. I felt very safe and confident on my first dive. Diving was the best part of my day! I will definitely do it again with Reef Experience and will bring family.

  6. Sabrina

    Crew were incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. :) Snorkeling with the fish and sunning on the top deck was the best part of the day! I love the positive energy on board! Everyone was in a great mood and it felt like being on the water with a good group of friends. Thank you!!

  7. Aaron

    We heard about Reef Experience from our friends who said it's a "must do". 10/10 would recommend. Helpful, friendly and happy crew. Thanks for all the helpful information!

  8. Panagiotis

    Exceptionally cool crew! Best first impression made by Nicole. An encounter with a baby shark was the best. It was a really good experience and I cannot wait to do it again.

  9. Rick

    Crew were fantastic. Looked after us very well, especially Shinee. The guided scuba dives were a highlight. Turtles, sharks, giant clams. Thank you to all for making our day special.

  10. Magdalena

    The crew were wonderful, smiley, energetic, super nice. Especially Nelson and Giuliana ,marine biologist. The best part of the day was our certified dive and the marine biology tour. Guiliana was fantastic. She took such good care of my daughter (8yo). She towed her around for the tour and made sure she saw many creatures. She was safe and had a wonderful time in such great conditions.

  11. Jamie

    Very satisfied. Even form check in, prompt, efficient and kind. Lunch was delicious. I watched the staff, they all work together, are very hard working, funny welcoming with so much knowledge. Rick and Jasmine stood out to me the most, however everyone played a nice role in making my experience unforgettable.

  12. Ines

    The best part of our day was going snorkelling with a crew member. I went snorkelling very far from the boat..something I would never have done on my own! The crew were fantastic, thanks for an awesome day.

  13. Caitlyn and Daniel

    The best part of our day was Caity trying scuba diving and Dan snorkeling with his wife. The crew were amazing, super personal and it was a great experience. Aisah was amazing. Super awesome when pointing out the creatures in the water and making us comfortable. Thanks for your kindness, great work Aisah!

  14. Elizabeth

    I enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it as a farewell from Australia. The best part of my day was hanging with the crew and diving for the first time. The crew were amazing! Super friendly, helpful and caring, I've made some pretty great friends! Zach was so helpful and stayed with me the whole time I dived. The sea was really rough, I almost fell off the boat when getting back on crew were quick to grab me and get back on!

  15. Timo and Lili

    The best part of my day was the marine biology tour. We saw a shark and were allowed to hold a sea cucumber. More over the tour was very interesting and informative. The crew all seemed very friendly and motivated. The food was also very good, especially for vegetarians.


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