Reef Experience the Best of the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns

Welcome aboard our high-speed catamaran, “Reef Experience,” where you’ll embark on an unforgettable journey to two pristine locations in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking wonder of this World Heritage environment.

Why choose the Reef Experience?

Reef Experience is not just a tour; it’s an all-inclusive adventure. We provide a FREE Scuba Dive and Glass-bottom boat tour, ensuring every guest can maximise their Great Barrier Reef experience, regardless of their swimming, snorkelling, or scuba diving skills.

Your Day Begins

We start by picking you up from your Cairns accommodation and kickstarting your day with our renowned BBQ bacon and egg burgers, complemented by tropical fruits. As we make our way to the Outer Barrier Reef, we’ll give you an overview of what to expect throughout the day.

Educational and Informative

Our marine biologists will give you an informative marine presentation during the journey. Learn about the diverse marine life that thrives in this remarkable ecosystem.

Exploring the Reef

Once we arrive at the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll have the chance to snorkel and scuba dive, even if you’re not a seasoned swimmer. For experienced swimmers and snorkelers, our crew will guide you to the best coral patches and reveal where to find the extraordinary marine creatures that call the Great Barrier Reef home.

No swimming skills are required.

If you’ve never snorkelled before or can’t swim, don’t worry. Our friendly and professional crew is always ready to assist. The water is an ideal place to introduce you to our vibrant tropical fish, ensuring everyone enjoys this incredible experience.

Your Unforgettable Day

We are dedicated to ensuring that our guests have the best day possible while experiencing the magic of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. A day with us promises to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.

Extend Your Stay

If you wish to prolong your stay on the Great Barrier Reef, please click here to learn more about our floating hotel.

Discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with us. Book your adventure today!

Please contact us for more information or to make a reservation. We look forward to sharing this incredible journey with you.

Reef Experience FAQ’s

Q. What certifications do I need to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef?

A. To scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll typically need an Open Water Diver certification or an equivalent diving certification recognized by the dive operators. Be sure to bring your certification card (C-card) with you.
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Q. Is scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef suitable for beginners?

A. Yes, there are options for beginners. Many dive operators offer introductory dives and certification courses, allowing novices to experience the reef with proper training and guidance.

Q. What is the best time of year for scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef?

A. The Great Barrier Reef offers diving opportunities year-round. However, the best time for diving conditions is during the dry season, from May to November, when the water is clearer and the weather is more stable.

Q. How deep can I dive on the Great Barrier Reef?

A. The maximum depth for recreational diving on the reef is typically around 18 to 30 metres (60 to 100 feet), depending on your certification level. Some dive sites may offer deeper dives for advanced divers.

Q. Are there any age restrictions for scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef?

A. Most dive operators have a minimum age requirement for diving, which is often around 12 years old for introductory dives. Junior certifications are available for younger divers.

Q. What marine life can I expect to see while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef?

A. The Great Barrier Reef is home to a diverse range of marine life, including colourful corals, tropical fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, and more. The exact species you encounter can vary depending on the dive site and the time of year.

Q. Do I need to bring my scuba equipment?

A. While some divers prefer to bring their gear, most dive operators provide rental equipment, including wetsuits, masks, snorkels, fins, and tanks. You can rent equipment from the operator if needed.

Q. What happens in case of bad weather or unforeseen circumstances?

A. In bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, dive operators prioritise safety. They may reschedule your dive, offer alternatives, or provide refunds as necessary.

If you have any other questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to ensure that your scuba diving experience on the Great Barrier Reef is safe, enjoyable, and memorable.

 

Highlights

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

Itinerary

  • 07:30 – Board Reef Experience boat at the Cairns Marina ‘A-Finger’ for check-in
  • 08:00 – Approximate departure and 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 and biscuits
  • 16:30 – Arrive back in Cairns

Included

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.

Breakfast

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)

Lunch

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.

Snorkelling

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.

Refreshments

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

Sunscreen

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 at 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.

Departs

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