Cairns Reef Tours Logo

Cairns Reef Tours

  • The Reef Fleet Terminal

great barrier reef tours outer reef

61 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

2 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

42 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

19 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

9 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

21 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

130 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

64 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

13 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

8 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

great barrier reef tours outer reef

12 CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Watch Cairns Reef Tours Videos

great barrier reef tours outer reef

About Cairns Reef Tours

Cairns is the gateway to the great barrier reef.

Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. There are many ways to experience the Reef from Cairns, whether you're a swimmer or non-swimmer, diver or beginner snorkeller, travelling with family or looking for that perfect romantic escape, there's an experience to suit all budgets and requirements.

Most outer reef trips from Cairns are a full day experience including all snorkel/dive equipment and lunch plus morning/afternoon tea.

Reef Tour Family Pricing We offer unique rates for families on all Cairns Great Barrier Reef tour experiences. Family rates are generally based on the following:

  • Infants (3 Years & Under) travel free
  • Children (4 - 14 years) Half Price
  • Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) 1 Child travels free

Family pricing may change slightly depending on the tour options you choose. On Evolution 16 year olds are still considered children. Some dive operators do not have family rates. ​Please check the booking form for up to date family pricing for your group.

The Reef Fleet Terminal

The Reef Fleet Terminal is the main check-in point for all reef trips. Most Reef Operators will have a desk inside the terminal where you will check in and collect your boarding pass. The Terminal is located at 1 Spence Street Cairns, which is next to the Shangri-La Hotel at The Pier Shopping Centre.

Some reef trips board directly onto the vessel, you will be advised details on booking, along with your boarding/check in time.

Coach transfers from your accommodation can be arranged or if you're travelling with 3 or more people we recommend taking a taxi or uber as hotel transfers organised by the operators are charged per person.

Hotel Transfers & Parking

Quicksilver Coach transfer from Cairns to Port Douglas

Hotel Transfers Accommodation Transfers are available for all Reef Tours. When booking you will be given the option to selct Self Drive or Select your property from a list. The prices for the transfers will vary depending on the location of your accommodation. If you are staying at an Airbnb or private house find the closest holiday apartments or hotel and select it as your pickup point.

Parking for the Day For self-drivers, Council parking is available at The Pier for about $10 for the day. There is also all day parking at the outdoor carparks located near the Cruise Liner Terminal on Wharf Street, about two blocks away. The price for the day is $4 and it is just a 2 minute walk along the Esplanade to the Reef Fleet Terminal & Marina.

Cairns Reef Tour Times

Cairns Reef Tour Times

If you would like a later start, the latest departure from Cairns to the Outer Reef is the Great Adventures Pontoon experience departing at 10.30am with check-in at 9.45am. If you have a flight departing on the evening of your reef trip the earliest return into Cairns after an Outer Reef tour is 4.30pm with Evolution.

There is no half day outer Reef Tour option from Cairns as the closest Outer Reef is 90 minutes cruise.

When to Book Book as early as you can. Pre-booking is essential. Cairns Reef Tours are frequently booked out. Please do not turn up without a booking on the day. Book early for school holidays and through winter as during peak times reef trips can be completely full for the next five days.

Date changes are fine as long as you give us at least 24 hours notice

Checking Availability & Booking We offer a live connection to all the local Cairns Reef Operators. Your seat is instantly guaranteed when you book here.

Check-in & Mobile Tickets On the day of the reef tour you will either check in at the Reef Fleet Terminal or make your way directly to the vessel at the Marlin Marina. In most cases you will not need a ticket as your name will be on the days manifest when you check in. If you need to show a ticket you can simply present the e-mail confirmation you received on your mobile device.

Departure and Arrival Times

Evolution 08:00am | Departs Cairns 04:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Sunlover 08:45am | Departs Cairns 05:00pm | Arrives Cairns

Reef Day Tripper 07:30am | Departs Cairns 04:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Great Adventures Island & Reef 08:30am | Departs Cairns 05:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Ocean Freedom 08:00am | Departs Cairns 04:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Reef Magic 09:00am | Departs Cairns 05:00pm | Arrives Cairns

Reef Quest 08:30am | Departs Cairns 04:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Reef Experience 08:00am | Departs Cairns 04:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel 09:00am | Departs Cairns 05:00pm | Arrives Cairns

Silverswift 08:30am | Departs Cairns 04:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Great Adventures 10:30am | Departs Cairns 05:30pm | Arrives Cairns

Passions of Paradise 08:00am | Departs Cairns 05:00pm | Arrives Cairns

Ocean Free 08:00am | Departs Cairns 05:00pm | Arrives Cairns

Quicksilver 08:00am | Cairns Pick-up 10:00am | Departs Port Douglas 04:30pm | Arrives Port Douglas 05:30am | Cairns Drop-off

Snorkelling On The Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling gear is included with all of our Reef Tours. Snorkeling is the best and easiest way to see the reef because 90% of its diversity occurs within 4 metres of the surface.

It doesn't take long to get the hang of it and for beginners a crew member is usually on hand to offer tuition on gear use and snorkel techniques.

Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system of the Great Barrier Reef up close.

A selection of buoyancy aids (foam noodles, life jackets and wetsuits) allows you to float effortlessly over rich, colourful coral gardens, and snorkel guides are usually available to guide you through the natural maze of beautiful coral and fish and point out all the 'cool stuff'.

Intro Dives Introductory diving, also resort diving are dives where people without diver training or certification can experience scuba diving under the guidance of a diving instructor. Intro dives are offered on most reef tour from cairns and available anyone over 12 years. The dive usually has a duration of 20 minutes.

Participants are briefed on the way out to the reef site to ensure both an exciting and safe first dive.

Certified Dives Divers will love the dramatic drop offs, swim throughs and bommies. Buddy up with a dive partner, or tag along with a dive guide for a grand tour of all the best spots on the reef.

Great Barrier Reef Pontoons

Great Adventures Reef Pontoon

There are 5 Reef Pontoons accessible from Cairns. Pontoons give you space and are suitable for all ages and especially ideal for families.

A pontoon is a spacious floating reef platform located at the outer barrier reef.

Pontoons Generally Feature, sundecks and undercover areas for relaxing and lunch, change rooms and snorkel access platforms. Glass Bottom Boat & Semi-Sub Tour departure points.

Some pontoons have built in under water observatories and special children's enclosed swimming areas. The Sunlover Moore Reef pontoon has a waterslide.

Pontoon Reef Tours offer a range of activities for swimmers and non-swimmers it means that everyone can experience the very best of the Great Barrier Reef.

Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Glass Bottom Boat on the Great Barrier Reef

Explore the wonders of the reef from the comfort of a glass bottom boat tour.

Hovering over beautiful coral gardens, giant clams and schools of colourful reef fish, a glass bottom boat is ideal for kids, non-swimmers and for those who are wanting to learn more about the reef.

Tours usually last around 30 minutes with a running commentary by a marine biologist. Most pontoon and island experiences include the option of taking a glass bottom boat tour.

Semi-submarine Tours

Semi Sub on the Great Barrier Reef

A semi-submersible coral viewing tour treats passengers to a divers view of the coral reef and marine life.

Sitting 1m below the water level, passengers can enjoy gliding through coral gardens and along the edge of coral drop bommies spotting a huge array of colourful reef fish.

With large viewing windows and air conditioning, these semi-submersible tours provide a divers perspective of the reef in comfort and without getting wet!

Tours are usually take around 30 minutes and are fully guided by an on-board marine biologist.

Wheely Friendly Reef Tours

Wheelchair access to the Great Barrie Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is wheely friendly from Cairns. Here are a few experiences that offer wheelchair access.

Reef Magic There is ramp access from the wharf to the vessel and vessel to the Marine World platform. However, passengers are required to negotiate at least one set of stairs on the vessel depending on tides and loading position so assistance may be required. The Reef Magic II catamaran has wide isles and a wheelchair accessible toilet & shower. Access to the water, coral viewing vessels, underwater observatory and sundeck all require stairs to be negotiated and would require a carer to be present if unable to walk unassisted.

Great Adventures Outer Reef Great Adventures vessel "Reef King" does have a motorised chair lift to enable transfer between the upper and lower decks, however it is recommended that passengers have some mobility or assistance to transfer from their wheelchair. Toilets on the vessel and outer reef are not wheelchair accessible. There are ramp facilities from the vessel to the floating platform. There are no disabled facilities on the platform and the platform does have decking where wheelchair wheels may get stuck. Access to the underwater observatory, swim platforms and semi-submersible is by stairs only.

Quicksilver Cruises Quicksilver VIII is the most suitable vessel for wheelchair passengers, however there are occasions when this vessel may not operate which is often not known till 24 hours prior to departure, so it is recommended to reconfirm your booking prior to travel. On Quicksilver VIII there is an oversized toilet cubicle suitable for most wheelchair passengers. Quicksilver V also has a wheelchair accessible toilet. At the platform a chair lift enables disabled passengers to be lowered into the water to enjoy snorkelling. There are ramp facilities from the vessel to the floating platform, however access to the underwater observatory, swim platforms and semi-submersible coral viewing vessel is by stairs only.

Sunlover Cruises Sunlover Cruises is very well set-up to accommodate wheelchairs. They have multiple entrance points onto the vessel, as well as a dedicated wheelchair table on the main deck, wheel chair ramps to get over door jams and very experienced and willing crew. In some circumstances, they may be able to offer glass bottom boat rides and even SCUBA Diving! but cannot guarantee this every time.

Choosing A Good Day To Visit The Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is an unforgettable experience, and the weather plays a significant role visibility and comfort on your tour. Here are some things to factor in when choosing a day for your tour to the Reef.

Wind Speed: This is the main factor which will influence visibility. Low wind speeds are preferable, ideally less than 15 knots / 27km. Lower wind speeds result in calmer sea conditions, which means better visibility underwater and a more pleasant boat ride to and from the reef. Calm, sunny days following a period without heavy rain being ideal.

Sunshine: Sunny days enhance the colors of the coral and marine life, making your experience more vibrant. However, it's important to protect yourself against sunburn and dehydration, so be sure to apply waterproof sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

Season: The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is during the Australian winter and spring, from June to October. This period avoids the wet season (December to March), which can bring heavy rains and lower visibility due to run-off from the land.

Tides: Low tide can be the best time for snorkeling in shallow reef areas, as the coral and marine life are closer to the surface. However, some areas are best at high tide to avoid strong currents and to ensure there's enough water depth for comfortable snorkeling or diving.

Read Cairns Reef Tours Reviews

Very good experience. The crew are very knowledgable and helpful and knew what they were doing. They also cooked the food which was delicious! I had a lot of fun. I did the snorkelling and saw a lot of fish, turtles and more. I felt very safe snorkelling as they kept an eye on us. It was a small group, which I really liked. I would definitely recommend this trip!
We just returned from an overnight trip and would turnaround and do it again! We loved everything!!! We are a group of four beginner divers (two adults and two teenagers) and we could not have had a better experience - the captain and dive instructor were knowledgeable, helpful and great company! Thanks Roman and Teddy!! The equipment is really well looked after and the boat is comfortable. We saw truly amazing things, learned something that we hadn?t tried before and even managed a night dive. Indescribably good. Do yourself a favour - explore the reef with these guys. It was amazing.

Samantha Anderson

Friendly, professional staff. Highly recommend a cocktail on the upper deck at the end of the trip. Delicious!

Craig Findlay

We scored a great day with only 7 on board, a whole day with the island pretty much to ourselves to explore and the ride over was great, the crew were very informative and welcoming, a well stocked bar if needed and an all round great experience. Will definitely go again
Thanks Jodi you made our trip easy and we had an amazing time

johannes kole

nice day out, friendly staff. Island has nice walks and beaches, even hot showers. Only minus; fly season.
It was great for my family. My children (7 and 10) had a great time. The staff were all friendly and taught them how to snorkel. They can swim but are a bit scared. Eventually they were snorkelling and swimming freely. Also the meals were all delicious! Thank you so much!(Arigatou!)

Garry Sanders

Totally enjoyed the whole experience. The crew were excellent (plus). Lunch was good. Trip across and back was good.

Jonathan Chapman

The whole experience provided on board the Evolution was second to none. We have waited a long time for this experience and it didn't disappoint us. The crew did you proud and the service they provided was excellent and the food was so tasty and plenty of it.

Laura Heiskell

An incredible day-book it!

David Muller

Best time, best value for money. Will be back. Dave

Linda Stewart

Took my kids and grandchildren ages 6mths through to 32. They catered for everyone and we had a fantastic day

Mark Ludlow

Very enjoyable day
The whole family had a fantastic trip to Dunk Island, would definitely recommend for families with young children not old enough to enjoy a day on the reef. Staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Overall a good experience and value for money. Definitely want to go back again as not enough time to explore in one day.

Andrew Arnett

Had a grate day out captain and crew are amazing. We will see you all again

Janie Beckhouse

We were well looked after on the ferry to Dunk Island and it is well worth spending the money to go to spend time on the island and enjoy the beautiful rain forrest and beaches. There is a great pop-up Mexican cafe on the island, too (Fri, Sat & Sun). The staff on the ferry were informative and friendly.
Friendly staff, well-equipped vessel.
Great way to see Cairns. Highly reccomended Thanks Chris.
The view from mt.kootaloo is amazing

JoAnn Yoshimoto

I loved the fact that this is a father/son business. It was very personalized, friendly, and totally professional.

View Cairns Reef Tours Photos

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Cairns Reef Tours News

great barrier reef tours outer reef

2 Temporary Pause for AquaQuest | May 9 to May 17

AquaQuest will be taking a short break from May 9 to May 17, 2024. 

Departing from Cairns, AquaQuest offers a swift 90-minute journey to the outer reef, where the real adventure begins. Spend five hours exploring two of the most pristine snorke

AquaQuest will be taking a short break from May 9 to May 17, 2024. 

Departing from Cairns, AquaQuest offers a swift 90-minute journey to the outer reef, where the real adventure begins. Spend five hours exploring two of the most pristine snorkeling sites on the Norman, Saxon, and Hastings Reefs, selected daily based on the best conditions.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

10 Reef Tours Update

Special Snorkel Offer with SeaQuest: Save $50!  In exciting news, a special snorkeling offer with SeaQuest is now available. At just $189 per person, this limited-time offer is valid until March 31, 2024. 

OceanQuest is Back The OceanQuest live

Special Snorkel Offer with SeaQuest: Save $50!  In exciting news, a special snorkeling offer with SeaQuest is now available. At just $189 per person, this limited-time offer is valid until March 31, 2024. 

OceanQuest is Back The OceanQuest liveaboard has successfully undergone maintenance and is now ready to welcome guests aboard for memorable Great Barrier Reef adventures.

Frankland Islands Tour The one and only Frankland Islands tour is making a comeback on March 13, 2024. After receiving its share of care and maintenance, the tour is poised to offer guests it's unique island experience.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

8 Whale Watching Season in Cairns from June and September

The Great Barrier Reef, a jewel off the coast of Cairns, Australia, is not only famous for its vibrant coral and teeming marine life but also as a stage for one of nature's most magnificent performances: the annual whale migration. This spectacl

The Great Barrier Reef, a jewel off the coast of Cairns, Australia, is not only famous for its vibrant coral and teeming marine life but also as a stage for one of nature's most magnificent performances: the annual whale migration. This spectacle draws nature enthusiasts and wildlife watchers from around the globe, eager to witness these gentle giants. 

The whale watching season along the Great Barrier Reef is primarily between June and September. This period marks the migration of several whale species, including the awe-inspiring humpback and the elusive minke whales, as they travel to the warmer waters off the coast of Queensland to breed and give birth before heading back to the Antarctic.

Humpback Whales Humpback whales, known for their impressive acrobatics and haunting songs, are the main attraction. They start to make their appearance in the waters off Cairns around June, with sightings peaking through July and August. These months are ideal for witnessing these majestic creatures as they breach, tail slap, and nurse their young, offering a spectacular show to those fortunate enough to be in their presence.

Dwarf Minke Whales The Great Barrier Reef is also one of the few places in the world where you can swim with dwarf minke whales, an experience offered during a limited window from June to July. These curious and playful creatures often approach swimmers, providing an unforgettable and intimate wildlife interaction.

Whale Watching Experiences from Cairns For the best whale watching experience, consider booking a tour that specifically targets whale sightings. Many operators from Cairns offer day trips to the Outer Reef, where the chances of encountering whales are higher. These tours not only provide the opportunity to see whales but also to explore the stunning underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.

Fitzroy Island Adventures provides a unique opportunity for whale watching tours from Cairns and Fitzroy Island during the season. Additionally, other reef service providers may also offer special whale watching tours, typically announcing these exclusive experiences before the season starts each year.

Witnessing the migration of whales on the Great Barrier Reef is a once-in-a-lifetime experience thatis available in Cairns between June and September.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

8 Great Weather for a Trip to the Reef

If you've been waiting for the perfect moment to explore the majestic Great Barrier Reef, the stars have aligned just for you. From Monday, 5th to Wednesday, 7th of February, we're blessed with absolutely stellar weather conditions.

Wind Foreca

If you've been waiting for the perfect moment to explore the majestic Great Barrier Reef, the stars have aligned just for you. From Monday, 5th to Wednesday, 7th of February, we're blessed with absolutely stellar weather conditions.

Wind Forecast Gentle breezes at just 10 knots for the entire period, creating ideal conditions for sailing, snorkeling, and diving. These mild winds mean smoother waters, clearer visibility underwater, and an all-around pleasant experience whether you're on or in the water.

This is a great opportunity to witness the reef's vibrant marine life & stunning coral gardens.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

9 Environmental Management Charge (EMC) Explained

When you book a day tour to the Great Barrier Reef, you may notice an additional fee called the environmental management charge (EMC). This fee is a part of most commercial activities, including tours, that operate within the Great Barrier Reef

When you book a day tour to the Great Barrier Reef, you may notice an additional fee called the environmental management charge (EMC). This fee is a part of most commercial activities, including tours, that operate within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park under a permit issued by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

When you participate in a tourist activity on the Great Barrier Reef, you are usually responsible for paying this charge to the tour operator. The tour operator then forwards the fee to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Why do you have to pay the fee?

The environmental management charge plays a crucial role in the day-to-day management and long-term resilience of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The funds collected through this charge are directly used for the management and conservation efforts of the marine park.

Additionally, when you provide visitation information along with the environmental management charge, it greatly helps the Reef Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) in developing sustainable management plans for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

By paying the environmental management charge, you are contributing to the protection and preservation of this magnificent natural wonder, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

6 Starlink on the Reef

Reef Magic has introduced Starlink wifi access onboard their pontoon so guests can enjoy uninterrupted digital access to share their day on the Great Barrier Reef. It will also enable the GBR Biology team to conduct live feeds from the pontoon s

Reef Magic has introduced Starlink wifi access onboard their pontoon so guests can enjoy uninterrupted digital access to share their day on the Great Barrier Reef. It will also enable the GBR Biology team to conduct live feeds from the pontoon showcasing their work with reef education and sustainability.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

5 OceanQuest is back in the water Saturday, the 18th of March, 2023

Our Divers Den liveaboard vessel ‘OceanQuest’ is back in the water this Saturday, the 18th of March!

OceanQuest has had a whooping $700K spent on her in the latest refit. She has been freshly painted,  fabulously rebranded and has some addition

Our Divers Den liveaboard vessel ‘OceanQuest’ is back in the water this Saturday, the 18th of March!

OceanQuest has had a whooping $700K spent on her in the latest refit. She has been freshly painted,  fabulously rebranded and has some additional new soft furnishings - we are ready take our guests on a unique and memorable reef experience with our flexible daily departures and PADI course options.

OceanQuest is a 36 metre catamaran over 3 decks with the capacity to sleep 48 customers overnight.

There are 18 Twin Cabins with two single beds and 4 Double Cabins that have a double bed, all cabins are equipped with air conditioning, and en-suite bathroom facilities. OceanQuest provides a spacious and comfortable ‘home away from home’ on The Great Barrier Reef, offering a truly unique experience for all divers and snorkelers wanting to explore this pristine underwater playground. 

great barrier reef tours outer reef

7 Reef Quest Day Trip March Special | $199

ReefQuest Cairns is offering a discount for March 2023 on  snorkelling and diving options. The special is valid until 31st of March. Please see the prices below:

  • $199 for day trip + snorkelling
  • $269 for day trip + one intro dive
  • $269 for da

ReefQuest Cairns is offering a discount for March 2023 on  snorkelling and diving options. The special is valid until 31st of March. Please see the prices below:

  • $269 for day trip + one intro dive
  • $269 for day trip + two certified dives

ReefQuest is an 8 hour Great Barrie Reef experience from Cairns. The modern vessel 3 large sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy access in and out of the water. 

ReefQuest Departs Cairns at 8:30 and returns at 4:30.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

10 Whale shark encounter at Moore Reef

Passengers with Great Adventures had a rare encounter while they were seated in the semi-submarine at Moore Reef.

The whale shark, estimated to be 4 - 5 metres in length swam up close and alongside the semi-sub window as excited passengers look

The whale shark, estimated to be 4 - 5 metres in length swam up close and alongside the semi-sub window as excited passengers looked on in awe. 

More often associated with the northern waters of Western Australia, whale shark encounters on the Great Barrier Reef are quite rare.

“We wouldn’t normally expect to see them here at this time of year. As plankton feeders you would expect likelier sightings around seasonal plankton blooms and coral spawning.”

As the largest fish in the sea reaching lengths of over 12 metres, whale sharks are docile fish feeding mostly on plankton, crab larvae and jellyfish, which they scoop up with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water’s surface. They are listed as a vulnerable species and prior to the mid 1980s there were less than 350 confirmed reports of whale sharks world-wide. 

great barrier reef tours outer reef

7 Ocean Spirit returning in September 2022

After nearly two and a half years, we're excited to announce Ocean Spirit's Michaelmas Cay cruise is recommencing from 17 September. The beautiful 32 metre (105ft) sailing catamaran is undergoing refit to be ship shape and in top condition to we

After nearly two and a half years, we're excited to announce Ocean Spirit's Michaelmas Cay cruise is recommencing from 17 September. The beautiful 32 metre (105ft) sailing catamaran is undergoing refit to be ship shape and in top condition to welcome guests aboard.

Sail, snorkel, dive, relax. A day with Ocean Spirit can be as leisurely or active as you choose. Snorkel from the cay’s protected shallow waters, view the corals from a glass bottom boat or take some time to observe the island’s fascinating birds. Michaelmas Cay is a National Park and very important protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds, perfect for keen bird watchers. The reef surrounding the cay is renowned for an abundance of giant clams and sea turtles amongst a myriad of colourful marine life.

Throughout the day, the “beach buggy” transfers guests between Ocean Spirit and the beach. To protect this special bird sanctuary, access on the cay is limited to the roped beach area. Optional activites include introductory scuba diving and marine biologist guided snorkel tours to learn much more about the reef and the creatures that inhabit it.

Or if you prefer, just relax on the beach or onboard Ocean Spirit’s spacious decks. A perfect finishing touch to the day is a glass of complimentary sparkling wine on the way home. A Five Star day on the Reef!

great barrier reef tours outer reef

2 Sunlover Special extended to 31st March 2022

Sunlover Reef Cruises will continue the special rates for their Great Barrier Reef day trip from Cairns until the 31st March 2022.

  • $199 adults (17+ years)
  • $99 children (4 - 16 years)
  • $497 families (2 Adults + 2 Children)

The Sunlover Grea

Sunlover Reef Cruises will continue the special rates for their Great Barrier Reef day trip from Cairns until the 31st March 2022.

The Sunlover Great Barrier Reef experience departs daily at 9.30am from Cairns. Our state-of-the art Moore Reef Marine Base is perfectly positioned and fully equipped so that any age or ability can fully experience the magic of the reef with its abundance of colourful coral, fascinating fish, turtles & more.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

10 Evolution Semi-Sub is back on the 20th Dec 2021

We are delighted to announce that from the 20th of December, the Semi-Submersible is back and operational again! The semi-submersible coral viewing reef tour is the perfect activity for non-swimmers on the Great Barrier Reef. Learn all about th

We are delighted to announce that from the 20th of December, the Semi-Submersible is back and operational again! The semi-submersible coral viewing reef tour is the perfect activity for non-swimmers on the Great Barrier Reef. Learn all about the Great Barrier Reef with live commentary by our Marine Biologist and enjoy spectacular coral formations and spot marine life without getting in the water.

The semi-submersible tour operates at our second reef site, Hastings Reef, and runs for approximately 20 minutes.

Download Files

General enquiry form.

Click Here to Make an Enquiry

great barrier reef tours outer reef

MANAGED BY TRAVSTAR

Office Hours: 9am - 3pm Monday to Friday | 9am -12pm Weekends

Address: Travstar.com PTY LTD ABN: 21 095 692 925 Cairns Queensland 4870 Austrlaia

great barrier reef tours outer reef

HOBART AND THE SOUTH

Bruny Island Tours

Maria Island Tours

Port Arthur Tours

TROPICAL NORTH QLD

Daintree Rainforest

Kuranda Train & Skyrail

Port Douglas Tours

Green Island Cairns

White Water Rafting Cairns

Cairns Cruise Tours

Port Douglas Reef Tours

Cairns Info

Dunk Island Ferry

Fitzroy Island Cairns

Mission Beach Tours

WHITSUNDAYS

Airlie Beach Tours

Whitehaven Beach Tours

Blue Mountain Tours

Phillip Island Tours

DARWIN REGION

Darwin Info

Litchfield Park Tours

THE GOLD COAST

Gold Coast Cruises

Gold Coast Tours

Experience Uluru

Red Centre Tours

POWERED BY TOURISM TOWN

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Privacy | Terms | © Tourism Town 2024

  • Menu ×
  • 606 Reviews
  • Back To Top

Please Wait

  • Barrier Reef Australia
  • Things To Do

Cairns Reef Tour | Outer Reef Pontoon | Great Adventures

Tour Code: 126

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Palm Cove

Cairns Tours - Aerial View of Norman Reef & Interactive Pontoon

Tour Highlights

  • Swimmers and non-swimmers can choose from a range of aquatic adventures from the stationary activity pontoon on this popular Cairns Great Barrier Reef tour.
  • View the rich marine life without getting wet when riding around on an underwater semi-submersible submarine tour on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
  • This is the only place in Australia where you can cruise the reef on an underwater scooter (optional activity). Pre-book your Scuba Doo tour on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • View the awe-inspiring beauty of the Barrier Reef from 500ft up on a scenic helicopter flight (optional activity)
  • Don’t want to get wet? Snap an amazing pic of the colourful reef standing by the window of the underwater observatory. This is the perfect Great Barrier Reef tour for a non-swimmer.
  • Family Deal - Save $148 based on 2 adults & 2 children

Description & Tour Inclusions

Included in price.

  • Return air- conditioned fast catamaran cruise
  • Tea & Coffee served until departure from Cairns
  • Morning Tea cake selection on outward journey
  • 3 hours at the outer reef activity platform
  • Use of snorkelling equipment
  • Buoyancy vests
  • Lycra suits
  • Reef Education Presentation
  • Semi-submersible sub-marine coral reef viewing tour for non-swimmers
  • Underwater observatory - for non-swimmers
  • Eco Reef Talk with marine naturalist in underwater observatory
  • Afternoon Tea & Coffee available whilst on the platform
  • Cheese & Biscuits on the return journey
  • Please note languages change on a daily basis

The stable reef activity platform offers a perfect tour for individuals of all swimming abilities. From snorkelling, diving to an underwater observatory, enjoying the semi-submarine, or simply relaxing on the sundeck there is something for everyone.

What we like about this Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tour:

  • This is the perfect Cairns Great Barrier Reef tour for all age groups and capabilities 
  • Non-swimmers can see the reef in 4 ways without getting wet
  • Upgrade to extra activities such as helicopter rides, Scuba Doo, diving, guided snorkel tours
  • Family fare pricing makes it a great deal  

After stepping off your Great Barrier Reef tour boat onto the pontoon, you can spend the next 3 hours exploring the reef in all sorts of ways from this stable structure (great if you don’t fancy being on a boat all day).

There are a variety of in-water and out of water tour activities to match physical capabilities and interests, and which cater to both swimmers and non-swimmers .

  • Try snorkelling or scuba diving
  • Ride under the water on a scuba doo scooter
  • Wonder at the diversity of marine life through the window of the underwater observatory
  • Cruise the reef in a semi-submersible submarine.
  • Join the guided Eco Reef talk in the underwater observatory

If relaxation is more your style, lie back and soak up the tropical life on the sundeck while sipping a drink from the licensed bar or munching on a delicious buffet lunch.

If you prefer your fun at high altitudes, you’ll love the scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef (infants age 3 must pay child price)

This a good tour for cruise ship passengers in Cairns.  

Perfect Selfie

Share your selfie on our Facebook page and tag your best Instagram pics with #barrierreefaustralia for your chance to be featured.

Morning Pick Up

You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in Cairns or Northern Beaches by your tour bus and tour guide and taken to the Cairns Marina to catch a vessel to the stunning Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Coach transfers are not included in the tour price.

Journey to the Great Barrier Reef

You’re on your way! You’ll be whisked away in comfort to the Outer Great Barrier Reef aboard a spacious, luxury air-conditioned catamaran.

A morning selection of delicious cakes, teas and coffees are served on the trip out to the reef.

Great Barrier Reef Activity Platform/Pontoon

Arrive at the activity platform where you will enjoy an amazing three hours of exploration and adventure.

Learn about the Great Barrier Reef and its abundant marine life from the Eco Reef presentations given throughout your day.

There is a host of activities included in your tour as well as optional activities to choose from.

Activities included in your Great Barrier Reef Tour

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Ideal for everyone! All snorkellers will be given a pre-briefing on how to snorkel to ensure their comfort in the water and to maximise their enjoyment.

There are buoyancy vests and noodles for those who would like more support. Snorkel guides will also help you with your equipment once you are in the water.

You will be amazed at the underwater world of ornate coral structures and brightly coloured marine life. 

Reef education and guided Eco Reef Talk

Learning about the reef and its inhabitants will really bring your experience alive.

There is a guided Eco Reef Talk in the underwater observatory and a reef education presentation given on your day.

If you want to get wet and up close, then join a guided snorkel tour (extra cost); your guide will take you on an educational snorkel, introducing you to and teaching you about the exotic marine life that inhabits the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Find out what a sea cucumber is.
  • Learn amazing facts about giant clams.
  • Discover why ‘Nemo’ can live in his anemone home. 

Semi-submersible submarine tour Great Barrier Reef 

Going down! It feels like you are on a submarine but you will be sitting just under the surface of the water in a viewing gallery whilst the captain steers the vessel from above.

You will glide gently around the coral bommies (coral mountains) and see the amazing formation of the corals.

  • View the colourful darting reef fish and vibrant angelfish.
  • Observe the fascinating parrotfish (they excrete sand!).

Your captain will also point out a host of exciting sights as you take this underwater journey of discovery.

Optional upgrade activities

Introductory scuba diving (optional activity)

Yes, you can go scuba diving without a certification (subject to a medical questionnaire) .

What better place to experience your first scuba dive than in the crystal blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef?

You will be taken out in a small group (maximum 4) with an experienced diving instructor.

After a pre-dive briefing and some basic skills, you will descend with your instructor slowly to a shallow depth (maximum 12m 36ft) for your dive which lasts approximately 30 minutes.

This is the nearest you will feel to being a fish underwater. You won’t want to come up! 

Certified scuba diving (subject to availability and booked on the day; optional activity)

If you are a certified diver, you can dive straight off the pontoon platform to explore the incredible underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.

You’ll be able to experience up to three dives in the day with a number of dive sites available from the pontoon to provide you with varied topography and underwater life.

An experienced Dive Instructor/Master will lead your dive, so stick with them and they'll show you all the hiding places for the best things to see.

Your maximum depth will be 18 metres (60 feet) as you swim amongst the gentle undulating coral gardens and peaks of the coral bommies.

Be surrounded by the exotic marine life of these iconic diving sites on the world famous Great Barrier Reef.

Scuba Doo underwater scooter (optional activity)

If you’re in the mood for something a little more exciting than snorkelling then Scuba Doo is for you!

The Outer Great Barrier Reef platform is the only place in Australia where you can cruise the reef on this amazing underwater scooter.

Suited to swimmers and non-swimmers alike*, you will be wearing a helmet like an astronaut as you ride on your underwater bike that resembles a wheel-less moped, and follow your guide on an underwater journey like no other.  

* must be over 12 years of age and subject to a medical questionnaire

Scenic helicopter flight (optional activity) 

Now that you have seen the reef from under the water, what better way to see it than from the sky?

Your helicopter ride will take you over the Norman Reef and 500ft above the amazing Great Barrier Reef.

You might spot turtles, sharks, manta rays and dolphins swimming below.

You can even fly from the pontoon back to Cairns.

This is a ride of a lifetime and you’ll be surprised that it won’t break the bank.

Pre-bookings essential as helicopter seats are limited to only 6 per day.  

***Please ote: infants age 3 must pay child price***

See more cruise ship tours and Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns.

Accommodation Return Transfers

Please note: All return transfers will depart Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal 17.30pm.  Reservations staff will be contacting all passengers with transfers the day prior to travel to update them on locations and times. time.

Please see below timetables:

Pick up time@ 06:40 MANTRA AMPHORA (49-63 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove) PARADISE ON THE BEACH RESORT (119-121 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove) PEPPER'S BEACH CLUB & SPA PALM COVE (123 Williams Esplanade) PULLMAN PALM COVE SEA TEMPLE RESORT & SPA REEF HOUSE (99 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove) REEF RETREAT (10-14 Harpa Street Palm Cove) SANCTUARY PALM COVE (6 Cedar Road)

Pick up time @ 06:45 MANGO LAGOON (81-85 Cedar Road Palm Cove)

Pick up time @ 07:00 CNR Moore & Trinity St Bus Stop

Pick up time @ 07:30 CAIRNS SHERIDAN (295 Sheridan Street) THE LAKES CAIRNS RESORT & SPA (2 Greenslopes Street) PALM ROYALE HOTEL (7-11 Chester Court) CAIRNS COCONUT HOLIDAY RESORT (23-51 Anderson Road) HOLIDAY INN CAIRNS HARBOURSIDE (209-217 The Esplanade) CAIRNS COLONIAL CLUB (18-26 Cannon Street) QUEEN'S COURT (167-171 Sheridan Street) RYDGES ESPLANADE RESORT (Bus Area - Esplanade Side)

Pick up time @ 07:35 181 ESPLANADE P/Up Lake Street Side (181 Esplanade) BAY VILLAGE (Cnr Lake & Gatton Streets) CORAL TREE INN (162-172 Grafton Street) TROPICAL HERITAGE CAIRNS (8 Minnie Street) CAIRNS PLAZA HOTEL (145 Esplanade)

Pick up time @ 07:40 RILEY (p/u from DOUBLETREE BY HILTON - Abbott St side) WYNDHAM RAMADA( (p/u from DOUBLETREE BY HILTON - Abbott St side) IBIS STYLES CAIRNS (p/u DOUBLETREE BY HILTON) DOUBLETREE BY HILTON (121-123 Esplanade)

Pick up time @ 07:45 BAILEY CRYSTALBROOK COLLECTION (163 Abbott St) FLYNN BY CRYSTALBROOK (p/u Abbott Street entrance near Night Markets) MANTRA TRILOGY (p/u Abbott Street entrance near Night Markets) NOVOTEL CAIRNS OASIS RESORT (122 Lake Street) THE BENSON HOTEL (Cnr Grafton & Spence) GILLIGANS - P/up The Benson (50 Grafton St)

Pick up time @ 07:50 PARK REGIS CITY QUAYS APARTMENTS (2-4 Lake Street)

Pick up time @ 08:00 SOUTHERN CROSS ATRIUM APARTMENTS (3-11 Water Street) YHA CAIRNS CENTRAL (20-26 McLeod Street)

Tour Details

Tour languages offered.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Departs From

Departure time.

  • Cruise/Cruise: departs 10:30am returns Cairns 5:30pm
  • Cruise/Fly: departs Cairns at 10:30am returns Cairns 3:40pm
  • Fly/Cruise: departs Cairns at 12:30pm returns Cairns 5:30pm
  • Fly/Fly: departs Cairns at 12:30pm returns Cairns 3:40pm

Departure Instructions

Departure from Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence St Cairns. It is recommended to check-in 30 minutes prior to departure.

Pickup Locations

  • Please note: All return transfers will depart Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal 17.30pm.
  • Our Reservations staff will be contacting all passengers with transfers the day prior to travel to update them on locations and times.

Destinations

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Outer Great Barrier Reef: Moore Reef or Norman Reef depending on weather conditions.

Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation

For Christmas and New Year there is a high demand so advance booking is advised.

7 hours (approx) or less depending on options

Available for Purchase / Hire

  • Introductory scuba diving (no experience necessary, subject to medical questionnaire) - minimum age 12
  • Certified scuba diving - minimum age 12
  • Guided Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Tour (40 minutes in water + 10 minute safety brief)
  • Scuba-Doo Underwater Scooter (25 minutes in water + 10 minute safety brief)
  • Infants age 3 will be charged the child price for any helicopter component booked, this charge will be added to your booking total
  • Helicopter flights

Fitness Level Required

Low, Medium

Restrictions

Scuba Diving – minimum age 12

IN-WATER RESTRICTIONS

Scuba Diving, Scuba Doo and Helmet Diving Restrictions

  • Certain medical conditions and medications may preclude some people from scuba diving and helmet diving/scuba doo.
  • Participation is subject to medical questionnaires completed on board with the tour operator.
  • Minimum age for scuba diving and helmet diving/scuba doo is 12 years.
  • Flying after scuba diving: a wait of 12 hours is recommended after one dive, 18 hour after 2 dives and at least 24 hours after multiple dives, before ascending to an altitude of 300 metres or greater.

Intro Dive Medical

Read more about Diving Safety on the Great Barrier Reef.

Additional Information

  • For scuba diving and helmet diving, medical, height and age restrictions apply; must be 12 to 70 years.
  • All schedules, activities and prices may be varied without notice.

Eco Certifications

Certified Tourism

What to Bring

  • Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Swimming costume, Towel, Cash or credit card, Camera
  • Souvenirs available for sale on board the boat.

Customer Reviews

Reviewed on March 06, 2019

An amazing day. The crew and staff so very helpful in every way. The lunch was so good, the snorkling was great. Everything was perfect. The pontoon was clean and everything was provided. We did a guided snorkel and he was so patient and helpful. Highly recommend this company.

Response From Barrier Reef Australia

Judith thank you so very much for your review of your Great Barrier Reef tour from Cairns. This particular outer reef pontoon tour is one of our most popular as there are so many things to do and so many ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef from this pontoon and its tour options. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cairns in ther near future

Great time on the Barrier Reef. Amazing staff. Great Lunch and enjoyable day.

Reviewed on July 21, 2018

Our family of 5 enjoyed it very much. Our only criticism would be the quality of the food for lunch - it really was not very appetising. The staff were fantastic and it's very well organised.

Thank you for your review of the Great Barrier Reef tour Siobhan. We have passed on your comments regarding the buffet lunch on the day. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cairns in the future

Reviewed on March 25, 2018

The Tour Specialists are pleased to hear you enjoyed your day on the Great barrier Reef Greg and we look forward to your next visit to our region.

Reviewed on August 18, 2016

The trip on the catamaran and the staff were really great. We also enjoyed the semi sub and underwater viewing. Just a bit dissapointing that the lunch seemed a bit chaotic and nowhere to sit on the pontoon as tables taken over with other guests bags etc. We ate on the catamaran- thought we would have been able to relax on a sun bed but that was the same.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Disabled Travelers

Containes notes on wheelchair access

Norman Reef Pontoon

Wheelchair accessibility.

For an Outer Reef experience, Great Adventures recommend their Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise, however the following is provided for your information.

Number of Steps

There is a ramp to access the vessel~|~there is a motorised chair lift to enable a transfer between upper and lower decks~|~There are no wheelchair accessable toilets on board the boat or pontoon.

Onboard Access

At the Outer Barrier Reef there are ramp facilities from the vessel to the floating platform. There are no disabled facilities on the platform and the platform does have decking whereby wheelchair wheels can get stuck. Access to the underwater observatory, swim platforms and semi-submersible is by stair only

Child Policy

  • Family Fare: 2 Adults and 2 Children (not applicable with other discounts)
  • Child Fare 4-14 years inclusive

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be in writing.

We understand things may change, so we have made cancellations very easy.

In every instance we always recommend you purchase travel insurance for life’s last-minute hiccups.

Please see our   terms and conditions  for details prior to booking.

Operators policy:

  • Cancellations received within 24 hours are subject to full cancellation.
  • Note: Infants age 3 will be charged the child price for any helicopter component booked, this charge will be added to your booking total

Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au $156.00 Family: au $740.00

Choose Your Option

15 yrs & over

Ages of Children

(discounts may apply), 1300 231 118, +61 427 074 745, you may also like.

Snorkelling Tours Mission Beach - Explore Great Barrier Reef Islands - Full Day Trip

Snorkelling Mission Beach | Dunk Island & Secret Cassowary Islands

Join us on a one day snorkelling tour to discover the Great Barrier Reef's best kept secret islands on a day trip from Mission Beach and also visit Dunk Island.

Departing: Mission Beach

Pickup: Cairns, Mission Beach

Mission Beach Snorkelling Tour - Dunk Island

Snorkelling Mission Beach | Beaver Reef & Dunk Island

Island exploration and snorkelling tour from Mission Beach. Visit two Great Barrier Reef locations in one day: Beaver Reef and Dunk Island.

Kayaking Tours Whitsundays

Half Day Island Kayaking Tour Airlie Beach | SALTY

Half Day Sea Kayaking tour suitable for experienced paddlers and beginners. Daily trips from Airlie Beach Shute Harbour.

Departing: Shute Harbour

Pickup: Airlie Beach

Full Day Sail - Magnetic Island

Full Day Sail Around Magnetic Island | From Townsville or Magnetic Island | RAG

Full day sail around Magnetic Island. Visit locations only accessible by boat. Small & personalised trip with 10 guests maximum. Departs from Townsville or Magnetic Island.

Departing: Townsville city

  • Search Barrier Reef Australia
  • Explore All Places To See
  • Explore  All Bundaberg North Burnett
  • Lady Elliot Island
  • Explore  All Cairns Tropical North Queensland
  • Green Island
  • Fitzroy Island
  • Port Douglas
  • Mission Beach
  • Explore  All Capricorn Region
  • Great Keppel Island
  • Rockhampton
  • Explore  All Fraser Coast
  • K'gari (Fraser Island)
  • Explore  All Gladstone Region
  • Lady Musgrave Island
  • Agnes Water
  • Seventeen Seventy
  • Heron Island
  • Explore  All The Wild North
  • Cape York Peninsula
  • Lizard Island
  • Explore  All Townsville North Queensland
  • Townsville city
  • Magnetic Island
  • Explore  All Whitsundays
  • Airlie Beach
  • Hamilton Island
  • Whitehaven Beach
  • Daydream Island
  • Shute Harbour
  • Explore All Things To Do
  • Explore  All 4WD Tours
  • Explore  All Aboriginal Tours
  • Explore  All Adrenaline Experiences
  • Jet Boating
  • White Water Rafting
  • Explore  All Christmas Day
  • Explore  All Combo Package Tours
  • Explore  All Cruise Ship Tours
  • Explore  All Family Tours
  • Family Tours Great Barrier Reef
  • Explore  All Great Barrier Reef Tours
  • Great Barrier Reef Cruises
  • Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling
  • Overnight Tours
  • Sailing Tours
  • Great Barrier Reef Pontoons
  • Island Tours
  • Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flights
  • Helicopter & Reef Combo
  • Snorkelling and Diving
  • Non-Swimmer Reef Tours
  • Explore  All Half Day Tours
  • Half Day Island Tours
  • Half Day Adrenaline Experiences
  • Half Day Family Tours
  • Half Day Great Barrier Reef Tours
  • Half Day Whale Tours
  • Half Day Scenic Flights
  • Half Day Private Charter Tours
  • Explore  All Hot Deals
  • Explore  All Luxury Yacht Charters
  • Explore  All Private Charter Tours
  • Charter Boats
  • Explore  All Scenic Flights
  • Helicopter Rides
  • Hot Air Balloon
  • Airplane Flights
  • Explore  All Sunset Cruise
  • Explore  All Whale Tours
  • Whale Watching
  • Swim with Whales
  • Accommodation
  • Explore All Plan Your Trip Pages Explore Plan Your Trip Pages
  • About The Reef
  • Wet Tropics Rainforest
  • Popular Itineraries
  • Visitor Information
  • 0 My Favourites
  • Great Barrier Reef Blog
  • Explore All What's On

1300 231 118 Intl +61 7 4059 59 59

Office Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm AEST

Barrier Reef Time: 03:47

Calypso Reef Cruises

Port Douglas Reef Cruises - Experience the Great Barrier Reef

Explore low isles in a virtual tour.

Click the button below to get started, and navigate through Low Isles and it’s surrounding reef, exploring 360° panoramic views at each stop along the tour. Experience the beauty of the reef before you travel!

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Discover the magic just outside Port Douglas

Calypso’ Port Douglas Reef Cruises offer a variety of family cruises, reef tours, and dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling and scuba diving. Our reef trips are suitable for all ages and provide a unique reef experience for all guests.

Explore the wondrous spectacle that is the Great Barrier Reef with Calypso Reef Cruises. A diversity of marine life and corals inhabit the Great Barrier Reef and can be viewed from the surface or by plunging below.

Snorkelling and diving the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is an adventure. Exploring the coral gardens in search for weird and wonderful marine creatures at Opal Reef and Agincourt Reef will keep you busy for hours. Three sites are visited in one day, providing an insight into this large, unique and extraordinary living organism that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Departing from the Crystalbrook Marina, our experienced and knowledgeable crew will take you on a trip of a lifetime in new stable and comfortable vessels.

Calypso Tours

We have a variety of Port Douglas reef cruises available from half day island tours to full day outer Great Barrier Reef adventures. Whether you prefer to stay dry or get out into the depths of the reef, Calypso Reef Cruises will ensure your Great Barrier Reef experience is safe, memorable & fun!

great barrier reef tours outer reef

  • Snorkel Tour
  • Dedicated snorkelling vessel
  • Visit 3 amazing snorkelling sites
  • Delicious lunch, morning and afternoon tea
  • Snorkel gear + vests/lyrca suits

Adult From $299

Child 4 – 14 year From $189

Family 2 Adults + 2 Children From $787

The above rates are based on off peak season rates. Peak season rates attract an extra $10 per person / $30 per family.

Peak season: 1st April – 26th April | 22nd June – 11th October | 21st December – 17th January 2025

Off peak: 27th April – 21st June | 12th October – 20th December | 18th January – 31st March 2025

Infants 0-3 travel free on our Full Day Great Barrier Reef Tours but must be pre-booked. Total price includes $7 administration costs.

Calypso low. isles half day tour

  • Low Isles Half Day Tour
  • Only 30mins from Port Douglas
  • Small group half day tour
  • Morning or afternoon tea
  • Glass Bottom Boat & Snorkel equipment

Adult From $229

The above rates are based on off peak season rates. Peak season rates attract an extra $10 per person.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Dive & Snorkel Tour

  • Optional diving experiences*
  • Visit 3 breathtaking sites
  • Delicious lunch, morning & afternoon tea
  • Snorkel gear + vests/lycra suits included

Infants 0-3 travel free on our Full Day Great Barrier Reef Tours but must be pre-booked. Total price includes $7 administration costs. *Diving is an additional cost

“ Definitely a must do when visiting North Queensland. The staff were excellent - all very experienced and informative. We were taken to 3 areas of Opal Reef. The staff were extremely tentative...added BONUS of a professional photographer onboard, who photographed us underwater! Monique via Tripadvisor
“ This 1/2 day snorkelling trip from Port Douglas could not have been better! During the 4-hour tour we learnt about the Low Isles, their creation, evolution and history. We went for a 45 minute snorkel when the instructor was able to show us a turtle! Wet suits and snorkel gear were all provided, pre-sanitized. Fellow Traveller via Tripadvisor
“ Incredible! The staff were fantastic extremely lovely. We snorkelled and saw everything we wanted to. The reef was stunning and the staff gave great recommendations on where to go for the best spots. Would highly recommend! Celeste R via Tripadvisor
“ I can highly recommend them. I am a pretty experienced certified diver and have been on many dive trips in and outside Australia. Deb, Pamela & the rest of the dive team at Calypso got it just about spot on with me...Interesting marine discussions and nice food supplied. All the staff were very personable and friendly. Captain Getaway via Tripadvisor

Committed to Sustainability

Eco-certified-advanced-ecotourism

The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists travellers to choose and experience a genuine and authentic tour, attraction, cruise or accommodation that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

View Our Policy

Book your calypso reef adventure today, our cruises.

  • EXP Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Collaboration Requests
  • Local Offers
  • Agent Login
  • Become an Agent
  • Agent Famil Request
  • Agent Credit Application
  • Dive & Snorkel Tour
  • Reef Protection
  • Accessibility
  • Diving Medical Information
  • Community Support Request

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Sustainability

great barrier reef tours outer reef

  • Calypso Scuba Diving
  • Book Online

Great Barrier Reef Tours

Outer Reef, Great Barrier Reef

The great barrier reef is one of the world’s biggest natural wonder and the largest complex coral reef system on the entire planet..

Outer Reef

It’s made up of almost 3,000 individual reefs that sprawl out over an area of 344,400 square kilometres, including 900 paradise islands in its clutches.

Whilst the Great Barrier Reef is a popular hotspot for tourists, drawing in millions of visitors every year who are fascinated by the underwater world and the marine life that calls this part of the world home, the Outer Reef is a lesser-visited phenomenon.

Not because it doesn’t hold as much intrigue. In fact, some might say it holds more intrigue, as it’s perched right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

What is an Outer Reef?

The Outer Reef marks the point where the complex coral system meets the great, wide ocean – the edge of the wall. Now you can probably see why the Outer Reef is one of the lesser-visited parts of the Great Barrier Reef. It is isolated from the mainland and takes a few hours on to get to from the Queensland shore.

What you’ll find near the Outer Reef

Whereas the main body of the Great Barrier Reef is pretty uniformed in its layout, with similar corals and a landscape that’s both picturesque and welcoming, the Outer Reef offers a complete experience, peppered with deep gullies that bore into the outer wall of the reef itself. Here, you’ll find heavy-duty corals that can withstand the drop-in depth and temperature and the wilder surroundings near the wide expanse of the ocean. The reef in this section grows from the ocean floor, instead of a land base region.

As well as this, though, you can also expect to see some of the typical colourful coral species that are so well-known throughout the rest of the Great Barrier Reef. On average, the outer reef contains harder coral, a large number of the same fish species, and a range of the larger marine animals. They offer protection for the plethora of marine life that lives undisturbed this far out.

The Pros and Cons

If you are looking for a full day out to immerse yourself in the natural underwater wonderland, the outer reef is for you. With a wide collection of wildlife, you can spread out away from the group and discover some unforgettable sights. Due to the outer reef not having as much runoff from the islands as the fringe reef possesses, the visibility is usually a lot better.

However, its unspoilt location is all due to its large distant away from the mainland. This can be both a pro and con for visitors, with the out reef being quite an effort to get to. Travelling with an experienced Reef Company is the only way to see this wondrous place and see and enjoy the very best the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. If travelling for long periods on a boat isn’t ideal for you, the outer reef trip might turn your day into a disaster. However, for some, it is worth it, with the area a lot less packed with tourist, but still bursting with wildlife.

What to do once you are there

Snorkelling.

Snorkeling

Scuba Diving

Glass-bottom boat, helicopter flight, boom netting.

Related article: Facts about the Great Barrier Reef

Explore Our Great Barrier Reef Tours

2 Day Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tour $585

2 Day Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tour $585

Great Barrier Reef Premium Snorkelling Tour $239

Great Barrier Reef Premium Snorkelling Tour $239

Great Barrier Reef Cruise Deluxe $245

Great Barrier Reef Cruise Deluxe $245

Small Group Great Barrier Reef Tour $209

Small Group Great Barrier Reef Tour $209

3 Day Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tour $825

3 Day Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tour $825

1 Day Great Barrier Reef Pontoon Adventure $255

1 Day Great Barrier Reef Pontoon Adventure $255

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel

A unique outer great barrier reef tour.

Great Barrier Reef Tours - Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel - Committed To Sustainability

Eco Certified – committed to sustainability

Great Barrier Reef Tours - Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel - Australian owned & operated

Australian Owned and operated

Great Barrier Reef Tours - Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel - Indigenous Culture

Incorporating Indigenous Culture

Great Barrier Reef Tours - Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel - Activities for all ages

Activities for all ages & experience levels

Experience two premium outer reef sites

Enjoy one of Cairns’ most unique & exclusive Great Barrier Reef tours. Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel invites you to explore some of the best diving and snorkelling sites on the Great Barrier Reef with our experienced Marine Biologists and Indigenous Cultural Guides. We choose our reef sites based on the best conditions for the day, so you’re truly getting the highest quality snorkelling and diving experience. Our sites include Milln, Flynn, Hastings, Saxon, Norman or Thetford Reef.

Once at the Reef, you will have the opportunity to explore the underwater world with included snorkelling experiences.

Come and jump on board, what are you waiting for?

guided with purpose

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel pride our-self on our commitment to sustainability. The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists travellers to choose and experience a genuine and authentic tour, attraction, cruise or accommodation that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Land and Sea on which our business operates on throughout Australia. At Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel we acknowledge the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji , Mandingalbay Yidinji, Yirrganydji & Gunggandji people, Traditional Owners of the Sea Country on which our business operates. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and to Elders past and present.

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Customer Reviews

We had the best day on the reef with our 4 and 7 year old kids. The staff was fantastic. Highly recommend the whole experience.

We had a great time snorkeling the outer reef, nearly 1/2 price of other diving companies. Didgeridoo and Dance demonstrations were an added bonus thank you to the captain and crew.

A wonderful personal experience from beginning to end. The crew were lovely and worked hard all day for everyone on board.

I picked Dreamtime because I thought the indigenous touch would be a bit different and more interesting than other tours. There was nothing that I could complain about. I am so pleased I chose this trip, do yourself a favour and book it!

From the stories, history lessons, interactive staff to the stunning reef, i couldn’t have had a better day out on the reef.

This tour was the most relaxed and the most friendliest we have been on in the 10 days we stayed in Cairns. We absolutely loved it. The food was great and plenty of it.

Absolutely amazing! This brand new reef experience is the best one we’ve had in cairns – comfortable, modern, new boat and an energetic, happy, informative crew.

This was a wonderful experience. The staff were so friendly and knowledgable and the reef locations were excellent.

The whole operation was very professional and equally laid back. We felt like we had very personalised service and the crew was outstanding. This was the highlight of my trip to Australia.

Share Your Day With #letsgodreamtime

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel

  • Dreamtime Cruise
  • Eco Certified
  • Local Perks

Our Company

  • Employment Pathways
  • EXP Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Accessibility
  • Become An Agent
  • Agent Login

Get In Touch

  • Collaboration Requests

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Committed To Sustainability

Eco Certified

© 2024 Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel.

Afterpay

15 Best Great Barrier Reef Tours from Cairns

best Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns

  • 6 Pinterest

Approximately two million people make the journey to Far North Queensland every year, teeming with excitement. With so many different tours departing from Cairns offering sailing, snorkeling, diving, and more, choosing the most appropriate option can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to! If you’re looking for the best Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns, look no further!

Composed of nearly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 picturesque islands, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef boasts breathtaking beauty in every direction. Colorful fish, vibrant coral, and sizzling rays of year-round sunshine make this iconic Australian destination one of the world’s most revered natural attractions.

Don’t feel like reading ahead? Click below to compare ALL of the tours available and save 30% or more.

  • Check deals

1 – Great Barrier Reef: Premium Catamaran Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Premium Catamaran Cruise from Cairns

There’s no better feeling than lounging on the netted deck with the wind in your hair. That’s exactly what you’ll be experiencing en route to two glorious reef sites aboard a state-of-the-art catamaran. Depending on the day’s conditions, some snorkeling locations boast greater underwater visibility than others, with the crew always aiming to find the most serene spots.

The full-day tour lasts 9 hours, sets sail at 8am, and offers full cancellation and refunds up to 24 hours before departure. $175 AUD will include morning and afternoon tea, high-quality snorkeling equipment, complimentary snorkel tours, and the option to either snorkel, swim, or dive (optional add-on) amongst the marine life.

  • See reviews and prices

2 – Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

Suitable for beginner-level swimmers as well as water sports enthusiasts, this cruise takes you out to a pair of vibrant reef locations on a luxurious superyacht – work on the tan on th open-air deck or relax and take a break from the sun in the air-conditioned modern lounges.

While moorings change depending on the conditions, tours usually visit one of the Outer Great Barrier Reef spots (Saxon Reef or Norman Reef) in the morning before continuing to North Hastings Reef in the afternoon, with a freshly-cooked lunch in the middle.

The tour lasts approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes and departs from Cairns at 7am. $165 AUD includes a glass of wine, use of all equipment, a buffet BBQ lunch, and 5 hours of reef time. Optional extras, such as a helicopter flight, are available at an extra cost.

3 – Premium Reef and Coral Cay Cruise at High Speed from Cairns

Premium Reef and Coral Cay Cruise at High Speed from Cairns

With a maximum of 36 participants on any one day, this tour is far more intimate and personal than most of its competitors. Onboard the Seastar 1, you’ll reach your first diving or snorkeling spot – Michaelmas Cay – just 1 hour and 15 minutes after departure.

Once there, explore the waters to your heart’s content or simply kick back on the untouched, postcard-worthy beach. Next stop: the equally impressive Hastings Reef, sitting on the very outer edge on the Great Barrier Reef.

The full-day tour departs from Cairns at 7:30am. $200 AUD includes morning and afternoon tea, a scrumptious buffet lunch, guided snorkel tours at both locations, and most impressively, a glass-bottom boat throughout.

4 – Cairns: Green Island & Reef Full-Day Sailing Cruise

Cairns Green Island & Reef Full-Day Sailing Cruise

The smallest boat so far – a classic 16-meter sailing vessel – welcomes a maximum of 25 exclusive guests, meaning that you’ll have more one-on-one time with the informative marine biologist and won’t have to fight your way through hoards of tourists to cash in on the smorgasbord lunch. In addition to the ample diving and snorkeling opportunities, visitors have plenty of time to chill on the beautiful Green Island.

The tour lasts about 9 hours and typically leaves the Cairns dock at 8am. $215 per person includes top-quality snorkeling gear, wetsuits, a glass of wine, a tropical afternoon tea,  and snorkeling tours – with the optional add-on for scuba diving.

Cancellation is available up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund (trust us though, this unforgettable experience is not one that you want to pass up).

5 – Great Barrier Reef Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

If you’re all about high-class luxury and prefer having more room to move, then the 65-foot (20-meter) catamaran presents as an excellent option. A maximum of 75 people will set sail from Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal to Upolu Cay. From there, visitors climb aboard a glass-bottom boat – have your camera at the ready, because the marine life swimming underneath is guaranteed to amaze.

Swimming zone number two is a marine hotspot known as the Wonder Wall, which descends a whopping 14 meters below the surface and is teeming with coral and wildlife.

The tour lasts 9 hours, departing from Cairns at 7:15am. Upwards of $213.50 includes a tantalizing buffet lunch with seafood, professional snorkeling equipment, ongoing crew assistance, refreshments throughout the day, and showers on board.

6 – Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Seeing the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef from on or below the surface is incredible. Seeing it from a birds-eye view as you whip through the skies in a helicopter provides a whole new jealousy-inducing perspective. You’ll still be blessed with the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and/or scuba – the helicopter is simply the means of transport.

Three options are available to choose from:

  • Fly to the reef, snorkel and explore, and then fly back to Cairns.
  • Boat to the reef, snorkel and explore, and then fly back to Cairns.
  • Fly to the reef, snorkel and explore, and then boat back to Cairns.

Option 1 and option 2 commence at 12:40pm while option 3 departs at 7:30am.

Starting at $405, these packages include at least one overhead helicopter flight; a freshly-made BBQ lunch featuring fresh fish, sausages, steak, salads, and pasta; snorkeling equipment; and free refunds up until 24 hours before departure.

Note that scuba diving within 48 hours of flying is not recommended and hotel pickup is not included (although Cairns is a small city with plenty of parking, so making your own way to the departure point shouldn’t be a hassle).

7 – 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is renowned for being home to the largest coral reef system on Earth. But the Tropical North Queensland city has another trick up its sleeve: it’s the gateway to some of the oldest and most beautiful tropical rainforests on the planet. This tour combines the best of both worlds, tackling the rainforest-based Kuranda Village on day one and the reef on day two.

Kuranda village sits in the tropical mountains northwest of Cairns – you’ll see the village and its surroundings first-hand with rides on both the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This portion of the two-day tour provides an insight into Aboriginal culture and gets you up close and personal with land-based Aussie wildlife (did someone say koalas?).

$614 includes hotel pickup and drop-off (from Cairns only), a 25-minute one-way helicopter tour from the Great Barrier Reef to Cairns, professional guides, lunch, and the Great Barrier Reef Cruise.

8 – Green Island Reef Catamaran Cruise from Cairns

Green Island Reef Catamaran Cruise from Cairns

For those who want to experience all the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef but don’t want to splurge on unnecessary bells and whistles, this tour aught to do the trick.

Starting at just $99, this option entices the budget-savvy traveler while still offering ample time to snorkel through the colorful coral gardens off the coast of Green Island and surround yourself with spectacular fish.

Full-day tours offer time to laze on a sandy beach, while half-day tours suit those pressed for time. Depending on which you choose, you’ll set sail in either the modern catamaran, ‘Reef Rocket’; or a larger, air-conditioned 35-meter catamaran.

9 – Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour & Live Music

Cairns Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour & Live Music

Five hours of snorkeling at two exclusive mooring locations is the perfect way to check out this globally-adored slice of Mother Nature. What sets this tour apart from the others is the live music, performed by an Aussie artist on the return leg of the journey.

The vessel departs at 8:15am and typically returns at around 4:30pm. $165 per person includes a gourmet BBQ lunch, snorkeling equipment with an optional guided lesson from one of the staff members, afternoon tea, a glass of wine, and a fruit and cheese platter.

Plenty of optional extras are available for purchase too, such as photos, helicopter tours, and diving.

10 – Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise Including Scenic Heli Flight

Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise Including Scenic Heli Flight

On ‘Evolution’, one of the fastest and largest commercial catamarans that services the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll venture across the pristine waters to two spectacular swimming destinations in the Outer Reef.

Sunbathe on the deck or relax in the air-conditioned lounges – either way, you’re in for a treat. With room for 150 passengers on the boat, this option is perfect for the socialites.

$368 grants you access to a 10-minute Scenic Helicopter Flight to and from the exclusive Heli-Pontoon on the Outer Reef, in addition to all of the features and amenities listed in the aforementioned number 9 on this list.

11 – Barrier Reef Snorkeling with Helicopter, Cruise or Both

Barrier Reef Snorkeling with Helicopter, Cruise or Both

If you’re itching to take in the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef from all possible angles, then look no further. This tour kicks off with a scenic flight from Cairns over the Reef and the sand cays. Thereafter, you’ll be given 1.5 hours to spend swimming or snorkeling in the wildlife haven that is Hastings Reef.

  • Cruise to the reef, snorkel and explore, and then fly back to Cairns.
  • Fly to the reef, snorkel and explore, and then cruise by boat back to Cairns.

You’ll receive all this, plus a classic Aussie BBQ lunch, snorkeling gear, and a complimentary glass of wine for $399 per person. Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.

12 – 2-Day Reef and Rainforest Package Combo: Green Island Cruise and Kuranda Day Trip

2-Day Reef and Rainforest Package Combo Green Island Cruise and Kuranda Day Trip

Want to see everything that Cairns has to offer on land and sea, and still be able to sleep in your own bed? Look no further. With hotel pickup and drop-off on both days, this hassle-free tour takes you on an adventure through the reef (with a cruise to Green Island) and through the rainforest (with a visit to the rainforest village of Kuranda).

The activity is advertised to have a maximum of 9 travelers, so you won’t feel forced to socialize. Have the camera at the ready because you’ll be gawking at the views from the Kuranda Scenic Rail, hanging out with koalas, and snapping selfies with turtles.

Trips start at $394 AUD and include a coral viewing tour in a semi-submarine at no extra charge. Note: unlike some alternatives, this option is final-sale and incurs a 100% cancellation penalty.

13 – Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Marine World Pontoon

Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Marine World Pontoon

A high-speed catamaran guarantees a smooth ride out to the Outer Reef, where the magic of the Great Barrier Reef truly shines through. Once anchored, you’ll have access to a wide range of free onboard activities including a semi-submersible tour, viewings from a glass-bottom boat, and the ‘underwater reef viewing observatory’. Or, join a marine biologist from the multilingual crew on a guided snorkel safari!

Prices start at $239 per person, tours last for approximately 8 hours, and you’ll depart from the Cairns dock at 8:30am. Refreshments are available all day, highlighted by a delicious chef-prepared buffet lunch.

14 – Cairns: Snorkel & Dive a Secluded Great Barrier Reef Island

Cairns Snorkel & Dive a Secluded Great Barrier Reef Island

Can’t stand crowds? Does the thought of a selfie stick make you want to hurl? Then this tour is perfect – it’s secluded, small, and far away from the hoards of potentially-obnoxious tourists.

The tour starts with a relaxing 30-minute cruise down the colorful Mulgrave River – keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles! You’ll arrive at the untouched paradise that is Frankland Islands National Park, an area less popular but also less affected by coral bleaching than most Great Barrier Reef destinations.

A maximum of 30 visitors are permitted on the island daily, so make sure to book in advance. Tours start at $99 per person and included a prepackaged lunch, snorkeling equipment, and morning and afternoon tea

15 – Reef and Rainforest Tandem Sky Dive in Cairns

Reef and Rainforest Tandem Sky Dive in Cairns

Adrenaline junkies, this one’s for you! Jump out of a plane from up to 15,000 feet over, arguably, the most picturesque natural vista on the planet. No previous experience required – with a professional tandem diver strapped to your back, all that you have to worry about is soaking in the unbeatable views of UNESCO rainforests and reefs from above.

Prices start at $274 AUD and come with free cancellation up to 24 hours beforehand.

We hope that you have enjoyed our selection of the best Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns. If you are looking for more activities to do in Cairns, take a look at our list of the most fun things to do in Cairns !

Don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any questions. Have fun 🙂

  • Telephone + 61 7 4099 5031
  • Email [email protected]
  • Address Shop 6, 43 Macrossan Street, Port Douglas, QLD 4877

Wavelength Reef Cruises

  • Online Bookings

Snorkel Only!

Small numbers and personal service

Three exclusive outer reef sites each day

Guided snorkel tours with marine biologists

The only reef tour owned and operated by local marine biologists

Operating since 1986

Passionate about conservation and reef research

Low impact reef tourism, at its best

Wavelength visits Great sites pristine coral gardens, abundant fish & clear water

For most of us, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime experience, so make it count! Snorkelling is the best and easiest way to see the reef because 90% of its diversity occurs within 4 metres of the surface. That’s why we’ve specialised in snorkelling since starting our tours to the Outer Reef in 1986.

Snorkelling Only

Total freedom to swim at your own pace. Go where you want, when you want. All equipment included.

Marine Biology

Experienced marine biologists give guided snorkel tours and reef talks, each and every day we’re on the reef.

Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef Day Tour

Our Point of Difference

We strive to do everything possible to provide the best outer reef experience available, in a low impact way. We have a maximum group size of 48 guests on a vessel built to carry 100, ensuring plenty of personal space, personalised service and the best possible wildlife viewing opportunities for every person. We pride ourselves on our great crew, exclusive reefs and vibrant marine life. Wavelength complies with Covid19 hygiene and distancing regulations and is certified as having met these standards by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

Exclusive Sites

During our 34 years of tours, we have obtained exclusive rights to some of the very best snorkelling sites on the outer Great Barrier Reef with great coral, fish life and visibility.

Cool Critters

Be immersed in the most pristine coral gardens amongst abundant wildlife at Wavelength’s own unique locations. We only travel to the best sites on the reef.

Wavelength is locally family owned and operated. Our team are either marine biologists, or have spent much of their lives on the reef. This is our speciality, so you have our full attention.

Eco Certfied- Advanced Eco Tourism

© Wavelength Reef Cruises 2024

Website created by RJ New Designs

great barrier reef tours outer reef

This is the best time for a dive at the Great Barrier Reef

E ver wanted to visit the largest coral reef system in the world? Most experienced scuba divers will agree that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most jaw-dropping places to dive on the planet.

But when should you visit?

Peak season gets crowded, but if you leave it too late, the weather starts to turn, and the visibility isn't great – not to mention the risk of box jellyfish!

If you're planning to visit Australia, this post will show you the best time to dive in the Great Barrier Reef and what you can expect on your trip.

If you're looking for world-class scuba diving without the crowds, you should check out the different diving sites in Tulum, Mexico . 

Best Time Of Year To Dive Great Barrier Reef

The best time to dive in the Great Barrier Reef is between June and October. This is peak season when the weather is warm, rain is uncommon, and the waters are calm and clear.

The downside is that diving tours fill up quickly, and there are a lot of crowds on the beaches and in local restaurants.

If you want to avoid the crowds, the low season is between November and May. However, there is a high chance of rain, the water visibility isn't as good, and deadly box jellyfish will be floating around – not great conditions for diving!

What To Expect When Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

The great thing about visiting the Great Barrier Reef is that you can take an intro diving tour without any experience. The crew onboard will give you all the gear you need and show you the basics of diving safely.

If you do decide to go on a scuba dive tour, an instructor will be with you the entire time to show you the route and keep you as safe as possible.

Most tours also have an underwater photographer to snap pictures of you and the wildlife while you're diving, so you won't have to worry about investing in an underwater camera.

If you're an experienced diver with a certification, you can also go diving without an instructor, but you'll need to have all your own gear and rent a boat to take you out.

Where to go Scuba Diving in Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is about 1,429 miles long , stretching across 133,000 square miles, so there are a lot of opportunities to go diving.

If you've never been before, here are some of the top dive sites you should consider visiting.

Agincourt Reef

This reef is on the northern end near Cairns. It's a great spot for beginners and has plenty of options for snorkeling and diving on the edge of the continental shelf.

At Agincourt Reef, you'll see tropical fish, sea turtles, and even the odd reef shark. This is also the spot where you can visit the Blue Wonder Wall, where the coral garden drops vertically for over 40 meters.

Most tours to Agincourt Reef depart from Port Douglas, but a few tours will pick you up directly from any Cairns accommodation.

SS Yongala Shipwreck

Travel about an hour south of Cairns, and you'll find Magnetic Island, home to the SS Yongala shipwreck that sank in 1911. This is Australia's largest and most intact shipwreck and is now protected by legislation.

The only way to visit the shipwreck is with a licensed operator, but it's well worth the trip. You'll get to see eagle rays, manta rays, turtles, and even sharks that live around the wreck.

Yongala Dive is the most well-known licensed operator that organizes tours to the shipwreck if you're interested in going.

Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays is a group of 74 mostly uninhabited tropical islands. You can take day cruises from Airlie Beach to take on this incredible scuba dive tour.

Manta ray and batfish call the waters around the islands home, but you'll also see underwater cliffs, submerged offshore reefs (bommies), and flat-topped coral pinnacles.

Museum of Underwater Art

Yes, the Great Barrier Reef has its very own underwater museum for divers to peruse. This is where you'll get to see the world-renowned Coral Greenhouse Structure, a 30-foot stainless steel structure that helps dissipate the underwater currents.

The Underwater Museum is just off the coast of Townsville in John Brewer Reef, and many local tour guides have trips out to the dive site. Although you can see the museum by snorkeling, you can't beat the experience of diving down to explore every beautiful detail.

Capricorn and Bunker Reefs

Toward the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, you'll get to meet whales, nesting turtles, and rare birds at the Capricorn and Bunker Reefs.

The water is shallow, so it's perfect for beginner divers, and it's teeming with marine life. If you're not up for diving, you can snorkel without a guide to see the tropical fish, turtles, and manta rays swimming nearby.

But diving near Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island is the best place to see huge fish, coral canyons, and marine turtles that nest on land.

What You'll See When Scuba Diving In Great Barrier Reef

It's hard to picture the sheer amount of marine life surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. If you're a lover of ocean creatures, you won't be disappointed!

  • Between June and July is the best time to see a dwarf minke whale gathering.
  • Also, through the summer, you'll see beaked whales, sperm whales, and bottlenose dolphins.
  • Grouper, cod, and beam fish are also common – and they get pretty big in this part of the world!
  • If you love sharks, you might be lucky enough to spot a silky, silvertip, grey reef, or whitetip shark – all of which call the Reef home.

Tips For Scuba Diving In Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a unique experience, so if this is your first trip, here are some helpful tips to make it a great one.

  • Get your scuba diving certification before you go so you can take full advantage of all the trips on offer.
  • When you choose a dive company, make sure they have permits for multiple scuba dive sites. There could be an issue with overcrowding at the one you planned on visiting, so you want to make sure they can switch to a different one if they need to.
  • Cairns is the most popular area, so it's usually the most crowded. Some less popular (but equally incredible) places to visit are Townsville, Port Douglas, and Cape York.
  • If you have family members who don't want to dive, many tour operators allow people to join you on the boat and go snorkeling at the dive sites.
  • If you want to try out underwater photography, most of the bigger boats have cameras for rent for around 80 AUD.
  • If you're an experienced diver, plan a multi-day trip. This gives you more time to explore, and you'll get to visit multiple sites.
  • Never touch the coral – it's a living organism, and the oils and creams on human skin can kill it.
  • Make sure your travel insurance covers scuba diving – not all policies cover water sports.
  • If you're a non-swimmer who wants to try scuba diving, be honest about your abilities with your instructor. They'll have flotation devices to get you started.

Best Dive Shops in Great Barrier Reef

You'll find multiple dive shops in each area of the Great Barrier Reef, all offering different excursions. Here are a couple of the best ones if you're looking to book in advance.

Pro Dive Cairns 

This one covers the Cairns area and is known for trips exploring the most vibrant reefs. If you're an experienced diver, this is the team for you. However, non-divers and snorkelers are also welcome.

They have over 35 excursions on offer, including day trips from Cairns and Port Douglas, which are perfect for exploring as much of the Outer Great Barrier Reef as possible.

Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive

This dive shop is perfect for scuba divers of all levels (as well as snorkelers). They're based in Townsville and offer day trips to the Queensland coast and the Central Great Barrier Reef.

The sites visited range in depth from one to twenty meters, and they aim to help you spot as much marine life as possible on your reef experience.

Lady Musgrave Experience

This team is situated in Bundaberg and takes divers out on day trips aboard a high-speed catamaran. Once you're at the site, you'll get a full day of Great Barrier Reef diving in a protected coral lagoon that covers around 8km.

There's also a chance to sunbathe and relax on Lady Musgrave Island and go snorkeling around the shores. The Great Barrier Reef tour guides also offer a guided island walk where you can spot the turtles nesting during the hatching season.

Ready to Go Scuba Diving?

Most scuba divers will agree that Australia is one of the most incredible places to go diving in the world. And the best time of year to dive in the Great Barrier Reef is during the warmer months.

But if you're looking for a great place to go scuba diving a little closer to home, Florida is a great choice.

Check out our next post for the best time to go scuba diving in the Florida Keys .

This article originally appeared on The Roam Wild and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

This is the best time for a dive at the Great Barrier Reef

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

MyFlorida.com

Your JavaScript is turned off limiting this website’s functionality

great barrier reef tours outer reef

Florida's Coral Reef

Office of the secretary quick links.

  • Office of the Secretary Home
  • DEP Mission and Values
  • DEP Organization Chart
  • Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency
  • Protecting Florida Together
  • Career Opportunities
  • Public Records
  • All Office of the Secretary Content

Florida is the only state in the continental United States with extensive shallow coral reef formations near its coasts. Coral reefs create specialized habitats that provide shelter, food and breeding sites for numerous plants and animals. This includes ones important to fishing like spiny lobster, snapper and grouper. Coral reefs lay the foundation of a dynamic ecosystem with tremendous biodiversity.

Florida's Coral Reef  stretches approximately 350 linear miles from Dry Tortugas National Park west of the Florida Keys to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. Roughly two-thirds of Florida's Coral Reef lies within Biscayne National Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary , a marine protected area that surrounds the Florida Keys island chain. The reefs stretching north of Biscayne National Park and the marine sanctuary are managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Coral Reef Conservation Program  (CRCP) with insight from the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative, which is one of several programs administered by the CRCP. On July 1, 2018, this northern third of the reef was designated by the Florida Legislature as the Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area (formerly the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area). 

Additionally, the Coral Protection and Restoration Program supports holistic management of Florida's Coral Reef by guiding national coral reef policy through participation in the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, providing leadership for coral reef initiatives in the state and by effectively administering state funding for Florida’s Coral Reef priorities including the Florida's Coral Reef Restoration and Recovery Initiative (FCR3).

Florida's Coral Reef came into existence 10,000 years ago when sea levels rose following the last Ice Age. Reef growth is relatively slow; individual colonies grow only one-half inch to seven inches a year, depending on the species. Coral reefs are in a constant state of flux, where new polyps (the living tissue) grow on the outer surface while their skeleton erodes to help make the white sand for our beaches. During long periods of favorable conditions, the reefs may reach awe-inspiring heights and diversity.

A Juvenile Rock Beauty swimming at a reef at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Corals are animals that have a symbiotic relationship with microscopic algae. The corals benefit from the nutrients and oxygen that the symbionts provide through photosynthesis, and the symbionts receive nutrients and protection from the corals. The symbionts also give the corals their beautiful spectrum of colors.

Coral reef development occurs only in areas with specific environmental characteristics: a solid structure for attachment, relatively high water temperatures, clear waters low in phosphate and nitrogen nutrients, and moderate wave action to disperse waste and bring oxygen and plankton to the reef. Most of Florida's sport fish species and many other marine animals spend significant parts (particularly during their younger development stages) of their lives on or around Florida's Coral Reef and associated ecosystems.

Types of Reefs and Corals

The three major types of coral reefs around the world are atolls, fringing reefs and barrier reefs. Florida's Coral Reef most closely resembles a barrier reef; however, the reefs are closer to shore and they lack the shallow inshore lagoons found on most barrier reefs. For this reason, Florida's Coral Reef is more aptly referred to as a barrier bank reef. Florida also has patch reefs, which grow in shallower water in between the reef and land. Patch reefs are typically small (the size of a backyard or a small home).

Corals can generally be divided into two main categories: stony corals and octocorals (sea fans, sea whips and other soft corals). More than 45 species of stony corals and 35 species of octocorals are found along Florida's Coral Reef. Each kind lives in a separate colony that is shaped differently. Marine sponges are also very important within the coral reef community, and more than 70 species can be found along the reef.

Stony corals are the major reef architects. Polyps, the living portion of corals, extract calcium from seawater and combine it with carbon dioxide to construct the elaborate limestone skeletons that form the reef backbone.

Historically, Florida's reef-building corals were brain, star and elkhorn. Brain coral is dome-shaped and has the waves, folds and ridges that resemble those of a human brain. Star coral is also dome-shaped but has a distinctive star pattern on its surface that is caused by the accordion-like folds within its polyp cups. Elkhorn and a similar coral called staghorn are so named because their branchlike projections resemble the antlers of those animals.

In recent years, corals have experienced declines due to a combination of global and local factors including high ocean temperatures resulting in more frequent coral bleaching events, coral disease, poor water quality associated with land-based sources of pollution, planned and unplanned impacts resulting in direct physical industry, and other human impacts. In 2006, elkhorn and staghorn coral were listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and then in 2014 the boulder star coral, mountainous star coral, lobed star coral, rough cactus coral and pillar coral were also added.

Florida’s Coral Reef has also been experiencing an ongoing coral disease outbreak termed stony coral tissue loss disease. First reported in 2014 off the coast of Miami-Dade County, this outbreak has spread to the northern and southernmost extent of the reef, affecting more than half of Florida’s reef-building corals. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Park Service are leading a collaborative, multi-faceted response effort. Learn more about stony coral tissue loss disease . 

To help restore the health and abundance of these corals throughout the reef, coral nurseries have been established along Florida's coast and in the Florida Keys. Land-based and water nurseries have been growing new colonies for relocation to reef sites where they had once flourished.

Learn more about Florida's Coral Reef .

Interested in subscribing to DEP newsletters or receiving DEP updates through email?

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.

  • Parks & Rec

MyFlorida.com

Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software: PDF: | Word: | Excel:

IMAGES

  1. Cairns Dive and Snorkel Tour

    great barrier reef tours outer reef

  2. Great Barrier Reef Tours

    great barrier reef tours outer reef

  3. 1 Day Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Tour

    great barrier reef tours outer reef

  4. A Beginner's Guide To Australia's Best Great Barrier Reef Tours

    great barrier reef tours outer reef

  5. The Best Great Barrier Reef Cruises

    great barrier reef tours outer reef

  6. Cairns Reef Tours

    great barrier reef tours outer reef

COMMENTS

  1. Great Barrier Reef Cruises & Tours

    Quicksilver Cruises. For your experience of a lifetime, Quicksilver's friendly crew will take you to the renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the very edge of the Great Barrier Reef. From the spacious activity platform, discover an underwater world filled with a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour and brilliance. YOUR TOUR.

  2. Great Barrier Reef Tours

    At Great Barrier Reef Tours, we don't just visit the Great Barrier Reef; we live it daily. Our seasoned divers and snorkelers know the reef inside and out, ensuring you only experience the best spots teeming with marine life and vibrant coral gardens.Whether you're a first-timer or an experienced diver, we tailor each adventure to showcase the most spectacular and diverse underwater ...

  3. Reef Experience Cairns is all-inclusive. The Great Barrier Reef Tour

    Reef Experience. Cairns's best Inclusive Great Barrier Reef Tours Visits two spectacular outer Barrier Reef locations and includes FREE scuba diving for certified divers and beginners, snorkelling, breakfast and BBQ Lunch. $ 245 Book. Reef Experience - full day tour. Watch on.

  4. Cairns Reef Tours

    View & compare all Great Barrier Reef Tours from Cairns. Check Availability and Book Instantly. Menu. Enquiry. Contact. Photos. Videos. News. 606 Reviews ... Modern fast catamaran to spacious activity platform moored at magnificent site on outer edge of Great Barrier Reef . 4.4 . 9 CUSTOMER REVIEWS Instant Book . FROM $ 288.00. BOOK NOW PAY LATER

  5. Seastar Luxury Outer Great Barrier Reef Island and Reef Tour

    About. Michaelmas Cay and the Hastings Reef are two of the most impressive and diverse dive sites in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Visit both in one day with this flexible tour that offers options for all preferences. Choose to swim and snorkel, take an introductory scuba dive with full instruction, or enjoy one or two certified dives ...

  6. Ocean Quest 4 Day Liveaboard Discover Ultimate Dive Experience

    Prepare for an unforgettable adventure as we embark on a 4-day liveaboard experience aboard Ocean Quest, exploring the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Here are the highlights that await you: 1. Dive into the Best Dive Sites. Get ready to explore the most spectacular outer reef dive sites.

  7. Great Adventures Cairns Explore the Outer Barrier Reef

    Snorkelling demonstration by the crew. 12:30 pm Arrive at the Outer Great Barrier Reef pontoon. 1:00-2:30 pm Time for hot and cold buffet lunch. Enjoy more reef activities, relax on the sundeck, and enjoy the views! Tea and coffee are available while on the platform. 3:45 pm Depart to Cairns via Green Island.

  8. Luxury Great Barrier Reef Family Tour to the Outer Barrier Reef

    Meanwhile, explore gardens of coral, large sea fans & black coral trees in its shallow lagoons. 3:00 pm: Family Luxury Great Barrier Reef Tours depart the Great Barrier Reef. 3:30 pm: Enjoy wine, tropical fruits, cheese, and biscuits. 4:30 pm: In conclusion, arrive back in Cairns.

  9. Great Barrier Reef Activity Platform

    The biggest and most spacious platform on the Great Barrier Reef. Designed to provide the best experience for both swimmers and non-swimmersto enjoy a day of discovery on the reef, some of the platform features include: Undercover tables and seating. Snorkelling platforms. Semi-submersibles- cruise as often as you like!

  10. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

    This full-day tour stops at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations for snorkelling with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Sit down for a delicious barbeque lunch with prawns, fish, steak, salads and bread before making your way to the second reef location. Jump ...

  11. Cairns Reef Tours

    View the awe-inspiring beauty of the Barrier Reef from 500ft up on a scenic helicopter flight (optional activity) Don't want to get wet? Snap an amazing pic of the colourful reef standing by the window of the underwater observatory. This is the perfect Great Barrier Reef tour for a non-swimmer. Family Deal - Save $148 based on 2 adults & 2 ...

  12. Port Douglas Reef Cruises

    We have a variety of Port Douglas reef cruises available from half day island tours to full day outer Great Barrier Reef adventures. Whether you prefer to stay dry or get out into the depths of the reef, Calypso Reef Cruises will ensure your Great Barrier Reef experience is safe, memorable & fun! ... Infants 0-3 travel free on our Full Day ...

  13. Evolution Reef Cruise: the Wonders of the Great Barrier Reef

    Full-day Great Barrier Reef tour. Adults $249. Children $149. Family: $660 ( 2 adults and two children) Departs Daily from Cairns check in Reef Fleet Terminal. Embark on an adventure-filled day as you board the award-winning superyacht Evolution for your Great Barrier Reef day tour. Down Under Dive has a knowledgeable and professional dive crew ...

  14. Great Barrier Reef Tour

    Depart Cairns: 10:30Arrive Cairns: 17:30. Please check-in at the Great Adventures counters inside the Reef Fleet Terminal (1 Spence Street in Cairns) 1 hour before your departure time. Escape into a world of surprises to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. The stable reef activity platform is the perfect base for.

  15. Silverswift Dive and Snorkel Great Barrier Reef Cruise

    Dive into the spectacular underwater realm of the Great Barrier Reef on this full-day snorkel and scuba cruise from Cairns. Travel aboard a luxurious catamaran to three renowned dive sites to swim among coral gardens and tropical marine life. All experience levels are welcome, and guides are on hand to assist with your choice of snorkeling, introductory scuba diving, or certified diving. A ...

  16. Silversonic Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise from Port Douglas

    Swim among the fantastic marine life of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this full-day snorkel and scuba catamaran cruise from Port Douglas. Visit three different dive sites on Agincourt Reef, where you can choose to scuba, snorkel or both. Introductory and certified scuba dives are available, and expert guides are on hand to provide instruction and point out highlights of the underwater world ...

  17. Outer Reef, Great Barrier Reef

    The Outer Reef marks the point where the complex coral system meets the great, wide ocean - the edge of the wall. Now you can probably see why the Outer Reef is one of the lesser-visited parts of the Great Barrier Reef. It is isolated from the mainland and takes a few hours on to get to from the Queensland shore.

  18. Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel

    Experience two premium outer reef sites. Enjoy one of Cairns' most unique & exclusive Great Barrier Reef tours. Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel invites you to explore some of the best diving and snorkelling sites on the Great Barrier Reef with our experienced Marine Biologists and Indigenous Cultural Guides. We choose our reef sites based on the ...

  19. Silversonic Port Douglas

    Silversonic Port Douglas Itinerary. 07:30 - First, Check-in at Quicksilver Reservations Counter. 08:15 - Next, board Silversonic Port Douglas. 8:20 - Then enjoy a Complimentary morning tea/breakfast. 08:30 - Depart Port Douglas marina for the Outer Barrier Reef. Along the way, there are certified and introductory dive briefings.

  20. 15 Best Great Barrier Reef Tours from Cairns

    Next stop: the equally impressive Hastings Reef, sitting on the very outer edge on the Great Barrier Reef. The full-day tour departs from Cairns at 7:30am. $200 AUD includes morning and afternoon tea, a scrumptious buffet lunch, guided snorkel tours at both locations, and most impressively, a glass-bottom boat throughout. See reviews and prices

  21. Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef Day Tour

    Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef day tour operator Wavelength Reef Cruises are dedicated to small group, outer reef snorkelling. Small numbers. Big Trip. Telephone + 61 7 4099 5031 . Email. [email protected] ... we have obtained exclusive rights to some of the very best snorkelling sites on the outer Great Barrier Reef with great coral ...

  22. Great Barrier Reef Tours Port Douglas

    Welcome to Great Barrier Reef Tours Port Douglas. Port Douglas is the main hub in Tropical North Queensland for most activities related to experiencing and exploring the Great Barrier Reef and its neighbouring, heritage-listed world wonder, the Daintree Rainforest. The busy little township is off the beaten track, about an hour's drive north ...

  23. Great Barrier Reef: 5 Best Eco-Friendly Tours & Resorts

    Led by marine biologists and Indigenous Cultural Guides, Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel is Cairns' only First Nations-focused cruise. Stopping at two of the outer reef's best sites for diving and snorkelling - chosen according to best conditions for the day - you'll embark on a five-hour exploration of the Reef's diverse ecosystem through the eyes and stories of the Traditional Owners.

  24. The Reef House Review: Luxury Resort at Palm Cove Near the Great ...

    The resort's address is 99 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, QLD 4879. Phone is 07-4080-2600. Email them at. Decades ago, the only reason to book a hotel outside of Cairns was to stay one night in ...

  25. Great Barrier Reef Diving & Snorkeling Essential Guide

    If traveling to the Australian continent, the Great Barrier Reef in the Northeast state of Queensland should be on the top of a must-see list. "Great" is just one of the superlatives that describes a coral reef system in the Coral Sea, so large that it can be seen from outer space. It stretches for more than 14,000 miles from north of ...

  26. The 20 Best Things to Do in Belize, From Barrier Reef Excursions ...

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site and second in size after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the Belize Barrier Reef extends more than 180 miles along the coast of Belize. Dive, snorkel, or do as ...

  27. Top 16 Things to Do in Cairns, Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

    White water rafting. Helicopter tours. Ziplining. Skydiving. If you're traveling to Cairns with kids, family-friendly attractions include an aquarium, botanical gardens and even a giant Ferris ...

  28. This is the best time for a dive at the Great Barrier Reef

    Where to go Scuba Diving in Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is about 1,429 miles long, stretching across 133,000 square miles, so there are a lot of opportunities to go diving.. If you ...

  29. Florida's Coral Reef

    Coral reefs lay the foundation of a dynamic ecosystem with tremendous biodiversity. Florida's Coral Reef stretches approximately 350 linear miles from Dry Tortugas National Park west of the Florida Keys to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. Roughly two-thirds of Florida's Coral Reef lies within Biscayne National Park and the Florida Keys ...