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Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

  • Unforgettable views of the Great Barrier Reef by helicopter and boat
  • Marvel at the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Options for all: snorkeling, certified dives, or introductory dive course
Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
From US$283.30
Check Availability
  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
Select Date and Travellers
Fly and Cruise Reef Tour
Depart Cairns at 12:40pm for 25-min helicopter flight to Great Barrier Reef; 2 hrs on the Great Barrier Reef and swimming; cruise to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear
From US$283.29
Cruise and Fly Reef Tour
Check-in at Reef Fleet Terminal at 7:30am Cruise to Hastings Reef & either Norman or Saxon Reef. 4-hours on the Great Barrier Reef. 25-min helicopter flight to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear
From US$306.32
Fly/Fly Reef Tour
Depart Cairns at 12:40pm for 25-min helicopter flight to Great Barrier Reef; 1.5 hrs in the Great Barrier Reef and swimming; helicopter to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear
From US$483.67

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most visited attractions, and the UNESCO-listed landscapes are home to an incredible variety of marine life. With this tour, choose to experience the natural wonder from all angles—flying overhead in a helicopter, taking a boat cruise to the outer reefs, then jumping in to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive along the reef.

What to Expect

Depending on the tour option selected, make your way to Cairns Airport or Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, and set out for the outer reefs by either boat or helicopter. While boats set sail in the morning, helicopter flights depart around midday and take around 25 minutes, affording spectacular views over Cairns as well as the reefs and islands of the Great Barrier Reef. On arrival at the Hastings Reef floating helicopter pad, transfer to the cruise ship, which has space for up to 100 passengers and is fully equipped for snorkelers, scuba divers, and nonswimmers.

During your time onboard (1.5 to 4 hours, depending on the tour option selected), visit two different locations around the Saxon Reef, Norman Reef, or Hastings Reef, stopping at exclusive moorings. On the full-day excursion, scuba divers can enjoy up to three dives, either taking part in a beginner’s introductory course or exploring dive sites accessible only to certified divers. All tours offer swimming and snorkeling along the reefs, with floatation devices available for nonswimmers.

After working up an appetite in the water, enjoy a delicious onboard buffet lunch, including fresh fish, barbecued meats, and a selection of salads and pastas.

Finally, you are dropped back at the helipad for the return journey to Cairns, where your tour ends.

Write a ReviewReviews (163)

1 - 5 of 7 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
As tour of a lifetime! The best adventure!

This was one of the highlights of our Oz adventure! It was well run from start to finish. Upgrade to the gold and you'll be so happy! The boat crew is great, the snorkeling was wonderful and the helicopter was fantastic (I got to ride...More

1  Thank Elizabeth M
Reviewed 5 weeks ago
Fantastic way to see the reef up-close and from above

As a scuba diver, I thought that snorkeling was perfect for the reefs that this trip visits. The reefs visited were very shallow, making it easy to see everything as a snorkeler, and we even saw a white-tip reef shark. The helicopter ride back to...More

Thank Madison H
Reviewed 7 April 2018 via mobile
Best way to experience the reef

This is without a doubt the best way to experience the reef. The 30 min helicopter ride out there is a MUST! You can only grasp the concept of how big the reef is from the air. The pilot was brilliant & rest of Nautilus...More

Thank TheCaddys_12
Reviewed 10 March 2018 via mobile
Enabled Us to See the Great Barrier Reef

We recently visited Cairns with NCL cruises. NCL timeline was that we would normally need to book their excursions to be able to see the actual barrier reef. Using the helicopter ride allowed us to get around this. We took the heliocopter ride to the...More

Thank 2torontotraveller
Reviewed 7 February 2018
An unforgettable experience!

I had 5 adults and one toddler on this adventure. We chose the boat ride there and the helicopter ride back. This was great for us because we got to get off the boat a bit earlier. Our boat stopped at 2 reefs which were...More

1  Thank Ahona A
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