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Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is a small town located in far north Queensland, Australia. Cairns receives hundreds of tourists every day from all over the world, and the main reason why Cairns is so popular is because it is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth, and it is even visible from outer space with the naked eye. The Great Barrier Reef has thousands of individual reefs and hundreds of islands along 2,300 kilometres. It is home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks.

When it comes to visiting the reef Cairns doesn’t disappoint, there are lots of different boat companies operating tours to the reef daily. Each tour company travels to a different part of the reef and they all offer an unforgettable time out there. The trick is to find the most suitable tour for each individual.

Travellers can choose to travel on a small boat, this way avoiding big crowds.The small vessels are usually sailing boats so cruising to the Great Barrier Reef can be a relaxing experience. Once on the reef the tour operator offers the basic water activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving, and travellers visit 2 or 3 different parts of the reef on the same day. This tour is great for visitors who would like to explore the reef as much as they can.

Travellers can also choose to travel on a bigger boat and spend the day on a pontoon. The pontoon is a floating platform located in the middle of the reef. At the platform visitors can find tables, chairs, change rooms, showers and sundeks to sit and relax.

The pontoon is a great place to spend the day, not only because the platform is spacious and comfortable but also because there are many activities available during the day for everyone to enjoy. The activities are: glass bottom boat tours, semi-submersible tours, underwater observatory, seawalker (helmet diving), unlimited snorkelling, introductory and certified diving and even a waterslide (activities can differ from one platform to the other). This is a great option for families with kids, and elderly people.

Click on the link below to learn more about day tours to the Great Barrier Reef.


For those travellers who love water activities and would like to explore the reef a bit more, why not stay overnight in the middle of the reef. There are several boat companies who offer overnight tours at the reef, some of them are sailing boats and others are big liveaboards. They all offer personalised services with activities such as unlimited snorkelling, multiple dives during the day and also a night dive for certified day divers.

Click on the link below to learn more about overnight tours to the Great Barrier Reef.

Another way to see the reef is visiting one of our beautiful islands. There are two main islands just off the coast of Cairns, Fitzroy Island and Green Island. Both islands are located 45 minutes by boat from the marina and visitors can spend a full day or a half day out there. The islands offer great facilities such as restaurants, bars, toilets, showers and also many different activities such as snorkelling, diving, kayaking, stand up paddles, parasailing, scenic helicopter flights and much more.

Click on the link below to learn more about tours to Cairns islands.

For further information on the Cairns Great Barrier Reef and Things to do in Cairns please visit Tourism Cairns website for more details. With over 15 years of experience in the Cairns tourism industry, Tourism Cairns will help you get the most out of your holiday, ultimately making your trip better, easier, less stressful, and cheaper.



Kind Regards,

Tourism Cairns Team

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