• Location: Cairns, Northern Beaches and Palm Cove, Australia
  • Duration: Varies (approx.)
From USD $241.29

View price calendar

Explore the Great Barrier Reef on a half-day or full-day excursion that travels by helicopter and boat so that you can make the most of your time. Choose from three options for your tour of one of the world’s best coral reefs and enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. Admire views of the Great Barrier Reef from your helicopter as you get a multi-angled perspective on one of the world’s top natural wonders.

Highlights

  • Instant Confirmation
  • Scenic helicopter flight
  • Snorkel gear included
  • Lunch included
Choose from three options for your Great Barrier Reef experience. Fly by helicopter in and out of the reef for a 3-hour excursion; fly there and return by boat for a 4.5-hour round-trip. Or get the most time on the reef if you choose the full-day excursion, traveling to the reef by boat and spending five hours exploring there before returning by helicopter to Cairns in the afternoon. More details are in the Itinerary below.

All options spend time on the Great Barrier Reef aboard a deluxe boat that holds a maximum of 100 people, with 18 expert guides to show you the amazing underwater world.

If you take the boat from Cairns in the morning, when you arrive at the reef you stop at two prime locations to see multi-colored coral gardens and schools of fish. Your friendly guides assist you with your snorkel or scuba diving equipment, and provide encouragement and instruction to both newcomers and experienced participants.

If you are a nervous first-time snorkeler or diver, your guides do their best to help you feel comfortable and enjoy your experience. Even non-swimmers can get in the water and see the reef!

You have a choice of included and optional activities on this tour. If you want to learn to scuba dive, a 10-minute SCUBA lesson is included, allowing you to try it out before purchasing the introductory dive course. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience one of the world’s top locations for diving! (Available only on the morning boat cruise)

If you already have your scuba diving certification, you can scuba dive as many as three times at two different locations during the full-day excursion, plus have plenty of time for snorkeling or relaxation between dives. Simply book the dives when you are on the boat. All dive gear and dive computers are provided.

Depending on the day’s weather conditions and water clarity, your guides choose from 12 exclusive moorings at six locations for the best possible experience for all activities. Generally, in the morning the boat visits one of the true Outer Great Barrier Reef locations (Saxon Reef). In the afternoon you then head to North Hastings Reef for more snorkeling and helicopter flight connections.

For lunch, enjoy a tasty Australian barbecue buffet served on the boat. Select from a spread consisting of fresh fish, sausages and steak, accompanied by a selection of salads, pastas and prawns.

After a memorable visit to the Great Barrier Reef, return to the mainland by boat or helicopter in the afternoon. If you return by boat, snack on a tropical fruit and cheese platter while your talented crew provides live musical entertainment.

Recent Photos of this Tour


Schedule details

Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.

Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
Cairns Airport, Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal or Cairns and Northern Beaches hotels
Duration:
Varies
Return Details:
Returns to original departure point

Pricing information

Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.

Fly and Cruise Reef Tour
Code: HCRT

Depart Cairns at 12:40pm for 25-min helicopter flight to Great Barrier Reef; 2 hrs of snorkeling, swimming or coral-viewing tour; cruise to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear

From
USD $241.29
Pricing details
Cruise and Fly Reef Tour
Code: CHRT

Depart Cairns at 8:30am. Cruise to Hastings Reef. Norman Reef and Saxon Reef. 5-hours on the Great Barrier Reef. 25-min helicopter flight to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear & scuba diving intro

From
USD $280.33
Pricing details
Fly/Fly Reef Tour
Code: RTHRT

Depart Cairns at 12:40pm for 25-min helicopter flight to Great Barrier Reef; 1.5 hrs of snorkeling, swimming or coral-viewing tour; helicopter to Cairns. Includes: lunch, snorkel gear

From
USD $390.43
Pricing details

Pricing information

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Inclusions:
  • BBQ lunch
  • Guided snorkeling tour
  • Scuba diving demonstration (morning cruise only)
  • Use of snorkel equipment
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from Cairns and Northern Beaches hotels
Exclusions:
  • Optional video record of your tour, payable direct
  • Optional introductory or certified dives, payable direct on travel date (morning cruise only)
  • AU$20 Environmental Management Charge (EMC) and Fuel Levy is payable direct to the operator on the day of travel
Additional Information:
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • All passenger weights MUST be advised at time of booking
  • Due to comfort, weight and balance of the aircraft, passengers weighing over (240 pounds) 110kg will be required to pay an extra 50% of an additional seat. Passengers are allowed a weight variance of up to 10% over original recorded weight. Should this variance be found to be more than 10%, your local operator reserves the right to charge an additional fee.
  • There is a maximum of 6 passengers permitted per helicopter
  • Evidence of dive certification is required from all divers wishing to participate in a certified dive
  • Diving within 48 hours of flying is not recommended.(Please note: This does not include the helicopter flight). All participants will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to diving. Some pre-existing medical conditions (eg asthma, heart conditions, etc) may prevent you from diving, please consult your doctor
  • Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Infants 2 years and under travel free of charge when seated in the lap of a parent or guardian
Itinerary:
Helicopter-Cruise Reef Tour (4 hours)
Fly by helicopter to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, have lunch and enjoy two hours of snorkeling and swimming, then cruise by boat back to Cairns. Departs Cairns at 12:40pm and return at approximately 4:45pm. Hotel pick-ups commence between 30-60 minutes prior to this time.

Cruise-Helicopter Reef Tour (6.5 hours) - If you will be scuba diving, you MUST choose this option during the booking process

This option gives you the most time on the Great Barrier Reef! Depart by boat from Cairns and enjoy five hours of snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming, plus the barbecue lunch. If you take the boat in the morning, when you arrive at the reef you stop at two prime locations to see multi-colored coral gardens and schools of fish. In the afternoon, transfer to the helicopter pad for your return flight to Cairns. Departs Cairns at 8:30am and returns at approximately 3pm. Hotel pick-ups commence between 30-60 minutes prior to this time.

Round-trip Helicopter Reef Tour (3 hours)
Fly by helicopter to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, enjoy one and a half hours for lunch and your snorkeling, swimming then depart by helicopter for Cairns. Departs Cairns at 12:40pm and returns to Cairns at approximately 3pm. Hotel pick-ups commence between 30-60 minutes prior to this time.
Voucher Info
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity. What's this?
Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: Jordan P, August 2016

The beginning of the day started out rocky, as our bus forgot to pick us up be sure to watch the clock and have reception call if they are more than 5 minutes late!, and boarding the ship was jumbled, unorganized, and rushed.
Before boarding we were told there were cookies and coffee aboard for us, but as soon as we stepped foot on the ship we were hurried up to the top into a lonely VIP room for those who chose the helicopter option. It was cold, stinky, and it was a small room of 6 of us with no idea what was going on. They told us nothing as the other decks were getting briefed. About 10 minutes later I finally decided to leave the room and look around, apparently they were all out of cookies by that time which was frustrating since I had not had breakfast and figured there would be enough especially for us who paid extra to opt for the heli experience. I also felt that there were SO MANY crew members everywhere, as if half the ship was just crew and it was pretty crowded.
BUT the lovely sea life, snorkeling, and helicopter ride over the reef made up for it ALL. I was able to see a reef shark, a ton of beautiful coral, and a whale on the ride back up from the heli. It was an amazing experience I'll treasure a lifetime.
Side note: Wish they didn't pack the helicopter so full. I was able to enjoy the window and view, but my husband was sandwiched in the middle of a few of us in the back seat with no true window view.

Reviewed by: louise l, August 2016

Boat was comfortable. Food was great. Helicopter over the reef was amazing.