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Great Barrier Reef

Beach trips

Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Beach Trips

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

1. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

From Airlie Beach: 60-Minute Whitsundays Scenic Flight

2. From Airlie Beach: 60-Minute Whitsundays Scenic Flight

Delight in a 60-minute scenic flight over the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the big window views from your comfortable fixed-wing aircraft, and learn all about the area with your experienced pilot's expert commentary. After pickup from your accommodation in Airlie Beach, head to the nearby airport for take-off. Unlike flights offered by other companies in the area, the local partner is able to take-off from much closer to Airlie Beach, saving you the long 40-minute travel time. Once up in the air, marvel at the best bird's-eye views of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. Fly over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations Heart Reef. After you land, transfer back to your accommodation in Airlie Beach.

From Airlie Beach: 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing & Camping Trip

3. From Airlie Beach: 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing & Camping Trip

Discover the best of the Whitsunday Islands on this 2-day sail from Airlie Beach. Enjoy captivating snorkel excursions each day, visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed islands, and explore the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Visit locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Hook Island, Hayman Island, Border Island, and Whitsunday Island. Stop to snorkel at Luncheon Bay, Caves Cove, and Blue Pearl Bay. Sleep on a spacious maxi yacht on the first night and camp on one of the islands surrounding the Whitsundays on the second night. Help assist the crew by hoisting the mainsail and dropping anchor at each exciting destination. Alternatively, sit back and relax on the spacious deck and enjoy the view of the pristine Whitsunday Islands. Every evening, roll up your sleeves and help the crew prepare mouth-watering specialties like beef stew, spaghetti bolognese, fresh bread, green salad, pasta salads, and much more. Or, position yourself at the ship’s prow where you can watch the sky change from yellow to magenta as the sun sets.

Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

4. Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

Climb aboard Quicksilver’s luxury 30-meter (99-foot) Wavedancer sailing catamaran and sail to the idyllic Great Barrier Reef island of Low Isles. Enjoy a relaxing day out for families and couples in a tropical island paradise ambiance. Set like a jewel in the Great Barrier Reef, Low Isles is an unspoiled coral cay island. Moor in the calm waters of a picturesque lagoon, and enjoy a host of reef activities that await. Before your arrival at Low Isles, a marine biologist will conduct an informative talk to provide passengers with an appreciation of the reef, enabling you to view the corals with informed eyes.  Once at Low Isles, take a snorkel tour to see the colorful creatures of the reef. Alternatively, see turtles and many brightly colored tropical fish from a glass bottomed boat. Back on the beach, join a marine biologist guided beach walk to discover the unique marine life living at the water’s edge. Then relax and tuck in to a delicious tropical buffet lunch.

Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

5. Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

Climb aboard the Silversonic catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Snorkel or dive in the company of an experienced dive instructor (subject to availability) and experience unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life, and exceptional underwater visibility. The ultramodern 95-foot (29-meter) Silversonic catamaran is custom-designed for small groups of adventure-minded people. You will spend over 5 hours at the reef, visiting 3 different Agincourt ribbon reef sites, each chosen for its visual and ecological diversity. First-time divers can enjoy up to 2 dives and take the plunge in complete confidence with an experienced dive instructor by your side. Certified divers will enjoy up to 3 dives, all guided to maximize your experience. Silversonic features everything you’ll need to experience an underwater world of colorful marine life in safety and comfort, including a state-of-the-art ride control system ensuring a super smooth journey. Enjoy hydraulic dive and snorkel platforms for easy water access, spacious deck areas, hot freshwater showers, change rooms, and even a licensed bar to share tales of your adventure. As an added bonus during the whale season, Silversonic has one of the few permits available from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allows guests to swim with dwarf Minke whales if encountered – a truly unforgettable experience from July through September.

Mackay: Full Day Island Boat Tour on the Great Barrier Reef

6. Mackay: Full Day Island Boat Tour on the Great Barrier Reef

Get off the beaten track in Mackay and head towards the Great Barrier Reef. See the natural wonders of above and below the ocean as you ride by speedboat to untouched locations. Swim and snorkel in the waters at secluded beaches and grab a snack and beer onboard. Embark on a full-day journey on the Great Barrier Reef. Board your one-of-a-kind, custom-built vessel that blends technology with practical use. Discover hidden wonders below the ocean's surface, swimming and snorkeling in the waters of various beaches. Enjoy a morning and afternoon snack on board and cold beer from the fully licensed bar on board. Stop at many locations such as Cockermouth, Brampton, Keswick, St. Bees, and Scawfell islands. Plus, a few well-kept secrets.

Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

7. Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

An exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. This half-day eco-tour visits two different snorkel destinations, each with an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. The tour begins at Cape Tribulation beach where guests board the vessel bound for the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Safari vessel takes a maximum of 25 passengers allowing guests to experience tropical paradise and the pleasure of a small group. After a fast 25-minute ride, guests are ready to snorkel two fabulous locations at Mackay and Undine Reefs. On most days, the rainforest can be seen along the mainland beach whilst snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef alongside sea turtles, which are found in abundance swimming over reefs full of colourful coral, along with myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams, and starfish. The vessel is based on the original design of a rescue craft and is a rigid inflatable boat driven by 700hp engines. The experienced Skipper and Eco Host ensure the trip is filled with fun and appreciation of the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal rainforest of the Daintree, two world heritage areas side by side. Magical memories like these sometimes only happen once in a lifetime.

From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

8. From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

Board a catamaran in Cairns and set sail towards the idyllic Green Island. Discover the natural beauty of this 600-year-old coral cay in an afternoon and explore the very best of what the island has to offer. You decide how you'll spend your time once you arrive at Green Island. Indulge in a few hours of relaxation and lounge on white sandy beaches or take a self-guided walk through the island's lush forest. If you prefer to stay dry, join a tour of the island's reef on a glass-bottom boat. Feeling more adventurous? Make use of the snorkeling gear provided and view the thriving marine life and reef up close. 

Airlie Beach: Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

9. Airlie Beach: Glass-Bottom Boat Tour

See the wonders of the Whitsundays without getting in the water. Cruise around the best coral reefs around Airlie Beach with your family or friends on a tour that is suitable for all ages.  Enjoy a photo opportunity stop at Lions Lookout prior to your departure. Marvel at the views over the harbor and the stunning Whitsunday Islands and add a charming portrait to your holiday photo collection. Then, venture out on a glass-bottom boat that is fully shaded from the sun. Discover breathtaking coral worlds and marine wildlife such as turtles, rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Explore the valuable ecosystem that lives within the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Get up close and personal with a spectrum of vibrant hard and soft coral and underwater critters as you cruise through the idyllic islands. Listen to funny and informative commentary about the reef from your guide.

Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach Seaplane Tour

10. Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach Seaplane Tour

Discover the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach with this seaplane tour from Airlie Beach. Enjoy a stop to explore this World Heritage-listed location and savor a freshly-prepared lunch. Your experience starts with pickup from selected locations. Board the seaplane and soar over the Whitsunday Islands, admiring aerial views of Heart Reef, Hill Inlet, and more. Listen to the in-flight commentary as you cruise towards Whitehaven Beach. Land at a private location in Hardy Lagoon. Relax on the beach, go snorkeling, or paddle across the calm waters on a stand-up paddleboard. Enjoy coral viewing in a semi-submersible vessel, with an underwater viewing chamber, sun and shade deck areas, and easy access to the water. Swim in the refreshing waters and explore the coral gardens teeming with marine life. During the stop, you’ll enjoy lunch served on the beach. At the end of the trip, board the seaplane back to Airlie Beach, where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Great Barrier Reef Beach Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Great Barrier Reef

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

Amazing day out on the water. Boat was excellent, Food was fabulous and the crew was awesome. Highly recommended

Amazing experience. Crew was very nice and helpful. Had a great day and saw amazing reef/fish.

Excellent service saw whales,dolphins, and the island views were spectacular. Highly recommend

Great full day experience. 3 different dive spots. Lunch provided.

Very amazing experience. Felt very comfortable & happy.