Great Barrier Reef Day Tours

The Great Barrier Reef stretches along the Queensland coast, so there is a long list of cities and towns to choose from to plan a day trip – or more extended stay – along with your visit.

When planning your itinerary, consider how easy it is to combine a Great Barrier Reef experience with a day trip or more extended to explore iconic Australian destinations.

As well as island locations, it is easy to visit coastal destinations and the hinterland, given the long and narrow topography of the Queensland coast.

Many of these destinations are also hubs for direct access to the Great Barrier Reef, so it is easy to visit the reef and plan a day trip to explore one of these exciting destinations further.


From Cairns

With a quick forty-five minutes, boat transfer visitors can explore either Fitzroy Island or Green Island.  Both islands offer a resort stay, day tours and half-day tours.

Which Island is best?

To find out which Island will suit you best we will explain the highlights so you can decide.

Green Island is a 15-hectare coral cay surrounded by pristine white sandy beaches.   On the Island, you will find an excellent restaurant,  a cafe and several retail stores.  Day visitors also have a swimming pool and a patrolled beach.  While you are there, you can easily explore the entire Island.   This Island is well known for its lush tropical rainforest, which you can explore during your visit. Find out more

Activities include canoes, snorkelling, glass-bottom boat and helmet diving.

Fitzroy Island is a 339-hectare continental island.  The highest point of this Island is 2698 metres,

Nudey Beach was named the best beach in Australia.   There is also excellent hiking tracks, and the views from the Summit are breathtaking.

Activities include scuba diving, snorkel, glass-bottom boat or kayak tours.

Fitzroy Island also has a turtle rehabilitation centre doing some excellent work with turtles.

Outer Barrier Reef Tours

Our top pick is Reef Experience. This family-owned and operated tour has the best crew on the reef.   While you are on this tour, the staff will be delighted to get in and swim for you if you need assistance in the water.  The best way to see the reef is in the water.

Activities included in this tours tariff include snorkelling, introductory scuba diving, certified scuba diving and a glass-bottom boat tour. Find out more

The VIP experience is called Top Deck Club.

If you would like to add some magic to your Great Barrier Reef experience, this is how to do it.  This tour comes with a valet, your area in the Captain’s Wheelhouse.  Find out more

This tour visits the Northern reefs from Cairns, including Hastings, Saxon and Norman Reef.

Great Barrier Reef pontoons

Great Barrier Reef pontoons are activity centres on the Great Barrier Reef.  This is a fantastic way to see the reef if you are planning on staying dry.  Onboard there is an underwater observatory, and you can also take a semi-submarine tour.  Find out more


Silverswift visits three outer barrier spectacular reef locations in one day.  Scuba divers looking for three dives will find this a fantastic tour. Find out more

Silverswift visits the southern reefs from Cairns, including Thetford, Flynn and Milln Reef.