Whether you’re an expert diver, a casual snorkeler, or you don’t swim at all, you simply can’t go to Cairns without seeing the magnificent natural wonders of the massive Great Barrier Reef. But with hundreds of tour packages from dozens of agencies spanning the 2,000 plus kilometres of the incredible coral formations, choosing the best way to see the Great Barrier can be something of a conundrum. Not to worry; here are a few top-notch tours with enough flexibility and sheer value to satisfy any aspiring explorer.
FNQ Travel Seven-Night Trip Turns Your Barrier Visit Into the Ultimate Vacation
If you’re a serious diving enthusiast and really want to make the most of your visit to the Great Barrier Reef, there’s simply no comparing when it comes to this seven-night “Ultimate” live aboard dive trip, which includes over 25 unique opportunities for quality dives into a huge range of stunning landmarks along the reef. Lizard Island, Osprey, the famous Cod Hole, and the Ribbon Reefs are just a few of the many destinations in this incomparable package, which includes transportation by bus and boat, dive equipment, your choice of personal cabin (including an optional Stateroom with queen bed, private bathroom, and television), chef-made meals prepared on board, local wines, and much more. Not a diver? If you can pony up the cash, this trip may well be worth your time even if you’re not planning to go below the ocean’s surface. Seeing all of the magnificent sites surrounding the Great Barrier Reef in just one or two days is impossible, and this really is the “full meal deal.”
[Image courtesy of Toby Hudson /en.wikipedia.org]
Don’t Have Time to Explore by Boat? Take a Helicopter to Soar Above the Reef
You can get to parts of the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns in just half an hour by helicopter, leaving the maximum amount of valuable vacation time for snorkelling, scuba diving, or exploring nearby islands. Besides the time advantage, seeing the reef from the skies may just be the best way to appreciate the sheer size and wonder of the world’s most spectacular coral reef system, which spans over 340,000 kilometres (way too much to see by boat). In fact, the Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space! You won’t get quite that high with a dedicated helicopter tour, but the views will still be plenty impressive. GBR Helicopters and many other local Cairns providers specialize in customizable visits to the area.
Other Plans for Your Cairns Vacation? Take a Relaxing Day Trip With Reef Experience
Maybe you don’t have the dough for a personal helicopter tour or the time for an extravagant week-long dive trip? That’s too bad, but don’t let it get in the way of your Cairns vacation where you’re sure to enjoy a bundle of other activities and excitement. Still, you should try and dedicate at least one day to the Great Barrier Reef, and the catamaran trips offered by Reef Experience are a pretty dandy way to do just that. The day trips include barbeque breakfast, lunch buffet, complimentary wine, snorkelling equipment and optional tutorial, an introductory diving course and gear, and much more. The catamaran is super quick, allowing up to six hours of quality snorkelling time at a range of magnificent locations on the reef. This trip is great for casual adventurers and experienced swimmers alike, and is a fantastic way to get a first taste of the mind-boggling ecosystems that await, hidden just below the ocean’s sparkling surface.
Never mind the fact that’s it’s largely considered one of the “seven natural wonders of the world,” the Great Barrier Reef is a staple destination in Australia’s rich heritage of quality eco tourism. These tours are a perfect example of that, but if they don’t suit your needs, remember there’s no shortage of other Great Barrier Reef tours available from dozens of other quality tour companies in Cairns. The most important thing is to make some time to see firsthand the pristine marine landscape that defines Cairn’s most fragile, precious wildlife gem.