Reef Experience Cairns: Your Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure on the Great Barrier Reef? Look no further than Reef Experience Cairns, where we pride ourselves on being the best in the business. Our top priority is ensuring you, your friends, and your family enjoy exploring this natural wonder. Here’s what makes us stand out:

The Best Crew

Our crew is the best on the Great Barrier Reef. They are passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated to making your experience exceptional.

Optimal Reef Locations

We carefully select the best spots daily based on weather and conditions, so you can witness the Great Barrier Reef at its absolute best. The warm waters of the Coral Sea, combined with our spectacular dive sites, promise an unforgettable adventure for everyone.

Educational Opportunities

Learn about the reef from our onboard marine biologist. Take a glass-bottom boat tour for a unique perspective, or join a guided snorkel tour for hands-on explanations. Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer all your questions.

Free Scuba Dive

As part of your Great Barrier Reef day tour, you can try a ‘no experience necessary’ introductory scuba dive. If you’re over 12 and in good health, you can dive with us. Scuba diving in Cairns is an incredible way to experience the reef, whether you’re an experienced diver or trying it for the first time.

Extraordinary Marine Life

The Great Barrier Reef is home to a diverse range of marine life, and scuba diving is the ultimate way to get up close and personal. You’ll feel like swimming alongside the fish, exploring reef ledges, and spotting turtles and lagoon rays.

Passionate Dive Team

Our dive team is passionate about creating lasting memories of the Great Barrier Reef for you. They are dedicated to ensuring your experience is unforgettable.

Reef Experience: Flexible Locations

Our captain decides which reef locations to visit based on weather conditions, ensuring your safety and the best possible experience.

Free Scuba/Introductory Dive

We offer one free scuba or resort dive for all passengers over 12 and medically fit to dive. This is a unique opportunity to explore the reef’s extraordinary inhabitants up close.

Introductory Diving

Even if you’re not a certified diver, you can experience an introductory scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Our expert crew will assist you throughout the process, and you can even opt for a second introductory dive for an additional fee.

Certified Diving

If you’re a certified diver (minimum: open water), you can enjoy a certified scuba dive with top-quality equipment provided, including a dive computer. You can dive with another passenger or take a guided dive with a crew member for a small fee.

Safety First with Reef Experience

We prioritise your well-being and adhere to Australia’s strict safety requirements for scuba diving. Please read the important information regarding age restrictions and medical fitness on our website before booking.

At Reef Experience, we’re committed to providing a fun, safe, and educational experience as you explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime!


Great Barrier Reef Facts

The GreGreat Barrier Reef factsat Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth; we look forward to showing you how amazing it is.

How old is the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is 500,000 years old.

How many people work on the Great Barrier Reef?

Around sixty-nine thousand people work on the Great Barrier Reef.

How many people visit the Great Barrier Reef each year?

Around 2 million people visit Australia’s Great Barrier Reef each year.

What to look out for on the Great Barrier Reef

When Great Barrier Reef tours arrive at the outer barrier reef, they slow down to make the final turn to pick up the mooring lines.  If you keep an eye out over

the rear of the boat, you may get to see flying fish.  These turquoise fish will certainly add a smile to your face as you see them glide along the top of the water.

Reef Experience FAQ’s

Q. How can I contact Reef Experience?

A. You can reach us through this website or our customer service hotline. Visit our Contact Us page for details.

Q. What's included in the day tour package?

A. Our day tour includes snorkeling, glass-bottom boat tours, guided snorkel tours, and the option for scuba diving. Check our Packages page for a full list of inclusions.

Q. Do I need scuba diving experience to join the tour?

A. No, we offer introductory scuba diving experiences for beginners. Our expert crew will guide you, making it safe and enjoyable.

Q. Are there age restrictions for scuba diving?

A. Yes, the minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years. Please review our Important Information page for details on age and medical restrictions.

Q. Can non-swimmers participate in scuba diving?

A. Yes, even if you cannot swim, you can experience scuba diving with our assistance. Our crew is here to ensure your safety and enjoyment.

Q. How are dive locations selected?

A. Our captain chooses the best reef locations each day based on weather conditions to provide the optimal diving and snorkeling experience.

Q. Is there an additional charge for scuba diving?

A. We offer one free scuba or resort dive as part of the tour package. Additional dives may be available for an extra fee.

Q. What safety measures are in place for scuba diving?

A. We prioritise safety and adhere to strict Australian scuba diving regulations. Please review our safety guidelines on our website.

Q. How can I book a tour wit

h Reef Experience Cairns?

A. You can easily book your tour through our website or by contacting our reservations team. Visit our Booking page for more information.

If you have more questions or need further assistance, please contact us. We’re here to make your Great Barrier Reef adventure unforgettable!

Next, see our awesome packages to make the most of your visit to Cairns.

About your day at the Great Barrier Reef

  • Up to 6 hours at two pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef Tour locations
  • Unlimited Snorkeling at morning and afternoon locations. All equipment, including wetsuit hire.
  • Scuba Diving (Certified Dive qualified OR Resort Dive no-experience necessary at the first reef location for everyone over age 12 and medically fit scuba) Medical Conditions apply.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour (weather permitting)
  • Pick up and Return to Cairns City Accommodation
  • Marine Biology Presentation
  • Breakfast consisting of barbecue bacon and egg rolls and also coffee, tea and fruit platters
  • Lunch delicious bbq  with an assortment of fresh salads
  • Cheese, fruit platter and complimentary wine on the return journey
  • All dietary requirements catered for. (Vegetarian/gluten-free etc.: please advise upon booking).
  • All food is locally sourced where possible and prepared fresh by the onboard Chef.
  • FREE Crew assistance for non-confident snorkelers (flotation aids available). Friendly and professional crew are ready to jump with everyone who requires assistance to have fun and experience the reef’s magic!
  • Large Sun Deck with padded loungers and air-conditioned indoor areas
  • Reef tax, fuel levy and national park fees. Unlike other operators, mandatory levies for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are included in this trip cost, so there won’t be extra charges on the day.
  • No hidden costs
  • 07:30 – Board Reef Experience boat at the Cairns Marina ‘A-Finger’ for check-in
  • 08:00 – Approximate departure and Safety Talk with snorkel briefing
  • 08:30 – Marine Biology presentation,
  • 09:00  – Scuba diving briefing
  • 09:30 – Arrive at our first spectacular reef site, snorkel and scuba diving.
  • 10:30 – Glass Bottom Boat tour (approximately 20-minute tour)
  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 13:00 – Cruise to our second location to explore forests of coral, large sea fans and black coral trees in its shallow lagoons
  • 15:00 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 15:30 – Glass of wine, tropical fruits, cheese and biscuits
  • 16:30 – Arrive back in Cairns

Shuttle Bus

For those staying in the Cairns Business District area, bus transfers to and from your accommodation to the boat are included on your day trip.


BBQ bacon and egg rolls are served.

Your dietary requirements will be met; please advise upon booking. All food is locally sourced and prepared fresh by our onboard chef.

Marine Biology Presentation

is a great way to learn about the marine life on the Great Barrier Reef from our resident onboard expert as you journey to your first reef destination.

Free scuba dive

All scuba dive equipment hire is included in your trip along with one free scuba dive (certified or resort dive)!*
Everybody over 12 can have a go who meets medical requirements.  See the ‘Important Information’ page.

Glass bottom boat tours

are a great way to witness life beneath the waves comfortably and have it all explained by our marine experts.
(weather permitting)


Buffet style lunch is served with a wide variety of meal options with healthy salads on the side.

Your dietary requirements will be met; please advise upon booking. All food is locally sourced and prepared fresh by our onboard chef.


Unlimited morning and afternoon snorkelling at two reef locations. Non-swimmer snorkel tours are also included throughout the day for those who require assistance in the water.

Wine, cheese and crackers

Enjoy a light snack with wine on the journey back to Cairns.


Tea and coffee are served throughout the day except when the boat is moving.


A reef-friendly sunscreen is provided onboard free of charge.

Reef Levy

We include mandatory reef tax and fuel levies for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in the trip cost, so there won’t be extra hidden charges on the day.

  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Marine Biologist Guided Snorkel Tour of the reef: Snorkel with an experienced Marine Biologist and learn about the marine life you see on an educational and interactive tour
  • Great Barrier Reef souvenirs – T-shirts, hats etc
  • Dive Guides for already qualified ‘Certified’ scuba divers (dive guides included for beginner divers)
  • Prescription Mask Hire if you require stronger lenses to see (contact lenses can be worn in most circumstances)
  • Bus transfers from accommodation outside of the Cairns Business Area
  • Second Scuba Dive at our beautiful afternoon reef location
  • Cash and/or credit card for purchases
  • Swimming Clothes
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Proof of qualification if you’re a Certified Diver

This is a barefoot tour. Once onboard, no one wears shoes.

Reef Experience departs from
Cairns Marina: ‘A-Finger’ View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:30 am for check-in directly on the vessel ‘Reef Experience.’

Arrive back at Cairns Marina at approximately 4:30 pm

Where Can I Park?

Several parking stations throughout Cairns are within walking distance of the Marina.  Click here to see where

Scuba diving Information

We have a passion for showing you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia, has some of the strictest scuba diving rules globally and the safest scuba diving record. We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all regulations, including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel, we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire before booking as some medical conditions, age and/or medications may prevent you from scuba diving. It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Reef Experience Medical Questionnaire

We are happy to help you with any questions you may have.
Please get in touch with our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us.

Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

It would be best if you did not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive for a single no decompression scuba dive.  For multiple dives, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive.
If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning, you must wait 24 hours after your dive.
We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.


Tour Features

Read policies