Snorkeling Cairns: Exploring the Great Barrier Reef

Welcome to Cairns, Australia – home to the Great Barrier Reef and some of the world’s most breathtaking underwater scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or a first-timer, Cairns offers a world of adventure and discovery waiting to be explored.

Snorkeling Cairns

Book A Snorkeling tour

Cairns Snorkeling Tours

At Cairns, you’ll find various snorkelling options for all ages and skill levels. From guided tours to private charters, there’s something for everyone. The Great Barrier Reef offers a unique underwater experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

Discover the World’s most significant living thing.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Cairns’ most popular snorkelling spots. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the most extensive coral reef system in the world, spanning over 2,300 kilometres. The reef is home to a diverse array of marine life, including over 1,500 fish and 600 species of coral.

Snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’ll be amazed by the vibrant colours and diversity of the marine life that calls the reef home. Keep your eyes peeled for clownfish, sea turtles, and reef sharks!

Choosing a Snorkelling Tour

Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef

With so many snorkelling tours, it can be hard to know where to start. We recommend selecting a tour that offers small group sizes and experienced guides. This ensures a more personalised experience and allows you to get the most out of your snorkelling adventure.

One day is never enough, so consider a liveaboard experience.

Reef Encounter Cairns Snorkelling: An Unforgettable Experience

If you want a unique and unforgettable snorkelling experience, look no further than Reef Encounter Cairns. This floating hotel and snorkelling platform offer an all-inclusive, multi-day snorkeling adventure on the Great Barrier Reef.

What sets Reef Encounter apart from other snorkelling tours is the opportunity to spend more time on the reef. With accommodation on board the vessel, guests can snorkel and explore the reef at their leisure, day and night.  Onboard Reef Encounter guests can choose from two accommodations: stateroom or Top Deck Club.

Preparing for Your Snorkeling Adventure

Before you hit the water, it’s essential to be prepared. Bring a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, and a hat. Some tours may provide snorkelling gear, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own if you have it.

It’s also important to listen carefully to your guide’s instructions and follow all safety guidelines. Snorkelling can be a fun and safe activity. Being aware of your surroundings and staying within your comfort zone is essential.

Top Snorkeling Tips for the Great Barrier Reef Cairns

snorkeling Cairns

  1. Choose the Right Location: Select snorkeling spots that match your skill level. Look for calm, shallow waters with good visibility and minimal currents, especially if you’re a beginner.
  2. Wear the Proper Gear: Invest in high-quality snorkeling equipment, including a well-fitting mask, snorkel, and fins. Ensure your mask creates a tight seal to prevent water from entering and choose comfortable fins and provide efficient propulsion.
  3. Practice Proper Breathing Technique: Get comfortable breathing through the snorkel before heading into deeper waters. Practice taking slow, deep breaths and clearing any water that enters the snorkel.
  4. Use Defogging Solution: Apply an anti-fog solution to your mask before entering the water to prevent it from fogging up, allowing you to enjoy clear underwater views.

  5. Float and Relax: Once in the water, lie face down and float effortlessly on the surface. Use your fins to propel yourself gently, and conserve energy by staying relaxed and breathing steadily.
  6. Respect Marine Life: Observe marine life from a respectful distance and avoid touching or disturbing underwater creatures or coral reefs. Remember, you’re a guest in their habitat.
  7. Stay Safe: Snorkel with a buddy whenever possible, and be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for boats, strong currents, and potentially hazardous marine life. Familiarize yourself with local safety guidelines and conditions before entering the water.
  8. Protect Yourself from the Sun: Apply reef-safe sunscreen to exposed skin to protect yourself from sunburn, and consider wearing a rash guard or wetsuit for additional protection.
  9. Stay Hydrated: Snorkeling can be physically demanding, so remember to drink plenty of water before and after your snorkeling session to stay hydrated.
  10. Have Fun and Take Photos: Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the experience! Take your time exploring the underwater world, marvel at the beauty around you, and capture memories with underwater cameras or waterproof cases for your smartphone.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your snorkeling adventure while staying safe and respecting the marine environment. Happy snorkeling! 🐠🌊

Consider a Guided tour.

A guided tour is an excellent way to explore the reef and ensure a safe and informative experience. Tour operators like Reef Experience and Great Adventures offer snorkelling tours catering to all experience levels. They provide all necessary equipment, safety instructions, and informative guides to help you learn more about the reef’s ecology and conservation efforts.


Snorkeling in Cairns is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or a first-timer, the Great Barrier Reef offers a world of adventure and discovery waiting to be explored. With a variety of tours and snorkeling spots to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Book your Cairns snorkeling adventure today and discover the magic of the Great Barrier Reef for yourself.

Explore our beautiful region

Visit our best attractions