Cairns Snorkeling Tours on the Great Barrier Reef

Top Snorkeling Tours

Cairns Snorkeling tours

Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter

Description: Reef Encounter offers a wonderful liveaboard experience, perfect for those who want to explore the Great Barrier Reef more. This tour includes multiple snorkeling sessions at various reef locations, allowing you to see diverse marine life and coral formations.

Inclusions: Accommodation on the boat, all meals, snorkelling gear, guided snorkelling tours, and access to a sun deck.

Highlights: Glass bottom boat tours, marine biologist presentations, multiple snorkel sessions.

Reef Experience

Reef Experience

Description: Ideal for a day trip, Reef Experience provides a full day adventure to the Outer Reef. This tour is known for its excellent service, knowledgeable guides, and comfortable vessel.

Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, guided snorkeling tours, and a glass bottom boat option.

Highlights: Two unique reef locations, introductory scuba diving options, and marine biologist briefings.

Great Adventures

Great Adventures

  • Description: Great Adventures offers a full day reef experience with options for both snorkelers and divers. The tour takes you to a spacious activity platform on the outer reef, providing easy access to snorkeling areas.
  • Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, semi-submersible coral viewing tours, buffet lunch, underwater observatory, and guided snorkelling tours.
  • Highlights: The reef platform offers various activities, including scuba diving, scenic helicopter flights, and a dedicated children’s pool.


Silverswift Cairns

  • Description: Silverswift is known for its high-speed catamaran and visits three different reef sites in one day, offering a diverse snorkelling experience. This tour is perfect for an action packed day on the reef.
  • Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, wetsuits or lycra suits, buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea, and guided snorkeling tours.
  • Highlights: Visiting three unique reef sites, onboard freshwater showers, and smaller group sizes for a more personalised experience.

Tusa Dive (Tusa Reef Tours)

Tusa Reef Tours

  • Description: Tusa Dive specializes in providing a high quality reef experience focusing on customer service and comfort—their modern catamaran visits two different reef sites each day, chosen based on the best conditions.
  • Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, wetsuits or lycra suits, gourmet lunch, morning and afternoon tea, and guided snorkeling tours.
  • Highlights: Customizable tour with certified and introductory diving options, low passenger numbers for a more intimate experience, and knowledgeable crew.

Sunlover Reef Cruises

  • Description: Sunlover Reef Cruises offers a family friendly experience with a full day tour of their spacious Moore Reef pontoon. Ideal for both beginners and experienced snorkelers, this tour provides a range of activities and amenities.
  • Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, semi-submersible coral viewing tours, buffet lunch, waterslides, and guided snorkelling tours.
  • Highlights: Moore Reef pontoon, underwater observatory, and interactive touch tank.

Evolution Reef Cruises

  • Description: Evolution Reef Cruises offers a premium reef tour experience with a high speed catamaran that visits two reef locations. Known for their luxury amenities and exceptional service, Evolution provides a memorable day on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, gourmet BBQ lunch, morning and afternoon tea, guided snorkeling tours, and optional helicopter flights.
  • Highlights: Visiting two unique reef sites, spacious sundeck, and hot freshwater showers.

Divers Den

  • Description: Divers Den is famous for its professional diving and snorkelling tours, as well as day trips and liveaboard experiences. With a focus on personalised service and expert guidance, Divers Den ensures an exceptional reef adventure.
  • Inclusions: Snorkeling gear, wetsuits or lycra suits, lunch, guided snorkeling tours, and optional diving courses.
  • Highlights: Flexible tour options, small group sizes, and experienced dive instructors.

What to Expect on These Tours


  • Check-in and Departure: Arrive at the Cairns Marina for check-in. Great Adventures, Silverswift, and Tusa Dive tours all depart early in the morning.
  • Safety Briefing: Onboard, you’ll receive a safety briefing and snorkeling instructions. Equipment fitting and basic snorkelling techniques are usually covered.
  • Journey to the Reef: Take a scenic boat ride to the reef and enjoy the stunning ocean views.

Snorkeling Sessions:

  • First Snorkeling Spot: Your first stop will typically be at a shallow reef area, ideal for beginners and those looking to spot colourful coral and fish.
  • Guided Tours: Many tours offer snorkelling tours led by marine biologists or experienced guides. These tours provide insights into the aquatic ecosystem and help you identify various species.
  • Lunch Break: A buffet or packed lunch is usually provided, offering a chance to refuel and relax.


  • Second Snorkeling Spot: The afternoon session often occurs at a different reef location, offering a new underwater landscape to explore.
  • Additional Activities: Some tours include glass bottom boat tours, semi-submersible rides, or introductory scuba diving.


  • Return to Cairns: Most tours return to Cairns by late afternoon or early evening. Enjoy the sunset views as you make your way back to the marina.

Tips for a Great Snorkeling Experience

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before and after snorkeling.
  • Use Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Protect the marine environment by using reef-safe sunscreen.
  • Follow Instructions: Pay attention to the safety briefings and follow the guides’ instructions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Respect Marine Life: Do not touch or disturb the coral and marine animals. Keep a safe distance and observe respectfully.
  • Bring a Waterproof Camera: Capture your underwater adventure with a waterproof camera or a camera with an underwater housing.