The best Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns

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What better way to explore the east coast of Australia than to dive in the deep blue water of the Great Barrier Reef? It is the world's largest reef system and can even be seen from outer space? Imagine being surrounded by green sea turtles, clownfish, and other beautiful sea creatures. Imagine wandering along the white-sand coastlines with the winds as your only companions. That is just one part of your amazing Great Barrier Reef trip with Inspitrip.

Stretching more than 2,300 km off the Queensland's coast, the Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, hundreds of types of coral, and several threatened species of marine animals. This area also features many of Australia's most stunning beaches, blessed by nice weather all year around. It is indeed a perfect place for beach getaways and marine life explorations.

To experience the best of this natural wonder, there are plenty of water activities friendly to swimmers and non-swimmers. Available in private or joined group options, our best Great Barrier Reef tours are perfectly designed to fit your needs and personality. With the help of our expert guides, your trip will be insightful and totally worry-free. Read on to get a glance of your once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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An incredible adventure into the world of "Finding Nemo"

Initially formed about 10 million years ago, the Great Barrier Reef has survived several geographical events, from the Ice Age to changes in the sea levels. These events have developed the unique marine ecosystem that we see today. With warm weather all year round, the Great Barrier Reef is always on top of all traveler's bucket list to Australia. Our best Great Barrier Reef tours will not only help you connect with mother nature and embark on a fascinating adventure just like in Finding Nemo, but also involves you in the process of saving this natural gift from climate change and human impact.

Admire the world's largest and most diverse marine ecosystem

Did you know that six out of seven threatened species of sea turtle in the world live in the Great Barrier Reef? So does one-third of the world's soft corals, 134 species of shark and ray, and several other threatened marine species. Some of them only exist on this reef system. Six out of 8 species of giant clam are also found here, some of which are over 100 years old. So while exploring this amazing underwater universe, you will come across many characters from the movie Finding Nemo, such as Dory (blue tang fish), Crush, and Squirt (green sea turtles).

Away from Australia's best-known islands are some small cays that are home to a myriad of seabirds as well as ideal spots for the marine turtles come to nest. Leisurely lying under the secluded palm trees or trekking along the pristine beach, you can watch the live wildlife documentary going on right next to you. With our expert guides, your trip will also be filled with a wealth of knowledge about the marine life!

Experience from different dimensions

From snorkeling and scuba diving to helicopter flights, the activities at the Great Barrier Reef will offer you a great opportunity to experience its beauty from different dimensions. For the most immersive experience, nothing beats a scuba dive or snorkel in the coral gardens. An oceanic expedition on a glass-bottomed boat, submarine, or semi-submersibles is best for non-swimmers to gain in-depth knowledge about marine life. If you're more adventurous, a scenic helicopter flight will take you up to see the Reef from a bird's eye view. No matter what options you choose, the Great Barrier Reef will make you feel more connected to this planet.

Inspitrip also provides various tours departing from the top three popular gateways along the Queensland coast. From the vibrant Airlie beach, you can easily access Whitsundays and many serene islands with pristine beaches and white sand. It is perfect for a family picnic or an overnight sleep reef on a pontoon. Cairns, the most popular gateway to the outer reef, will offer an excellent opportunity for humpback whale spotting. From Port Douglas, you can spend your day at Low Isles, Opal Reef, or Agincourt Reef, where the reefs are just a short swim off the shore.

Save the Great Barrier Reef. Now!

More than a home to marine animals, the reef also help improve the surrounding water quality as well as provide a stable food supply to many other species, including us. However, this vulnerable ecosystem is facing great threats, from global warming to oil dredging. In 2016, dangerous heat waves blanketed the reefs, causing a massive and unprecedented bleaching event. These heat waves strangled and starved the corals, killing about 29% of them and another 22% in 2017. You will be able to see some of the bleached corals that might never recover again.

Contrary to common knowledge, tourism actually helps the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef. By paying the 'reef levy' (already included), you will directly contribute to the daily conversation of the marine park and to the long-term resilience of the reefs. Also, by cutting down on the use of plastic products and saying 'no' to any goods extracted from endangered species, you can start your greener lifestyle by avoiding negative impacts on the environment.


What our travelers recently said

"We were well looked after by the instructors and the Reef was really amazing. This tour is perfect for those wanting a smaller group and more personal interaction with the beautiful marine life and the engaging crew."

AG
Achim G.

"Really good experience. The snorkeling was suitable for all swimmers of all levels. Even my children were so into it. We got to see and learned lots of things about the marine world from the informative and helpful..."

Tikampohn S.

"We had a good time! The snorkeling and diving was nice; really clear water and beautiful fishes. In addition, the food was good. The crew had a enjoyable enthusiasm. The only downside was the old and rather slow boat."

TT
Tara T.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Great Barrier Reef really worth a visit?

Certainly YES, especially if you are a fan of the movie Finding Nemo! Being one of the world's most precious treasures, the Great Barrier Reef will astound you not only by the epic beauty and unique natural ecosystems but also by its biological significance to our planet.

Whether you are a thrillseeker or just want to laze around on the sandy beach, there will always be something to suit you here. Into the open coral sea or onto the tropical islands, getting wet or staying dry, adventurous dives or scenic helicopter flights, the Great Barrier Reef offers a wide range of activities that cater to all ages and swimming abilities.

If you are a nature lover, come and visit the Reef to help conserve it. After a dangerous attack of heat waves in 2016, marine algae that cover the reef have been killed, causing two-thirds of the coral to starve and start bleaching. You can clearly see the effects with your own eyes when snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. With the pace of global warming, this world's largest reef can be damaged irreparably. The sooner you experience it, the more you can do to save it.

When is the best time to visit?

The Great Barrier Reef is such an amazing place to visit all year-round, with the average temperature usually at 27℃ in the summer and 20℃ in the winter. Lying in the southern hemisphere, the Reef is surrounded by tropical waters, making it a splendid environment for an abundance of marine species to reside and thrive. Throughout the year there are various natural events occurring on the reef at different times. You can take a cruise to watch whales migration in the winter, or go down in the water to see coral spawning late in the year.

The climate of the Great Barrier Reef is highlighted by two main seasons. The dry season starts from April to May, with crystal clear ocean views, warmer weather during the day and cooler at night. You will see fewer visitors in the area and have more chance to meet juvenile fish and sharks appearing for the first time of the year. The next five months (Jun-Oct) are the tourist season as the temperatures are much cooler and the winds reduce, creating the perfect condition for diving and snorkeling.

Rainy season lasts from December to May; temperatures rise and the water begins to get cloudy due to runoff from rivers. However, there are many tour operators offering boat trips that take you out to the clearer waters, where the sun is still shining over the reef. This is also the time that the manta rays become more active in some areas while the turtles begin nesting and hatching on the wild cays.

Can I visit the Great Barrier Reef by myself?

Unfortunately you cannot. Although a visit to the Great Barrier Reef offers a great opportunity to explore the world’s largest natural ecosystem, there are a few important things to consider before your trip.

The Great Barrier Reef is extremely large and strictly preserved by the Australian government. You cannot freely access the Reef without knowing which part is opened for tourists. In addition, all tourists are charged a mandatory “reef levy” to contribute to the conservation of the area. Therefore, exploring the Great Barrier Reef is quite challenging if you do not have a licensed reef operator to guide you along the day.

The second thing to keep in mind is the potential danger of poisonous marine stingers and lethal jellyfish. The period from November to May is known as the “stinger season” as many marine stingers emerge in the area. It's never a nice feeling getting stung by a jellyfish, but a sting by either a Box jellyfish or a tiny Irukandji can kill you within just a couple of minutes. Don't worry though, you can totally visit the Reef during stinger season! All reef operators will provide a protective stinger suit (some extra cost) as you dive deeper into the water. The suit not only protects your skin but also provides sun protection that is friendly to the environment.

Next, be extra careful as you can damage the Reef. The ecosystem at the Great Barrier Reef is so fragile and can be destroyed forever by human activities. Never hand-feed the fish, touch the reef, or take them out of the waters because you may kill many organisms that reside inside the coral. Be sure to follow every instruction that your guide provides you and avoid causing more harm to this natural wonder.

For all these reasons, it is highly recommended that you should travel to the Great Barrier Reef with a licensed reef operator who can keep you away from the hassles as well as help you make the most out of your trip. Your trip to the incredible Great Barrier Reef will be totally worry-free and insightful as you are free to explore the world of Finding Nemo while lending a hand to protect this wondrous natural gift.

How long should I stay at the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is huge, and it isn't just about the underwater kingdoms. A trip to the Reef will take you into massive marine parks, tropical forests, coral cays, and many other complex natural ecosystems. You could spend weeks exploring the majestic beauty of this natural wonder but even a day trip is perfect to experience most of the highlights.

If you want to explore one of the world's most ancient rainforests, head to the Daintree forest or Cairns Botanic garden. It is home to more than 170 species of birds, a spectacular array of butterflies, and various types of flora and fauna. Along the forest trails, you will find plenty of beautiful hiking routes and a chance to meet native wallabies.

If you are a fan of Finding Nemo, a visit to the world's largest reef structure is a must. There are multiple options for you to explore this waterland on a day trip. Boarding on a cruise early in the morning and head to an exclusive reef site to dive or snorkel into the waters. Follow your local guide to see many marine species of this area, then learn about their natural habitat without causing any damage to its environment. If you're not a fan of snorkeling, explore marine life via a glass bottom boat tour or opt for a scenic helicopter flight for an unforgettable aerial view of this unmatched beauty.

Why should I travel to the Great Barrier Reef with Inspitrip?

Because we have many options with tons of insightful experiences for you. Every itinerary offered by Inspitrip is exclusively designed to suit your needs and desires. Most importantly, your trip will be guided by local experts and marine biologists who are always passionate about sharing the most authentic experience with you, enriching your travel experience, as well as promoting sustainable tourism.