Cairns Water activities

Our most recommended Cairns Water activities

From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

1. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

Discover Fitzroy Island on a day tour from Cairns. Enjoy a scenic ferry ride and explore the many hiking trails. Admire the marine life native to the coral reef as you snorkel or observe from a glass-bottom boat. Choose from a range of packages, including transfers for you to explore on your own, or a package including snorkel or glass-bottom boat activities. Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure. The fast catamaran departs from the Marlin Marina, with check-in directly on the vessel. Cruise south along the calm waters of the coastline to reach Fitzroy Island in just 45 minutes, giving you up to 7 hours to explore the tropical island.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

2. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hop aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive a free 10-minute scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared onboard. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

Cairns: Outer and Coral Cay Snorkel and Dive Cruise

3. Cairns: Outer and Coral Cay Snorkel and Dive Cruise

Step foot on a super-fast, luxury 20m CAT, feeling welcomed and pampered, and embark on an ocean-filled journey of discovery. After your early boarding from Marlin Marina, breathe in the morning ocean breeze as you sail to one of two snorkel and dive destinations. From there, explore the ocean's brilliant fish and coral reefs. At the stunning Upolu Coral Cay Reef, learn about graceful blue-spotted stingrays, tenacious green sea turtles, bright damsel fish, and other amazing creatures that call this reef their home, as you observe them from a glass bottom boat. You’ll then have the chance to see these inquisitive creatures up close, while snorkeling within the incredibly clear, turquoise water. The second snorkel and dive site is the fascinating ‘Wonder Wall’, located on the outer edge of Upolu Reef. Enjoy snorkeling on the top of the wall for easy viewing of all the marine life and coral. Sign-up for the optional, certified or introductory guided dive, encountering a huge variety of aquatic flora and fauna, including hard and soft corals, giant clams, fans, turtles and a vast assortment of colorful tropical fish as you descend and meander along the side of the wall .  In between visiting these two sites, enjoy a smorgasbord lunch fit for a king. Savor smoked salmon, prawns, three types of cold meat, a chicken platter, three fresh salads and a variety of breads. After a relaxed six hours of diving and snorkeling, spend the trip home indulging in even more delicious food, arriving back at Cairns at around 4:30 PM.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

4. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Tour the Outer Great Barrier Reef by boat with time to snorkel and explore this world-famous National Park. Complement your experience with a gourmet buffet lunch, glass of wine, and a light snack. Board your high-speed vessel, and visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a seamless experience with knowledgeable staff to ensure a safe and fun-filled tour. Stop at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations and snorkel with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Later, sit down for a delicious barbecue lunch with salad before taking off for the second half of the tour.

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

5. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard a modern catamaran to sail into Green Island National Park on a beach and snorkeling cruise from Cairns. Discover a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and explore its coral reefs with snorkeling gear. Choose to enjoy a buffet lunch and go on a semi-submarine tour. Make your way to the harbor to meet your friendly crew for the day and climb onto your catamaran. Relax in the sun as you set sail towards the Great Barrier Reef. Experience picturesque views of the ocean as you arrive at Green Island National Park. Stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

6. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Go on a Green Island eco-adventure from Cairns to explore the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Connect with nature on a tropical island with over 120 native plant species, birds, coral gardens, and abundant marine life. Choose from a glass bottom boat coral reef viewing tour or snorkeling gear. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or the use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self-guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well-appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, and dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks, and refreshments can be purchased.

From Cairns: Michaelmas Cay National Park Catamaran Cruise

7. From Cairns: Michaelmas Cay National Park Catamaran Cruise

Departing daily from Cairns, the beautiful 32-meter sailing catamaran sets sail for a day to remember at the picturesque Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Encircled by fringing reef teeming with colorful marine life, this unique reef environment is also a bird lover’s delight and an important protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. As a National Park, daily visitor numbers and access to the cay is limited to preserve this special environment. Luckily, you will spend 4 hours at this beautiful location. Throughout the day, the beach buggy boat will transfer you between the catamaran and the beach. Snorkel directly from the beach in the cay’s protected shallow waters, cruise in the semi-submersible with commentary for a diver’s view of the reef, watch the fish feeding presentation and observe the fascinating island birdlife. For the more adventurous there is the option to experience an exciting introductory scuba dive or join the marine biologist for a guided snorkel tour. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can just relax on the beach or on the catamaran's spacious decks and enjoy a leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef. The choice is yours. An informative marine biologist reef presentation, delicious hot and cold buffet lunch and morning and afternoon teas are also included in your day. Your cruise will combine motor and sailing, depending on the day’s conditions. On the homeward bound journey, enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine under the sails. Then, return to Cairns for the end of the tour.

Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Scenic Helicopter Flight

8. Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Scenic Helicopter Flight

Join this fast, comfortable cruise to visit two spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations. Travel on 'Evolution'- a brand new, purpose-built, state of the art, 35-meter (120ft) superyacht, providing a superior ride in all weather conditions. Visit exclusive, protected locations on the pristine Outer Great Barrier Reef with superior reef quality. Professional, friendly and attentive staff ensure a safe and enjoyable fun-filled experience. This vessel is the most stylish and luxurious reef vessel available in Cairns. Depart the marina and travel to the true outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Choose from an abundance of seating inside air-conditioned, modern lounges or outside on full-length sundecks for sunbathing. Spend time snorkeling and spotting diverse marine wildlife, coral gardens, and much more below the surface. For lunch, enjoy a delicious Aussie BBQ including steak, fish, prawns, and tropical salads (vegetarians are catered for.) At the second reef site, take to the skies for your 10-minute Scenic Helicopter Flight to and from the exclusive Heli-Pontoon. Have your camera ready as you lift off from the helipad for an incredible scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef. Appreciate from the air, the sheer size of the reef system as you search for marine life in their natural habitat. Be amazed at the colours and beauty of the coral gardens before touching back down to re-join the crew onboard the vessel. A complimentary glass of wine and a light snack is served on the return journey back to Cairns.

Tully River: Guided Rafting Trip with Gear & Lunch or Dinner

9. Tully River: Guided Rafting Trip with Gear & Lunch or Dinner

Prepare for a wild ride on this guided white water rafting tour down the Tully River. Receive all rafting training and equipment needed before venturing into the water and taking on grade 3-4 rapids. End your experience with lunch or dinner. Begin your adventure with pickup or choose to self-drive to the starting point. Once here, meet your river guide and fellow paddlers and get fitted with your life jacket, helmet, and rafting shoes (if you choose to rent a pair).  Once out on the water, spend up to 4 hours white water rafting on grade 3 and 4 rapids. Paddle hard as you carve your way through the spectacular gorge surrounded by pristine rainforest that’s been listed as a World Heritage Site and was home to the 2019 World Rafting Championships. Rest assured that no experience is necessary for this rafting experience. You’ll receive a comprehensive safety briefing and paddling instructions from your guide who will be there to help throughout your experience.  After your time on the water, replenish your energy with a Riverside BBQ burger lunch or dinner at the Feluga Hotel, depending on the time of your trip. Look over photos of the day and choose to purchase some as souvenirs.

Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

10. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

Climb aboard a catamaran cruise on a day trip from Cairns. Get a fish-eye view of Green Islands' reef from a glass-bottom boat. Explore the marine life with the snorkeling gear provided. Take a guided boardwalk stroll in the rainforest. Upgrade your experience with a lunch and submarine tour. Climb aboard a modern, air-conditioned catamaran to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a full-day reef tour, just a few minutes away from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens or laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun. Walk across the secluded island rainforest on a guided boardwalk stroll. Additionally, choose between a spectacular semi-submersible submarine tour or a glass-bottom boat tour to make the most of your adventure on the water. Book an option with lunch included and forget about packing your own food.

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The best day trips and excursions from Cairns are:

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What people are saying about Cairns

Great snorkeling experience. If you can’t swim, I say don’t bother with this activity and just go to an aquarium instead. The glass bottom boat and semi sub were okay but for the price offered, I don’t think it’s good value the snorkel is experience is by far better). Went with a non-swimming friend and I personally felt like it didn’t do much for them. But if you snorkel, this is an amazing experience ! Definitely the highlight of my trip!

Amazing day! the boat/ferry to get there is always so packed on the weekends so try and do it on a weekday. No sand there all hard rocks so have proper shoes or swimming shoes. However amazing and so much to do!

Had an amazing time with Ocean Freedom! They let us spend hours snorkeling on 2 reef destinations. Crew are friendly and made sure everyone’s safe.

Staff on the tour were super pleasant and helpful. The lunch was good and I especially loved the snorkeling.

Lovely boat trip with amazing diving in the coral reef. The crew was 10/10