Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour And Cruise From Cairns

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Hotel pickup Available
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Lowest Price Guaranteed
  • Duration: 7 Hrs
  • Language:
  • Departure Details :
    1: 1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia
    2: 2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia
  • Return Details :
    1: 2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia2: 1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia
  • Cancellation Policy :
    This activity is non-refundable Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


Explore the Great Barrier Reef on a half-day or full-day excursion that travels by helicopter and boat so that you can make the most of your time. Choose from three options for your tour of one of the worlds best coral reefs and enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving.

Cruise / Fly is where you travel to the Great Barrier Reef by Boat and return to Cairns by Helicopter.
Fly / Fly is where you travel to and from the Great Barrier Reed by Helicopter
Fly / Cruise is where you travel to the Great Barrier Reef by Helicopter and return to Cairns by Boat.

Admire views of the Great Barrier Reef from your helicopter as you get a multi-angled perspective on one of the worlds top natural wonders.


  • Instant Confirmation
  • Scenic helicopter flight
  • Snorkel gear included
  • Lunch included

Know More about this tour

Choose from three options for your Great Barrier Reef experience. Fly by helicopter in and out of the reef for a 4-hour excursion; fly there and return by boat for a 4.5-hour round-trip. Or get the most time on the reef if you choose the full-day excursion, traveling to the reef by boat and spending five hours exploring there before returning by helicopter to Cairns in the afternoon. More details are in the Itinerary below.

All options spend time on the Great Barrier Reef aboard a deluxe boat that holds a maximum of 100 people, with 18 expert guides to show you the amazing underwater world.

If you take the boat from Cairns in the morning, when you arrive at the reef you stop at two prime locations to see multi-colored coral gardens and schools of fish. Your friendly guides assist you with your snorkel or scuba diving equipment, and provides encouragement and instruction to both newcomers and experienced participants.

If you are a nervous first-time snorkeler or diver, your guides do their best to help you feel comfortable and enjoy your experience. Even non-swimmers can get in the water and see the reef!

You have a choice of included and optional activities on this tour. If you want to learn to scuba dive, a 10-minute SCUBA demonstration is included, allowing you to try it out before purchasing the introductory dive course. Its the perfect opportunity to experience one of the worlds top locations for diving! (Available only on the morning boat cruise)

If you already have your scuba diving certification, you can scuba dive as many as three times at two different locations during the full-day excursion, plus have plenty of time for snorkeling or relaxation between dives. Simply book the dives when you are on the boat. All dive gear and dive computers are provided.

Depending on the days weather conditions and water clarity, your guides choose from 12 exclusive moorings at six locations for the best possible experience for all activities. Generally, in the morning the boat visits one of the true Outer Great Barrier Reef locations (Saxon Reef or Norman Reef). In the afternoon you then head to North Hastings Reef for more snorkeling and helicopter flight connections.

For lunch, enjoy a tasty Australian barbecue buffet served on the boat. Select from a spread consisting of fresh fish, sausages and steak, accompanied by a selection of salads, pastas and prawns.

After a memorable visit to the Great Barrier Reef, return to the mainland by boat or helicopter in the afternoon. If you return by boat, snack on a tropical fruit and cheese platter while your talented crew provides live musical entertainment.


BBQ lunch

Use of Snorkelling equipment


Optional introductory or certified dives, payable direct on travel date (morning cruise only)

AU$20per person Environmental Management Charge (EMC) and Fuel Levy is payable direct to the operator on the day of travel

Hotel pickup and drop off

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Weight Policy: Individual passenger weights and accompanying carry on luggage MUST be advised at time of booking. Weight variances greater than 10% may incur an additional fee. Maximum single seat payload of 130kg. For passenger comfort and aircraft weight and balance, passengers exceeding 130kg are required to purchase an additional seat at 50% of ticket price - this is non-commissionable and payable to Nautilus Aviation on day of travel.

There is a maximum of 6 to 7 passengers depending on aircraft availability.

Evidence of dive certification is required from all divers wishing to participate in a certified dive

Diving within 48 hours of flying is not recommended.(Please note: This does not include the helicopter flight). All participants will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to diving. Some pre-existing medical conditions (eg asthma, heart conditions, etc) may prevent you from diving, please consult your doctor

Child Policy: Children 3 years and above are charged adult rates. Subject to conditions, children under 3 years may travel free of charge when seated on a parents/guardians lap.

For the Fly/Cruise option you will have a compulsory 20 minute safety briefing before being allowed enter the water, this is part of your two hours out at the reef. It is recommended that you wear swimmers upon check in for this option

Not wheelchair accessible

Infants must sit on laps

Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level

Refunds: Cancellation notice of 48 hours is required for a full refund claim and 24 -48 hours, for a 50% refund claim. No refund applies if booking is cancelled inside 24 hours.

Tour and aircraft substitutions are subject to Management and/or pilot discretion, weather, air traffic control and availability

This experience requires good weather. If its canceled due to poor weather, youll be offered a different date or a full refund

This tour/activity will have a maximum of 7 travelers

Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff

Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas

Gear/equipment sanitized between use

Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized

Guides required to regularly wash hands

Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival

Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons

COVID-19 vaccination required for guides

Nautilus Aviation has a comprehensive COVID plan in place.

Traveler Reviews

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  • 04-Nov-2022

    Highly recommend this tour. The helicopter ride was fantastic and when you get to the boat the staff are great and helpful . I would do this again for sure, great experience and again the staff make it more enjoyable . AAA rating from me.

  • 17-Sep-2022

    I booked on the Fly/Fly reef tour on 16 September 2022, costing $779. The alternate was a fly and cruise tour, costing $485. Upon checking in for the tour, I was obviously looking forward to it. The bloke who did the check in was great, always helpful and I have nothing but positive things to say about him, though, not so much for the management. All was going to plan, until unfortunately one of the fellow passengers went to the wrong location which would cause a slight delay, but I accept these things happen and it’s out of the operators control. A short time later, we were advised there were mechanical issues and they were waiting for an engineer to look over the helicopter. Again, these things happen, I didn’t have an issue. After a while, I was told that due to the delay, by the time the helicopter arrived at the boat for the snorkelling there would be no time to go swimming, rather the helicopter would turn straight around and return. My options were to fly there and take the cruise home without snorkelling, or fly there and fly straight back with nothing else, but what was the most disappointing is I was told there would be no reduction in price due to the issues. So I’d either do the fly and cruise package (valued at $485), minus snorkelling, or just a flight straight there and back, with no snorkelling and none of the tour inclusions that are included, but still be charged the full $779 - $294 more than the package I’d be actually getting, even without snorkelling. Obviously I disputed this, and asked if cancellation was an option, because why would I pay so much more for a service I’m not getting. This though was against their policy. I was frankly shocked and could not understand how they could take such an unethical position and have no empathy for an issue they are ultimately responsible for. The issue resolved when the whole flight was cancelled due to mechanical issues. The manager offered to re-book the tour within their schedule, however, was not interested in whether that worked with our holiday plans or other bookings, and would be based on pre-existing availability. Unfortunately I was in the latter part of my holiday, and would have to cancel another booking the next day to experience the helicopter tour, resulting in a forfeiture of nearly $300. I wanted to do the tour still, so when enquiring about re-booking, I asked if they would consider even a small discount to offset the expense caused and inconvenience, I wasn’t asking for a free tour, just a small discount if I re-booked so I wasn’t slugged with not only a wasted day, but also a significant cancellation fee for other tours. The manager could not have been more disinterested and blunt when she refused, citing their policy. Their position in both circumstances was quite disappointing. I highlighted my concerns a second time, but they were not interested, either I re-book at full price, if spots were available, and take the cancellation fee for my other tour, or I don’t go at all. This was planned to be the highlight of the holiday, the one thing I had been looking forward to, and one of the reasons I chose to come to Cairns, so I rebooked regardless, but I quite politely put my concerns to them in writing, and invited them to reconsider based on the circumstances. I suggested they need to have flexibility in their system when they are responsible for the delays, so customers are not paying for services they do not receive. I would hate for another customer to book the tour and be forced to forfeit their promised experience that they had paid quite expensively for. I got a reply stating they would not change their position. Whilst we all know sometimes mechanical or other issues happen, their treatment of customers and frankly arrogant policy is a shame. Not only did they initially refuse to adjust my fee to the flight/cruise package which id be on (with no snorkelling) instead of the fly/fly, thus I’d be paying exorbitantly for a service they could not deliver, to which they really didn’t care. Then once cancelled, they in my opinion, had no interest in anything but the revolving door of bums on seats and cash in hand, very disappointing. In hindsight, I’d have heeded the advice of the other reviews available and not booked. I went on the tour the next day, costing me not only the full tour price, but a forfeiture of my other tour worth nearly $300. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun experience and I enjoyed it, the pilot was very friendly and knowledgeable, and once again, I have nothing but positive things to say about him, just like the other frontline staff you will deal with, but don’t expect any flexibility on the company’s end or expect them to do anything to fix the issues they are responsible for, and if they are delayed or can’t fulfil the tour, you’ll still be paying for it. In hindsight, I’d have explored other options. This would have been a positive review if things went to schedule, which again I accept can sometimes be out of the operators control, however, seeing how they conduct their business when these issues do happen has left me very disappointed and considering if it was worth it.

  • 26-Jul-2022

    1. We booked this trip back in December and were told we would be the only passengers due to Covid. Well due to a mechanical issue earlier in the day we had to share the flight with another couple. When I questioned the prior to takeoff, I was told that since their flight was cancelled, we had to share our flight with them, or not fly. 2. The pilot seemed to cater to the passengers in the front only and not us in the back. He would fly directly on top of points of interest. Those in the front, in the "Bubble" has a great view, Us in the back did not. 3. Not only did we have to share a private flight with another couple, but they put a "trainee" on who acted more like a Tourist, telling me that I'm blocking her view. While the novelty of flying in a helicopter was cool, I would definitely not recommend this company.

  • 10-Jun-2022

    We took a flight over the great barrier reef which is better than being stuck on a boat and not seeing the reef properly since its packed with tourists. The Helicopter you could see the shapes the reef would from and see turtles swim. The pilot was very informative on the reef and we learnt all about its formation and the types of fish. When we arrived the reef wasnt as colourful as what people said it was claiming it to be this fairyland but thats because the reef is dying. taking the chopper over the reef seeing one of the greatest wonders of the world from above made the whole thing amazing. we had the full pontoon to ourselves so there was no pushing and shoving to go swimming and very chill. There is a big price change between a cruise and a chopper but if you pick to sail there, the whole reef will be a waist of your time

  • 20-May-2022

    Definitely the highlight of the trip retuning to Cairns in a helicopter. The pilot was informative and welcoming. The day trip with Down Under Dive was great. We had awesome weather and the staff were friendly and the food was great. Eddie is a cracker.

  • 31-Mar-2022

    First time in a helicopter and surpassed all expectations. The viewing of the Great Barrier Reef from the air was fantastic and then snorkeling at the Reef was a very special occasion. Really brings home the importance of conserving this beautiful planet of ours.

  • 16-Jul-2021

    Wow, just wow. Being able to snorkel to see a tiny bit of paradise that’s the Great Barrier Reef is an experience of a lifetime. Brianna and Phil were excellent in guiding us while snorkeling while Cedric really looked after us while we were on board the Endeavour. The helicopter ride back to Cairns gave us a different perspective of the reef. So much fun! You can get seasick so consider taking seasickness tablets beforehand to maximise your enjoyment.

  • 04-Jul-2021

    Going out on the boat was great and the lunch they supplied . And the swim in the nice blue water the crew were helpful and the helicopter was very enjoyable ride back.

  • 30-May-2021

    Fantastic day. The boat Evolution has to be the best in Cairns. Spacious, clean, fast and the crew are excellent. The chopper trip home was brilliant! Brand new helicopter (had that new helicopter smell!) and the pilot was great. I asked him his background and he is super over qualified to be flying tourists around (Rescue/Oil Rig pilot). Can't recommend this tour enough.

  • 24-May-2021

    Rough trip out to the reef. Suggest taking tablets. Was a totally awesome day. Snorkelled. Did the introductory diving option and then home to Cairns via helicopter. Staff were amazing, attentive and very patient teaching you diving. Loved it.

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