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Green Island Full Day Tour from Cairns

Spend a day exploring paradise just 1 hour from Cairns.

Cairns, Australia
DurationDurationFull Day
Start & End TimeStart & End Time9 am to 5 pm
Pick-Up & Drop-OffPick-Up & Drop-OffNot included
Minimum AgeMinimum AgeAll ages
MealsMealsNot includedi
Start & End LocationStart & End LocationCairns

What's Included

  • Return catamaran from Cairns to Green Island
  • Options for choice of snorkel equipment or glass-bottomed boat tour
  • Snorkelling demonstration & reef presentation en route to Green Island
  • Use of vessel during time at island as an air-conditioned base

What's Excluded

  • Transfers from Cairns and Northern Beaches accommodation to Reef Fleet Terminal
  • Optional on-island activities including semi-submersible tour, guided snorkel tours.
  • Food and beverages
  • Lycra suit and floatation vest hire
  • Activities if selecting Transfer Only option

What to Expect

Green Island is a beautiful, 6000-year old coral cay located on the Great Barrier Reef, just over an hour minutes from Cairns. At the heart of the 15-hectare island is a lush, tropical rainforest, with over 120 native plant species and colourful birdlife. Surrounding it is pristine white sand beaches and magnificent coral reefs, teeming with marine life. 


This full-day cruise is the perfect way to submerge yourself in paradise. You'll enjoy five and a half hours of island time, and have the option of using snorkelling equipment to explore the reef up close. Just settle yourself on a beautiful stretch of sand and wade into the water – the reef is accessed from the beach, making it super accessible and perfect for the whole family. Alternatively, you can choose the glass-bottomed boat tour if you prefer to stay dry. The 30-minute journey sees you sit around the window into the water below for a snorkeller's view of the reef. You'll spot all kinds of sea life including fish, stingrays, and turtles, plus lots of colourful coral. 


When it comes to lunchtime, you can purchase refreshments from the various outlets on the island. Finally, as the sun begins to set you'll head back to the mainland, arriving in Cairns by 5 pm. 


Where we visit:

  • Green Island

Frequently Asked Questions

Parking is available at the nearby Pier Shopping Complex/Shangri-la hotel, located opposite the Reef Fleet Terminal. The hourly cost is from AUD $1.60 for indoor and outdoor parking. All-day parking is also available near Trinity Wharf at approximately $3 per day.

Yes, please check in at The Reef Fleet Terminal at least 30 minutes prior to your departure (1 Spence St, Cairns, Qld 4870). Please present relevant vouchers or itineraries at check-in exchange for your boarding passes.

All our vessels are pram friendly. The beach areas are not practical for prams however there are boardwalks and pathways throughout the island that are suitable. Prams can be stored on ‘Big Cat’ if needed.

The large stable catamaran operates for the Full Day Tours at 9 am and takes approximately 1 hour 15mins to get to Green Island. The smaller speedier boat is used for half-day and full-day 11 am departures, taking approximately 45 minutes

In poor weather, you can move your booking without charge to the next most suitable day, subject to availability and with 48 hours' notice. In the rare event, that the weather is deemed too bad to travel and you are unable to reschedule, a full refund will be provided.

Hopefully not. This depends largely on the individual. Travelling on the fast, stable catamaran ensures the smoothest possible ride.

At 20 knots and above it can get a little bumpy at times however our skippers are skilled in picking the best route to our destination. If you are prone to other common forms of motion sickness such as travelling in a car or plane you may wish to take precautions. There are complimentary natural Ginger Tablets onboard however these are preventative, not a cure, so should be taken approximately 30 minutes prior to departure for maximum benefit.

Yes. The island has plenty of trees inland and spots around the beach to seek shelter. The lycra stinger suits are great sun protection too. The boat is open all day if you wish to have a break from the sun and heat and enjoy the air-conditioned vessel.

We recommend you bring a towel, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimwear. Also, cash for drinks, snacks, or souvenirs you may want to buy. Credit cards are accepted at most shops on the Island however surcharges may apply.

The cruises are suitable for people of all ages, including families with young children. The half-day option is ideal for small children, infants, and babies. Additionally snorkelling directly from the beach is perfect for children and first-time snorkellers.

Passengers 16 years and over are permitted to travel without adult supervision (photo identification will be required at check-in). Adult supervision (18 years and over) is required at all times for children under 16 years of age. Passengers 16 years and over are not the responsibility of the operator. Diving options are not allowed without Adult/Guardian authorisation and supervisor.

Passengers must have some mobility and/or the presence of a carer who can assist them. Depending on tides it may be necessary to embark/disembark from different levels on the boat. Coral viewing and glass-bottomed boat activities are subject to the weather and the extent of the passenger’s mobility and/or the presence of a carer who can assist. Please note that the toilets on the vessel are not wheelchair accessible but there are disabled toilets available on the island. Please advise at the time of booking if you have wheelchair-bound passengers travelling.
These guidelines apply to standard wheelchairs only. We are not able to accommodate electric wheelchairs on any of the vessels or coaches.

At certain times of the year, generally November through until May, jellyfish commonly called marine stingers can inhabit the seas of northern Australia. Most jellyfish are harmless to man, however certain varieties may cause a serious reaction. Jellyfish of this kind are normally only found in waters close to the mainland and do not usually frequent the reef. Incidents involving serious marine stings in the Green Island area are very rare. It is important that snorkelers and swimmers listen to the specific advice given regarding the degree of risk on any particular day. We recommend that anyone wanting to enter the water at this time of year wears a lycra suit to protect you from the sun and to reduce the possibility of stings and irritations. If you don’t have your own we do hire them for a small cleaning and maintenance fee.

The Semi-submarine tour is approximately a half-hour coral viewing tour. This tour is recommended as it is a great opportunity to see plenty of marine life swimming right past your window! Similar to a diver's perspective of the reef. This tour also has an informative commentary and fish feed included. The Glass Bottom Boat is also approximately 30 minutes and has a commentary and a fish feed. The main difference is the Glass Bottom Boat is more like a snorkeler's view from the surface looking down.

Diving Green Island has never been so easy! SNUBA® is a shallow water diving system whereby customers can explore underwater up to 3 metres. No need to wear heavy equipment, the air tanks float on the surface and you breathe through a normal scuba regulator mouthpiece. Introductory & Certified diving can also be booked at the dive shop on the Island.

A snorkelling and safety presentation is given on board en route to Green Island. Snorkelling is undertaken at your own leisure, directly from the beach. A lifeguard is on duty in the flagged area at the northern beach.


Terms & Conditions:
  • The ticket/boarding pass issued to the passenger entitles the passenger to transportation and other services as indicated on its face (“the service”)
  • The operator reserves the right to cancel or vary the service in any way whatsoever and for any reason without any liability to the passenger
  • The operator is not a common carrier and reserves the right to refuse to carry any passengers or goods without giving reasons
Cancellation Policy:

You can cancel or amend your tour to a different date (subject to availability) with more than 24 hours' notice prior to travel. If you need to cancel or change dates within 24 hours of travel a 100% cancellation fee applies.

Tour Operator

Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises
Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

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