The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world. And it’s found off the coast of Queensland.

Cairns is one of the closest towns to the Great Barrier Reef. The tropical town is in the far north of Queensland and is an excellent place to stay to see the reef. Many Great Barrier Reef tours leave from Cairns to head out towards the Great Barrier Reef. Most tours will allow you to either snorkel, dive or sit in a glass bottom boat to see the coral reefs. Travellers who visit Cairns love the tropical town to relax and swim in the Great Barrier Reef.

Snorkelling, diving, or glass bottom boat?

There are many ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Each activity gives you different experiences when in the reef.

Snorkelling is probably the most common activity in the Great Barrier Reef. Most reefs are best for snorkelling. You will get a quick lesson on how to snorkel before you can do it on your own and explore parts of the reef.

There are two different types of diving you can do in the Great Barrier Reef. Scuba diving is the best way to be able to swim with marine life like turtles or fish. Helmet diving takes you underwater wearing a helmet that allows you to breathe underwater. With helmet diving, you don’t need to know how to swim. There are some reefs that helmet diving and scuba diving are best suited for.

A glass bottom boat is great for those who don’t want to get in the waters but still want to see the reef. The boat having the glass bottom allows you to view the corals and any marine life nearby.

What else can I do when in Cairns?

When staying in Cairns, there is a lot more to do and see other than the Great Barrier Reef. Even though we can fully understand wanting to spend days exploring the reefs! When you’ve had your chance to see the Great Barrier Reef, here are some other ideas about what you can do when in Cairns.

Travellers love making trips up to the Daintree to see the rainforest and the river. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest in the world. You can do a walk through the rainforest or go on the Daintree River Cruise. This cruise is one of the many ways to see crocodiles in the wild.

People love to spend a day on tropical islands like Green Island or Fitzroy Island. You can do so much on these islands. It’s perfect to either explore or simply just relax for the day and enjoy the tropical paradise.

Explore Our Great Barrier Reef Tours

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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