About the Cairns Great barrier reef

WHERE IS THE GREAT BARRIER REEF?

Welcome to one of the seven wonders of the world: The Great Barrier Reef!

The Great Barrier Reef is located on a 2,300KM stretch of pristine Queensland coastline, from the balmy seaside town of Bundaberg in the South to the northern tip of cape York in the North. This world-heritage listed underwater wonderland is home to endless colourful coral gardens and abundant marine life.

Visible from outer-space, this natural wonder covers a whopping 340,000 square kilometres and is the world's largest living organism. It includes 600 stunning continental islands waiting to be explored, 3000 coral reefs, 300 coral cays and 150 mangrove islands.

The Great Barrier Reef's location varies from 15 to 150 kilometres off the coast, making it easily accessible by our Cairns Reef tours. This natural wonder is stunning both above and below the water, making it on the bucket list of every traveller!

Sunlover Reef Cruises offers Cairns Great reef tours to our deluxe activity pontoon at the pristine Moore Outer Reef. Our  location is one of the most pristine in Cairns and is home to an array of stunning marine life, including colourful corals, turtles, clown fish, parrot fish and Maori wrasse.

From Great Barrier Reef snorkelling to scuba diving or a scenic helicopter flight to fully appreciate its awesome scale, Sunlover Reef Cruises and our expert team of locals will take you beyond the postcards to experience this marine wonder in all its glory.

The Great Barrier Reef was described by Sir David Attenborough as 'the most magical place in the world'. We invite you to dive into this stunning wonder and see its beauty for yourself!

GREAT BARRIER REEF FACTS

Looking to learn more about The Great Barrier Reef? These Great Barrier Reef facts will turn you into a marine boffin in no time!

·The Great Barrier Reef is bigger than Holland, Switzerland and the UK combined!
·This natural wonder is visible by the naked eye from the moon!
·Cairns is the closest coastal city to The Great Barrier Reef. What better reason to choose a Cairns Great Barrier Reef tour?!
·Forget dinosaurs, the Great Barrier Reef itself is pre-historic. Boffins have estimated that the Reef could be 20,000,000 years old!
·The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act was created in 1975 and is used to protect and maintain the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
·More than one third of the coral species in the entire globe can be found on The Great Barrier Reef.
·The drop-off on the Continental Shelf reaches depths up to 2000 metres.
·The Great Barrier Reef actually has its own street view on Google Earth! Always fun if you want to find Nemo.
·Corals are hermaphrodites and reproduce through a mass coral spawning that happens once a year. It is described by divers as an underwater snowstorm.
·Corals are animals, not plants. Despite this, photosynthesis is very important for their existence. Corals host single cell algae, called zooxanthelle, in their tissues. These algae provide oxygen and sugar for
the corals through photosynthesis.
·A whole coral reef can form from one single coral polp fixing itself to a rock on the sea bed!

·Corals are hermaphrodites and reproduce through a mass coral spawning that happens once a year. It is described by divers as an underwater snowstorm.·Corals are animals, not plants. Despite this, photosynthesis is very important for their existence. Corals host single cell algae, called zooxanthelle, in their tissues. These algae provide oxygen and sugar forthe corals through photosynthesis. ·A whole coral reef can form from one single coral polp fixing itself to a rock on the sea bed!

MARINE LIFE ON THE Cairns GREAT BARRIER REEF

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the entire planet! Home to more than 1,500 fish species, 6 rare turtle species and thirty species of whales & dolphins, here's some of the famous residents you may spot on the Cairns Great Barrier Reef!

Sea Turtles: Seven species of turtles can be found on The Great Barrier Reef. The most common of these species is the Green turtle, which commonly dwells in the coral gardens off our Moore Reef Pontoon. The leatherback, olive ridley and loggerhead turtles are endangered, whilst the hawkwsbill and flatback turtles are listed as vulnerable.

Maori wrasse: Although they can reach up to 6ft in length, the Maori wrasse is a gentle giant! The Maori Wrasse is like the superman of The Great Barrier Reef and munches on the deadly crown of thorn starfish! Maori wrasse are capable of 'sequential hermaphroditism', which is a process in which the fish changes sex from male to female when the dominant male dies or leaves the area.
Our resident Maori Wrasse Wally is seen off our Moore Reef pontoon on a daily basis and loves to get up close and personal with those on a Cairns snorkelling tour!

Butterfly fish: These little fellas literally fly underwater! They come in a spectrum of hues and patterns and are between 3 to 6 inches in length. Butterfly fish are monogamous and stay with their mates for life.

Clown & Anenome Fish: The anenome fish, or 'Nemo' is pretty much an A-list celebrity on The Great Barrier Reef. These curious critters dwell in anenomes which are poisonous to potential predators. Although the most famous clown fish is distinguished by a bright orange hue and white bands, there are 30 species of clown fish in coral reefs worldwide.

Parrotfish: These fish get their name from their sharp bird-like 'beak'. Known for their vibrant hues, parrotfish can often be seen and heard munching on dead coral under the reef by snorkellers and divers.

Rays: The Great Barrier Reef is home to 35 species of rays. These large, flat creatures have evolved from sharks and vary from the common blue spotted ray to the soaring manta ray, which can reach up to 9 metres in length!

Sharks: Although the phrase 'shark' may bring the jaws theme tune to mind, the sharks you will encounter on The Great Barrier Reef are harmless! The most common sharks spotted on The Great Barrier Reef and blacktip and whitetip reef sharks, which are less than 1.9 metres long.

Whales: Whales can be spotted off Cairns between July and August. The majority of the whales spotted are humpback whales and are most likely to be seen from a scenic helicopter flight.

Giant clams: The giant clam is the largest living bivalve mollusc and can weigh over 200kg! This particularly colouful clam has a vibrant purple flesh with vibrant patterned details.

Ready to see these creatures yourself? Book your Cairns reef tour today!

THE great barrier reef

Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef! Stretching across 2,300 KM of pristine coastline from Fraser Island in balmy Southern Queensland all the way to Cape York and beyond in tropical Far North Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed area of colourful coral gardens, abundant marine life and over 900 unspoilt islands waiting to be explored. 

From snorkelling to scuba diving or a leisurely helicopter flight to fully appreciate its awesome scale, Sunlover Reef Cruises and our expert team of locals will take you beyond the postcards to experience this marine wonder in all its glory.

Guests from all over the world can also choose from a variety of optional extras including certified or introductory dives with professional scuba diving instructors, qualified Marine Biologists and Seawalker helmet diving, Sunlover Reef Cruises offers many options for our guests to discover the beauty and diversity of the Great Barrier Reef.