FAQs | SUNLOVER REEF CRUISES | CAirns reef tours

Select your arEa of interest

Are there jellyfish on the reef?

Unfortunately, stinger season is a price we pay for our amazing tropical lifestyle.  However, this period of time is short and to combat any risk (albeit small) we do have suits available for hire, for those wanting some added protection.

The good thing about jellies is that the turtles that swim in our reefs love to eat them!

I’ve heard about coral bleaching on the news, will I be able to see any bright, colourful coral during our trip?

Unfortunately, the media sometimes miscommunicates the issue of coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef is aspectacular place and proving resilient as evidenced by the best coral spawning activity in a number of years, however it is very fragile, and we must look after it. We have two very healthy, beautiful reef sites that we visit regularly. In fact, Arlington Reef in particular has been untouched for 20years.

Please check out our website and brochures, asthese images were all taken within the past 12 months. 

We are also very careful to minimise our impact on the reef and regularly participate in monitoring programs and environmental initiatives to ensure its longevity. We encourage all of our guests to learn more about small changes they can make to reduce their environmental impact, and all of our crew, especially our Master Reef Guides are happy to answer all of your questions about the reef.

Do you have underwater cameras?

Yes we do. Our photographers Calypso Reef Imagery have underwater cameras onboard that you can you can hire

Can I bring a pram?

Yes you can. Our friendly team will be able to provide assistance to you when getting on and off the boat.

Do I need to bring a towel?

Yes please bring a suitable towel as these are not supplied.

Are there any activities for non-swimmers?

Yes. We actually offer a large number of activities that allow non-swimmers to experience the reef. You can enjoy a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat tour, underwater observatory, guided snorkel safari, Seawalker Helmet dive, upper level sundeck, fish feeding presentation and touch tank presentation. Scenic helicopter tours are also available as an option. Find out more here.

Do you have WiFi?

Yes we do. Our boats are equipped with WiFi that we provide free to you as part our your experience, so you can post and send amazing images and tell your family and friends about your awesome reef experience.

You are also likely to receive mobile coverage depending on your network.

However, we are 47km off shore so mobile and WiFi can't be guaranteed. You will be too busy enjoying time with your friends and family exploring the Outer Great Barrier Reef anyway!

How many passengers do you have onboard the vessel on any given day?

This varies every day. The maximum is approximately 340 people but often is fewer than this.

Can I collect my boarding pass the day before?

No. Check-in opens approximately one hour before the tour departs, so you will need to check-in and collect your boarding pass from the Sunlover desk in the Reef FleetTerminal on the day of travel.

Is it cheaper if I joined or departed from the Moore Reef Daily experience at Fitzroy Island?

No. The price is the same whether you travel to and from Cairns or Fitzroy Island. However, we do have some great value 1 Day and 2 Day Moore Reef and Fitzroy Island packages available.

I have an infant. Do I need to book a seat for them?

Yes, you do. It’s important for us to have an accurate record of every single person travelling with us, no matter what their age. Children under 3 years travel free but you must advise us if you have an infant when you make a booking please.

Do you offer a local's discount?

Yes we do. If you live in an Australian postcode starting with a '48' then you can enjoy a discount of up to 40%! Learn more here.

Do you offer a group discount?

Yes we welcome small and large groups and offer a number of number of group options. Find out more here.

Do you offer a senior's discount?

Yes we do. Please contact our friendly Reservations team for more details.

What is your policy if I decide to cancel?

Please read our full terms and condition here.

Any bookings cancelled by the customer within 24 hours of departure will be subject to a cancellation charge. A 100% cancellation fee will be charged for independent passengers cancelling within 24 hoursof departure. A 100% cancellation fee will be charged for groups cancelling within 72 hours of departure. No cancellation charges will apply for passengers failing to travel due to:

a) Ill health (medical certificate may berequired);

b) Minor changes to group numbers;

c) Group or independent passengers re-scheduling

What is a Marine Base?

A Marine Base is a floating platform, a little bit like an artificial island, in the middle of the ocean. Large and spacious, it provides a safe activity platform for our guests to enjoy the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.

We have Marine Bases at Moore and Arlington Reefs.  Both have recently been refurbished and custom designed to makes the coral gardens and marine life of the Outer Great Barrier Reef easily accessible for swimmers of all ability and even non-swimmers!

Both feature snorkel platforms, an ocean enclosed children's pool, underwater observatory, SCUBA dive centre and platform and Seawalker helmet diving platform as well as plentiful shaded seating.

Do you provide photographs?

The photography team from Calypso Reef Imagery are available to take photographs for you while boarding and taking part invarious activities such as Seawalker Helmet diving, Introductory SCUBA diving and snorkelling. These photographs can be previewed on the boat journey back to Cairns and are available to purchase digitally or as a printed photo. 

Do you have smoking facilities?

There is a designated smoking area at the top level of the vessel. However, this can only be used when the boat is moored to the Marine Base.

Is there a minimum age for your tours?

There is no minimum age for our Arlington Reef and Moore Reef tours. In fact we have built special Ocean Enclosed Pools for very small children so they can also safely experience the Great Barrier Reef.

However, Sunlover by Starlight, SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet diving have a minimum age of 12 years.

How and where to I check in?

Please check-in at the Sunlover Reef Cruises desk inside the Reef Fleet Terminal, which is located at the end of Spence Street opposite the Shangri La Hotel. 

Please arrive at least 45 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time with your booking confirmation ready.

Can you pick us up from our hotel?

We are more than happy to arrange a modern air-conditioned coach to pick you up from your hotel in Cairns or the Northern Beaches and bring you to the terminal for an additional charge. Just contact our friendly Reservations team to make arrangements. 

You can also arrange your own transfer when booking your tour online

Can I take my prescription glasses/lenses snorkelling?

We do offer prescription snorkel masks for those who are short sighted to ensure don’t miss a thing when exploring the coral and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Available from -1 to -6 strength levels, the masks can be hired for $5, with a $50 deposit refundable on return. Please ask our friendly crew onboard to assist you.

What languages are spoken onboard other than English?

We have an international team working every day on both the Sunlover vessel and Marine Base, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean crew members. Important medical forms, health and safety messages, and our Sunlover brochures are also provided for in these languages for our guests.

Please inquire about other languages on the day of your departure should you require them, as we regularly have people from all over the world joining our team.

Can you supervise my children while I dive?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crèche onboard so we can’t specifically care for infants, or anyone needing close supervision. However, if your children are old enough to head off on the glass bottom boat or go snorkelling on their own, we do have lifeguards watching the snorkelling area. 

If you let the lifeguards know that your children are entertaining themselves while you are heading off for a dive, they will be happy to keep a close eye out. However, you are ultimately responsible those under the age of 18 travelling with you.

Do you cater for special diets or allergies?

Yes, we do. Please advise our friendly Reservations team at the time of your booking (or ideally at least 72 hours prior to departure) of any special dietary requirements or allergies and we will gladly assist where possible.

What is for lunch?

On our Moore Reef Experience, guests are treated to a delicious Tropical buffet lunch including fresh prawns and on Arlington Reef we have an Aussie BBQ buffet cooked onboard.

Please advise our friendly Reservations team at the time of your booking (or ideally at least 72 hours prior to departure) of any special dietary requirements or allergies and we will gladly assist where possible. We also have a shop onboard that sells delicious snacks and ice cream and you are able to bring your own snack food with you if needed (there are no cooking/reheating facilities onboard).

Can I park at the terminal?

There is no parking at the Reef Fleet Terminal. Metered outdoor street parking is available near the terminal and in the Esplanade Lagoon carpark. The Pier shopping complex also provides undercover car parking. It’s only a few minutes on foot to the Reef Fleet Terminal from both of these locations.

Do I need to take cash or credit card?

Your reef experience is packed full of amazing inclusions - marine activities as well as a delicious lunch. Cash or credit cards are great to have with you as you may be tempted into participating in one of our amazing Indepth Extra activities or make a purchase from our snack bar. We accept both on-board, however minimum purchase amounts apply for credit card transactions. 

Credit cards we accept are MasterCard, VISA, AMEX, JCB, and Royal Pay.

Do you have lockers on board for my personal belongings?

Yes! Secure lockers are available fore hire on the boat for small personal belongings. We suggest leaving any unnecessary valuables at home or at your hotel.

Will I get seasick?

Even the most experienced sailor at times can sometimes get a little bit of sea sickness! Luckily, this is generally easy to prevent. If you have a tendency to get seasick, we recommend taking ‘Travelcalm’ tablets prior to departure. These come in a medicated variety (not available to minors without parental supervision/consent) or natural ginger tablets. These can be purchased at the Reservations desk upon collecting your boarding pass or on-board the vessel. Alternatively please discuss the best option for you with your doctor or pharmacist.

Do you ever cancel?

Rarely! We very occasionally cancel due to poor weather. This decision is made after we carefully assess current and forecast conditions, with the comfort and safety of our guests as our number one priority. If we have to cancel, then we will endeavour to contact our affected passengers with as much notice as possible and offer an alternate date or reef (we have two stunning reef sites - Moore and Arlington Reef) for your tour. If you accept the alternative tour, then no refunds are given.  If an alternative date cannot be arranged then you will receive a full refund of monies paid to Sunlover Reef Cruises. 

Full terms of travel can be found here.

Do you go to the reef every day?

The marine life at the Great Barrier Reef never seem to have a day off, so neither do we! We travel 365 days a year (366 on a leap year!).

How long are we at the reef for?

As long as possible!  On our Moore Reef Daily experience you can expect to have approximately 4 hours reef time. On our Sunlover by Starlight experience you stay for for 24 hours!

What is available for hire?

Prescription masks (prescription strength from -8 to +8)
Wetsuits
Secure lockers

What should I bring on the day?

Simply pack a bag as if you were going to the beach for the day. Suggested items include:

  • Swimming costume
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30+)  - reef friendly is best for our precious marine environment. You can purchase it onboard.
  • Sun protective clothing, like a t-shirt or rash vest
  • Beach towel 
  • Cash for snacks or drinks at the bar (soft drinks,beer, wine) 
  • Credit card for on-board shopping and optional adventures 
  • Your camera. Or you can hire an underwater digital camera from our photographers Calypso Reef Imagery onboard to capture those amazing underwater moments.

Are there toilets, showers and change rooms at the reef?

There are toilets located onboard the boat, which are accessible at all times. We also have fresh water rinse showers and change rooms on the Sunlover Marine Bases.

Are there allocated seats on the boat?

No, the seats are not allocated, however there is plenty of room and seating on our large air-conditioned catamaran,with 3 levels including indoor and outdoor seating. You can see more details here.

How long does it take to get to the reef?

From Cairns, it takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to Moore Reef Marine Base (with a stop at Fitzroy Island) and 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Arlington Reef Marine Base.

What time does my cruise leave and get back to Cairns?

Please check the itinerary on the cruise page for the most up-to-date departure and arrival times.
For the Moore Reef Daily Experience click here.
For Sunlover by Starlight click here.
For Fitzroy Island click here.
For Arlington Reef,  click here.

How do I get to the terminal?

The Reef Fleet Terminal is located at 1 Spence Street Cairns, opposite the Shangri La Hotel. We are more than happy to arrange a modern air-conditioned coach to pick you up from your hotel in Cairns or the Northern Beaches and bring you to the terminal for an additional charge, just speak to our friendly reservations staff to make arrangements.

Are there jellyfish on the reef?

Unfortunately, stinger season is a price we pay for our amazing tropical lifestyle.  However, this period of time is short and to combat any risk (albeit small) we do have suits available for hire, for those wanting some added protection.

The good thing about jellies is that the turtles that swim in our reefs love to eat them!

Do you have lifejackets or noodles?

We don’t provide or allow noodles but we do have life jackets to fit children as young as two years of age free of charge. We also have an ocean enclosed children’s pool available. If you are nervous or unsure, please tell our friendly crew and they will gladly assist you.

We have children or elderly parents. What kind of activities can they do on the reef?

They can enjoy snorkelling and other water activities, provided they are comfortable getting wet and have the ability to snorkel safely.

If they would prefer to stay dry, they can enjoy a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat tour, underwater observatory, guided snorkel safari, Seawalker Helmet dive, upper level sundeck, fish feeding presentation and touch tank presentation. Scenic helicopter tours are also available as an option. Find out more here.

We also have an ocean enclosed children’s pool available for younger children.

*Children must be over 12 years of age for Introductory SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving.

Can I book an Introductory SCUBA Dive, Seawalker Helmet Dive, Guided Snorkel Safari or Scenic Helicopter flight once onboard?

Yes, you can. However, these activities are subject to availability. If you don’t want to miss out, we recommend you make a booking in advance. There are also discounts available if you book an Introductory SCUBA dive, Seawalker Helmet dive, Guided Snorkel Safari or Scenic Helicopter flight when you book your reef experience.

Introductory SCUBA Diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving are subject to a medical questionnaire/declaration on-board. A history of asthma, heart conditions and/or other medical conditions or medications may prohibit SCUBA or Seawalker Helmet diving. If medical is failed on-board no refund will be given. Guests are advised to review medical checklists/requirements with their booking agent prior to booking or check with our friendly Reservations team.

I have an infant. Do I need to book a seat for them?

Yes, you do. It’s important for us to have an accurate record of every single person travelling with us, no matter what their age. Children under 3 years travel free but you must advise us if you have an infant when you make a booking please.

Will the sea conditions affect our day?

Sea conditions vary on a day to day basis. Except in very rare circumstances, sea conditions will be safe for the cruise to operate. If the rare occasion arises in which it isn't safe to operate, passengers will be offered travel on an alternate day or will receive a refund.

Should you have any questions please contact our friendly Reservations team on 07 4050 1333.

Please note: passengers who are prone to motion sickness area dvised to get advice from a pharmacist prior to travel. Alternatively,Travacalm tablets are available for purchase on board the vessel.

How deep is the water?

The water is between 5 and 12m in depth off our Moore Reef
Marine Base depending on the tide.We supply life jackets free of charge for extra buoyancy and resting stations are dotted throughout the snorkelling area.

Will there be sharks in the water?

The sharks that live on the Great Barrier Reef are very timid and are a lot more scared of you, than you may be of them. They are an absolute pleasure and privilege to spot when you are snorkelling or diving. We tend tosee White Tip and Black Tip Reef sharks, Epaulette sharks and the occasional Bronze Whaler or Tawny Nurse shark. They are a vital animal for the ecosystem and we would be very worried if we didn’t see them on occasion. So make sure you havean underwater camera ready before they swim past! Don’t forget, the film ‘Jaws’was all make believe, rubber and tomato sauce! It does not portray these beautiful creatures as they actually are.

Can you supervise my children while I dive?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crèche onboard so we can’t specifically care for infants, or anyone needing close supervision. However, if your children are old enough to head off on the glass bottom boat or go snorkelling on their own, we do have lifeguards watching the snorkelling area. 

If you let the lifeguards know that your children are entertaining themselves while you are heading off for a dive, they will be happy to keep a close eye out. However, you are ultimately responsible those under the age of 18 travelling with you.

Do you cater for special diets or allergies?

Yes, we do. Please advise our friendly Reservations team at the time of your booking (or ideally at least 72 hours prior to departure) of any special dietary requirements or allergies and we will gladly assist where possible.

I’ve heard about coral bleaching on the news, will I be able to see any bright, colourful coral during our trip?

Unfortunately, the media sometimes miscommunicates the issue of coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef is aspectacular place and proving resilient as evidenced by the best coral spawning activity in a number of years, however it is very fragile, and we must look after it. We have two very healthy, beautiful reef sites that we visit regularly. In fact, Arlington Reef in particular has been untouched for 20years.

Please check out our website and brochures, asthese images were all taken within the past 12 months. 

We are also very careful to minimise our impact on the reef and regularly participate in monitoring programs and environmental initiatives to ensure its longevity. We encourage all of our guests to learn more about small changes they can make to reduce their environmental impact, and all of our crew, especially our Master Reef Guides are happy to answer all of your questions about the reef.

Do you have lifejackets or noodles?

We don’t provide or allow noodles but we do have life jackets to fit children as young as two years of age free of charge. We also have an ocean enclosed children’s pool available. If you are nervous or unsure, please tell our friendly crew and they will gladly assist you.

Do you have underwater cameras?

Yes we do. Our photographers Calypso Reef Imagery have underwater cameras onboard that you can you can hire

If I can’t swim, can I still snorkel?

Generally, yes. Please let one of our our dive team know on the trip out to the reef and they will demonstrate how to use snorkelling gear. We provide life jackets, which will keep you afloat. We also have soime fantastic activities for non-swimmers. Check them out here.

We have children or elderly parents. What kind of activities can they do on the reef?

They can enjoy snorkelling and other water activities, provided they are comfortable getting wet and have the ability to snorkel safely.

If they would prefer to stay dry, they can enjoy a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat tour, underwater observatory, guided snorkel safari, Seawalker Helmet dive, upper level sundeck, fish feeding presentation and touch tank presentation. Scenic helicopter tours are also available as an option. Find out more here.

We also have an ocean enclosed children’s pool available for younger children.

*Children must be over 12 years of age for Introductory SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving.

Are there any activities for non-swimmers?

Yes. We actually offer a large number of activities that allow non-swimmers to experience the reef. You can enjoy a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat tour, underwater observatory, guided snorkel safari, Seawalker Helmet dive, upper level sundeck, fish feeding presentation and touch tank presentation. Scenic helicopter tours are also available as an option. Find out more here.

Is it cheaper if I joined or departed from the Moore Reef Daily experience at Fitzroy Island?

No. The price is the same whether you travel to and from Cairns or Fitzroy Island. However, we do have some great value 1 Day and 2 Day Moore Reef and Fitzroy Island packages available.

Can I book an Introductory SCUBA Dive, Seawalker Helmet Dive, Guided Snorkel Safari or Scenic Helicopter flight once onboard?

Yes, you can. However, these activities are subject to availability. If you don’t want to miss out, we recommend you make a booking in advance. There are also discounts available if you book an Introductory SCUBA dive, Seawalker Helmet dive, Guided Snorkel Safari or Scenic Helicopter flight when you book your reef experience.

Introductory SCUBA Diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving are subject to a medical questionnaire/declaration on-board. A history of asthma, heart conditions and/or other medical conditions or medications may prohibit SCUBA or Seawalker Helmet diving. If medical is failed on-board no refund will be given. Guests are advised to review medical checklists/requirements with their booking agent prior to booking or check with our friendly Reservations team.

Are there age, height or other restrictions that apply to using the Sunlover Sunslide?

Our Moore Reef double-storey Marine Base is home to the Sunlover Sunslide - the only waterslide on The Great Barrier Reef! Big kids and little kids alike are welcome to go for a slide.

The Sunslide is manned by a lifeguard at all times. Children under 5 years can enjoy the Sunslide when accompanied their parent or caregiver.

Do you provide photographs?

The photography team from Calypso Reef Imagery are available to take photographs for you while boarding and taking part invarious activities such as Seawalker Helmet diving, Introductory SCUBA diving and snorkelling. These photographs can be previewed on the boat journey back to Cairns and are available to purchase digitally or as a printed photo. 

Is there a minimum age for your tours?

There is no minimum age for our Arlington Reef and Moore Reef tours. In fact we have built special Ocean Enclosed Pools for very small children so they can also safely experience the Great Barrier Reef.

However, Sunlover by Starlight, SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet diving have a minimum age of 12 years.

Can I take my prescription glasses/lenses snorkelling?

We do offer prescription snorkel masks for those who are short sighted to ensure don’t miss a thing when exploring the coral and marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Available from -1 to -6 strength levels, the masks can be hired for $5, with a $50 deposit refundable on return. Please ask our friendly crew onboard to assist you.

Can you supervise my children while I dive?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crèche onboard so we can’t specifically care for infants, or anyone needing close supervision. However, if your children are old enough to head off on the glass bottom boat or go snorkelling on their own, we do have lifeguards watching the snorkelling area. 

If you let the lifeguards know that your children are entertaining themselves while you are heading off for a dive, they will be happy to keep a close eye out. However, you are ultimately responsible those under the age of 18 travelling with you.

Can my child do Scuba Diving or Seawalker Helmet Dive?

As long as they are 12 years old or more, and they have successfully completed a basic medical questionnaire, then yes.

Please note that Introductory SCUBA Diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving are subject to a medicalquestionnaire/declaration on-board. A history of asthma, heart conditions and/or other medical conditions or medications may prohibit SCUBA or Seawalker Helmet diving. If medical is failed on-board no refund will be given. Guests are advised to review medical checklists/requirements with their booking agent prior to booking or check with our friendly Reservations team.

Do I need experience to Scuba Dive?

Our Introductory SCUBA diving does not require any prior diving experience and what better way tolearn how to dive than on the Great Barrier Reef!

Please note that Introductory SCUBA Diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving are subject to a medicalquestionnaire/declaration on-board. A history of asthma, heart conditions and/or other medical conditions or medications may prohibit SCUBA or Seawalker Helmet diving. If medical is failed on-board no refund will be given. Guests are advised to review medical checklists/requirements with their booking agent prior to booking or check with our friendly Reservations team.‍

What can I do if I can't swim?

You can enjoy The Great Barrier Reef even if you can’t swim! Our Moore Reef full day tour includes a complimentary glass bottom boat tour and semi-sub tour. A glass bottom boat tour is also available at our Arlington Reef pontoon.

Seawalker Helmet Diving is also an option for those that don’t swim and is available on both our Moore and Arlington Marine Bases. A scenic helicopter flight is also a fantastic way to see The Great Barrier Reef without getting your feet wet.

Beyond that, you could try a Guided Snorkelling Tour with one of our experienced Marine Naturalists; they have a large floating life ring and can guide you amongst the coral reefs, while offering 100% safety, regardless of swimming ability. 

Find out more here.

What things can I do at the MARINE BASE?

Your Moore Reef trip includes:

  • Travel to Moore Reef on air-conditioned catamaran
  • Great Barrier Reef Presentation by Marine Biologist
  • 4 hours to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Theme-park style Waterslide
  • Upper-level Sun-Deck
  • Underwater Observatory 
  • Semi-Submersible Tour with Marine Expert
  • Glass-bottom Boat Tour with Marine Expert
  • Fish-Feeding Presentation with Marine Expert
  • Touch-Tank Presentation with Marine Expert
  • Enclosed Kids Pool for the little ones
  • Tropical Buffet Lunch
  • Tea & Coffee (while docked)
  • Snorkelling Gear + Life Jackets
  • OPTIONAL EXTRAS include Certified and Intro Scuba Diving, Guided Snorkel Tours with Marine Experts, SeaWalker Helmet Dive, Scenic Helicopter Tours, Underwater Photography, Starlight overnight experience and Wetsuit/Stinger suits.

Will the sea conditions affect our day?

Sea conditions vary on a day to day basis. Except in very rare circumstances, sea conditions will be safe for the cruise to operate. If the rare occasion arises in which it isn't safe to operate, passengers will be offered travel on an alternate day or will receive a refund.

Should you have any questions please contact our friendly Reservations team on 07 4050 1333.

Please note: passengers who are prone to motion sickness area dvised to get advice from a pharmacist prior to travel. Alternatively,Travacalm tablets are available for purchase on board the vessel.

Do you ever cancel?

Rarely! We very occasionally cancel due to poor weather. This decision is made after we carefully assess current and forecast conditions, with the comfort and safety of our guests as our number one priority. If we have to cancel, then we will endeavour to contact our affected passengers with as much notice as possible and offer an alternate date or reef (we have two stunning reef sites - Moore and Arlington Reef) for your tour. If you accept the alternative tour, then no refunds are given.  If an alternative date cannot be arranged then you will receive a full refund of monies paid to Sunlover Reef Cruises. 

Full terms of travel can be found here.

When's the best time to travel?

Cairns has a tropical climate and experiences hot, humid
summers and cooler, dry winters. December to March brings in monsoon troughs with hot humid conditions and increased rain and thunderstorms. May to October is dominated by the sub-tropical ridge and is dryer and cooler.

Often when the weather is cloudy or rainy in Cairns it can be the complete opposite on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. However, if you wish to change the date of your tour then we are more than happy to do so for you (subject to availability and 72 hours notice).

Will the water be cold?

Cairns is located in Tropical North Queensland so the water temperature is very pleasant all year round. Approximate average water temperatures throughout the year are:

December-February 29C or 83F
March-May 25C or 76F
June-August 22C or 72F
September-November 25C or 76F

Do you have lifejackets or noodles?

We don’t provide or allow noodles but we do have life jackets to fit children as young as two years of age free of charge. We also have an ocean enclosed children’s pool available. If you are nervous or unsure, please tell our friendly crew and they will gladly assist you.

If I can’t swim, can I still snorkel?

Generally, yes. Please let one of our our dive team know on the trip out to the reef and they will demonstrate how to use snorkelling gear. We provide life jackets, which will keep you afloat. We also have soime fantastic activities for non-swimmers. Check them out here.

We have children or elderly parents. What kind of activities can they do on the reef?

They can enjoy snorkelling and other water activities, provided they are comfortable getting wet and have the ability to snorkel safely.

If they would prefer to stay dry, they can enjoy a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat tour, underwater observatory, guided snorkel safari, Seawalker Helmet dive, upper level sundeck, fish feeding presentation and touch tank presentation. Scenic helicopter tours are also available as an option. Find out more here.

We also have an ocean enclosed children’s pool available for younger children.

*Children must be over 12 years of age for Introductory SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet Diving.

Are there any activities for non-swimmers?

Yes. We actually offer a large number of activities that allow non-swimmers to experience the reef. You can enjoy a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat tour, underwater observatory, guided snorkel safari, Seawalker Helmet dive, upper level sundeck, fish feeding presentation and touch tank presentation. Scenic helicopter tours are also available as an option. Find out more here.

How far away is the reef from the Marine Base?

The reef is approximately 3m away from the Marine Base.

How deep is the water?

The water is between 5 and 12m in depth off our Moore Reef
Marine Base depending on the tide.We supply life jackets free of charge for extra buoyancy and resting stations are dotted throughout the snorkelling area.

What can I do if I can't swim?

You can enjoy The Great Barrier Reef even if you can’t swim! Our Moore Reef full day tour includes a complimentary glass bottom boat tour and semi-sub tour. A glass bottom boat tour is also available at our Arlington Reef pontoon.

Seawalker Helmet Diving is also an option for those that don’t swim and is available on both our Moore and Arlington Marine Bases. A scenic helicopter flight is also a fantastic way to see The Great Barrier Reef without getting your feet wet.

Beyond that, you could try a Guided Snorkelling Tour with one of our experienced Marine Naturalists; they have a large floating life ring and can guide you amongst the coral reefs, while offering 100% safety, regardless of swimming ability. 

Find out more here.

Is there wheelchair access?

Our boats are equipped with ramps to and from the boat to the Marine Base. Disabled toilets are situated on the aft deck of both of our boats. There are also portable ramps for use to assist in wheelchairs crossing hatchways and onto the gangways as required.

Both our Moore and Arlington Reef Marine Bases are stable platforms that are suitable for guests in wheelchairs. Our crew are more than happy to assist with disabled or mobility impaired customers. In fact we recently hosted Erin who is confined to a wheelchair and her assistance dog Lacey - read about it here.

Please speak to our friendly Reservations team at time of booking.

Still have questions?

Contact us