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Great Barrier Reef & Island Tours from Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef is home to millions of fish and sea life, and with just a short boat ride from Cairns, you can experience the awe of the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef, Natural Wonder

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, and it is easy to see why. This world heritage listed marvel is home to around 10% of the world’s fish species and other marine life such as turtles, whales, and manta rays. This extensive and unique ecosystem is the largest living structure on the planet. With over 2500 reefs, it is large enough to be seen from space.

From Cairns, there are many different tours to go explore the reef. Some tours will suit different people depending on swimming ability and activities you wish to do. We have explained the main differences for you below. Browse our Great Barrier Reef & Island tours to find the right reef trip for you.

Tours from Cairns

Outer Great Barrier Reef Options

After departing Cairns, it will take roughly 1.5 – 2 hours to reach the Great Barrier Reef. There are a wide range of reef trips available to you.

To make the most of it, you need to find the trip that fits you & your group best.

Islands around Cairns

For those that prefer not to be on a boat all day, islands are a great option as they offer land, independence, and flexibility. Each trip is roughly a 45 min boat ride each way from jetty to island.

Whilst the islands surrounding Cairns are not considered to be part of the Great Barrier Reef, they do have a fringing reef surrounding the island and you can choose to snorkel, dive, or take a glass-bottom boat tour.

Coral Nurture Project

It goes without saying that the Great Barrier Reef is a wonder worth protecting. Due to global warming, cyclones, and other factors both environmental and from visiting humans, the reef is currently under threat. Although quite resilient, these beautiful reefs need assistance to rebuild.

Wonderful organizations such as Reef Restoration Foundation are working hard to do help save the Great Barrier Reef. Starting in 2017, the foundation have built a coral nursery off Fitzroy Island to grow coral trees until there are mature enough to place back on outer reefs. Here broken coral pieces have a chance to regrow and regain strength to survive. Once at a level of maturity, the corals are planted on a nearby damaged reef where they will continue to grow.

If you want to learn more about how you could become a coral crusader with ***LINK TO REEF RESTORATION FOUDATION***

Eradicating the Crown of Thornes

Outside factors are not the only things threatening the health of the reef. The magnificent corals are under attack from the Crown of Thornes starfish. Responsible for large portions of the coral loss over the years, the Crown of Thornes eat the coral without giving time for it to regenerate. These starfish are incredibly tough, durable and multiple by the millions.

Due to their unyielding nature, the only solution is to remove from the salt water or poison these adversaries.  The COTS program has been working off the coast of Cairns since 2012 and culled over 600,000 Crown of Thornes from over 80 reefs. If you would like more information on the COTS program visit ***CITIZENS OF THE GREAT BARRIER REEF***