Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

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Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
from USD $285.30
Explore the Great Barrier Reef on a half-day or full-day excursion that travels by helicopter and boat so that you can make the most of your time. Choose from three options for your tour of one of the world’s best coral reefs and enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. Admire views of the Great Barrier Reef from your helicopter as you get a multi-angled perspective on one of the world’s top natural wonders.
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In Brief

Cairns City, Australia
2 to 7 hours


Instant Confirmation
Scenic helicopter flight
Snorkel gear included
Lunch included
Important InfoInfo
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Reef Fleet Terminal, LOT 996 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

For those doing the Cruise and Fly option, this will be your starting point. Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal at the Down Under Cruise and Dive desk and then make your way to the boat. Check-in is from 07.15 am to 08.00 am.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Great Barrier Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

For those doing Cruise and Fly option you will stop at one of our wonderful snorkelling/diving sites on the Great Barrier Reef.

Your second Reef site for the day is Hastings reef. This is where you will join Evolution if you are doing the Fly/Cruise or Fly/Fly option. You will spend approximately 2 hours at this site, enjoy snorkelling or semi-submersible (additional cost), before boarding the boat or helicotper for your trip back to Cairns.

Duration: 5 hours


  • BBQ lunch
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment


  • Optional introductory or certified dives, payable direct on travel date (morning cruise only)
  • AU$20per person Environmental Management Charge (EMC) and Fuel Levy is payable direct to the operator on the day of travel
  • Hotel pickup and drop off

Departure Point

1: Reef Fleet Terminal, LOT 996 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia
2: Nautilus Aviation, Hangar 9 Bush Pilots Ave, General Aviation,, Aeroglen QLD 4870, Australia

Returns To

1: Nautilus Aviation, Hangar 9 Bush Pilots Ave, General Aviation,, Aeroglen QLD 4870, Australia
2: Reef Fleet Terminal, LOT 996 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Weight Policy: Individual passenger weights and accompanying carry on luggage MUST be advised at time of booking. Weight variances greater than 10% may incur an additional fee. Maximum single seat payload of 130kg. For passenger comfort and aircraft weight and balance, passengers exceeding 130kg are required to purchase an additional seat at 50% of ticket price - this is non-commissionable and payable to Nautilus Aviation on day of travel.
  • There is a maximum of 6 to 7 passengers depending on aircraft availability.
  • Evidence of dive certification is required from all divers wishing to participate in a certified dive
  • Diving within 48 hours of flying is not recommended.(Please note: This does not include the helicopter flight). All participants will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to diving. Some pre-existing medical conditions (eg asthma, heart conditions, etc) may prevent you from diving, please consult your doctor
  • Child Policy: Children 3 years and above are charged adult rates. Subject to conditions, children under 3 years may travel free of charge when seated on a parents/guardians lap.
  • For the Fly/Cruise option you will have a compulsory 20 minute safety briefing before being allowed enter the water, this is part of your two hours out at the reef. It is recommended that you wear swimmers upon check in for this option
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

Best way to see the Great Barrier Reef by Far!! Absolutely loved our first helicopter ride. Worth every single penny! We actually wish we had taken the helicopter ride both ways as the ride back was ROUGH!! Only had about an hour to snorkel before it was time to head back, but that was enough for us. Perfect half day tour on the Great Barrier Reef!
• Submitted 21 Nov 2019
The whole tour/trip was very organized and well done. The boat was a good size and very comfortable and the crew were very accommodating. The food was good (not fantastic ) with plenty of choice. The reefs are spectacular - like swimming in a giant aquarium. The helicopter back was the cherry on top - saw more beautiful reefs from the air, and made for a shorter day
• Submitted 18 Nov 2019
This was my favorite activity I did in Australia. I loved the order we did the tour with the helicopter 1st then the snorkeling second. We got to stay on the boat and take it back to the city after. The tour included lunch and a free glass of wine. I loved the tour! The Great Barrier Reef doesn’t disappoint!
• Submitted 13 Nov 2019
Professional and friendly team, from arriving to Nautilus Aviation to arriving back from our 30 minute helicopter scenic flight, they were great! The seas were a bit rough, so we opted to view the great barrier reef via chopper and it did not disappoint! I thoroughly enjoyed this and would do again. Thanks guys for a terrific flight!
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
This was a great way to see the Reef! We stopped at two locations and got to snorkel for around an hour at both. Initially, we were led around by a crew member to help us get our bearings and then went on our own. After we finished at the second location, we jumped on a helicopter and flew back to Cairns. It really gave you a perspective of the size and scope of the Reef and also allowed us to avoid a 2.5 hour boat ride home. The staff was very friendly and I’d highly recommend the tour. The boat was large, so if you’re looking for a small group, this probably isn’t the tour for you but it really worked well for us.
• Submitted 23 Apr 2019
very nice trip snorkeling was very nice and pleasant the helicopter tour is very very good and interesting
• Submitted 22 Oct 2018
It was amazing! The staff were very friendly and helpful! It was the first time for us to go on snokerlying. And it was our first time to travel on a helicoptor. The view of the reef was amazing! My youngest son get to sit on the frong of the helicoptor, it was a wonderful experience for him.
• Submitted 02 Apr 2018
Altamente recomendado, tuve la oportunidad de bucear en la Gran Barrera de Coral, una experiencia inolvidable. Los miembros de la tripulación fueron muy amables en todo momento.
• Submitted 20 Mar 2018
Loved the experience
• Submitted 29 Jan 2018
This was one of the highlights of our trip in Cairns while going to the Barrier Reef. The catamaran boat and staff servicing you were all extremely professional and entertaining at the same time. They really helped to make it a special event. Their first objective was to make you feel at home and then they wanted to make sure everyone was safe during this excursion. We visited two excellent snorkeling locations. The snacks and lunch provided were very tasty and good quality. Once again, they stressed how important safety was during this trip. They ensured that you had the right equipment and knew how to use it properly. I took my 85 year old parents on this excursion and they enjoyed snorkeling on the Barrier Reef. One more check mark next to the bucket list. Then the highlight was the exciting helicopter ride back to the Cairns airport. Great way to see the Great Barrier Reef from the air and see various aqua life. Transportation to and from the boat was excellent and prompt. Once again, highly highly recommend this trip to anyone in Cairns, especially looking for a new adventure.
• Submitted 18 Jan 2018
Amazing! I highly recommend this tour. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.. a great way to see the reef, especially if you get see sick!
• Submitted 10 Jan 2018
Everything went smoothly with this tour the pickup and drop off without a hitch, the helicopter ride was amazingly beautiful and fun, and the snorkeling as well was great. A must do if you go to Cairns!!
• Submitted 28 Nov 2017
Regardless of the weather, when all was well I still had a revised schedule that still delivered the best trip ever...thank you viator
• Submitted 05 Nov 2017
The diving was wonderful. The crew was very friendly and knowledgeable. The helicopter had mechanical issues the day we were out, so we did not get to go on the helicopter tour. A refund was easily issued once we returned and I could contact Viator. We were supposed to take the helicopter back to the dock area, but I ended up glad that we didn't. There was singing and entertainment on the boat ride back and we had a wonderful time. There were a lot of people on the boat, so it was a little hectic trying to get everyone suited up and into the water. However, they did have a plan of action and routine for getting off, if only people would calm down and follow their directions. I would definitely book this tour again.
• Submitted 11 Oct 2017
The team onboard were amazing. Having a marine biologist on board is another big plus. Highly recommended.
• Submitted 21 Aug 2017
Best way to see the Reef! Yes, it is a little pricey, but it is totally worth it! If you are at all worried about getting sea-sick this is the way to go. Years ago I tried to view the reef from Cairns, but really had no idea of how long the boat ride was, and how choppy the waters could be. I tried taking precautions, but they didn't work, especially while trying to get some air but having to stand downwind from a cigar smoker! By the time we got to the reef for snorkeling, I couldn't even get in the water. Luckily we had another opportunity to see the Reef while at Hamilton Island, it was only by helicopter. At that time, we thought it was pricey, but less than the heli/cruise today! This time, I wasn't going to take a chance, and it worked out well. Seeing the GBR from the air is amazing in itself, something the cruises can't show you. The 25 minute ride was smooth, and closer to reaching the landing platform, the pilot explains what you are seeing. By the time you have been briefed on the equipment and procedures, you have about and hour and an a half of water/snorkeling time. It does go by quickly, but I noticed that some of the the passengers that had done the full day cruise and had already snorkeled in a different area, didn't stay in the water the whole time. Be prepared for beauty overload! The cruise back turned out to be fine, though we did have rough waters for just enough time to start to experience that feeling, but luckily, we weren't in it long. My advice to anyone who wants to have an amazing Reef Adventure, is to book this package. Nautilus Aviation was great, and the Down Under Cruise staff was too! If you think you won't have enough snorkel time, my advice is to do this one first and then if you need more, book another cruise.
• Submitted 02 Jun 2017
Brought the whole family 5 of us on the helicopter / snorkeling / cruise combination tour on to the Great Barrier Reef. Informative commentary about the reefs by helicopter pilot was a real bonus as we flew out to Hastings reef. Snorkeling on the reef was wonderful seeing coral up close, we came with camera's for those once in a lifetime helicopter and underwater pics over and in the Barrier Reef. We welcomed the drinks and food provided especially after the snorkeling session on the very large boat called Evolution plus the professional and friendly service by crew was a credit to the operation. And a really nice and smooth cruise back to Cairns to wind down the tour. Recommend you put this on your MUST DO list, well worth the experience and service by this tour operator.
• Submitted 11 May 2017
Firstly this tour gets 5 stars because it is the Great Barrier Reef! However the tour operator's involved Down Under Cruise and Dive and Nautilus Aviation were fantastic from pre-tour communication to dropping you back at your hotel after the tour. All the staff were polite, informative and wanted you to have the best day. We went out on a Friday in late March on The Osprey and the boat is more than comfortable and is well equipped for the days events. We visited two reef locations and there was the options of snorkelling and/or diving with fully trained instructors. The food served for luch was brilliant and the guys and girls working in the kitchen are brilliant. It takes about 1.5 hrs to get to the first location and then you get a good few hours at the reef before moving onto the second location. Sadly, due to the weather, it was the days leading up to Cyclone Debbie the semi-submersible could not operate, neither did the helicopter scenic flights. Getting on to the helicopter to get back to Cairns in the driving rain and wind is one memory that will stay with me for a long time! The staff at the reef and the helicopter pilot were fantastic. If you want to see the Reef and have a really unique experience then book this tour!
• Submitted 02 Apr 2017
This should be on everyone's bucket list. We were lucky enough to have the most beautiful weather which made the view of the Reef from the air just spectacular. Our photos are exactly the same as the brochure. The pilot was knowledgeable, friendly and put everyone at ease with his confidence and obvious ability. An amazing, unforgettable day. I took 10 family members as part of a 60th birthday celebration and would spend my hard earned money on this tour again in a heartbeat!
• Submitted 20 Mar 2017
Terra Australis. This tour was a perfect way to see the reef from above and realize its expanse and the option to snorkel or dive. What a great experience. Travel respectfully when seeing the reef.
• Submitted 18 Mar 2017
A must do on a visit to Cairns!!
• Submitted 17 Mar 2017
tour was excellent!! the staff was so friendly and knowledgeable. We did the boat ride out and the helicopter ride back in which was amazing. the pilot gave us a tour of the other reefs, Food was fresh and delicious. Well worth the money. Be ready to pay for extra things like zap suits and glass bottom boats but thats expected. the only thing i didn't like is we couldn't run a tab with the bar. seemed odd when the girl told me if she let me do it then she would have to let everyone do it. i felt like i was being scolded. other than that great trip, i recommend it.
• Submitted 10 Mar 2017
Good experience ! Nice pilot and cruise members. Thank you !!
• Submitted 21 Feb 2017
Amazing experience. Great value!
• Submitted 28 Jan 2017

In Brief

Cairns City, Australia
2 to 7 hours


Instant Confirmation
Scenic helicopter flight
Snorkel gear included
Lunch included

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