Great Barrier Reef + 10 Minute Heli Flight

Duration | 8.5 Hours
Mobile Ticket OK

Cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef on-board the award-winning Evolution. The Get High Up Top & Dive Down Under includes a day at the Great Barrie Reef with Evolutionand a 10 minute scenic helicopter flight over the Reef.

Your day at a glance

All aboard or luxury vessel "Evolution" and speed out to the Outer Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. Enjoy some snorkelling.. 

After arriving at Hastings Reef at 1.00pm, youll be briefed then loaded onto one of our state of the art helicopters for an unforgettable 10 minute flight around the reef. 

Turtles, rays and even whales can be spotted from up high and you get a feel for the awesome size of this amazing natural wonder. 

In the afternoon enjoy more snorkelling or diving, or just laze around on our massive sun-deck. Finally cruise back to Cairns while enjoying our on-board entertainer.


  • Short travel time to the reef 
  • 5 hours Reef time
  • 10 minute scenic helicopter flight
  • Snorkel equipment & flotation devices 
  • BBQ Lunch 
  • Fruit platter, cheese and a glass of wine on return journey
  • Sundecks for relaxing

With five hours reef time, this tour gives you more time to explore the world’s most famous National Park.  A BBQ buffet lunch, together with live music and free glass of wine with nibbles provide a level of service and comfort unmatched.

Your day on Evolution
The Evolution Great Barrier Reef Tour departs daily from Cairns.

  • 7:30AM : Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal - 1 Spence St, Cairns
  • 8.15AM : Evolution departs Cairns to its first location
  • 11:30AM : Enjoy a BBQ buffet lunch on-board 
  • 1:00PM : Evolution arrives at second location
  • 3:00PM : Evolution departs for Cairns
  • 4:30PM : Evolution arrives back in Cairns

Snorkel on the outer Great Barrier Reef.

The most popular activity on the reef is snorkelling.  Jump in and explore the underwater world at two distinctive and stunning outer reef locations.

All snorkel equipment is included and our gear is best quality and well maintained.  Guests are greeted upon boarding Evolution by our team, and will be personally fitted with snorkel, mask and fins and if you require them - we offer flotation vests & noodles if you need a little more assistance in the water.

Our amazing team will assist you with getting your gear, with every guest given a number indicating a storage space where they can keep all their equipment together and ready to use from the back deck throughout the day.

We have a variety of equipment sizes to suit everyone (from small kids masks to big adult feet) and we offer prescription mask too (ask our friendly staff for assistance)

Marine Biology Guided Snorkel Tour
Learn the secrets of the reef from our marine biologist and then explore the coral gardens on a guided snorkel tour.

Our team of dedicated Marine Biologists are actively engaged in conservation work on the Great Barrier Reef. Their weekly tasks include collation of data via observational surveys as part of the Eye on the Reef program with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. 

Join these professional men and women for a guided snorkel tour, which takes approximately 20 minutes - and which will bring you up close and personal with the extraordinary marine life and colourful coral.

For first timers, this is also a great way to learn the art of snorkelling and feel comfortable in the water. For more experienced snorkellers this is an interactive tour that will put you on the key coral formations and marine creatures - setting you up for a great day of exploration at your own pace.

SubXplorer Semi Submersible
Enjoy the spectacular coral formations without getting wet on our board SubXplore - our semi-submersible. 

The tour operates at Hastings Reef and runs for approximately 20 minutes.  Our friendly team help guests board directly from Evolution safely.  Once inside everyone has a seat by the enourmous viewing windows and you will be welcomed on-board by our Marine Biologist who will provide live commentary in English throughout the tour - helping you understand the enormity of the world's largest living organism.

(The Semi Submarine Tour is weather permitting. This optional activity is fantastic for all ages, particuarly families with small children and non-swimmers)

What to bring

  • Sunscreen & Hat
  • Change of Clothes
  • Swimmers and a towel

Departure Point
Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal,  Down Under Cruise & Dive counter

Check-in is from 7.15 am for an 8:15 am departure

Reef Fleet Terminal, Cairns distances

15 Minutes by car from the Cairns Airport
Up to 25 minutes walk from Cairns Esplanade Hotels
Up to 15 minutes walk from Cairns City Hotels
30 Minutes drive from Palm Cove
60 Minutes drive from Port Douglas

The Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal Car Park offers all day parking for a cost of $10/day. The ticket machines can take payment via Credit Card or Cash.  This car park is just 5 minutes walk from the Reef Fleet Terminal



Warren Bingham

Thank you guys,

Within in minutes of the phone call, I received the quotation and booked online. The process was simple and effective and enabled us to focus on the holiday rather than the logistics and bookings!

Great work and it was sincerely appreciated.



George Barr

Cannot speak more highly about this trip. Absolutely brilliant from satrt to finish. Very knowledgeable lady gave running commentary on the semi sub pointing out all items of interest (unlike the twit on Green Island)Well worth the effort very happy memories - even the reggae Elvis impersonator guy was entertaining


Rosemary Thibodeaux

crew were fun and helpful
helicopter = fun and view was great
I wish the sub ride was offered at different time, I could not experience it because my helicopter trip was at the same time.



Great trip make sure you do the two reef trip, breaks up the day. The crew were awesome


William Taylor

Thoroughly enjoyed our journey to the outer reefs.
My son had a great time diving and I felt privileged to have had the chance to snorkel. The helicopter circuit over the reefs will be an everlasting memory of this unique natural wonder!


Tony Chang

Very welcoming ,hospitable and professional crew! Great value for money.
Especially impressing is the guy who entertained passengers on full day back from the trip.He was simply amazing and throwing a fantastic
one person concert.Thank you all that gave us such wonderful time!

More Reviews

Check-in at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, Down Under Cruise & Dive counter.
Check-in is from 7.15 am for an 8:15 am departure.