Cairns Aquarium & Outer Barrier Reef in a day

Duration | 24 hours (approx)
Mobile Ticket OK

A memorable full day adventure suited for swimmers and non-swimmers of all ages! 

Start your day at Cairns Aquarium with a self-guided tour through 10 marine and freshwater zones, along the way learning about the fish and aquatic creatures that make the reef and surrounding ecosystems their home. 

The ideal pre-reef learning experience for those wanting a more in-depth understanding and interaction with the marine environment, prior to an adventure to the magical outer reef itself.

Following your Cairns Aquarium visit, embark on an exciting outer-reef cruise with Great Adventures. Snorkel and dive amongst vibrant coral gardens and colorful marine life. If you prefer to stay dry, discover the reef through the underwater observatory and semi-submersible tour.

For the ultimate end to your day, upgrade to include dinner at Dundee's at the Cairns Aquarium. 


  • 8:00am Arrive at Cairns Aquarium. Self guided tour: marine fish, animals and Tropical North Queensland Ecosystems
  • 9:20am Conclude Cairns Aquarium and make your way to Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal
  • 10:00am Arrive at Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal
  • 10:10am Board Vessel
  • 10:30am Depart for Outer Reef 
  • 11:20am Morning tea with cake selection Reef presentation and snorkeling demonstration enroute
  • 12:30am Arrive at Great Barrier Reef Platform. Reef activities commence
  • 13:00 to 14:30pm - Buffet Lunch Served
  • 15:30 PM Re-board Vessel for 15:45 pm Departure 
  • 17:30 PM Arrive Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal. 
  • 19:30 PM Dinner at Dundee's at the Cairns Aquarium 

About Cairns Aquarium:

Cairns has the only aquarium in the world dedicated exclusively to the habitats and species of tropical North Queensland, the Cairns Aquarium connects visitors with the natural wonders of The Great Barrier Reef, The Wet Tropics, The Gulf Savannah and Cape York regions. With over 16,000 animals and unique opportunities to move up close to some of the world’s most fascinating, elusive or deadly creatures, every visit is unforgettable.

Cairns Aquarium is located in the very heart of Cairns, there are many ways of getting to the Aquarium: you can walk, bike, bus, or drive to the facility with ease. 5 Florence St Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Getting There

On Foot
Cairns Aquarium is within easy walking distance of most accommodation. We are one block from The Esplanade, two blocks from the Lagoon Pool and an easy 5 mins walk from the Cruise Terminal.

Driving & Parking
The Cairns Aquarium is easily accessible by car however there is no onsite parking. Car parking is available in the surrounding streets, also hourly and daily fees may apply for metered parking.

Bus Drop off
Tour and school buses can drop off passengers in front of The Cairns Aquarium on Florence Street. Please ask our Reservations Coordinator for details when making arrangements for your group.

Public Transport
We have bus services on Lake and Abbott Street, right outside the Aquarium. The Cairns Aquarium is conveniently located in the heart of Cairns, next to Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort and opposite DoubleTree by Hilton.

Daily talks and presentations
Enjoy daily talks and presentations provided by our very knowledgeable and entertaining AquaNuts - we call them that because they are crazy about all things aquatic and when you meet them you’ll see and hear that for yourselves!

About The Great Adventures | Outer Reef Pontoon
Experience breathtaking beauty of the Outer Great Barrier Reef with Great Adventures. From the comfort of the stable reef activity platform, this is the perfect base for swimmers and non-swimmers to explore. Snorkel and dive, visit the underwater observatory, cruise in a semi-sub, or just relax on the sundeck with a delicious buffet lunch - There is something here for everyone. 

What Makes it Great!

  • Spacious activity platform located on the Outer Barrier Reef
  • Later departure time from Cairns
  • Suitable for non-swimmers 
  • Biggest Semi Sub
  • Excellent for Families


  • Return Air-conditioned fast catamaran transfers
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • 3 hours at the Outer Barrier Reef
  • Delicious hot & cold 5 star buffet lunch 
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing tours 
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • Buoyancy vests if required
  • Underwater observatory
  • Guided Eco Reef Talk in the underwater observatory
  • Reef education presentation



Nora Baloiloi

This is a great family activity. We had booked 2 tours via Travstar and we had no issues at all when we got to the tour sites. The 5D Sea Explorer is a MUST DO :)

Cairns Aquarium is within easy walking distance of most accommodation. We are one block from The Esplanade, two blocks from the Lagoon Pool and an easy 5 mins walk from the Cruise Terminal. 5 Florence St, Cairns City QLD 4870