About Green Island Cairns
Green Island Cairns
Green Island is a beautiful 6000 year old coral cay located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, just 27km offshore from Cairns, and one of the most popular destinations on the Great Barrier Reef for visitors coming to Far North Queensland.
A ferry trip to Green Island only takes 45 minutes, it makes for a great day out or convenient half day experience.
Green Island Ferry & Day Tour Options
There are a number of different day tour options for visiting Green Island. These include half or full day tours, travelling by high speed ferry.
Special Family Pricing
We offer special rates for families on all Green Island Ferry & Day Tour experiences. All of our family rates are based on the following:
- Infants (3 Years & Under) travel free
- Children (4 - 14 years) Half Price
- Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) 1 Child travels free
Family pricing may change slightly depending on the tour options you choose. Please check the booking form for up to date family pricing for your group.
Great Adventures Ferry to Green Island
The Great Adventures Green Island Ferry departs Cairns 3 times daily. Your journey to Great Island takes only 45 minutes.
You can choose the Eco (Snorkeling or Glass Bottom Boat) or the Discovery (Snorkeling & Glass Bottom Boat)
Cairns to Green Island Departures
- 8.30am (Check in at 8.00am)
- 10.30am (Check in at 10.00am)
- 12.30am (Check in at 12.00pm)
Green Island to Cairns Departures
- 12.00pm (Check in at 11.30am)
- 2.30pm (Check in at 2.00pm)
- 4.30pm (Check in at 4.00pm)
Great Adventures Green Island Ferry Features
- Return on air-conditioned, fast catamaran
- Snorkel equipment
- Glass Bottom Boat coral reef viewing tour
- Up to 7 hours on Green Island
- Morning tea and coffee served until departure from Cairns
- Use of Island swimming pool exclusive for Great Adventures guests.
Big Cat Green Island Ferry
Big Cat is a comfortable air-conditioned 35 metre catamaran with spacious interior cabins and a relaxed atmosphere. Travel time to Green Island is just 45 minutes from Cairns. Big Cat Green Island offers a full day on Green Island.
Cairns to Green Island Departures
- 9.00am (Check in at 8.30am)
Green Island to Cairns Departure
- 5.00pm (Check in at 4.30pm)
Pak 1: Return ferry transfers, Glass Bottom Boat OR Snorkel equipment
Pak 2: Return ferry transfers, Glass Bottom Boat OR Snorkel equipment and Hot/Cold Buffet lunch
Pak 3: Return ferry transfers, Glass Bottom Boat OR Snorkel equipment and Semi-Submersible
Pak 4: Return ferry transfers, Glass Bottom Boat OR Snorkel equipment, Hot/Cold Buffet lunch and Semi-Submersible
If you require return hotel transfers from your Cairns or Beaches accommodation this Green Island tour will be the best value option.
Green Island Reef Rocket Ferry
Reef Rocket is a modern, comfortable, air-conditioned, high speed catamaran. Travel time to Green Island is 45 minutes from Cairns.
Reef Rocket Cairns to Green Island Options
9.00am - 1.00pm (Check in at 8.30am)
11.00am - 5.00 pm (Check in at 10.30am)
1.00pm - 5.00pm (Check in at 12.30pm)
Things to do on Green Island
For a small island, there are so many activities and things to do on Green Island. These include snorkelling, swimming, and scuba diving, parasailing or exploring the island further with a self-guided island walk.
If you are unable to swim or have small children, you can view the reef by glass bottom boat or semi submarine. If you want a less active day, perhaps visit the Marineland Melanesia which is home to Cassius the world’s largest Crocodile in captivity. Shopping is also an option at the island resort shop and boutiques, or spoil yourself at, Oiled, the Green Island Massage centre.
Being so easily accessible, Green Island is one of the most popular destinations on the Great Barrier Reef for visitors coming to Cairns and Far North Queensland. Green Island and the surrounding coral reef are a protected World Heritage Site, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
What to Bring
- Swimming costume
- Lycra suit if you have one (they are available for hire)
- Beach towel
- Hat, sunscreen and comfortable shoes
- Spending money for drinks, souvenirs and optional activities
Green Island Self Guided Boardwalk
The Green Island Boardwalk is a leisurely 1.3km return taking less than an hour. The boardwalk access takes you through the national park forest to the south-east beach.
A self-guided island walk brochure is available from the information centre for visitors to explore Green Island at their own pace.
A map available from the information centre will point you in the right direction to start your self-guided Eco Walk. This trail guides you to numbered locations that explore the history of the island and informative facts about some of the 126 native species of plant life on Green Island.
The walk has been voted one of Queensland’s top bushwalks in the state giving people the opportunity to spot some of the 28 species of forest birds and 35 species of seabirds that live on the Island. The Eco walk takes less than one hour and the map is available in six different languages.
Snorkeling on Green Island
All Green Island Ferry options include snorkelling equipment so you can experience the beauty of the coral reef only metres off the beach.
The waters around Green Island are home to a large population of sea turtles who are often found swimming in the seagrass and reefs close to the island shore.
Snorkelling Equipment includes a Mask, Snorkel and Fins
Lycra Suits and Floatation Vests are available for hire atthe Dive Centre or can be organised on the ferry.
On your journey to Green Island safe snorkelling tips are given, and a patrolled swimming area is provided on the northern side of the island near the beach hire hut.
Marineland Melanesia is a unique attraction on Green Island; home to over 50 crocodiles, marine aquariums with coral, fish, giant sea turtles, and a magnificent range of tribal carvings. Also displayed are a number of old and restored marine artefacts and stationary engines.
This family owned and operated business has been a popular tourist attraction operating on Green Island since the early 1960’s. Located just a short stroll along the path to the left of the jetty, look out for the iconic shipwreck entrance and gift shop. See exciting crocodile shows, you can even have your photo taken holding a baby crocodile! Marineland Melanesia is also home to Cassius - the largest crocodile in captivity.
Lunch Options on Green Island
The Canopy Grill
The Canopy Grill offers quick service and is a good option for families with young children. Offering Burgers, hot dogs & fish and chips, or café style wraps. Open daily from 09:30 to 15:30.
Emeralds Restaurant offers air-conditioned or outdoor a la carte dining from 10am. Breakfast is also available up to 10.30am.
Big Cat Buffet (for passengers of the Big Cat Ferry)
Must be pre-booked with your Big Cat Ferry ticket. A delicious buffet lunch is served aboard ‘Big Cat’ at Green Island for those who have chosen this option.
Green Island’s enclosed food court dining area offer guests a delicious buffet or a meal purchased from one of the island’s food outlets including the Canopy Grill or Lite Bites in this lunch retreat amid the rainforest.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far away is Green Island from Cairns?
Green Island is located 27km offshore from Cairns, within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
How long does it take to get there?
Ferry transfers take just 45 minutes. Ideal for those who are short of time and looking for a quick getaway, or for those who are sensitive to the motion of the ocean, after a quick ferry ride you'll be on dry land where all reef & island activities take place.
When is the best time to visit?
Situated in the tropics the climate is favourable year round, making it suitable for water activities anytime. The warm waters range in temperature from 22-29 Celsius (75-85 Fahrenheit).
Is Green Island suitable for my family?
Green Island is an easy trip for people of all ages. The half day options are ideal for small children, infants, babies and the elderly. The facilities on the island provide ease and convenience.
Can I bring my own lunch?
Yes you can bring your own packed lunch or choose to dine at one of the various food outlets. Some tour operators include lunch in their package rates.
Is the island wheelchair accessible?
Green Island is accessible for wheelchairs, please advise on booking as not all vessels offer wheelchair facilities. Once on the island wide paved or timber walkways allow for wheelchair access and there are disabled toilets.
Is it safe to swim?
Yes you can swim or snorkel straight off the beach. This is ideal for beginner snorkellers providing the opportunity to gain confidence in the water. The main beach area is patrolled by Surf Lifesaving Queensland lifeguards
Are there Marine Stingers at Green Island?
It's very rare but, Jellyfish season is generally between November to May, during this time it is advised to wear a stinger suit when entering the water to avoid any 'bites' or stings.
Will I see turtles?
There is a high chance you will get to see a turtle. The sea grasses surrounding Green Island are a popular feeding ground for green sea turtles, they can be frequently spotted from the jetty.
What happens if it's raining?
Trips still operate to Green Island even if it's raining. In most cases you'll find that it'll be raining in Cairns and clear & fine at the reef, as the rain tends to draw towards the mountains.
Green Island Cairns Reviews
Green Island Cairns
all Green Island Day Trips depart from the Cairns City Marina. Check in to the Reef Fleet Terminal to obtain your boarding pass. Boarding is 30 minutes prior to departure time.