• Overview
  • Trip Outline
  • Trip Includes
  • Trip Excludes
  • Booking
  • FAQ
Cairns Reef Tours are one of the most popular activities when visiting Far North Queensland. Choose to snorkel, dive, stay dry or view the spectacular underwater reefs in our semi submarine or glass bottom boat, or simply laze on the white sandy beach. Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises offers  full day tours. Our full day tours allow flexibility so you can enjoy your time at the Great Barrier Reef whilst maximising your time on this fabulous tropical island. Including Lunch. Update: **PLEASE NOTE operating dates and departures are subject to change

Full Day tour.

Check in at Reef Fleet Terminal, Cairns
Sit back and relax and talk to our friendly team while you cruise to Green Island
Explore the Island
Walk the rainforest, visit Marineland and find a good spot to settle in
Snorkeling or Glass Bottom Boat
Snorkel right off the beach around the island! If you prefer a more adventurous learning experience, sign up for a Guided Snorkel Experience
Enjoy the cool air conditioned and comfortable seating inside the large catamaran for lunch.
Semi Submarine
Explore the depths of the surrounding reef around Green Island with an expert guide
Snorkel Safari
Drift snorkel on the outer wall section of Green Island, famous for its extensive coral formations and schools of fish with a marine biologist commentary.
Relax and Shop
Green Island has various shops for that ice cream break or souvenirs. Showers etc are available too
Depart Green Island
Review photos, relax and cruise back to Cairns

Buffet Lunch & Bar Facilities

A delicious buffet lunch freshly prepared by the highly awarded & renowned Ochre Restaurant & Tropic Spirit Catering is served aboard ‘Big Cat’ at Green Island between 11.15am – 1.15pm for those who have chosen this option. Our licensed bar on board offers refreshments throughout the day. Sit back and enjoy the nice cool air conditioned vessel!

The licensed bar on board our vessels also offer a variety of refreshments throughout the day including hot and cold beverages, soft drinks, ice-creams, confectionery, snacks and souvenirs.

Reef and island experience with choice of activities

FREE Choice: Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Hire
Up to 5.5 hours on the island
6 optional extras to choose from
Our most popular tour!



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Do you operate daily?
Yes, 5 days a week (Wednesday – Sunday) including public holidays (there is small surcharge for travel on Christmas day)

Where do I park?
Parking is available at the nearby Pier Shopping Complex/Shangri-la hotel, located opposite the Reef Fleet Terminal. Hourly cost is from AUD $1.60 for indoor and outdoor parking. All day parking is also available near Trinity Wharf at approximately $3 per day.

Do you have hotel transfers?
We have a fleet of modern air-conditioned coaches that offer a coach service from Cairns city hotels for just $25 per adult and $15 per child, for the return transfer available for our 0900 full day service
If you are staying at one of the Northern Beaches (from north of the Airport to Ellis Beach) we also can pick you up from there too. Beach transfers are $35 per adult and $20 per child return. Please contact us if wanting to add a coach transfer to your booking.

Coach transfers unavailable for the 1100 full day, 0900 & 1300 half day services.

Do I need to check in on the day?
Yes, please check in at The Reef Fleet Terminal at least 30 minutes prior to your departure. Please present relevant vouchers or itineraries at check in exchange for your boarding passes.

Can I take a pram on board?
All our vessels are pram friendly. The beach areas are not practical for prams however there are boardwalks and pathways throughout the island that are suitable. Prams can be stored on ‘Big Cat’ if needed.

How long does it take to get to Green Island?
We have our large stable catamaran leaving for the Full Day Tours at 9am – takes approximately 1 hour 15mins to get to Green Island. Or we have the smaller speedier boat ‘Reef Rocket’ for half day and full Day 11am departures – takes approximately 45 minutes

What if the weather is bad on the day?
In poor weather we are happy to move your booking without charge to the next most suitable day, subject to availability and with 48 hours notice. In the rare event we deem the weather too bad to travel and you are unable to reschedule, a full refund will be provided.

Will I get sea sick?
Hopefully not. This depends largely on the individual. Travelling on our fast, stable catamaran ensures the smoothest possible ride.

At 20 knots and above it can get a little bumpy at times however our skippers are skilled in picking the best route to our destination. If you are prone to other common forms of motion sickness such as travelling in a car or plane you may wish to take precautions. We have complimentary natural Ginger Tablets on board however these are preventative, not a cure, so should be taken approximately 30 minutes prior to departure for maximum benefit.

What is the temperature of the water?
December – February: 29c, 83f
March – May: 25c, 76f
June – August: 22c, 72f
September – November: 25c, 76f

Is there shelter and shade available?
Yes. The island has plenty of trees inland and spots around the beach to seek shelter. The lyrca stinger suits are great sun protection too. The Bigcat Green Island boat is open all day if you wish to have a break from the sun and heat and enjoy the air conditioned vessel.

General Questions
What do I need to bring with me?
We recommend you bring a towel, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and swimwear. Also, cash for drinks, snacks or souvenirs you may want to buy. Credit cards are accepted at most shops at the Island however surcharges may apply.

Is the Green Island tour recommended for children?
Our cruises are suitable for people of all ages, including families with young children. Our half day option is ideal for small children, infants and babies. Additionally snorkelling directly from the beach is perfect for children and first time snorkelers.

Is there a charge for infants?
Children under 4 years of age are classed as infants. There is no cost for infants to travel however you still need to add them to your booking for our boat passenger numbers.

Can my children travel alone to Green Island ?
Passengers 16 years and over are permitted to travel without adult supervision (photo identification will be required at check in). Adult supervision (18 years and over) is required at all times for children under 16 years of age. Terms and conditions of carriage: Passengers 16 years and over are not the responsibility of Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises. Diving options are not allowed without Adult/Guardian authorisation and supervisor.

Is this tour wheelchair friendly ?
Passengers must have some mobility and/or the presence of a carer who can assist them. Depending on tides it may be necessary to embark/disembark from different levels on the boat. Coral viewing and glass bottom boat activities are subject to the weather and the extent of the passenger’s mobility and/or the presence of a carer who can assist. Please note that the toilets on the vessel are not wheelchair accessible but there are disabled toilets available on the island. Please advise at time of booking if you have wheelchair bound passengers travelling.
These guidelines apply to standard wheelchairs only. We are not able to accommodate electric wheelchairs on any of the vessels or coaches.

Should I be concerned about Jelly Fish or Marine Stingers?
At certain times of the year, generally November through until May, jellyfish commonly called marine stingers can inhabit the seas of northern Australia. Most jellyfish are harmless to man, however certain varieties may cause a serious reaction. Jellyfish of this kind are normally only found in waters close to the mainland and do not usually frequent the reef. Incidents involving serious marine stings in the Green Island area are very rare. It is important that snorkelers and swimmers listen to the specific advice given regarding the degree of risk on any particular day.
We recommend that anyone wanting to enter the water at this time of year wears a lycra suit to protect you from the sun and to reduce the possibility of stings and irritations. Lycra suits are included with our snorkel hire equipment. If your not snorkelling & don’t have your own we do hire them for a small cleaning and maintenance fee of just $10 per adult and $5 per child.

Do you have a COVID Safe Plan?
Yes! You can read it here.

Booking & Cancellations
Can I cancel my tour or change my tour date?
Yes, you can cancel or amend your tour to a different date (subject to availability) if you notify us 24 hours or more prior to travel.
If you need to cancel or change dates within 24 hours of travel a 100% cancellation fee applies
Please note a ‘no show’ (where passengers do not turn up to the specified pick-up point or departure point without notification) automatically incurs a 100% cancellation fee.

Can I book an open dated voucher?
You can, however travel on the date you desire is subject to availability. It is your responsibility to contact us at least 3-4 days prior to confirm your actual travel date. If the booking date on your voucher is in a different rate period to that in which you travel a small extra charge may be payable to cover any rate increase.

Do you ever cancel?
On very rare occasions, tours can be subject to the effect of weather or unforeseen circumstances. If a tour does not operate for any reason, passengers will be offered a full refund or an alternative day of travel.

Do you offer a family rate?
Yes. For a family of 2 Adults and 2 Children (aged 4-14 years inclusive) one child travels free of charge (a saving of $49.00). This offer is valid all year around for direct bookings or through your preferred agent.

Reef Activity Questions
What’s the difference between the Green Island Semi Submarine tour and the Glass Bottom Boat tour?
The Semi-submarine tour is approximately a half hour coral viewing tour. This tour is recommend as it is a great opportunity to see plenty of marine life swimming right past your window! Similar to a divers perspective of the reef. This tour also has an informative commentary and fish feed included. The Glass Bottom Boat is also approximately 30 minutes and has a commentary and a fish feed. The main difference is the Glass Bottom Boat is more like a snorkelers view from the surface looking down.

Do you need a flotation vest when snorkelling?
This depends on the individuals swimming ability. We include flotation vests with our snorkel gear hire. If not snorkelling you can hire them on board on the day of travel. Each item is $10 per adult and $5 per child.

Do you offer diving at Green Island?
Although we don’t offer a diving service, we do have Snorkel Safari tours for advanced snorkellers to give you a great insight to the coral formations and marine life or our Semi Submarine tour gives a divers perspective for the non swimmers.

How is snorkelling operated at the Island, from a boat or beach?
A Snorkelling and safety presentation is given on board en route to Green Island. Snorkelling is undertaken at your own leisure, directly from the beach. A life guard is on duty in the flagged area at the northern beach. We also offer a Snorkel Experience tour for beginners and a Snorkel Safari for the more advanced snorkeller.

Big Cat Cruises