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The Tour Specialists Tour Blog

Oct 24

40 Minutes of Breathtaking Views – Helicopter Flight over the Great Barrier Reef

Posted on October 24, 2016 by

My name is Helen and I am a Tour Specialist based in beautiful Cairns Tropical North Queensland Australia. Part of my job perks are that I am privileged to go out and about to enjoy all of the tours and attractions in the region so that I can then give the best advice on all the things to see and do in Cairns for our holiday guests and this is my story of my day out in a helicopter flying over the Great Barrier Reef, please enjoy.

On a nice sunny Saturday morning I was really fortunate to have the chance to experience 40-minute reef deluxe scenic flight courtesy of GBR Helicopters.

I work as a Tour sales agent and it is my pleasure and responsibility to experience everything I sell first-hand to be able to recommend the right tours for all my customers.

I had never been on a helicopter so the whole experience was very exciting! I checked in at the GBR Helicopters office which is conveniently located just a minute away from their helipad right in the Cairns city centre at The Pier complex.

GBR Reef Heli Flight

A helicopter ride deserves a selfie!

Weighing The Muscles

I signed in, got weighed and settled in the comfortable lounge to watch the safety video.  Soon my fellow passengers started to arrive and what a great bunch they were. It was amusing to listen to 4 young guys stepping on scales and commenting: “Bulking up mate, adding some bulk there”.  Guy who weighed 100kg got jealous looks from his mates as his work at the gym had clearly paid off and he had at least 12 kilograms of solid muscle more than his friends. Good on him!

Leave Your Luggage Home

There really isn’t anywhere to keep your luggage so travelling light is a must. Leave all your valuables in the hotel safe and just bring your camera. If doing the fly/cruise or cruise/fly combo just put a small towel and your swimming clothes into soft bag that can be fitted under your seat or minuscule luggage compartment in the helicopter.

As the reef scenic flights are taking place over the water, we were also fitted with a life jacket around our waist.

Great Barrier Reef helicopter Flight

Looking Down on a White Sandy Cay

Blue And Yellow Passengers

Once everyone was ready to go we were walking to the helipad (including 4 bulky musclemen) where our 2 helicopters gracefully landed. As there were 2 helicopters heading out for a 40 minute deluxe reef scenic flight at the same time, half of us had blue wrist bands and half of us yellow wrist bands to divide us between two helicopters by weight.

Going Solo Paid Off

Travelling solo is not always as bad as one would think, I was the last one to the helipad giving the full-paying customers a chance to pick a seat but because they were all in couples and wanted to sit together I was lucky enough to score a seat next to the pilot for the best views.

I was quite surprised how small the cockpit was but I suppose it adds to the experience- no jumbo jets could fly 500ft above the reef slow enough for you to be able to see anything too exciting.

Everyone was given the noise cancelling headphones and a microphone to communicate with the pilot and listen to the informative commentary.

View of Green Island from Helicopter

Green Island from the Air

Stunning Views To The Reef, Snorkelers And Sea Turtles

Lift off was smooth- as was the whole journey and no bumps on the way. It was an amazing feeling to fly out from Cairns harbour to the open sea. I went into sensory overload from everything I could see at once- rainforest clad mountain peaks, boats heading out to the sea, Fitzroy island…it didn’t take long until we were near Green Island to circle around it and to take photos from each side of the helicopter.

And that’s where we get spoiled with one stunning view after another. Arlington Reef, Upolu Cay, Middle Cay and crystal clear water underneath. You could see the snorkelers having a great time, another helicopter landing on a secluded cay, fish and sea turtles.  Who needs Photoshop if reality is that amazing? Just wow!

Beautiful Great Barrier Reef Views

Beautiful Great Barrier Reef Views

Deluxe Is Really Worth It!

For those who have been contemplating of doing the 30 minute reef scenic I highly recommend to upgrade to 40 minute deluxe. It is definitely worth it as you will see so much more.

Helicopters are not an everyday transport for most people but it could be once in a lifetime experience or to celebrate a special occasion. Book a 40 minute reef deluxe scenic flight today and make this holiday memorable for ever!

To read more about it click here.

View of Upolu Cay

No Wonder They Call It ‘Great’!

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