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The Tour Specialists Tour Blog

Oct 28

A Half Day Spent on Beautiful Green Island – Great Barrier Reef Australia

Posted on October 28, 2016 by

My name is Belinda and I am a Cairns Holiday Specialist. It is my job to make recommendations to our holiday guests on all the things to see and do in Cairns so we are forced to go out on these tours to ensure our product knowledge is up to date.

No seriously we are! (Ps we love it and do it voluntarily)

Winter has certainly passed and the weather is warming up, Saturday was 31 degrees and only 10 knots so I booked my family onto Big Cat Green Island Cruises to take full advantage of the perfect day ahead!

As we were travelling with our 1 year old son we booked the Half Day morning tour with a Semi-Submersible submarine tour included. Check in was at 8:15 so we arrived into town and parked our car underneath the Pier Shopping centre / Shangri La Hotel, It was only $7 for the half day, The car is secure undercover and there is lift access which was great with the Pram. From here it is only a 150 metre walk to the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal where you check in and get your boarding passes from the Big Cat check in counter.

After checking in we proceeded down to marina to board the ‘Reef Rocket’ Vessel. The boat is accessible with the pram however I would recommend a small stroller only as there is limited space on-board and the hallways are not that wide.

The boat departed right on time at 09:00.

Once on-board the staff did a safety briefing, advised guests where to collect their snorkelling equipment from if required and also pointed out where the semi-submersible submarine departs from once at the Island.

Arriving at Green Island

The View on Arrival at Green Island

Green Island Here We Come

Due to such amazing weather and low winds the boat arrived at Green Island at 9:45, We were booked on the 10:00 semi-submersible so once we disembarked the reef rocket we stayed close by waiting to board the submersible submarine.  The water was so clear you could see the fish swimming around under the jetty.

The submarine arrived and it was time to board, the crew member assisted us on with the pram which we parked on the top of the vessel ensuring brakes were firmly in place!)  We made our way down the steps into the Semi Sub and took our seat, right away we could see fish swimming all around us.

Lots of Fish to See!

Lots of Fish to See!

My son who LOVES Finding Nemo was squealing with excitement.  The semi sub started its 30 minute tour and during this time we went over coral gardens and large patches of sea grass which is where we spotted a few Sea Turtles enjoying the food. We also spotted a few species of sting rays there was a group of about 12 all sitting on the sea grass, I have never seen so many sting rays before!!

So Many Sting-Rays!

So Many Sting-Rays!

In the coral gardens there was a great variety of fish and other marine life, If you are travelling with young kids or don’t want to get wet, the Semi-Submersible submarine tour is definitely the way to go and was the highlight of our day.

As we only had 2 hours on the Island and had seen so much on the Semi Sub we decided not to do the Glass Bottom Boat (that and the 1 year old wanted to stretch his legs!)  We headed for the canteen to get some hot chips, got changed and headed down to the beach. We set up on the sand and then went for a swim. The water was crystal clear and swimming was beautiful right from the beach. There were fish swimming past us about 3 metres from the shoreline. There were lots of people in the water snorkelling taking full advantage of the amazing day.

Swimming Off Green Island

Swimming Off Green Island

It was time to head back up to the showers, get changed and ready to board the boat back to Cairns. We really wished we had booked the full day Green Island tour as there was so much to see and do.

Once again the boat had everyone on-board and was ready to depart right at 12:00, we arrived back in cairns at 12:50 and was back to the car at 13:00 where our son fell asleep in the car instantly. It was a great day and I can’t wait to go back.

Next time we would love to stay overnight at the island or do a Full Day tour to enjoy more of the activities available on the Island but we may have to wait a few months as our second little one is due to arrive in a few months.

For bookings or to read more about the half day Green Island tour click here.

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