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The Tour Specialists Tour Blog

Jan 09

Scenic Helicopter Flight: Half Day Green Island

Posted on January 9, 2010 by

The majority of visitors to Green Island travel out by boat.  There are a smart few that opt for a helicopter scenicflight and I was lucky enough to experience it for myself with a 25 minute helicopter flight out to Green Island a few weeks ago.


The excursion started with my arrival at the Great Barrier Reef Helicopter office located at The Pier in Cairns.  After an informative safety briefing my fellow flyers and I had a few minutes to let the anticipation build up before being led up to the helicopter landing pad.  We were able to watch it land, coming over from Cairns Airport.  It was quite loud as you would imagine, and quite windy too.  The crew members efficiently led us out two by two in front of the helicopter where we had our picture taken before excitedly climbing aboard.  We were buckled in, had earphones placed over our heads and all of a sudden we were taking off to the skies above the Great Barrier Reef.


Flying in the helicopter felt like you weren’t flying at all.  It’s such a smooth ride with no turbulence like you would get on an airplane.  There are large domed windows to look out towards the horizon, and the shapes of the windows are also great for taking photos as the domed shape minimizes reflection and flash.  As we were flying out we were able to look back and see the coastline disappearing behind us and the Great Barrier Reef appearing before us.  To say it was beautiful is a total understatement.  It was absolutely exquisite.  The stark contrasts between the dark blue ocean and the pale green shallow water combined with all the patches of coral reef provide views that will leave you wondering why you hadn’t booked a scenic helicopter flight for longer.


We continued our scenic helicopter journey over Oyster, Upolu & Arlington reefs as well as Vlassoff Cay where we spotted a few lucky snorkellers taking the plunge on the Great Barrier Reef. Although it was raining when we departed Cairns, just a few short kilometres off the coast the sun was shining brightly lighting up Green Island, proving it’s nickname – the jewel of the sea – completely appropriate.


Much too short a time later we arrived at Green Island, landing on the helicopter pad there and we were greeted by the friendly and professional Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Group staff, who took a few photos of us departing from the helicopter.  We then had around two hours to explore Green Island, go snorkelling, and relax on the beach before our boat cruise back to Cairns.  It was a perfect way to sit back and replay all those stunning images from the flight in my head – and flick through them on my camera.


Taking a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef is an absolute must do.  There is no other excursion you can do in Cairns that will leave you with such beautiful images and photos.  This is not only another way to see the reef, in my opinion it is the ONLY way to see the reef.


Thank you Great Barrier Reef Helicopters and Great Adventures


For more information about this tour please visit The Tour Specialists


By: Andrea Teed, TTS Tour Consultant

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