Your Guide To The Best Times of Day For Helicopter Flights over the Great Barrier Reef.

admin on November 20th, 2023

Best Times for Helicopter Flights over the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns and Port Douglas

No-one can deny exploring the eye popping views of the Great Barrier Reef from the skies is an unrivalled experience, and taking a helicopter scenic flight offers a close up intimate perspective of its majesty. For those of you who are considering booking a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns or Port Douglas, our locally based team at The Tour Specialists have set down below what we know about the best times to book a helicopter flight and what you can expect to see at various times of the year in Cairns and Tropical Far North Queensland. We have been booking visitors on helicopter flights and scenic flights for 20 years now so hopefully we have learnt a thing or two as we have never once had a guest come back and say they were disappointed about their helicopter ride and the timeings which makes us all happy. 

Tropical Winter (June to August)


Helicopter Flights in Tropical Winter: Cairns and Port Douglas

Clear Skies: Perfect for unobstructed viewing of the reef's vivid coral formations. Obviously will have cloudy days and sometimes light rain.
Whale Spotting: Migrating humpback and minke whales are often sighted during this season as they come to the safe waters of the Great Barrier Reef to calve.
Mild Temperatures: Enjoy your helicopter ride in comfortable, cooler weather, but still wear a light jacket, wrap or cardigan.

Tropical Spring (September to November)

Scenic Helicopter Flights from Cairns and Port Douglas in Tropical Spring:

Pleasant Weather: Spring's mild temperatures make for a delightful flight. Some days you can have the northern and southern tradewinds clashing as the seasons change.
Bird Watching: Witness migratory birds nesting on outer reef sand cays and the beginning of the spawning season on coral reefs in November as the water temperature rise.

Tropical Summer (December to February)

Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Flights from Cairns and Port Douglas in Tropical Summer:

Turtle Nesting Season: An exclusive chance to see turtles nesting on the sand cays and island on the the reef. (Our favourite spirit animal).
Weather Considerations: Summer rains can be a concern for scenic flights but they usually last in short tropical bursts and it only rains in certains spots. i.e One person can be on one side of a road getting drenched, the other person on the other side of the road is dry as toast in the sunshine (that's the Tropics) precipitation is normally close to the land as the rainforests attract the clouds. However always keep an eye on the local weather forecasts.
No Winds: The perfect time for a helicopter ride as normally no winds just glassy waters.

Tropical Autumn (March to May)

Helicopter Tours from Cairns and Port Douglas in Tropical Autumn:

Excellent Water Clarity: Ideal for observing the underwater scenery.

Fewer Tourists: Experience the Great Barrier Reef with fewer crowds - everyone else is back at school or at their jobs working away planning their next Cairns holiday.

Conclusion: Best Time of Day for Helicopter Flights, Cairns and Port Douglas

Whether you're helicopter ride is departing from Cairns or Port Douglas, each one of our Tropical seasons provides a unique perspective of the Great Barrier Reef's extraordinary ecosystem. Helicopter scenic flights offer a world-class way to experience this natural wonder, tailored to your interests, from whale watching to observing nesting turtles.

Helicopter flight times range from 30 minutes over the Great Barrier Reef and her islands or a  60 minute scenic flight that incorporates the Daintree Rainforest.

The most popular helicopter flight on the Great Barrier Reef is a helicopter and reef combo flight where you fly out to a floating marine world activity platform and enjoy a day of diving and snorkelling the reef.

And for those extra special private charter flights book a helicopter flight to a solitary sand cay that sits in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef and enjoy a relaxing time with your partner, friends or family.

View The Tour Specialists largest range of scenic helicopter flights available from Cairns or Port Douglas today and discover the unparalleled beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

Please Note: Due to the popularity of helicopter flights over the Great Barrier Reef you will need to book in advance to ensure you can reserve a seat. Some helicopters can carry 3 passengers, or 6 passenger and flights are limited on a daily basis. Weight restrictions apply. 

You are always welcome to speak to The Tour Specialists team 7 days a week we would love to help you have a wonderful holiday with us in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. 


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