Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flights | 40 & 60 Minutes | GSL

Tour Code: 345

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns

  • Experience the world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef on a low level scenic flight from Cairns. Unique cays and coral formations of the Arlington Reef system. Spot dolphins, manta rays, whales, turtles, dugongs and sharks.
  • See the brilliance of Upolo Cay, a white sand cay nestled in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, other remote islands and even marine life from your window seat 
  • Guaranteed window seats on your scenic flight from Cairns over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
  • This is the best value Great Barrier Reef tour where you can see the reef and rainforest on a 40 minute scenic flight from Cairns or upgrade to a 60 minute flight that covers the Great Barrier Reef and Port Douglas. 

Included In Price

  • Window seat guaranteed
  • In-flight commentary
  • In-flight information booklets available in English, French, German, Japanese & Chinese
  • Experienced pilot
  • Courtesy bus from Cairns inner city accommodation subject to availability

Seeing the Great Barrier Reef & the Tropical North Queensland coastline landscapes for the first time on a low level 40 - 60 minute scenic flight from Cairns is something you will never forget for the rest of your life.

Scenic Flights Cairns - Tour Options

There are excellent choices of scenic flights departing from Cairns in Queensland Australia.

You will only truly understand the sheer vastness and natural beauty of this World Heritage listed region once you personally experience a scenic flight for yourself. Scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef departing daily.

If you are visiting Cairns by cruise ship we can be there to collect you and take you for a spectacular low level flight over the Tropical North Queensland coastline, the Great Barrier Reef and even fly up to and over Port Douglas.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and once you see it from the skies on a scenic flight from Cairns, you’ll certainly understand why.

There are several scenic flight departures a day from Cairns between 8am and 4pm, depending on demand and weather conditions.

Due to the flexible nature of this tour it is easy to fit in other half day tours to your itinerary while visiting Tropical North Queensland in Australia.

Take a scenic flight in the morning and enjoy another tour in the afternoon with our Combo Package Deals.

You can either choose to take the 40 minute scenic flight over the reef or 60 minute one that includes a flight up to and over Port Douglas.

Pick-up from your Cairns accommodation is included in the price.

Scenic Flights Over The Great Barrier Reef

On our Cairns scenic flights you will occasionally glide over the Great Barrier Reef as low as 500ft (152 metres) you will also have an excellent view to the surrounding marine life such as whales (during the months of July to September), dolphins, Manta rays, sea turtles, dugongs and sharks.

You will certainly see the shapes, colours and mazes of coral as you fly over different reef formations.

Cairns Scenic Flights - Excellent Photo Opportunities

Take the National Geographic grade aerial shots of the Great Barrier Reef at ease - now you know the secret to these gorgeous holiday cards you see for sale everywhere in Far North Queensland.  

As your plane takes anywhere between 5 to 8 passengers and only high-wing aeroplanes are being used you will not have to fight for the best seat to have the views or to take great photos – all seats in our aircraft are window seats!

Clear and sunny skies are definitely preferred for your scenic flight and will bring out the colours of the reef but don’t be put off by some small rain clouds as they just add a bit of drama and depth to your holiday snaps - after all, it is the greenest and wettest part of Australia!

Cairns Scenic Flights - Experienced Aircraft Pilots

Our Cairns flight crew are commercially qualified and continuously undergoing extensive company training to deliver not only a safe journey but a great flying experience for their guests.

Your pilot will also provide commentaries along the way of the areas below, making sure you don’t miss anything exciting on your flight over the Great Barrier Reef & the stunning Tropical North Queensland coastline.

All aircraft are fitted with quality intercom systems through which your pilot provides an informative and humorous in-flight commentary.

Cairns Scenic Flights - Low Impact Tourism Operators

Our business practices over the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park have all been approved by the Marine Park Authority, and they continue to support the ongoing conservation of the reef with our low impact tourism operations.

Our pilots aim is simple- to give you the best possible experience of this amazing natural wonder and protecting it at the same time.

The Cairns Scenic Flight Aircraft Fleet

Cessna 206

The Cessna 206 is a well-known aircraft that is used commercially on a tourism basis being commissioned around the world for more than 50 years. Its wings sit above for clear views below making it efficient in a variety of roles- aerial such as skydiving, photography and much much more. 

This aircraft can comfortably seat up to 5 passengers on board.

The Cessna 206 (also known as the Skywagon) is a single-engine, general aviation aircraft with fixed landing gear.

Combination of a powerful engine, strong construction and a large cabin has made this aircraft very popular for scenic flights.

We operate just one Cessna 206, which was refurbished in 2014, including new paint, interior, engine and passenger intercom system.

GA8 Airvan

During peak holiday seasons we can operate up to 6 GA8 Airvans to enable full capacity scenic flights for groups and incentives and visiting cruise ships.

This aircraft is great for scenic flights, seating up to 8 passengers, each with their own large window for the best views.

Proudly manufactured in Australia, this aircraft is quickly becoming a popular choice for tourism operators and fulfilling a number of roles around Australia and around the world.

Piper Chieftain

As we have grown so has our fleet of private aircraft available to us. The twin engine Piper Chieftain can seat 9 guests or up to 900 kg of freight and is one of the most economical private charter planes for its size that can also fly at night and in most weather conditions which is a bonus in the tropics.

The wings on this aircraft are below the guests windows so some passengers view will not be as good as others.

Cessna Grand Caravan

This type of aircraft is the largest in the fleet and can carry up to 13 passengers. This very versatile type of aircraft is quite often used to carry passengers (and cargo) to remote locations in the Australian Outback due to its extensive range and speed

Cairns Scenic Flight Options 40 Minute Great Barrier Reef Hopper Scenic Flight

If scenic helicopter flights are stretching your budget a bit too far but you would still like to experience the Great Barrier Reef from above then these scenic flights are meant for you.

A 40 minute Reef Hopper scenic flight will give you an extensive overview of the reef and coral formations off Far North Queensland’s coastline.

Your day starts with the pickup from your Cairns accommodation or your cruise ship and you be taken to Cairns General Aviation for your departure.

Your 40 minute scenic flight will take you over Cairns, past the world famous Green Island, over the stunning Arlington Reef, picturesque Middle and Michaelmas Cay, Upolu Reef and the iconic Cairns Northern beaches suburb of Palm Cove with Double Island.

As it is a relatively low level flight, there is a great chance you might spot dolphins, Manta rays and whales on your tour.

Combo | 40 Minute Great Barrieer Reef Hopper Scenic Flight & Full Day Green Island Tour In One Day

Your day will start at 7:30am with our 40 Minute Reef Hopper Scenic flight. Once you are back in Cairns we will transfer you to the Reef Fleet Terminal to check in for your 11:00am departure for Green Island.

Your day on Green Island includes a lunch, served buffet style and you can choose between a snorkelling equipment hire OR glass bottom boat tour.

Other optional extras such as Seawalker Helmet Diving,  Boat Snorkel Trip and Introductory Dive can and should be pre-booked as well.

You will be back at the Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns by 5:00pm on time to enjoy a dinner in one of the many restaurants in town.

Transfer back to your accommodation from the Reef Fleet Terminal after your full day on Green Island is not included, please let us know at time of booking if you would like us to organise that for you.

If you are staying on the Northern Beaches you can also combine Green Island and a 40 minute Reef Scenic Flight however you will do the Green Island portion first then the 40 minute reef scnic flight.

Upgrade | 60 Minute Reef and Port Douglas Scenic Flight

If you are looking to add icing on the cake to your holidays or you are very limited with your time but would still like to see the best part of Tropical North Queensland then a Reef and Port Douglas scenic flight might just tick all the right boxes.

This 1 hour scenic flight is our signature flight. It covers the sights from the 40 minute flight plus Batt Reef, Tongue Reef as well as the township of Port Douglas

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the World, and its amazing contrast of colours is something that is best experienced from a low level scenic flight in the air.

Shortly after becoming airborne you can get your cameras clicking as you fly over the reef and its myriad of coral mazes below you.

Your pilot will then head off in the direction of Port Douglas. As we head home towards Cairns we will take a low level flight along the brilliant coastline.

Cairns Scenic Flights - Additional Information

Cruise Ship Tours From Cairns and Yorkeys Knob

If you are visiting Cairns in Queensland Australia for the very first time by cruise ship then booking a low level scenic flight to see the Great Barrier Reef will surely be one of the highlights of your shore tours.

Pre-book your cruise ship shore tour early to ensure you do not miss out on seeing this spectacular region in style.

Private Charter Flights

Private charter flights can also be arranged, call us to discuss your requirements.

We also do private charter flights to assist you reach outback regions in the Cape York Peninsula.

Minimum Number Of Passengers

We require a minimum of 2 passengers on all flights, single passenger booking.

Single travellers can be booked however will be placed on a waiting list until minimum number of passengers (2) is reached.

More Scenic Flights

You may want to consider other scenic flight options.

Departs From


Departure Time

All flights depart from 8:00am to 4:00pm

Departure Instructions
  • Check in is 30 minutes prior to departure. Passengers that fail to arrive before
  • this time may be classed as no-show.
  • Courtesy bus subject to availability; passengers that do not arrive at their pick up location on time may be classed as no-show. Passengers should endeavour to arrive at their pick-up locations 5 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up.
Pickup Locations


  • Pick up times will be provided at the time of booking
  • Cairns
  • Bird's eye view of North Queensland coastline including Cairns, Green Island, Arlington Reef, Middle Cay, Michaelmas Cay, Upolu Reef, and Palm Cove
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation



40 & 60 minutes (approx)

Fitness Level Required


Additional Information
  • Self Drive:check in is 30 minutes prior to departure at Genaral Aviation, 83 Royal Flying Doctor Street, Cairns, QLD 4870. Passengers that fail to arrive before this time may be classed as no-show.
  • This tour requires a minimum of 4 guests to operate
  • Single travellers can be booked however will be placed on a waiting list until minimum number of passengers (4) is reached.
  • Flight Terms: all flights are subject to pilot discretion, weather, aircraft availability and air traffic control. In the event that GSL Aviation cancels/postpones any flight(s) due to adverse weather conditions, GSL Aviation will attempt to reschedule flight or a full
  • refund will be given. GSL Aviation will endeavour to achieve on-time performance, although accept no responsibility for missing flight or tour connections arising from operational delays. Flight time listed is approximate and may vary depending on aircraft type. The minimum number of passengers required for each flight is 2; if booking for 1 passenger only, your booking will be pending until minimum requirement met.
  • GSL Aviation may use photographs of clients in promotional material, including but not limited to social media, if you do not consent please advise GSL Aviation.
  • Weather can affect our flight schedules, please contact us 24 hours prior to flight time to confirm flight.

Camera, sunglasses, sunscreen and water

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

Adrian G

Reviewed on October 10, 2017

I enjoyed the flight, waiting around on the ground was a waste of time both in the small hanger and in the aircraft. We sat on the ground with the engine going for nearly half an hour before we took off, it was noisy, after the first 5 minutes very boring and did not seem to be particularly well-organised. No explanation was given to us by anybody on the ground as to why we were having to wait around for so long.

Response From The Tour Specialists

Adrian we thank you for your review of your Cairns scenic flight We are thinking you would have been taxiing on the airport apron waiting for clearance for take off due to the heavy incoming traffic of other flights hopefully the low level flight would have been all you had hoped and provided amazing views of the Great Barrier Reef We look forward to your return to Cairns in the future Please call us directly as we would love to personalise some tours for you next time

Children under 3 years old are considered infants and travel free of charge on a paying adults lap. Children 3 years and over the adult price applies on all flights.

Cancellation Policy:

All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

Operator’s Cancellation Policy:

100% cancellation fee applies for no-shows or cancellations within 24 hours.

Passengers who fail to arrive at the scheduled time or failed to load will be classed as 'no-show' and no refund will be given.

No refund for bookings cancelled or amended within 24 hours or departure

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flights | 40 & 60 Minutes | GSL

Tour Code: 345

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns




Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$229.00
Family: au$916.00

Tour Code: 345



15 yrs & over

3 - 14 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
1300 761 612
+61 427 074 745
1300 761 612
+61 427 074 745

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