Snorkelling Green Island Tour | By Big Cat | Families Save $58

Tour Code: 11

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Family Deal Save $58
  • Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and Green Island aboard a luxury, air-conditioned 35-metre catamaran 
  • Take a rainforest walk and discover the Green Island’s prolific birdlife and unique tropical rainforest
  • Jump aboard a custom glass bottom boat for 30 minutes of reef viewing pleasure around Green Island
  • Snorkel straight off the beach and explore stunning coral gardens and colourful marine life on Green Island
  • Family Deal - Save $58 based on 2 adults & 2 children

Included In Price

  • High speed catamaran transfers to Green Island
  • Choice of snorkeling gear or glass bottom boat tour OR for an additional fee you can get both
  • Snorkeling demonstration and reef presentation en route to Green Island
  • Self guided island walk
  • Free WiFi on all vessels

One of our most popular Cairns reef tours, Green Island is a tropical island paradise and guests can enjoy full day and half day snorkel trips that depart daily from Cairns.

What to Expect

One of our most popular tours from Cairns, the Green Island Snorkelling Tour offers a tropical island paradise experience. Guests can enjoy both full day and half day reef trips, departing daily from Cairns. Green Island is just a short boat ride away, providing an excellent opportunity to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Features and Highlights

Activities on Green Island

  • Snorkelling: Dive into the clear waters and explore the vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine life. The best area to enjoy snorkelling is immediately to the right off the jetty, although it is not patrolled by lifeguards. The northern tip of Green Island, patrolled by lifeguards, is also great for spotting small fish and sea life.
  • Scuba Diving: For those seeking a deeper adventure, scuba diving sessions are available. Equipment and professional guidance are provided.
  • Seawalker: Walk on the ocean floor with a special helmet called Seawalker that supplies air from the surface, perfect for non-swimmers.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tours: View the underwater world without getting wet on a glass bottom boat tour. These tours offer a clear view of the marine life and coral formations.
  • Semi-Submersible Submarine Tours: Experience the reef from a different perspective as you sit below the waterline in a semi-submersible submarine.
  • Scenic Helicopter Flights: See the Great Barrier Reef from above with a 10 or 15-minute scenic helicopter flight, offering stunning views of the coral formations and marine life.
  • Water Sports: Engage in various water activities including kayaking, paddleboarding, and more.
  • Marineland Melanesia: Visit Marineland Melanesia on Green Island to see crocodiles and other marine exhibits.

Green Island Exploration

Green Island is small enough to explore on foot within an hour. At low tide, the coral close to shore is exposed, making it easy to snorkel out to deeper waters. Green Island features a resort with amenities such as restaurants, cocktail bars, a day spa, and a pool area for relaxation.

Snorkelling Tour Experience (Optional Extra)

  • A 45-minute guided snorkel tour is available for beginners, where you can practice using your equipment in the shallow waters straight off the beach. The minimum age for this activity is 6 years.

Snorkelling Safari Tour (Optional Extra)

  • For a more advanced experience, join the Snorkelling Safari Tour, which provides exclusive access to areas not reachable by other guests. A marine biologist will guide you to some of the best snorkel spots around Green Island.

Scenic Helicopter Flights (Optional Extra)

  • Enhance your Green Island tour with a scenic helicopter flight. These flights offer breathtaking views of the Great Barrier Reef from 500 feet above, providing excellent photo opportunities. Or try a fly/cruise or cruise/fly helicopter and Great Barrier Reef combo.

Glass Bottom Boat Tours

  • The glass bottom boat tour lasts around twenty minutes, allowing you to see the diverse marine life without getting wet. The onboard marine interpreter will provide informative commentary about the different species of coral and fish.

Semi-Submersible Submarine Tour

  • The semi-submersible submarine tour offers a unique perspective, allowing you to see the reef and marine life up close from the comfort of the submarine.

Snorkelling on Green Island

  • The shallow waters around Green Island are perfect for snorkelling, making it accessible even for novice swimmers. Lifeguards patrol certain areas, and flotation devices are available for those who need them.

Getting There


  • Our Green Island tours depart from the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal in Spence Street, with organised and hassle-free check-in at the ferry cruises counter. You can choose between two departure times: 9.00 am and 11.00 am. This gives you the flexibility to spend 2 hours (half day), 4 hours, or 5 hours exploring Green Island and the surrounding coral reefs.

On Board the Boat

  • The journey to Green Island takes approximately 45 minutes on the Reef Rocket and 90 minutes on the larger ferry boat. The high-speed catamarans ensure a smooth ride, making it ideal even for those prone to sea sickness. During the journey, the crew will conduct presentations on the types of coral and marine life you’ll see, along with safety briefings and snorkelling instructions.

Green Island Tour Schedule

Morning Tour

  • 07:15am: Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal.
  • 07:30am: Departure from the terminal.
  • 08:00am: Arrival at Green Island, followed by snorkelling, island exploration, and other activities.
  • 11:00am: Departure from Green Island.
  • 11:30am: Return to the Reef Fleet Terminal.

Afternoon Tour

  • 1:00pm: Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal.
  • 1:15pm: Departure from the terminal.
  • 1:45pm: Arrival at Green Island, followed by snorkelling, island exploration, and other activities.
  • 4:45pm: Departure from Green Island.
  • 5:15pm: Return to the Reef Fleet Terminal.


  • Bring a towel, sunscreen, hat, and swimwear.
  • Consider pre-booking optional activities like the guided snorkel tour, snorkel safari tour, and scenic helicopter flights to secure your spot.
  • Make sure to check the weather conditions before your trip for the best experience.

Green Island offers an array of activities and experiences that cater to all interests and ages, making it an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo travellers. Book your adventure today for an unforgettable experience on the Great Barrier Reef.

View all the best island tours in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland.

See all helicopter and Great Barrier Reef combo tours.

Learn more about the Great Barrier Reef on The Tour Specialists Blog.

Things To Do And See On Green Island

Green Island is an absolutely brilliant showcase for aquatic life. There is a beautiful resort on Green Island accompanied by all the activities one could wish to do on a Great Barrier Reef island.

There is scuba diving, semi submersible submarine tours, glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling, shopping, day spa, restaurants and cocktail bars and a pool area to just laze about.

Green Island is relatively small and can easily be walked around in about an hour or more for those wanting to explore. At low tide much of the coral close to shore are exposed which means if you are snorkeling you can go out for the better part of a kilometer.

Take a pool noodle and place it under your arms so you can be out snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef from Green Island for hours just drifting along at your own pace.

Snorkel Tour Experience - Optional Extra - Min age 6

During this 45 minute session you will practice using your equipment in the shallow waters at Green Island straight off the beach. Once you are comfortable you will explore the coral gardens with the assistance of an experienced snorkeller. Minimum age is 6 years old for this activity.

Pre book your Snorkel experience tour via our booking cart.

  • Great way to get your confidence in the water
  • Snorkelling techniques
  • 45 minutes experience
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Practice in the shallow waters straight off the beach
  • Explore the coral gardens
  • Experienced Snorkeller to assist and supervise

Snorkel Safari Tour - Optional Extra - Min age 6

Exclusive access to areas not accessible to other guests at Green Island. A tender boat will take you and our marine biologist to drift snorkel one of Green Islands magnificent walls, famous for their extensive coral formations and schools of fish & marine life.

Pre book your Snorkel Safari tour via our booking cart.

  • Exclusive access via tender boat to our site
  • Marine biologist commentary
  • 50 minutes experience
  • Ideal for competent swimmers & snorkellers looking for a more advanced snorkelling experience.
  • Practice in the shallow waters straight off the beach
  • Explore the outer Green Island walls with magnificent coral formations.
  • Experienced Snorkeller to assist and supervise

Scenic Helicopter Flights From Green Island - Optional Extra

The perfect way to see the Great Barrier Reef is both from above the water and below the water and when you choose a Green Island Day tour you can do both.

You and your family can book a 10 or 15 minute scenic helicopter flight to take you 500 feet above the reef so you can see all the beautiful coral formations and even spot Dolphins, Manta Ray or even Giant Humpback Whales and Dwarf Minke Whales (Whale season July to September).

Great Barrier Reef Helicopters have one of the largest and newest fleets of helicopters in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland offering visitors the most space and comfort possible for you to enjoy the view out over the reef from the large windows.

A scenic helicopter flight will also give you those same fantastic photographs that you see in the travel brochures and on the internet and now you have the chance to snap your very own Great Barrier Reef photographs for your holiday album.

When making your day tour to Green Island booking ask our team to add in a scenic helicopter flight also.         

Green Island Glass Bottom Boat Tours

The fabulous glass bottom boat ride takes around twenty minutes or so and gives one a terrific idea about the diversity of marine life in and around the Great Barrier Reef.

You go out into the deep blue sea where the coral and marine life thrive in the deeper colder waters.

The fish feeding attracts all kinds of different species to the boat so make sure your camera is ready because there are so many great photo opportunities.

The glass bottom boat marine interpreter is informative and will point out and name the types of coral and fish as you cruise over the ocean floor just above the reef.

Green Island Semi Submersible Submarine Tour

The must book semi-submersible submarine tour is a fun ride as well showing you many more of the same fish from the glass walls in the concave of the submarine.

The perspective of the coral reef is totally different as you are cruising alongside the fish and they do not see you as a predator so the opportunity to see more fish and Green Sea Turtles is far greater so we do urge you to try the semi-submersible submarine whilst you are on Green Island.

On a few rare occasions giant Humpback whales have come alongside to take a look at the submarine to the delight of the guests inside the vessel.

These baleen whales frequent these waters from May to September on their annual Antartic migration.

If you have decided to skip all the activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving and helmet diving make sure that you take both boat tours as they are both great ways to see the reef and surrounding marine life without getting your hair wet and just the perfect way for the non swimmers to see and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef and her wonders also.

Snorkeling on Green Island

Snorkeling around Green Island is an excellent way to see the fish and other creatures of the Great Barrier Reef. The shallow waters that surround the island make snorkeling a good idea even for the most novices of swimmers.

As you get off the ferry cruise boat and walk onto the jetty the best area to snorkel is immediately on your right but please note this area is not patrolled by surf life savers and is only recommended for the better swimmers and snorkellers.

Here you may even have the chance of seeing a small shark. Nothing that could really harm anyone, just little black or white reef tip sharks so don’t be shy jump into it and start your snorkeling adventure.

Just off the lifeguard patrolled area which is on the northern tip of Green Island is a pretty good spot to see small fish and underwater sea life. On a low tide this area is ok but you will need to go out from the beach quite a long way to see bigger fish and more diversity of creatures so a flotation vest or pool noodle is recommended so you can go the distance and spend some leisurely time floating about watching the activity below the waters surface.

Take a look at all the Great Barrier Reef snorkelling and scuba diving tours in Cairns and to learn more about each individual one, read our Great Barrier Reef blogs.  

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time

9.00am & 11.00am

Departure Instructions

Check in 30 minutes prior to departure time

Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Palm Cove
  • Transfers available for full day 0900 departure only.
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Green Island
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation


Surcharge applies on Christmas Day


FDBC - 9AM to 5PM - 5 hours on Green Island, tea & coffee upon boarding & choice of snorkel gear* or glass bottom boat tour
FDRR - 11AM to 5PM - 4 hours on Green Island & choice of snorkel gear* or glass bottom boat tour

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Glass bottom boat tour
  • Snorkel hire
  • Snorkel Safari Tour - Min age 6
  • Snorkel Experience Tour - Min age 6
Fitness Level Required


Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, towel, shirt to swim in (slip, slop, slap) cash or credit card for snorkel deposit, cash for drinks and snacks. Film, sunscreen and souvenirs available for sale on board the boat tour. Snorkeling deposit: $30 "Refundable Deposit" is required for the hire of snorkeling gear — cash or credit card imprint.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

Dan D

Reviewed on October 31, 2018

Wonderful snorkeling, great service and beautiful island

Response From The Tour Specialists

Thank you for sharing your feedback about beautiful Green Island. We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed your trip to The Great Barrier Reef!

Maryann K

Reviewed on May 23, 2018

The catamaran ride out to Green Island was beautiful, weather sunny though very windy and rough conditions on the water. The boat rocked more than usual though felt safe and must admit, quite a fun ride going over the waves! Green Island is magical. Took my Mum there for the first time, she loved it. Walking through the national park and swimming in the waters were highlights.

Response From The Tour Specialists

Maryann thank you very much for your review on your Great Barrier Reef tour to Green Island Glad to hear your mum enjoyed it and it will be a memory you will both share forever Thank you from The Tour Specialists team and we look forward to seeing you again soon as we know you love visiting Cairns

Mark F

Reviewed on March 13, 2018

My trip was superb. The staff on board the boat were all consummate professionals, very friendly, and very very helpful.

Response From The Tour Specialists

Thanks for the great feedback Mark. The Tour Specialists are pleased you had a great day on Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef.

Brett R

Reviewed on November 22, 2017

was a great day out with our 3 year old son. lots of swimming and fish seen on the flat bottom boat plus five turtles

Response From The Tour Specialists

Green Island is the ideal location for families with a variety of activities for all ages. We are happy to hear you had a great day and look forward to see you back again soon.

Maryann K

Reviewed on October 18, 2017

What an amazing day! Absolutely loved the big cat ride out to/coming back from Green Island. The island is quite special. Highlight for me is swimming in the waters... so clear, fresh and a gorgeous turquoise 'paradise' colour. A place I will never forget and will definately return to. To sit above deck and feel the reef breeze riding along the Coral Sea, was the best feeling. Snorkelling is something I will try next time. Marineland Melanesia was nice to look through, the croc show was the highlight there! Lovely to see crocs looking relaxed!

Response From The Tour Specialists

Dear Maryann, Thank you for your feedback, we are very pleased to hear that you had the best time on Green Island! We are looking forward to hear from your whenever you are planning to visit Far North Queensland again!

Kerrie K

Reviewed on September 13, 2017

Had a great day here. Green Island is lovely and Melanesian Marineland was terrific as well. Would highly recommend a visit. Trip across on the Big Cat was very quick and most enjoyable.

Response From The Tour Specialists

Hi Kerrie, Big Cat Cruises- Green Island is a great way to experience not only great snorkelling but also the largest crocodile in captivity- Cassius as the star of the show at Marineland Melanesia

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Containes notes on wheelchair access
Wheelchair Accessibility
Doorway Measurements For Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair access for folding wheelchair only.

Boarding Access

Wheelchair ramp

Onboard Access

Limited wheelchair ramps

Pre-order Local Transport

You must arrange your own local transport in advance.

  • Child Fare 4 - 14 years inclusive
  • Family Fare: 2 Adults and 2 Children (not applicable with other discounts)
  • Snorkel Safari Tour & Snorkel Experience Tour - Min age 6

All cancellations must be in writing.

We understand things may change, so we have made cancellations very easy.

In every instance we always recommend you purchase travel insurance for life’s last-minute hiccups.

Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

Operators policy:

  • A cancellation fee of 100% will apply if less than 24 hours notice is given prior to departure.
  • Some services may be cancelled or modified as a result of weather/tidal conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • In the rare event that Big Cat Green Island Cruises needs to cancel, the guest will be provided with an alternate day of travel, offered another Reef Unlimited product, or a full refund.
  • Note: A $20 refundable deposit  is required for the hire of snorkelling gear

Snorkelling Green Island Tour | By Big Cat | Families Save $58

Tour Code: 11

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Palm Cove

Family Deal Save $58



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

Child: au$58.00
Family: au$290.00

Tour Code: 11



15 yrs & over

4 - 14 yrs

0 - 3 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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