Best Snorkeling tour in Cairns, How to Choose and What to look out for!
Today we are going to try to answer another very common question. Which is the best snorkeling tour in Cairns?
So like many people you have probably booked your flight ticket to Cairns. Perhaps you have already booked your hotel and now your planning the things you would like to do while you are here in Cairns.
We have so many people ask us this question, we thought we should try to write a detailed description to help you choose the best snorkeling tour in Cairns.
Let us get started!
So the best snorkeling tour in Cairns is actually a snorkeling tour that perfectly fits your needs! But how do I choose!
That’s right, there is no reason to go out on an advanced snorkel / dive boat if you cannot swim! You won’t enjoy your day and you will leave feeling left out and disappointed you choose the wrong trip. You would be much better going out to a shallow Sandy Cay, Island experience or Pontoon.
Read on to find out why!
There are 3 main categories that separate the different Cairns Snorkeling tours, they are:
1 – Snorkeling from an Island or Sandy Beach
2- Snorkeling from a Pontoon or floating platform.
3 – Snorkeling from the back of snorkel / dive boat.
So first of all let us start with the first category, Snorkeling from an Island o Sandy Beach.
You should be looking at this category If you have children, or if you don’t swim so much, or if you get sea sick! You should think about choosing a snorkeling tour that operates from an Island or Sandy Cay. Why?
1 – If you have children, the water is very shallow walking off the beach. So this is great for small children that don’t swim so much and makes it very easy to get them in the water.
2 – If you don’t swim an Island or sand cay is also a great option because you can walk in off the beach, it is nice and shallow so you will feel comfortable trying snorkeling for the first time.
3 – If you get sea sick an island or sand cay is a great option because you can get off the boat onto hard ground. Nice and stable the island or sand cay will not move.
Two options for snorkeling from an Island or Sand Cay from Cairns are:
1 – Ocean Spirit Cruises Cairns have a great day out to Michaelmas Cay. A beautiful sand cay located in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Ideal for people that want to relax on the beach and snorkel in the crystal clear shallow waters. Easy to get in and out fo the water they have a beach buggy that bring you to and from the beach to the boat.
2 – Green Island Cairns is a great island experience. You can choose from 3 different ferry time coming and going from the island. So great if you only want to spend half a day or a few hours exploring the island, try some snorkeling from the beach or even one of their glass bottom boats.
Next in our category is Snorkeling from a Pontoon or floating platform.
You should be looking at this category If you don’t want to be on a sandy beach and you really want to see allot of coral and reef. The reason why, is the pontoons or floating platform are parked out on the outer barrier reef systems. They are generally located far away from the sandy islands and cays. So this means you have very clear water and massive coral reef systems straight under the pontoon.
Most pontoon or floating platform companies offer semi-submarines, glass bottom boats, underwater observatories, buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They also provide all snorkeling equipment like masks, flippers of fins and a snorkel. The staff on the pontoons are very experienced and are able to offer you training on how to use your snorkel gear.
Pontoons have big swim steps, so you can walk down about 4 steps and sit on a large semi-submerged platform that is generally about 1/2 meter deep. This makes it very easy to sit down put your snorkel, fins and mask on and then push off into the water. All pontoon companies will also offer you life jackets, safety noodles, and all have lifeguards on duty.
Pontoons can also be a good option for people who get seasick although not as good as spending the day on an Island or Sand Cay but a great second option, especially if you want to see allot of coral, reef and fishes.
Pontoons can also be a great option for children they offer many different activities to enjoy. Most children get a little tired after a while, so that’s when having the option of doing the semi-submarines, glass bottom boats and underwater observatories come in handy.
Two options for Snorkeling from a Pontoon or floating platform in Cairns are:
1 – Reef Magic Cruises Cairns, this company offers a full 5 hours at Moore reef. This is great for people who want to spend the most amount of time on the reef. They offer all activities everything is included in the one price. Semi-Submarines, Glass Bottom Boats, Underwater Observatories, Morning / Afternoon Tea, Buffet Lunch and all Snorkeling equipment.
2 – Great Adventures Green Island + Outer Barrier Reef Pontoon. This is the ultimate reef day, you get to spend 2 hours at Green Island first thing in the morning and here you can try the glass bottom boat tour and explore the island. Then at 10:45pm the large wave piercing boat will take you to there Outer Barrier Reef platform located at Norman Reef. Here you get to spend over 3 hours. Enjoy Snorkeling as much as you like, all equipment is provided. All Semi-Submarines, Underwater observatories, morning/ afternoon tea and buffet lunch is included. This is the best of both worlds you get to Visit Green Island and The Outer Barrier Reef all in the one day.
Last in our category is Snorkeling from the back of a snorkel / dive boat:
So you should be looking at day tours in this category if you are really keen to spend time in the water. Like you are adventurous and you really want to see as much of the Great Barrier reef as you can. The day boat operators tend to go out allot further past the pontoon’s and Island. They also tend to move around and generally have a bunch of dive sites that they can visit. Most day snorkel / dive boats will stop at either 2 and up to 3 reef sites in the one day.
So this is great for people who feel comfortable in the water and really want to explore the reef at their own leisure. Snorkeling from the back of a snorkel / dive boat is very easy. most companies have a large step that lowers down into the water to make it very easy for you to get in and out of the water. They provide all snorkeling equipment, snorkel, mask, fins and all provide buffet lunch with morning and afternoon tea. This is standard.
The day snorkel / dive boats are not as good for people who don’t swim!
The day snorkel / dive boats are not as good for people who don’t swim or if you get sea-sick, mainly because they are smaller in size than the larger boats that visit the pontoons and islands. A smaller boat tends to bob around in the water a little more and can tend to make people feel a bit funny if your not so good on the water.
But all in all if you are a good swimmer you feel comfortable in the water and if you have children that are also they same, then a day snorkel / dive boat will be perfect for you.
Two options for snorkeling from the back of a snorkel / dive boat in Cairns are:
Silverswift Dive & Snorkel Cairns. This really is a fantastic day, especially if you tend to be adventurous. Silverswift in fact are the only snorkel / dive boat in Cairns to visit 3 x outer reef locations in the one day. They also travel over 45klm offshore to Flynn, Milnn & Pellowe reefs. These are regarded as the very outer barrier reef systems from Cairns. They include full snorkeling gear, mask, fins, snorkel, lycra suit, all meals, morning & afternoon tea.
TUSA Snorkel & Dive is also another great option for snorkeling from the back of a boat from Cairns. TUSA have a roaming permit that allows them to move around to many different reef sites. The idea of the roaming permit is to take you to the very best reef sites on that given days weather. So depending if it is a Northerly, Easterly or South Easterly sea breeze. Depending on the Tide if it is an incoming or outgoing tide, the skipper will choose the very best site depending on what the conditions are on that day.
The Best snorkeling tour from Cairns is the tour that perfectly fits your needs. Sit down and ask yourself those top 3 questions:
– Do you have children?
– Can everybody Swim?
– Do you get sea sick?
Using this information you should be able to determine which is the best snorkeling tour for you, your family and friends.
If you are still confused please call our office either Clementine, Andras or myself will gladly help you to choose the very best option to make the most of your day. FREECALL 1800 833 304.
Browse our entire selection of Cairns Snorkel & Dive Tours browse using the information you have learned from above. You will be well and truly on your way to choosing the very Best Cairns Snorkeling tour from Cairns Australia!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clint Carroll is the Manager of Cairns Tour Advice & Booking Centre. An adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.
Visit The Great Barrier Reef from Cairns
Visit the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns with a full day cruise, snorkeling equipment, glass bottom boat, semi-submarine, underwater observatory, hot and cold buffet lunch, morning & afternoon tea.