Ocean Freedom, the 20m luxury cruising CAT goes to two very unique and different Great Barrier Reef destinations, “Wonder Wall” on the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef and Upolu Cay Reef. This tour has 6 hrs of actual reef time – more than any other Cairns reef tour so plenty of time to totally immerse yourself in all that is reef! With complimentary informative Glass Bottom Boat (subject to sea conditions on the day) and Adventure Drift Snorkel Tours, led by our passionate, knowledgeable Master Reef guides and Marine Interpreters, you will engage and learn about the reef and then, we have no doubt, start to feel this deep connection to nature that we all share.
All our Great Barrier Reef sites are a part of the Cairns Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zone and World Heritage Area.
Cairns Premier Reef and Island Tours view their Island and Cay destinations as their natural pontoons sitting on the Great Barrier Reef. Both these Cairns snorkel and dive reef tours cater for small numbers, offering truly personalised service where you not only get to snorkel and dive the beautiful Great Barrier Reef (GBR), but also get to experience an eco-friendly developed coral cay Island (Green Island) or a changing coral cay, sitting in the middle of the ocean (Upolu Cay). Get well fed and relax on the sail home or cruise back to Cairns while reflecting on the days’ reef snorkelling adventures.
These Cairns snorkel and dive reef experiences are must do in Cairns!
“We acknowledge the Gunggandji (Green Island) and Yirrganydji (Upolu) as the Traditional Owners of the land, seas, and waterways in which we operate. We pay respect to their Elders both past, present and emerging.”
Green Island lies 27km offshore from Cairns; it is a National Park within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. It has been a popular tourist snorkelling destination for over a century. In 1937 it became a National Park, in 1974 a Marine Park and then in 1981, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This island is a true coral cay formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble, deposited on the calm side of a platform reef. When the tide is low, you can walk along the water around the whole island (1.6km), look out for turtles, stingrays and sea birds. You can also just chill out on the beautiful golden sandy beaches, or swim in the crystal waters surrounding the beaches (if you are not a strong swimmer, make sure you swim in the area patrolled by the Life Guards on the beach). You can even enjoy a cocktail at the bar (remember no alcohol though if you are doing any more diving).More Info
Ocean Freedom has two very unique and stunning Great Barrier Reef snorkel and dive sites, one close to Upolu Cay and the other on the outer edge of Upolu Reef. Upolu Cay Reef is a beautiful coral formation surrounded by crystal clear, turquoise water. On days where conditions allow, guests can be transferred across to the cay in our large tender. Once there, they can laze on the cay, swim in the shallow waters or take a snorkel tour back to the main vessel, viewing coral and sea life on the way, under the watchful eye of our lookouts. On other days where the Cay is not accessible, they can still snorkel the stunning aquarium-like shallow waters and coral gardens. Anyone needing assistance is supplied with the necessary buoyancy aids and guided back with one of our crew. At our second site Outer Edge Upolu Reef, guests are stunned by the amazing ‘Wonder Wall’ streaming with sea life. Crew comment they’ve never seen so many different Nemo species on one site. Guests are treated to an engaging and informative Glass Bottom Boat Tour and also an Adventure Drift Snorkel tour with our marine naturalist, under the watchful eye of our look outs. Once you learn about the magic of the reef and its inhabitants with our enthusiastic and knowledgeable reef guides, your connection to the Great Barrier Reef grows stronger! Order of sites visited is dependent on conditions on the day.More Info
It’s a National Park and all commercial activities are regulated by permits. The reef and underwater habitats are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Both Green Island and its reef are included in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which gives it international protection under UNESCO.
See crocodiles in captivity, or turtles close up, as well as many interesting artefacts from the surrounding areas with a visit Marineland Melanesia.
The island is covered in a tropical vine forest which supports a diversity of birds and insects. Have a walk across the island along the Interpretative Boardwalk.
Ocean Free has a private mooring just 1km off the island with a stunning coral garden on the Great Barrier Reef, where only our guests snorkel and dive!
The surrounding coral reef is home to many kinds of corals, clams, fish, stingrays, Green and Hawksbill turtles and other reef life.
Upolu Cay Reef is a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Great Barrier Reef is World Heritage listed as a Natural Site and protected by UNESCO. This is a beautiful snorkel tour area in Cairns due to it shallow crystal clear blue waters.
Upolu Cay is a naturally formed coral cay, about 30 kilometres from Cairns. Due to the changing nature of the sea, sometimes it’s above sea level, sometimes not. However , on any day , you can snorkel or dive the beautiful shallow waters and explore the beautiful coral garden and colourful reef fish. Watch out for turtles and small blue spotted sting rays – also a common sight when snorkelling here!
A constant factor at this amazing location are the shallow, sheltered waters, making this a great location to snorkel and explore the Great Barrier Reef. It is akin to snorkelling in an Aquarium!
“Wonder Wall” is a reef site located on outer edge Upolu Reef. Its sheer coral walls are covered with hard and soft corals, home to anemone-fish and more. This site drops down to about 10-12m for a stunning relaxed SCUBA dive. Look out for timid black or white tipped reef sharks , turtles gliding through the water and popping up for a breath of air and numerous schools of grazing reef fish. This is also great site for snorkelling in Cairns, as the “bommies” – coral outcrops come to just under a metre from the surface for easy viewing .
You will be amazed at the diversity of marine life on the Great Barrier Reef’s Upolu Reef. Sea turtles, sea stars, giant batfish, coral trout, colourful chromis, giant clams and more – making for a truly great reef experience!
Offshore, it’s you in the big blue. The Coral Sea’s azure waters sometimes blend seamlessly with the horizon and you feel connected with this watery world.