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Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns

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Cairns City, Australia
Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns
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Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
iconOffered in: English and 6 more


Enjoy the natural delights of the Great Barrier Reef on an activity cruise from Cairns that gives you several ways to experience this renowned underwater world. After traveling by catamaran to a pontoon moored on the reef, you can observe marine life on a glass-bottom boat or semi-submersible vessel; go snorkeling to spot sea turtles; get your hands wet in the touch pool; upgrade to include a Seawalker Helmet dive; or upgrade to include an introductory or certified scuba dive. A buffet lunch is included, and the pontoon is equipped with showers.
  • Full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise
  • See the underwater sights without getting wet from a glass-bottom or semi-submersible vessel
  • Enjoy a buffet lunch
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Snorkeling equipment
Glass bottom boat and Semi-Submersible tours
Sunlover waterslide and spacious sun deck
Great Barrier Reef and fish feeding presentations by our marine experts
Underwater observatory and ocean enclosed pool
Coffee and/or Tea
WiFi on board
Fresh water showers and change rooms
Environmental Management Charge (EMC)
Additional cost: Wetsuit and prescription snorkel mask
Additional cost: Guided Snorkel Tour, Intro or Certified Diving, Seawalker Helmet Dive, Heli Filghts
Additional cost: professional photos or camera hire
Additional cost: Secure lockers
Additional Cost: Hotel Transfers can be added directly with Sunlover

Departure Point

1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

The Sunlover reservations desk is inside the Reef Fleet Terminal on the ground floor. All guests must check in and collect their boarding pass between 8:30 am and 9:00 am. The boat departs from the A finger right beside the terminal.

Departure Time

9:30 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Your day on the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, begins as you depart Cairns by high-speed catamaran, listening to commentary from a marine naturalist about the array of marine life that call the reef home (safety and snorkeling instructions are also provided). Arrive at a spacious pontoon moored on the outer reef, your base for the day, where you can spend your time however you wish to make the most of your experience on the water.

The pontoon is equipped with Wi-Fi, change rooms, and showers. A buffet lunch is provided for beverages, you may purchase soft drinks and alcoholic drinks from the onboard bar, as well as additional snacks or ice cream. For protection from the elements, Lycra sun suits are included or you can hire neoprene wetsuits (additional cost); the Great Barrier Reef is home to jellyfish and other stinging species (jellyfish season is November to May).

After ample time on the pontoon, your day trip ends with the return cruise to Cairns.

Included activities

If you prefer to stay dry, take a glass-bottom boat ride or tour by semi-submersible vessel to spot clownfish, starfish, clams, anemone coral and more. Watch a fish-feeding demonstration, and check out the onboard touch tank for a hands-on look at marine life. When you want to cool off, jump in the water with your provided snorkeling equipment to look for resident sea creatures like Dolla the turtle or Wally the hump-headed Maori wrasse. Watch for manta rays, clownfish and maybe even whales in the winter months.  

Optional upgrades

Seawalker Helmet diving: Take a walk on an underwater platform to enjoy the thrill of scuba diving without the scuba requirements. No diving experience is necessary to participate in this guided activity, and numbers are limited to six people per group to provide personalized attention.

Introductory dive: If you’re a beginner scuba diver, take an introductory dive with a group.

Certified dive: If you are an experienced diver, enjoy two certified dives.
Stop At:  
Great Barrier Reef
Sunlover's Marine Base at Moore Reef on the Outer Great Barrier Reef is teeming with colourful coral and abundant marine life in every colour of the rainbow.
Duration: 4 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Fitzroy Island
On our Moore Reef Daily experience we make a brief stop enroute and on the way back from the reef to pick up and drop off passengers. Fitzroy Island is favourite trip for Cairns' locals with 99% of its landscape covered in lush tropical rainforest as well as granite outcrops, open woodlands, mangroves and coral beaches. Inquire about our Fitzroy Island Transfers to enjoy on another day, which give you 6 hours to explore this paradise, including amazing walks on the picturesque beaches and visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 12 years for SCUBA diving and Seawalker Helmet dive
  • Please ensure you bring your dive certification for Certified SCUBA dives
  • All dives are subject to an on board medical checklist, please contact us for more information.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 342 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Sunlover Reef Cruises
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.
What is the social distancing policy during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Outer Reef Pontoon Experience from Cairns.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

  • "It costs extra, but I would do it all over again." See review
  • "Seasickness pills are a great suggestion, as there were a lot of people suffering." See review
  • "I would recommend this trip for those with varying ages in your group including non-snorkelers." See review


335 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 335 reviews
Plenty of information...
, Jan 2022
Plenty of information sent before leaving. Easy to enter and leave the water, excelant spot to view the wonders of the reef
Unhelpful crew on the boat
, Jan 2022
The reef itself was beautiful. Boat was nice. The staff on the boat really ruined the experience. Unhelpful, limited English, they came across as they couldn’t be bothered. Communication was woeful, no one knew what was going on. Lifeguards refused to give me any type of flotation to help my kids even though they had life rings just sitting there , They wouldn’t even walk over to help me check my kids life jackets fit properly. It felt like they just dropped us at the pontoon and then were like ‘oh well; work it out yourselves’ it really ruined my time and I wouldn’t recommend that boat to anyone
, Jan 2022
Amasing snorkeling and food was very good with good variety, highly recommend. Water was very clear and plenty to see!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Best experience ever.
, Jan 2022
The buffet lunch was great. Kids had a fab time going on slides going into ocean. We loved the snorkeling experience so much marine life to see. It was like watching finding Nemo movie in real life. I would do this again.
We got it cancelled and...
, Dec 2021
We got it cancelled and after promising to book on 1st jan we were told that there is no spot available until a week
, Dec 2021
Very great, very fun, amazing experience, would definitely recommend, food was alright too (my family was vegetarian)
Fun for on the reef.
, Dec 2021
We loved the trip and appreciated Ted’s care during our snorkeling adventure. The ride was great and the staff very professional.
Great experience
, Dec 2021
Snorkelling was great. Maybe can have more lifeguards to assist those who are not confident. Can also do with a dryer as wetsuits are hard to put on when already wet. Otherwise nothing beats this experience for a holiday.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Thanks for the review and suggestions, all are taken on board. We are really glad you had a memorable experience on The Great Barrier Reef with Sunlover.
So it you will enjoy it
, Dec 2021
The weather was good and the staff were very helpful. The equipment was in great condition. I would recommend it to everyone.
Wow. Just Wow
, Dec 2021
Wow. Just Wow. Well organised and every item on the agenda was fantastic. Snorkeling with our kids at the reef is something that I'll never forget. But every activity was fantastic for all of us. Crew were out of this world and dealt with sea sickness as well. Brilliant day.

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