Tours and Tickets

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns provided by Nautilus Aviation

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
4.5
Book in advance
from
$344.57
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Unforgettable views of the Great Barrier Reef by helicopter and boat
Duration:
2–7 hours
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
7
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
About
The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most visited attractions, and the UNESCO-listed landscapes are home to an incredible variety of marine life. On this tour, choose to experience the natural wonder from all angles—flying overhead in a helicopter, taking a boat cruise to the outer reefs, then jumping in to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive along the reef.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2-7 hours
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Highlights
  • Marvel at the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Options for all: snorkeling, certified dives, or introductory dive course
  • Personalized experience: limited to six passengers per helicopter
What to expect
Depending on the tour option selected, make your way to Cairns Airport or Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, and set out for the outer reefs by either boat or helicopter. While boats set sail in the morning, helicopter flights depart around midday, affording spectacular views over Cairns as well as the reefs and islands of the Great Barrier Reef. On arrival at the Hastings Reef floating helicopter pad, transfer to the cruise ship, which has space for up to 100 passengers and is fully equipped for snorkelers, scuba divers, and nonswimmers. During your time onboard, visit two different locations around the Saxon Reef, Norman Reef, or Hastings Reef, stopping at exclusive moorings. On the full-day excursion, scuba divers can enjoy up to three dives, either taking part in a beginner’s introductory course or exploring dive sites accessible only to certified divers. All tours offer swimming and snorkeling along the reefs, with floatation devices available for nonswimmers. After working up an appetite in the water, enjoy a delicious onboard buffet lunch, including fresh fish, barbecued meats, and a selection of salads and pasta. Finally, you are dropped back at the helipad for the return journey to Cairns, where your tour ends.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2-7 hours
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Marvel at the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Options for all: snorkeling, certified dives, or introductory dive course
  • Personalized experience: limited to six passengers per helicopter
What to expect
Depending on the tour option selected, make your way to Cairns Airport or Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, and set out for the outer reefs by either boat or helicopter. While boats set sail in the morning, helicopter flights depart around midday, affording spectacular views over Cairns as well as the reefs and islands of the Great Barrier Reef. On arrival at the Hastings Reef floating helicopter pad, transfer to the cruise ship, which has space for up to 100 passengers and is fully equipped for snorkelers, scuba divers, and nonswimmers. During your time onboard, visit two different locations around the Saxon Reef, Norman Reef, or Hastings Reef, stopping at exclusive moorings. On the full-day excursion, scuba divers can enjoy up to three dives, either taking part in a beginner’s introductory course or exploring dive sites accessible only to certified divers. All tours offer swimming and snorkeling along the reefs, with floatation devices available for nonswimmers. After working up an appetite in the water, enjoy a delicious onboard buffet lunch, including fresh fish, barbecued meats, and a selection of salads and pasta. Finally, you are dropped back at the helipad for the return journey to Cairns, where your tour ends.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3262FLY
Important information
Inclusions
  • BBQ lunch
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment
Exclusions
  • Optional introductory or certified dives, payable direct on travel date (morning cruise only)
  • AU$20per person Environmental Management Charge (EMC) and Fuel Levy is payable direct to the operator on the day of travel
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
Duration
2–7 hours
Departure details
  • 1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia For the Cruise and Fly option, this will be your starting point at the Reef Fleet Terminal at the Down Under Cruise and Dive check-in counter.
  • 2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia For the Fly and Cruise, and Fly and Fly option, this will be your starting point.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Weight Policy: Individual passenger weights and accompanying carry on luggage MUST be advised at time of booking. Weight variances greater than 10% may incur an additional fee. Maximum single seat payload of 130kg. For passenger comfort and aircraft weight and balance, passengers exceeding 130kg are required to purchase an additional seat at 50% of ticket price - this is non-commissionable and payable to Nautilus Aviation on day of travel.
  • There is a maximum of 6 to 7 passengers depending on aircraft availability.
  • Evidence of dive certification is required from all divers wishing to participate in a certified dive
  • Diving within 48 hours of flying is not recommended.(Please note: This does not include the helicopter flight). All participants will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to diving. Some pre-existing medical conditions (eg asthma, heart conditions, etc) may prevent you from diving, please consult your doctor
  • Child Policy: Children 3 years and above are charged adult rates. Subject to conditions, children under 3 years may travel free of charge when seated on a parents/guardians lap.
  • For the Fly/Cruise option you will have a compulsory 20 minute safety briefing before being allowed enter the water, this is part of your two hours out at the reef. It is recommended that you wear swimmers upon check in for this option
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • 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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 7 travelers
Inclusions
  • BBQ lunch
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment
Exclusions
  • Optional introductory or certified dives, payable direct on travel date (morning cruise only)
  • AU$20per person Environmental Management Charge (EMC) and Fuel Levy is payable direct to the operator on the day of travel
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
Departure details
  • 1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia For the Cruise and Fly option, this will be your starting point at the Reef Fleet Terminal at the Down Under Cruise and Dive check-in counter.
  • 2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia For the Fly and Cruise, and Fly and Fly option, this will be your starting point.
Duration
2–7 hours
Return details
  • 2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia For those doing the Cruise and Fly, Fly and Fly option, this will be your end point.
  • 1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia For those doing the Fly and Cruise option, the boat will take you back to the Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Weight Policy: Individual passenger weights and accompanying carry on luggage MUST be advised at time of booking. Weight variances greater than 10% may incur an additional fee. Maximum single seat payload of 130kg. For passenger comfort and aircraft weight and balance, passengers exceeding 130kg are required to purchase an additional seat at 50% of ticket price - this is non-commissionable and payable to Nautilus Aviation on day of travel.
  • There is a maximum of 6 to 7 passengers depending on aircraft availability.
  • Evidence of dive certification is required from all divers wishing to participate in a certified dive
  • Diving within 48 hours of flying is not recommended.(Please note: This does not include the helicopter flight). All participants will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to diving. Some pre-existing medical conditions (eg asthma, heart conditions, etc) may prevent you from diving, please consult your doctor
  • Child Policy: Children 3 years and above are charged adult rates. Subject to conditions, children under 3 years may travel free of charge when seated on a parents/guardians lap.
  • For the Fly/Cruise option you will have a compulsory 20 minute safety briefing before being allowed enter the water, this is part of your two hours out at the reef. It is recommended that you wear swimmers upon check in for this option
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • 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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 7 travelers
Travel safe during COVID-19
Last updated: Apr 13, 2022
A note from Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns
Nautilus Aviation has a comprehensive COVID plan in place.
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Temperature checks for tour participants upon arrival
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Temperature checks for tour participants upon arrival
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Itinerary
  • You’ll have 2 starting options
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    1 Spence St
    Stop: 60 minutes
    See details
  • 2
    Great Barrier Reef
    Stop: 5 hours
    See details
  • You'll end at
    See Important Information for details
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
41 reviews
Excellent
30
Very good
6
Average
2
Poor
2
Terrible
1

MASON
81 contributions
We took a flight over the great barrier reef which is better than being stuck on a boat and not seeing the reef properly since its packed with tourists. The Helicopter you could see the shapes the reef would from and see turtles swim. The pilot was very informative on the reef and we learnt all about its formation and the types of fish. When we arrived the reef wasnt as colourful as what people said it was claiming it to be this fairyland but thats because the reef is dying. taking the chopper over the reef seeing one of the greatest wonders of the world from above made the whole thing amazing. we had the full pontoon to ourselves so there was no pushing and shoving to go swimming and very chill. There is a big price change between a cruise and a chopper but if you pick to sail there, the whole reef will be a waist of your time
Written June 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert B
Green Bay, United States33 contributions
This is the way to see the reef if you can do it financially. For a small additional cost, you see the reef from the air, then snorkel and boat back. The snorkel/boat is what we did and I highly recommend it. Nice to have the overview first. Food, service etc. was all fantastic. Pilot and crew could not have done a nicer job for us. Thank you!
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thalia G
2 contributions
Family
As my family said, this was the excursion of a lifetime. The pilot was awesome, the crew on the ship was amazing, the food was actually really good, and the snorkeling was unbelievable. They are so organized and it ran so smoothly and we were very impressed and would highly recommend this excursion and tour company.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

phkc070408
Wilmington, DE341 contributions
1. We booked this trip back in December and were told we would be the only passengers due to Covid. Well due to a mechanical issue earlier in the day we had to share the flight with another couple. When I questioned the prior to takeoff, I was told that since their flight was cancelled, we had to share our flight with them, or not fly.
2. The pilot seemed to cater to the passengers in the front only and not us in the back. He would fly directly on top of points of interest. Those in the front, in the "Bubble" has a great view, Us in the back did not.
3. Not only did we have to share a private flight with another couple, but they put a "trainee" on who acted more like a Tourist, telling me that I'm blocking her view.

While the novelty of flying in a helicopter was cool, I would definitely not recommend this company.
Written July 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peter K
1 contribution
Be very careful. Like us, these guys could ruin your holiday. They are happy to take your money and confirm in writing your booking. However, did you know they can cancel anytime with the excuse that the helicopter is not available? Anytime they like, no matter how long ago you booked and how much money they have taken up front for the booking, they can leave you scrambling to find an alternative with no time to do anything about it. If you want to ruin your holiday and devastate your family then I recommend this operator. If that is a risk you are not willing to take please don’t end up like us, there are plenty of other companies you can use.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi B4228JDpeterk, Thank you for your feedback. Nautilus Aviation pride ourselves on our professionalism, product offering and customer service and daily, provide numerous tours. It is therefore disappointing to learn that you missed out on a flight with your tour being cancelled without an explanation. Recently, as we have experience undesirable weather on three occasions, for safety reasons we have had to cancel certain tours. However, to ascertain if this was the reason or other, please know Management will look further into your experience to be able to provide you with a response based on your date of travel. To be able to assist us in doing so, can you please contact sales@natilusaviation.com.au with your travel date and booking number? We will then be back in touch immediately. We apologise that your tour was cancelled. Cancellations are not made lightly.
Written January 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

markridler
La Cala de Mijas, Spain531 contributions
Really was a once in a life time experience taking the helicopter out to the outer reef. Spending two hours snorkelling and being in a sub for 15 minutes saw turtles sharks and loads of different fish. See photos but not to clear. We were lucky that the ocean was so clear on the day and yesterday couldn’t see anything so closely.
Return journey via green island which was also cool
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

923cassj
Brisbane, Australia40 contributions
Definitely the highlight of the trip retuning to Cairns in a helicopter. The pilot was informative and welcoming. The day trip with Down Under Dive was great. We had awesome weather and the staff were friendly and the food was great. Eddie is a cracker.
Written May 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anton L
Brisbane, Australia8 contributions
Friends
Senic view from helicopter was amazing. Professional team to make our experience great and ensure our safety. Guides are also available to non swimmers or basic swimmers. Lunch was great.
Written December 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RussDizzle
Harrisville, UT121 contributions
Couples
This was such an amazing highlight for us! We did the Fly and Fly so we didn't have to spend time on a packed boat to just get to the reef. We had an amazing flight out and back as the pilot was very professional and took time to fly us over multiple reefs and tell us about them. We did the snorkel and it was a bit hectic. It was a very rushed presentation about safety and then trying to fit us with fins and then literally just pointed to a bin with life jackets and masks and said go grab what you need. We had about an hour of actual in water snorkeling, but that ended up being plenty. They limit you to a small section of the reef, so if you are looking for something a little less crowded and more exclusive this may not be for you. The ship crew are just all over the place and are what you would expect from a bunch of young college age kids doing a summer job.
Written September 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

missyalee
New York City, NY53 contributions
Solo
I signed up for the cruise and fly and I must admit this may have been the most amazing experience in my life. The ship crew was top notch and most organized I’ve ever seen considering the 100+ passengers on the ship. Sally our hostess with the mostest was informative and resourceful. Signed up for the private snorkeling tour which was very safe and educational. But the event that sealed the deal was the helicopter ride back to shore by the most handsomest and kindest pilot ever, wish I would have remember his name but the view and experience left me in awe and overwhelmed, he literally swept me off my feet! Thank you Mr. Pilot for making this the most memorable experience ever, for the fun banter on board and for the most breathtaking Great Barrier Reef helicopter tour, couldn’t have asked for more! xxoo
Written December 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 40
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Nautilus Aviation
Riley W
Riley W
00
breathtaking views
was such an awesome experience, a once in a lifetime experience, the views were incredible and the hospitality was
mike d
mike d
00
Safe, professional & friendly service
Really enjoyed our flight from Mount Mulligan to Cairns. Our Robinson pilot, Matt, was so informative and knowledge
LisaBouw
LisaBouw
00
Rainforest & Reef from above
Absolutely amazing first helicopter experience over the Daintree rainforest and outer reef . Luke our pilot was ver
Bob S
Bob S
00
Absolutely the best.
We booked a flight with Kath of Nautilus Aviation to fly over the tip of the Gulf from Horn Island. Kath provide a
1975meaganm
1975meaganm
00
MUST DO EXPERIENCE
A MUST DO EXPERIENCE! My partner and I chose Nautilus for their amazing service and reviews and you will not be dis
Tripping_Taylors
Tripping_Taylors
00
Great flight
We took a reef and rain forest flight to celebrate our anniversary, and Nautilus absolutely impressed. You get an
Myree M
Myree M
00
Birthday flight
96 year old has the flight of her life. Better than she expected. Joyce had never been in a helicopter but had bee
53cecilys
53cecilys
00
Stunning scenery
After a bit of a delayed start, the take-off was exceptionally smooth as was the entire flight. Pilot was knowledge
Suzie2488
Suzie2488
00
Absolutely Breathtaking!!!!! 10/10
ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!! Planned this surprise on NYE, crystal clear water, breathtaking views, very friendly staf
Cosmel
Cosmel
00
Fantastic flight
We did the rainforest and reef one hour flight out Port Douglas in early January which we found to be very enjoyab
AudBoz3
AudBoz3
00
Incredible views and fun trip out on the reef
First time in a helicopter at 50 years of age and can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. Pilot Michael was very rea
Megan-gold-coast-aus
Megan-gold-coast-aus
00
Best experience in cairns.
The best experience I have done on the reef. It feels like you could reach out and touch the reef. Saw turtles and
jennyb-22C
jennyb-22C
00
Truly Wonderful Experience
Shaun our pilot was simply amazing - I was very nervous and he was patient and kind!! would do this trip again in a
S4092PPwendyd
S4092PPwendyd
00
Breathtaking Experience of the Reef and Rainforest
Wow! What an experience. We did the the hour trip and had great views of the reef and saw dolphins & alone stingray
TravelinBroVets
TravelinBroVets
00
So worth it!
We booked the tour within a 24hr time frame, and received a phone call the next morning to confirm our tour. All s
Frequently Asked Questions about Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns price starts from $329.78. Discover and book Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns on Tripadvisor

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns on Tripadvisor

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns is hosted by Nautilus Aviation. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Nautilus Aviation on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns on Tripadvisor