Best Experience in Cairns for Snorkelling

Need some help!!
I planned to visit Cairns in June and need some advice on the places to visit and best experience for snorkelling. Thanks!


  • The best experience I've had was on the Reef Encounter boat. We booked a snorkelling package where they take you out to the great barrier reef itself for couple hours then ferry back to land.

    They then offered a completely free scuba driving session as a taster which was absolutely amazing as never done it before. The up-sell was then to consider a 3-day liveaboard to complete the SSI Open Water course. We left everything in the Cairns hotel room and signed up.

    Hands down the best thing I've ever EVER done! What a glorious gorgeous underwater world, completely vibrant full of fish, coral, turtles, you name it. Highly recommended! - Other similar operators exist too.

    Never did snorkelling again after that, just nowhere near as good. Abyss Scuba Diving is the go-to in Sydney, they take you out to Bare Island to see nurse sharks and such.

  • +2 votes

    Isn't the best advice, far, far from Cairns?

  • I went to Magnetic Island and that was pretty murky. Ended up going to Airlie Beach for a boat ride with a snorkel (had to dodge a cyclone).

  • I went on the Passions of Paradise Reef Tour - very professional, informative, good food and people and secluded diving/snorkelling on the outer reef. Would recommend.

    Also did a half day tour to Fitzroy island and hired a car to drive up to Port Douglas - also worthwhile experiences. I found Kuranda very meh - but I drove, maybe the train/cable car makes it slightly more worthwhile.

    • I second Passions of Paradise. I did some diving/snorkelling through them a few months ago, great young, fun and experienced crew, newer eco friendly yacht, pretty decent pricing. Food was average but nothing I wouldn’t eat.

  • what are the best places to visit in Cairns ? how is the public transport there ? is it pretty accessible to major attractions from airport with public transport?

  • There is a few day tours to green island. It's pretty good snorkelling and convenient with island restaurants. I think they do feeding near the pier, so there is plenty of nice fish and turtles to see.