The Best Outer Great Barrier Reef Tours | Experience Oz + NZ

The Best Outer Great Barrier Reef Tours

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the most iconic sites in the world, so visiting and exploring it for yourself while in Australia should be at the top of your bucket list.

If you have a little bit of extra time on your hands (and a few extra dollars) it’s advised you head out to the outer reef to take in some of the most breathtaking scenes, with un-crowded bommies acting as a postcard-perfect scene.

However, when planning your outer reef trip, one of the big questions on everybody’s lips is which reef should you go to. Here, we’ll break down all of the best outer reefs to visit and who can get you there and give you one of the best and most memorable days on the Great Barrier Reef.


Moore Reef

Who goes here? Sunlover Reef Cruises & Reef Magic Cruises

What you’ll see

A popular option from Cairns, Moore Reef is home to both the Sunlover Reef Cruises and Reef Magic Cruises activity platforms. Both offering hours of reef-focused fun, you can enter the beautiful world of the Great Barrier Reef with ease thanks to the ample facilities on board the vessels and platforms.

With shallow fringing reefs, deep drops (up to 22 metres), and flourishing bommies, you’ll be able to spot a range of tropical fish including wrasse, parrotfish, emperors, butterflyfish, and surgeonfish, as well as hard and soft corals, white tip sharks and the odd grey reef sharks.

Sunlover Reef Cruises

Type: Reef Activity Platform

Departing Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal at 9:30 am, Sunlover Reef Cruises’ day trip out to their pontoon offers up to 4 hours on Moore Reef to return around 5:30 pm.

Complete with a tropical buffet lunch, serving up a delicious selection of seafood, hot and cold dishes, salads, and tropical fruit, as well as tea and coffee throughout the day, you won’t go hungry on this day trip.

Image: Sunlover Reef Cruises

While on board, you can also take advantage of the many different exploration opportunities, with glass bottom boat tours included in the cruise, as well as a touch tank onboard to get hands on with the reef.

For those chasing more adventure, there are numerous optional activities to choose from including introductory and certified dives, a sea walker platform helmet dive, guided snorkel tours, and a scenic helicopter flight. Keep in mind these listed extras come at an additional price.

Image: Sunlover Reef Cruises

Reef Magic Cruises

Type: Reef Activity Platform

Reef Magic Cruises’ Marine World Platform is another all-weather reef attraction moored on Moore Reef. Complete with a plethora of activities both on board and in the water, Reef Magic’s day tour departs Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal at 9 am to return around 5 pm, offering up to 5 hours on the reef.

Image: Reef Magic Cruises

Complete with a hot and cold buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea, and tea, coffee, and water throughout the day, you won’t need to bring much on this reef adventure.

While on board, you can explore the reef from the dry underwater observatory, learn about the reef with a marine biology presentation, jump aboard the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible boat tours, or join the marine biologists for a fish feeding and identification session.