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Aerial Views Of The Great Barrier Reef | Sand Cay | Great Value Scenic Flight Ex Cairns


Our Aircraft

Depending on your choice of Cairns scenic flight itinerary and your group’s requirements these tours offer a range of aircrafts to suit all parties. The Cessna 206 is a common aircraft, comfortably seating up to 5 passengers. Another aircraft used is the GA8 Airvan, which offers 7 passenger seats all with large windows for premium viewing. Featuring a large cabin with easy access through a rear sliding door, this aircraft is ideal for scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef. The largest of all airplanes is the Piper Chieftain. Featuring a twin engine and a 10 seater spacious cabin, this aircraft is capable of operating in most weather conditions.

Cairns Scenic Flights

  • Reef Hopper Scenic Flight - 40 Minutes

Visit the Great Barrier Reef from up above. Learn about this amazing marine ecosystem with a bird’s eye view of colourful coral gardens, sand cays and extensive wildlife. This natural world is rich in colours, varied coral formations and marine life, all of which can be incomprehensively extensive and a visual masterpiece to the naked eye.

Photographs do not do these aerial views justice, you simply have to experience it for yourself.  Take off over the Great Barrier Reef for a 40 minute scenic flight, which will be one to remember. Departing from the Cairns Airport you will travel over a 600,000 year old sand cay, commonly known as Green Island.

Glide over the spectacular Arlington reef, where a shallow soft coral bed is home to many tropical fish and a common eating ground for turtles. Travel over the treasured Michaelmas Cay, which is a sea bird sanctuary to migrating nesting birds. An abundance of wildlife is always present on this white sand haven, which is surrounded by beautiful coral all teaming with exquisite marine life. 

After exploring a number of reefs and flying over a celebrity’s oasis, also known as Double Island, you will head back to mainland. The last section provides coastal views of the mountainous ranges with a rainforest backdrop, and let’s not forget the pretty little city of Cairns.

You are guaranteed window seats all offering premium views of Cairns and its many beautiful natural attractions. This tour is a perfect option for those seeking an understanding of why the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most remarkable natural attractions on the planet. 

  • Reef & Port Douglas Scenic Flight - 60 Minutes

Don’t miss a thing, see it all! The amazing contrast of colours – aqua blues and forest greens is something that is best viewed from the air. This unforgettable 1 hour scenic reef flight will take off over the ocean out to the pretty Green Island ancient sand cay.

From here you will visit a number of breathtaking reefs, including: Arlington Reef where shallow reef systems offer clear views of the marine life below; Upolu Reef known for its clear shallow blue waters easy to spot reef sharks and Manta rays; Batt Reef, famous for the tragic story of Wildlife Warrior Steve Irwin and lastly Tongue reef, known for its gigantic clams and large coral bommies.

Once you have explored the renowned Great Barrier Reef of Australia, you will head off towards Port Douglas before returning to Cairns along the coastlline.

This scenic flying tour guarantees window seating for passengers, so no one misses out. 

Cruise Ship Passenger Shore Tours in Cairns

If you are arriving to Cairns by cruise ship to see the Great Barrier Reef then we urge you to consider as low level scenic flight over the reef to see it in all it’s glory. You will be amazed at the mesmerizing colours of the ocean and the lace coral garden formations that lay just below the waters surfaces.

During the months of May to September you may also be fortunate enough to witness some migrating whales with their calves frolicking about in the waters below. Just ensure you pre-book your shore tour excursions early to ensure your seat on a scenic flying tour of the region.

Our flights will give you plenty of time to have you back on board your cruise ship in time for your departure 

Cairns Scenic Flights Schedule

The scenic flights operate 7 days a week. Depending on availability and permitting weather conditions the scenic flights work in with your holiday itinerary, therefore you allocate a preferred travel time and the tours will do their best to match your request.

  • Reef Hopper is a 40 minute scenic flight
  • Reef and Port Douglas is a 60 minute scenic flight
  • Cruise Ship Shore tours from Cairns 


All flights commence and return to and from the Cairns Airport at General Aviation. The scenic flights offer free Cairns pick up and drop offs, making it easy for you to plan a scenic flight amongst your busy holiday schedule. If you are staying out of Cairns and require transport, please contact The Tour Specialists to arrange transfers. Self-drive is also an option as there is free parking permitted just outside the General Aviation office. You will need to meet prior to your flight time at the General Aviation section at Cairns Airport in Aeroglen QLD 4870 to pre-check weights before boarding the aircraft.

If you are a cruise ship passenger please arrange transfers with our team when booking your scenic flight 

What To Bring

  • Bottle of Water
  • Camera
  • A fun and friendly smile!

Please Note: You will need to advise us of all passenger weights at the time of booking

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flights | 40 & 60 Minutes | GSL
  • Location: General Aviation, Cairns
  • Duration:

    40 & 60 minutes (approx)

Best value Great Barrier Reef 40 - 60 minute scenic flights departing from Cairns.We have the perfect scenic flight for you and your family. We also cater for cruise ship passengers who wish to take a scenic flight over the reef.

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