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The Ultimate in Great Barrier Reef Tours in Cairns - Michaelmas Cay

Save $105.00 on our Family Reef Trip Deal, 2nd Child Travels Free

Departing daily from Cairns Marlin Marina, this 32m luxury sailing catamaran sets sail for a day to remember at picturesque Michaelmas Cay, a unique Great Barrier Reef environment where the day tour visitor numbers are limited to enable our crew to provide 5 star attention to our guests.

A vegetated coral sand cay encircled by a spectacular fringing reef teeming with colourful marine life.

Michaelamas Sand Cay is also a bird lover's delight and an important protected sanctuary for migratory birds that travel the world over.

Journey to Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns

Check-in for your boarding pass is at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal located, 1 Spence Street.

Coach transfers are available from most Cairns and Northern Beaches accommodation, or you can make your own way to the Terminal.

Parking is available nearby in the Cairns City Council coin operated car park or underneath the Pier Shopping Centre.

Your Cairns reef tour boarding commences at 8.00am with a morning tea and coffee served with a delicious muffin or focaccia.

Experience the unique Michaelmas Cay environment

Upon arrival at Michaelmas Cay, watch the fish feeding presentation from onboard the boat.

The "Beach Buggy" transfer vessel begins transfers between the boat and the sand cay island.

Boarding for the semi-submersible submarine coral viewing tour is from the rear of the boat.

Cruising in the air-conditioned semi-submersible submarine you'll get a scuba diver's view of the reef without getting your hair wet!

With the large viewing windows, the crew provide an informative commentary on the corals and marine life before your eyes.

Snorkelling is conducted directly from the beach in the sand cay's protected shallow waters providing the ideal environment for all ages and young families who want to experience this activity together.

Buoyancy vests are also available. Michaelmas Reef is renowned for an abundance of giant clams and it's sea turtles amongst a myriad of colourful marine life.

First time divers can scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef - For the more adventurous, you can experience even more of the Great Barrier Reef with an exciting introductory scuba dive (additional cost applies).

The shallow waters off Michaelmas Cay offer a perfect environment for first time scuba divers.

No experience is necessary and you'll have a highly skilled dive instructor by your side for a fully supervised introduction to the world of Scuba and underwater delights of the outer reef.

If you prefer a more relaxing day, laze on the beach or soak up the tropical atmosphere under the boats sails and enjoy a leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lunch is served onboard and consists of a delicious hot and cold buffet selection including fresh local prawns, and the buffet offering are designed to satisfy all palettes.

Great Barrier Reef Tour  - Discover the fascinating island bird life

Michaelmas Cay is a bird lover's delight. It's a major natural seabird habitat and one of the most important in the Southern Hemisphere, with at least 23 species of seabirds have being recorded to travel here over the year.

Many breeds like the sooty tern, crested terns and common noddies find this island an ideal nesting habitat and is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries on the Great Barrier Reef.

At the height of nesting and breeding season (during Summer months) up to 20,000 birds have been observed. To protect this environment, access to Michaelmas Cay is limited to the restricted area marked out by rope.

On the homeward journey, relax in the air-conditioned cabin, outside or on the spacious foredeck under the sails. (Sailing is weather dependent).

To top off your Michalemas Cay experience, a glass of complimentary sparkling wine is also served on the homeward journey should you desire.

Included in your Great Barrier Reef Tour 

Return cruise from Cairns.

  • 8.5 hours experience with 4 hours on the Reef.
  • Morning and afternoon teas.
  • Delicious hot and cold buffet lunch, including seafood.
  • Fish feeding presentation.
  • Snorkelling equipment and instruction.
  • Buoyancy vests.
  • Marine Biologist presentation.
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing tour with commentary.
  • Complimentary sparkling wine on homeward journey.

What to Bring for your Great Barrier Reef Trip

Your family, a towel, swimming costume under your clothes, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses a camera and a sense of adventure.


Book your Great Barrier Reef  tour with us early as numbers are strictly limited for each day tour. 

Follow the crews instructions at all times and join in on every activity possible to fully explore and enjoy your day on the reef. 

This is a great day tour for guests with both little children and also the teenagers who are a bit more adventurous.

The sand cay is a great place to relax and get of the boat and gently ease into the water at your own pace

Daily departures from Cairns Marlin Marina

  • Departs Cairns : 8.30am
  • Boarding Time: 8.00am
  • Returns Cairns: 5.00pm
Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tour | Sand Cay Experience | Michaelmas Cay
  • Location: Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal
  • Duration:

    8.5 hours (approx)

Luxury Great Barrier Reef snorkel tour on a schooner rig catamaran, departs Cairns at 8:30am for the two hour cruise to Michaelmas Cay. En route, watch the snorkelling demonstration and learn about the reef and marine life you will likely encounter with the marine biologist's informative presentation. Introductory scuba divers will also be briefed in readiness for their exciting underwater adventure on the Great Barrier Reef.

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