Great Barrier Reef Tour Timetable | Departure and Return Times

Cairns Marlin Marina

Cairns Marlin Marina

From Cairns you are able to reach the Great Barrier Reef by one of the many day trips that are offered. The Great Barrier Reef can be found as close to the mainland as 30 kilometres, which will take you to the fringing reefs offered around Green Island whilst 60 kilometres will take you to the Outer Reefs including Flynn, Milln Reefs. Travel time can depend upon the speed of the vessel itself as well as the reefs that they visit.

If you are arriving on the day you wish to travel to the Great Barrier Reef then you will need to be aware of the check-in and departure times of the trips. If you are looking at a specific day trip from Cairns then we would recommend that you book in advance and arrive the evening prior to guarantee that you are not delayed for any reason.

We have compiled a table that offers you an approximate guide of what to expect on your day trip. Please note that these are a general guide only and your day may run differently at the discretion of your Skipper based upon the day’s conditions.

Complete Cairns Departure and Return Times

Tour Type Outer Reef and Sand Cay Diving and Snorkelling
7am 8am 9am 10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm 5pm
Tusa Dive T6 Site 1 Site 2
Silverswift Site 1 Site 2 Site 3
Reef Quest Site 1 Site 2
Reef Kist Site 1 Site 2
Osprey V Site 1 Site 2
Reef Experience Site 1 Site 2
Ocean Freedom Site 1 Site 2
Passions Of Paradise Site 1 Site 2
Reef Magic Pontoon
Sunlover Pontoon
Great Adventures Island Pontoon
Tour Type Green Island Half Day and Full Day Tours
7am 8am 9am 10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm 5pm
Big Cat - Half Day AM Island
Big Cat - Half Day PM Island
Big Cat - Full Day Island
Tour Type Fitzroy Island Day Tours
7am 8am 9am 10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm 5pm
Fitzroy Flyer Island

Cairns Reef Tour Departure and Return Times FAQ

Can I dive when it is raining in Cairns?

Yes, you can dive when it’s raining in Cairns, you are going to get wet anyway! Cairns has a tropical climate with an annual monsoonal ‘wet’ season. The weather is hard to predict and sometimes when it’s raining in Cairns, it’s not raining at the reef and vica versa. Rain itself will not impact on your day and diving.



Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service

Spend over $550.00 AUD on your Great Barrier Reef tour with us and receive the latest Digital Underwater Camera Hire. Take amazing High-Resolution images and 1080 HD Video. Only when you book online thru our website. 

Not available for any tours to the Islands as fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!

You need to come into our shop located on the Cairns Esplanade the day before departure to pick up the camera before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Camera Card and drop the camera off back at our shop before 5:30pm.


Please Remember there is no other way to collect our cameras! All passengers must come into our shop the day before departure day before 5:30 pm.