Pilot and Passenger Scenic Helicopter Reef Flight

Sunlover Cruises 10-Minute Helicopter Flight Review

Cairns Dive Adventures Trip Review

Sunlover Cruises offer the chance to enjoy semi-submarines, glass bottom boats, underwater observatory, snorkeling and 10-minute scenic Helicopter reef flights.

Sunlover Cruises 10-Minute Helicopter Flight Review

Trip Review By: Clint

Sunlover Cruises 10-Minute Helicopter Flight Review

Sunlover Cruises provides daily Cairns snorkel and dive tours to the Great Barrier Reef. Its high-speed catamaran transfers you to the fantasy underwater land where well-preserved coral reefs and various reef fish live.

At the pontoon, guests have up to 4 hours to enjoy a range of activities. The Sunlover pontoon has the most facilities and activities in Cairns. Passengers can enjoy glass bottom boats, semi-submersible tours, an underwater observatory, all snorkel equipment including lycra suits, snorkel, fins, mask, life jackets, pool noodles, and a waterslide are included in the ticket price. You can also add optional extras such as introductory first-time scuba diving and certified scuba diving, helmet sea walking, and helicopter reef flights.

My Sunlover Reef Cruises experience was taken on Monday 25th of March 2024. I went on the tour by myself and added a 10-minute scenic helicopter reef flight and one certified dive (I am a certified diver). The Sunlover tour commenced at Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, check in is at 9:15 am for the boat departing at 10:00 am. Before joining the tour I bought a coffee from the little cafe located at the end of the Reef Fleet Terminal.

Once boarding the main boat I found the helicopter staff to check in, I confirmed my helicopter flight and at which time to check-in. The crew gave directions on how to find the helicopter station and at what time to check in. My flight was scheduled for 12:30 pm.

On the way to the Moore Reef Pontoon, the Sunlover staff give snorkeling and scuba diving safety briefings. Luckily, I could also attend the Korean snorkeling and diving briefings (I am originally from Korea). The hostess was nice and gave us many tips on how to enjoy Sunlover all day. The staff do care about customer service and safety.

The boat made a quick stop at Fitzroy Island to drop off some passengers we then continued our journey to the Moor Reef Pontoon. The weather was very windy and rough on this day but I was determined to enjoy myself. We arrived at Moor Reef around noon, and it was very sunny. As soon as we arrived at the Pontoon, lunch was served. Some people went to see the reef and others started to eat lunch. It’s a delicious hot and cold buffet, which includes cold prawns, meats, fruits, a selection of salads and bread, as well as hot curry and rice. You could eat on the boat or the pontoon.

The helicopter time was 12:30 pm, so I briefly looked around the pontoon and checked in at the Helicopter departure station.

The pontoon is fully stocked with masks, snorkels, life jackets, noodles, and fins (which are complimentary) in a range of sizes. Prescription masks can be hired at the bar for a deposit of $50.

Helicopter – 1 pm

The friendly helicopter crew drove a small boat to take me to the helicopter dock. The crew put everyone on the helicopter and helped fasten our seat belts. When all was ready, we lifted gently into the skies above to witness magnificent views!

The view from above is just beautiful, the blue ocean colors and the emerald turquoise green Great Barrier Reef were at a glance away. The pilot tilted the helicopter on both sides it was easy to see the Great Barrier Reef on the right and left side of the aircraft equally. The happy admiration of family travelers in the back seats through headphones made me happier. The Great Barrier Reef underwater is truly wonderful, but viewing the Reef from the sky gave me another joy. After our 10-minute scenic helicopter reef flight, we returned to the pontoon.

Certified Dive – 1:30 pm

I arrived at the dive area on time, 1:30 pm. There were a couple of certified divers in my group. It was their first time in four years because of their baby since they had been diving. They were worried about a four-year absence, but fortunately, the diving instructor was very kind and gave a fantastic dive briefing he also gave them enough time to adjust to the water. Diving at the Sunlover pontoon gave me the impression that it was less crowded and relaxed than anywhere else. Water entry for scuba divers is via a set of submerged steps, which take you down from the dive deck to a platform beneath the pontoon.

Upon entering the water we were greeted by fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I followed the professional dive guide to a beautiful coral garden. It was stunning! The reef is brimming with life and beauty, the 50-minute dive time felt like 5 minutes (Time went by so fast). Diving is a delightful way to move around the reef and get close to the colorful coral gardens and marine animals.

Semi-submersible – 2:40 pm

After diving, I lined up for the last semi-submersible ride of the day. The submersible set off, broadcasting a story about the Great Barrier Reef. I could see the coral reefs closer than I thought. The coral visible from the window was so beautiful that I felt like I was just watching a documentary on the screen. Many people did not swim and the submersible is the perfect vessel to get you up close and personal to the reef. The semisubmersible allows you to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef without snorkeling or scuba diving. (Perfect for non-swimmers).


Finally, I have time to snorkel. I quickly put on my lycra suit and packed my mask and fins. Entering the water via the stairway made it very easy to get in and out of the water. The sea water was so clear, and the depth was shallow, everything was visible. I saw Nemo up close and saw a flock of squid. After spending time chasing colorful green reef fish, it was 3:30 pm, time to go back to the boat. Time flies in the water.

At 3:30 pm, the boat departs the pontoon and is headed back to Cairns. The bar is open and I bought ice cream. There is complimentary biscuits and tea and coffee. On the way to Cairns, you can buy photos. The photographers travel with the boat and are around throughout the day, capturing topside and underwater photos of your Great Barrier Reef experience. These are available for preview and sale on the way home and are a great piece of memorabilia. The journey back is smooth and after another short stop at Fitzroy Island, we arrive back into Cairns on time at 6pm.


Sunlover Reef Cruises has some of the nicest coral gardens found at the Reef. A short swim from the platform steps and you are immersed in magical bright colorful reef systems. If you have any questions please get in touch with our dive crazy reservations team at PH: +61 7 40411638 or by email: reservations@cairnsdiveadventures.com

Lady enjoying the water-slide at Moore Reef.

Sunlover Cruises

Great day tour for people of all ages. Visit Outer Reef Pontoon at Moore Reef, with lots of inclusions: snorkelling, glass bottom boat and semi-sub tours, underwater observatory and more.

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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.