Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour with Great Adventures

It was almost a case of nature overload the day we took the kids out on Great Adventures to the Outer Barrier Reef. Charlie was peaking after her snorkel with ‘Crush’ the green sea turtle and then David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef documentary blew us away that very night on our TV screens. What more could any nature loving family ask for…..

You can watch our Vlog on the day below or scroll down and continue to all the facts and photos of our latest Great Barrier Reef Tour experience.

(a video blog featuring ‘Crush’ the turtle)

For those that don’t like to rush in the mornings, then the Great Adventures Outer Barrier Reef tour will be right up your alley. Departing at 10.30am, it is quite possibly the last boat to leave Cairns for the outer reef and yet it will still give you some good quality time on the reef (a whole 3 hours actually).

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

Enjoying the top deck of the Great Adventures Pontoon

The Great Adventures pontoon out at Moore Reef is well set up and the top deck is definitely the place to be. It’s quieter up there and has a good mix of sunshine and shade, plus some great views of the surrounding reef.

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

The snorkelling platform is where you want to go ASAP!!

On the lower deck of the pontoon you’ll find everything – the buffet counter (they serve up a hot and cold lunch), the snorkelling gear and platform, the scuba diving station, stairs that lead to the underwater observatory and the semi-submersible tours (which depart regularly throughout the day).

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

Lots of stuff to see in the reef shallows

The best place to be of course is in the water, and we found a terrific snorkelling area off to the far right over the reef flat. I highly encourage you to explore this area even if it is a little shallow. If you stay still, don’t kick much, and drift across the top, you can watch all the action unfold in front of your mask (and its much more fun than watching it on a TV screen).

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

Look out for turtles

If you’re lucky you might even spot a turtle grazing along the top of the reef flat like we did.

If you do spot a turtle don’t swim directly towards it (and definitely don’t try and grab it). If you want it to stick around try swimming in the same direction and you may find yourself by its side.

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

You may be lucky to get this close if you take things slowly……

Ultimately your best bet is to swim away from the snorkelling platform which can get a bit busy at times. There’s plenty of staghorn coral just in front of the underwater observatory and if you spot any scuba divers below, look out for Wally (a friendly Maori Wrasse), he’s often hanging out awaiting his photo opportunity.

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

Plate & Table Top corals like this one are great spots for BIG fish to hide under

The best place for most of the other ‘big’ fish is underneath the coral ledges or hiding in caves, if you duck dive down to these spots you’ll find all sorts of interesting critters hiding.

Our kids gave this reef a HUGE thumbs up (you can learn more by listening to their ‘feedback’ on the Vlog above) and snorkelling here was definitely a BIG highlight of their school holidays.

Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

It’s pretty awesome to get this close to a Giant Clam

I just loved the fact that they got a double dose of Great Barrier Reef goodness when the David Attenborough documentary premiered that night…..what more can any parent wish for.

Good Things to Know:

  • Great Adventures offer many different options on their Great Barrier Reef tours, including travelling out on an earlier boat and enjoying a few hours at Green Island prior to going out to their Moore Reef pontoon. Click here to learn more.

    Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

    You can pay a visit to Green Island too if you want to make a full day of it

  • Morning tea and coffee is served until departure from Cairns and a morning cake selection comes out afterwards.
  • You’ll get 3 hours out at the Outer Reef Pontoon.
  • Snorkelling equipment and buoyancy vests are included.
  • There’s a reef education video which shows on the boat’s TV and there is also a guided Eco Reef Talk that happens in the underwater observatory on the pontoon.
  • Hot and cold buffet lunch is served on the pontoon.

    Family Friendly Great Barrier Reef Tour

    The Great Adventures pontoon on Moore Reef

  • The semi-submersible coral reef viewing tour is included in your ticket price and tours depart regularly.
  • Afternoon tea and coffee is available whilst at the pontoon, and cheese and biscuits are available on the return journey. There’s also ‘real’ ice cream available to purchase on the boat (don’t miss it kids!!).
  • For an additional cost you can enjoy Introductory scuba diving, Certified diving (subject to availability), Scuba-doo Scooter, Scenic helicopter flights and guided snorkel tours (which is also subject to availability).

Have you enjoyed a Great Barrier Reef tour lately? What’s your favourite thing to see on the reef?

We received our tour complimentary BUT all views, opinions and photos in this article are 100% my own.

Click HERE if you would like to Book >> Great Adventures Great Barrier Reef Tour

If you’d like to learn more about coral bleaching click HERE