For over 18 months I have been helping visitors to Cairns book and organise their holidays by working in an Information Centre. ...

Monday, 16 May 2016



Everyone knows about Green Island… right? It seems to be the “number one” on your wish list when coming to the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region. The Green Island marketing machine overseas must be pulsing in high gear since so many tourists know about it! It must be a high hit in Google!
Green Island with Great Adventures. Photo by Tara Reynolds

I am going to be honest with you, I am a Cairns local (I have lived away for awhile, only to return) and have been to Green Island years ago a few times and I have always seen it as a destination for tour groups and non-swimmers. Yes…. this reins true... but on my recent visit I realised there is actually so much more to see and do and appreciate on Green Island. Although frequently loaded with tour groups it is actually… well… very beautiful! PLUS, you get good bang for your buck on a visit here! I always recommend this to visitors if you have an extended visit here in Cairns and have the time…. then go to Green Island as well in addition to your reef trip. It’s an Island day, a different adventure. It’s NOT just all about the Great Barrier Reef! BUT… some people just don’t like boats, get sea sick and can’t swim at all..... so in that case… Green Island is a fantastic option.
Green Island aspects at low tide. Photos by Tara Reynolds

My journey this time is in the safe hands of Great Adventures. The journey is on a big “Fast Cat” large boat 45minute journey to the Island. This appeals to those not in to boats and being on the water (aka, likely to perform the technocolour yawn off the back of the boat in the slightest swell!).

What I noticed, whilst sipping my included coffee on the journey over, there is a gazillion staff on this boat ready to help you! They wear T-shirts with what they can help you with…example, Do you want to Parasail? Look for the Parasailing lady! Do you want to pop a helmet on your head and walk under the ocean to spot Nemo? Look for that guy with the associated shirt! It’s so easy and every passenger gets a meet and greet by some kind of member of staff. They also have International staff who can speak different languages AND guide brochures in different languages as well. They will make sure you know where your Glass Bottom Boat Tour leaves from and what time, also what time or where you collect your snorkel gear. It’s a very well organised operation. Perfect for those new to the region and knowing little English.

On arrival I partook in the Glass Bottom Boat Tour for half an hour. The commentary was not as in-depth as other tours I had been on (They play a Japanese commentary for you as well)… however… we saw 6 turtles!!! This is not a place to view a huge vast broad array of corals and fish…but…I repeat… WE SAW 6 TURTLES! 
Fish feeding takes place on the Glass Bottom Boat Tour. Photo by Tara Reynolds

The rainforest on Green Island is unique, it’s 6000 years old and nowhere in the world does anything exist like it. There are comfortable board walks on the Island, making for easy walking for everyone and information panels are provided  along the walks which is fun and informative for the young and old. You can also walk the circumference of the Island on the sand and find a little private spot to have a picnic, away from all the crowds.

Exploring Green Island's Information panels and beach. Photo by Tara Reynolds

If no picnic is on the cards (as the price to go over to the Island and back to Cairns does NOT include lunch) you can eat at the Island Resorts Buffet for an additional cost (suitable for tour groups) or at Emeralds restaurant a-la-carte (which had a lovely atmosphere and the food was delicious, decent sized meals!) or chips and a burgers from the take-away.

Delicious Lunch at Emeralds. Photos by Tara Reynolds

If you are looking for something unique… don’t look past Melanisia (at a small price to enter). It’s a quicky little “zoo” experience with the LARGEST CROCODILE IN CAPTIVITY… CASSIUS!  There is also some aquariums, turtles, croc holdings and also the vast collection of Melanisian artefacts.

Melanisia... let's hold a croc! Photos by Tara Reynolds

I was on the Island for 3 hours and I felt I did a lot in that time. You can go over for a whole day or less time for the same price with a choice of snorkel gear or glass bottom boat for all options. My opinion has changed a little about Green Island and I was pleasantly surprised! There is a trip out on to the Great Barrier Reef… for everyone!


The Tour:
  • Full day OR half day trips
  • Departs Cairns
  • 08:30am - 4:30pm
  • 08:30am - 2:30pm
  • 08:30am - 12:00pm
  • 10:30am - 2:30pm
  • 1:00pm - 4:30pm  (Check in Reef Fleet Terminal)
Suitable for: 
  • Families with younger children
  • Someone who only swims/snorkels a little OR not at all!
  • Elderly
  • Those scared of deep open water
Fitness level (out of 5):
  •  💪 
Time of year:
  • All year round
  • Stinger suits worn October to May
  • $90.00 AUD Adult
  • $46.00 AUD Child
  • $226.00 AUD Family

No comments:

Post a Comment