Low Islands, Coral Reef Cruise

Low Islands, Coral Reef Cruise

Set like a jewel in a Great Barrier Reef lagoon, Low Isles is an idyllic, unspoilt coral island that appeals to everyone. And why not, when this is everyone's idea of a secluded tropical paradise! The wide, sandy beach and clear, calm lagoon waters are ideal for swimming, snorkelling and families.

Tour Highlights

  • Low Isles
  • Coral island
  • Low Islands Lighthouse
  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • Beach Walk with a Marine Biologist
  • Snorkelling
  • Coral Viewing with Glass Bottom Boat

Tour Info

Code OS-QSL
Style
  • Cruise
Duration 7 Hours
Price From $178
Departures

Daily

Vehicle Catamaran
Suitability Open Age
Start Cairns @ 08.00 am
Finish Cairns @ 04.30 pm

Set like a jewel in a Great Barrier Reef lagoon, Low Isles is an idyllic, unspoilt coral island that appeals to everyone. And why not, when this is everyone's idea of a secluded tropical paradise! The wide, sandy beach and clear, calm lagoon waters are ideal for swimming, snorkelling and families.

Visitors are limited to protect the reef's ecology, so you'll experience this island heaven with a select few. So Relax - the whole of this beautiful, palm fringed island beach is yours to explore and enjoy.

Cruise Timetable

Set like a jewel in a Great Barrier Reef lagoon, Low Isles is an idyllic, unspoilt coral island that appeals to everyone. And why not, when this is everyone's idea of a secluded tropical paradise!

9.30 Complimentary morning tea/coffee on boarding. For your safety, hot drinks are not served once the vessel is underway. Passengers are required to be onboard the vessel 15 minutes before departure.
9.45 An informative Marine Biologist presentation is shown in the main cabin.
10.00 Wavedancer departs Marina Mirage for Low Isles.
10.30 A snorkelling demonstration is conducted during the journey to Low Isles.
11.15 Wavedancer arrives at Low Isles and your activities commence. The coral viewer and shuttle vessels leave for the island, and continue to run throughout the day. Your snorkelling equipment is available from the storage containers on the foredeck of Wavedancer. We recommend that you conduct all snorkelling from the island. The guided snorkelling tour operates from the island. Introductory dives operate from the back of Wavedancer.
12.00 Lunch is served aboard Wavedancer. Enjoy your tropical buffet. Bar operates throughout the day.
1.30 A guided beach and heritage trail walk is conducted by a Marine Biologist. This walk departs from the shuttle boarding area on the beach.
2.45 Last shuttle leaves the island to return passengers to the vessel. Afternoon tea is served.
3.10 Depart Low Isles for Port Douglas. Enjoy light entertainment during the return journey.
4.30 Arrival at Marina Mirage, Port Douglas.

Low Isles (145.5592°E, 16.3842°S)

Situated 15km north-east of Port Douglas Low Isles is a 4 acre coral cay surrounded by 55 acres of reef. The corals are very close to the island, which makes snorkelling an enjoyable experience. On the island we erected permanent thatched umberellas for our passengers' comfort. Your experience can be as educational as it is relaxing - many activities are available for your participation. The two small islands are separate with one common reef. The larger of the two, Woody Island, is uninhabited except for a large bird population. It is a vital habitat for many species.

Low Isles' History

In 1770 Captain James Cook described Low Isles as a 'small low island' and was officially called Low Isles in 1819. The Aboriginal people know these islands as Wungkun. It is an important Indigenous and cultural site for the KuKu Yalanji and Yiragandi people as the sea country for both groups overlaps at Low Isles.

Weather data has been gathered from the island since 1887 and the historic lighthouse has been operating since 1878. In 1928 it was the base for the first scientific study of a coral reef anywhere in the world, examining the structure and ecology of the surrounding reef. Many current theories of coral reef ecology are based on the findings of this early expedition.

Low Isles' Coral Reef Environment

There are 150 different species of hard corals in the waters surrounding Low Isles, although these are dominated by 15 species of soft corals. If you look closely, the feathery tentacles of soft corals can often be seen collecting tiny food particles from the water around them. Living amongst the corals is a large variety of fish, molluscs, sea cucumbers and other animals. Colourful blue, green and purple parrotfish are a common sight as well as angelfish, damselfish, anenomefish or clownfish, trevally, rabbitfish, sweetlip, moon wrasse and fusiliers, just to name a few!

At least seven species of seagrasses grow on the intertidal sandflats of Low Isles, providing a home and food for such animals as sea cucumbers, the attractive spidershell, as well as rays, green turtles and dugongs.

Includes

  • Return Wavedancer cruise from Port Douglas
  • Morning and afternoon teas on board
  • Reef presentation by marine biologist
  • Tropical smorgasbord lunch
  • All snorkelling equipment provided
  • Qualified snorkelling safety officers on hand
  • Glass bottom boat coral viewing
  • Marine Biologist guided beach walk
  • Guided snorkelling tour with a Marine Biologist

Note

  • No pick up, Coach Transfers will cost $26 from Cairns and $10 from Port Douglas
  • $6 per person payable on check-in includes $3.50 Government Environmental Management Charge (EMC) and Administration charges. This applies to all adults and children 4 years and over entering the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area.

What to Bring 

  • Your camera.
  • Swimming costume and beach towel.
  • Hat, sunscreen and shirt for sun protection.
  • Cash for drinks at the bar.
  • Credit cards for shopping and optional tours.
  • Underwater cameras available for purchase.