Michaelmas Cay, Coral Reef Day Cruise

11111 57 reviews , updated on : Wed, 05 Feb 2020

Spend the day on Michaelmas Cay, a small sand island on the outer Great Barrier Reef. You'll cruise from Cairns aboard a luxury catamaran, see the reef's brilliant coral and marine life from a semi-submersible submarine, try scuba diving or go on a snorkelling tour. Lunch at the cay is a superb hot and cold buffet, including seafood, and champagne is served on your return to Cairns.

Michaelmas Cay, Coral Reef Day Cruise
From$202 aud

Group booking discount

Tour Highlights

  • Michaelmas Cay
  • Snorkelling
  • Diving
  • Sailing
  • Magical Coral Gardens
  • Marine life
  • Catamaran Cruise
  • Bird Nesting Rookery

Tour Info

Code OS-02
  • Cruise
Duration 8 Hours
Price From $202


Vehicle Catamaran
Suitability Open Age
Start Cairns @ 08.30 am
Finish Cairns @ 05.30 pm

Boarding commences at 08.00 am

Complimentary tea and coffee, served until departure.

8.30 am - Depart Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef.

9.00 am - Safety demonstration, reef brief, snorkeling and dive demonstration.

9.30 am - Informative Marine Biologist slide show presentation.

10.30 am - Arrive at Michaelmas Cay.Reef activities commence including snorkeling, coral viewing on board our air - conditioned semi-submersible, beach walks, scuba diving and swimming.

12.00 Noon - Buffet lunch served on board.

1.00 pm - Continuation of reef activities.

2.30 pm - Afternoon tea is served. On completion of a safety head count we depart Michaelmas Cay for a return sail to Cairns.

5.00 pm - Arrive at Cairns.

Michaelmas Cay is a picturesque reef sand island surrounded by magical coral gardens teeming with an incredible diversity of marine life. The Cay is a protected seabird sanctuary playing host to over 20,000 migratory seabirds - one of the most important nesting sights in the Southern Hemisphere

Michaelmas Cay is a small vegetated coral cay (1.5 ha in area and 3.5 m high) lying 43 km north-east of Cairns. The cay sits on the western tip of Michaelmas Reef, a mid-shelf reef formed by living coral animals, polyps which secret a limestone skeleton.

The cay itself was formed when fragments of the reef (coral, algae and shells) were washed to the leeward side of the reef by wave action and prevailing winds, to form a single bank. In the sheltered areas behind the sand bank, seeds deposited by birds and waves are able to establish, stabilising the cay and encouraging seabirds to roost and nest. Their droppings fertilise the sand and more plants are able to grow. Vegetation covers the centre of the cay.

* Introductory Diving ($120)

Start in the shallow waters of the cay and practice the basic skills under the close supervision of your instructor. After your first scuba dive you'll receive a PADI Certificate of Recognition and memories to last a lifetime

* Certified Diving

We access the best dive sites and our dive instructor will give you a full site briefing to ensure you have a first class dive on the Great Barrier Reef. All divers must complete a medical questionnaire on board before diving. Certain medical conditions may prohibit diving in accordance with the law.

* Additional Info

Your vessel is a very large sailing catamaran that takes passengers out to the beautiful Michaelmas Cay.

This trip is included in the range as it is uniquely different. It is 5 star material and offers passengers a total reef experience with all the trimmings. The crew to passenger ratio is very high, and they offer excellent service.

Michaelmas Cay itself is the largest bird nesting rookery in the southern hemisphere and a beautiful, but fragile place.


  • Return Hotel Transfers Cairns  - Extra $22 per person
  • Child rate applicable for under 14 yr 
  • Optional Activities are Available 
  • Departure Location - Marlin Jetty, Cairns


  • Cruise experience on a luxury sailing catamaran
  • Informative tours on our air conditioned semi-submersible vessel
  • FREE use of all snorkeling equipment and tuition
  • Guided nature tour of the island and bird sanctuary
  • Deluxe buffet including seafood freshly prepared on board View Menu
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments
  • Informative tours by our qualified Marine Biologists

What to Bring

  • Towel
  • Swimmers
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Cash or Credit Card for On-Board Purchases

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