Top five Great Barrier Reef tours
With its exotic wildlife, gorgeous underwater scenery and huge variety of activities, it's no surprise that the beautiful Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia's most sought-after family holiday destinations.
Situated in the Coral Sea, just off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and one of Australia's hidden natural gems, as well as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
If you're staying in one of the many Mantra resorts, apartments or hotels in Tropical North Queensland, you'll be ideally situated to head off and visit the reef.
Here are a few of the best family friendly Great Barrier Reef tours to look forward to.
Great Barrier Reef Adventure
To get a great viewing experience of the beauty of the reef, you can't go wrong with a family friendly cruise from Great Adventures.
This tour involves a return trip in an air-conditioned speedy catamaran cruiser which takes you up to the viewing platform situated on the Outer Great Barrier Reef.
From the platform, you get a gorgeous view of the reef, with the option of observing from the underwater observatory, cruising in a semi-sub or getting into the water with the snorkelling and diving gear provided.
Ballooning and Reef Tour
Get the best of both worlds with this handy combination of a reef cruise and a ballooning trip from Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises.
You and your family can experience all the beauty of Tropical North Queensland from the air and the sea with this nifty package tour, which starts off over the beautiful Atherton Tablelands in the early morning and continues along to Green Island, a coral cay on the reef covered in rainforest and white sandy beaches.
Once on the reef, you have the choice of using the snorkelling gear provided to get right into the water, or staying warm and dry above the waves with a Glass Bottom Boat tour.
"If you're staying in one of the many Mantra resorts, apartments or hotels in Tropical North Queensland, you'll be ideally situated to head off and visit the reef."
Coral Sea Dreaming Two Day Tour
For families who love a bit of adventure this two day/one night Coral Sea Dreaming tour of the reef is perfect.
With a maximum of 12 passengers allowed on each cruise, you'll get to experience all the beauty of the reef in an intimate setting, without the crowds and with the aid of a helpful and friendly sailing crew.
This tour includes a two-day Cairns sailing adventure that brings you up close and personal with the underwater wildlife as you visit a range of outer reef locations, with opportunities for snorkelling and diving on the way.
Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise
Giving you just enough time to enjoy the reef and still be back in time for dinner, the Outer Great Barrier Reef cruise from Silverswift will whisk you and your family away for a fun day trip, giving you five hours on the reef and the opportunity for diving and snorkelling.
Departing daily from Cairns, this tour is all about an action-packed day out in the water. You'll get to explore the amazing coral formations and underwater gardens as you visit a variety of different outer reef sites (Flynn, Pellowe, Milln and/or Thetford Reefs).
Whale Watching Cruise
From mid-July to August, the whale migration season gets into full swing off the coast of Cairns and humpback whales can be easily spotted.
With this tour, your family gets to combine a fun whale-watching adventure with a trip to the reef, and its half-day length will still leave the rest of the day free to enjoy other activities if you want to.
Operated by Reef Magic Cruises, this is one special experience that your family is sure to love.