Cairns, the tropical jewel of Australian travel, doubles as the best place to launch off in a catamaran and head out to some of the Great Barrier Reef’s most magical dive sites!

Sure, you probably could try your hand at snorkelling just off the beach in Cairns, but with such otherworldly dive spots located a short boat ride out of the city, why would you want to pass up such an incredible opportunity?

Let’s take a look at some of the absolutely breathtaking dive sites that await you right off the coast of Cairns…

Green Island

Just a 45 minute boat ride from Cairns, the lush Green Island is as ideal for snorkelling as it is for lazing around on! This ancient natural masterpiece is home to a near-endless abundance of coral species, making it a sublime snorkelling experience for anyone who wants to see the Reef in all its beautiful abundance.

What’s more, Green Island is also home to a vibrant tropical rainforest, playing host to 120 diverse tropical plant species. There is also a picturesque, fully lifeguarded beach for the family to laze about after an awesome day’s snorkelling!

Michaelmas Cay

This tiny island offers huge opportunities for seeing some of the Reef’s most spectacular sea and bird species. Coming in at just 50m wide, Michaelmas Cay is the habitat for a healthy population of giant clams that come in a beautiful array of vibrant hues.

Once you’ve had your day’s snorkelling, be sure to keep an eye out (though this won’t be difficult!) for the myriad of bird species that come to the cay for feeding and resting at different points of the year!

Milln reef

Milln Reef is probably the best place to snorkel if you’re new to the craft, as its calm waters and outstanding visibility make for a peaceful yet educational introduction to the wonderful adventure that is snorkelling.

You’ll see plenty of amazing fish species, including the wonderful parrot fish and an awesome population of sea turtles that laze around the reef.

Fitzroy Island

A visit to Cairns is always incomplete without skipping off to Fitzroy Island, and the stunning outpost is home to an array of awesome snorkelling spots that make it a whole day’s adventure in its own right.

All you have to do is hop off the shore and you will be immersed amongst some of the Reef’s most spectacular fish and sea species!

Related article: When’s the best time to visit Cairns?

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