Green Island, the perfect day trip

Green Island is one of the most popular day tours for tourists around Cairns. It is beautiful, close to Cairns and very affordable. There are many options to suit your budget, from a cheap ferry ticket to a full day tour. If you are planning a trip to Tropical North Queensland you can’t miss the opportunity to visit this amazing place surrounded by sandy beaches and coral gardens.


Green Island is a coral cay within the Great Barrier Reef marine park. One of its special features is the lovely patch of rainforest there that is home to abundant birdlife and other wildlife. However, the main reason to go to Green Island is to encounter the marine life that includes many different fish, turtles, shells and other marine creatures.


Green Island is famous for the turtles you can encounter while snorkeling. These are often seen directly from the pier as well as one of our favorite places, in the sea grass beds. There are also schools of fish of all sizes that you can swim over or find them right in front of you without having to dive. You’ll find coral gardens out from the pier and underwater observatory as well as abundant colorful fish.


We love going to Green Island and in our last trip we found giant clams and 2 families of Clown Fish and many colorful fish too. Even a little ray!

We encountered large fish directly under the pier. On every trip we discover something new like octopus camouflaged amongst the coral.


Green Island can be your perfect full day cruise, or if you are short on time and can’t do a full day adventure, there are great half day cruises including the half day islander.

If you choose the full day adventure, make the most of it snorkeling, walking around the island (1.6 km circuit) and exploring the forest on the walking track, nice to escape the sun for a while and spot some of the many birds. The Eco Island Walk is a great way to see the 120 different native plant species.


Later on you can go for another snorkel or just swim. There is a designated swim area where there is a lifeguard, otherwise, you can hire a kayak and paddle around.


The half day tour, we have often taken when short on time is great for those who would like to spend less time on the island. Perhaps you would prefer to have a lazy morning and arrive to Green Island just in time for lunch.


You can treat yourself at Green Island Resort’s restaurant or buy a snack at one of the kiosks there. On the other hand, we can easily arrange a lunch package for your full day green island cruise tour booking (must be booked in advance). We really enjoyed the choice from the nice buffet lunch. Sit down, relax and enjoy.


If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to stop the water activities for too long you can take your own picnic lunch, stop wherever you are at lunchtime and enjoy your food facing the ocean or the forest… up to you. You will find that this option saves you some walking and perhaps some waiting. However, it requires more preparation before the trip and you will have to carry more things to the island.

If you are a non-swimmer or simply you don’t want to get wet, no worries, there are some other Green Island activities to suit.


The Glass Bottom Boat is a fun 30 minute tour or the Semi-Submarine that will take further out round the island and you will be able to see everything from your seat as they glide over the coral gardens. Both include a comprehensive commentary.


If you would prefer to walk at the bottom of the sea you can try helmet diving. We can organize a Sea Walker Tour for you. You will then be walking next to the fish without getting wet. Sea Walker at Green Island is an amazing underwater experience.


If you are a more serious snorkeler, we can book you the Green Island Boat Snorkel Trip. A boat will take you to one of the best snorkeling sites.


Scuba diving is also available. For first time divers try an introductory dive, or certified divers select one or more dives at specially selected Green Island dive sites.


As you see there is always something to do in Green Island. Do you think you’ll need more time there? Take advantage of our discounts and spend a night on the island at Green Island Resort. Having done this we can tell you, when the day trippers leave the island the marine life really becomes alive and pops up everywhere. You’ll enjoy the evening tranquility and you can snorkel before and after the day trippers arrive or go. Just contact us and we’ll sort it out for you at the best rate.


Finally to make this trip even more special, we can arrange an Underwater Camera Hire for you at Cairns’ best price! Take your memories with you and show them to everyone else.


There are 3 different Green Island tour operators: Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises, Great Adventures and Ocean Free. We can book any of these popular tours for you.


PS. Don’t forget to take your swimming suit, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and your camera. Make sure you drink lots of water. We also recommend you to wear a stinger suit when doing water activities in Tropical Far North Queensland.


If you would like any of our special local mud maps of the island we have developed over the last 12 years showing the best places to snorkel and for finding turtles, or if you are interested on any Green Island specials and discounts, just contact us, we are the local Green Island specialists.
Phone us on 07 40557158 or email or visit our large information centre.