Michaelmas Cay

Michaelmas Cay is a stunning cay located on the Outer Great Barrier Reef approximately a 90 minutes cruise from Cairns. It is a coral reef island that is just a bit over 3.5 meters above the sea level and only 1.8 hectares approximately in size.

Cairns Discount Tours knows Michaelmas Cay, we regularly visit this unique location so we can provide you with the latest update information on this location.

Is Michaelmas Cay suitable for non swimmers?

This Outer Barrier Reef location is ideal for non swimmers or non confident swimmers. Its like walking in off a beach with out deep water entry (With the Ocean Spirit option). The water is crystal clear and you see fish from the moment you walk in. If you need a flotation vest (Life jacket) just ask us, they come free with our booking. 

For unbiased advice on snorkeling or diving at this unique location contact our  Cairns Beach Visitor Information Centre whether your interest is snorkeling, Michaelmas Cay certified diving or having an introductory dive for the first time.

We Specialise in all Michaelmas Cay Tours thus we can guide you through the whole process. 

Is Michaelmas Cay suitable for children?

We think the cay is very suitable for children and families as the water is very shallow and very clear. The children can access the reef straight from the beach rather than off the back of a boat. Children seem to love the sea birds and the abundant marine life. There are flotation vests and nooddles for children to use. A huge bonus is the family pack where one child travels for free.   

How much does it cost to get to Michaelmas Cay?

The cost to get to this location is normally a lot more expensive. Give us a quick call as at present we have a great special:  $189 per adult, normally $226 / Family ticket $472, normally $588

Have special rates for locals, families, groups, students and seniors, as well as underwater camera hire.

Which Reef Cruises go to Michaelmas Cay?

1. Ocean Spirit: The only full day trip and also has semi submersible tour included. Ask about our current specials 

2. Sea Star: Half day and half day Hastings Reef. Glass bottom boat tour included.

We can book each of these local companies that cruise to this beautiful location each day for you.

For fully inclusive tours that includes lunch, snorkel equipment. One of the reef trips includes semi submersible tours and 2 have a glass bottom boat.

Introductory and certified diving can be added to your tour.

How long do we have at Michaelmas Cay?

Ocean Spirit spends the longest time at the cay, approximately 4 hours. The cay is located 43 km north-east from Cairns.

How long does it take to get to Michaelmas Cay?

It takes around 90 minutes or so to get there, depending on the weather conditions.

Michaelmas Cay Bird Watching.


Michaelmas Cay Bird Watching for some customers is the highlight of their day. This is a very important seabird sanctuary with more than 23 different species of seabirds. This is a great place to combine both bird watching and a great trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

At times this protected seabird sanctuary can host up to 20,000 migratory seabirds. A very important breeding habitat that is loved by ornithologists, photographers and birdwatchers.

Breeding activity can be observed most of the year and seeing the seabirds there is an absolute joy. Our Tourist Information Centre has Free binoculars to lend as well as bird guides when collected from our Information Centre. Our ornithologist trained specialist can assist you with your Michaelmas Cay bird watching experience.

Commonly seen seabirds at this location are: Lesser Crested Tern, Bridled Tern, Crested Terns, Gull Billed Tern, Caspian Tern, Black Naped Terns, Sooty Terns, Common Noddy, Black Noddy, Greater and Lesser Frigatebirds, Brown Boobys and Silver Gulls. However this is just an introductory list. 

For details, advice or bookings for any Michaelmas Cay activities and tours just contact us on 07 4055 7158 or email us info@cairnsdiscounttours.com.au