Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tours | Scenic Rides from Cairns & More

Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tours | Scenic Rides from Cairns & More

It’s no secret that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most mesmerising places on earth. It’s the largest coral reef in the world and is home to a variety of vibrant sea life, including turtles, dolphins, tropical fish, and coral.

While there are a great variety of snorkelling and boat tours available to explore this incredible area, the best way to admire the true beauty of the reef is from the air.

Whether you’re travelling as a local or as a visitor, a scenic helicopter tour over the Great Barrier Reef should definitely be on your bucket list.

GBR Helicopters

Aerial View

There are a number of helicopter tours departing from various locations around the Great Barrier Reef area. These include Cairns, Port Douglas, Townsville, and Airlie Beach.

Helicopter tours are often combined with snorkelling and boat tours, and you can usually choose between full-day and half-day tours.

Cairns Helicopter Tours

GBR Helicopters have teamed up with Nautilus Aviation, a Cairns helicopter operator that provides various scenic helicopter flights from Cairns. Read on for more details about the various tour options.

Scenic Helicopter Tour

You can pick between a 30-minute, 45-minute, or 1-hour flight. Each flight will take you over some of the most beautiful natural landscapes like Green Island, Arlington Reef, and Barron Falls.

You may even be able to spot some of the reef’s magnificent sea life such as sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, and if you’re really fortunate Humpback Whales!

Prices range between AUD $399 ($293)  per person and AUD $699 ($514) depending on the duration of the flight.

Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour & DiveSnorkelling GBR

For this experience, Nautilus Aviation has teamed up with Down Under Cruise & Dive to bring you the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience from above and below the water.

You can pick between a half-day and full-day package, and enjoy a boat cruise, helicopter ride, guided snorkelling or scuba diving, and a traditional Aussie barbecue onshore.

Prices range between AUD $419 ($308) and AUD $715 ($526) for adults and AUD $280($206) and AUD $330 ($242) for children.

Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest Scenic Flight

Take in the breathtaking views of emerald mountains, waterfalls, and the mountain village of Kuranda with this helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef while listening to expert commentary.

Along the way, you’ll pass over Palm Cove, Green Island, Vlasoff Cay, and northern beaches. You’ll end the day off with a spectacular view of Cairns City and the surrounding area.

This tour starts at AUD $368 ($270)  and you can choose between 45- or 60-minute helicopter rides from Cairns.

Secluded Cay Helicopter Tour

If you’re looking for something more exclusive, then this tour is perfect for you. Hop on a private helicopter ride to the secluded Vlasoff Cay Island on the GBR.

After a 20-minute flight over the Coral Sea, you’ll be able to snorkel off the cay, relax on the beach, and enjoy a complimentary picnic with wine before heading back to Cairns.

This tour starts at AUD $626 ($460) per person.

Exclusive Charters

Create your own ultimate adventure by opting for a customized scenic helicopter flight or helicopter charter to almost anywhere in Northern Australia. Contact Nautilus Aviation for more details on their exclusive charters.

Port Douglas Helicopter Tours

Nautilus Aviation also provides Great Barrier Reef Helicopter tours that depart from Port Douglas. Read on for more details about the various tour options.

Scenic Helicopter Tour

Daintree Forest

Choose between a 30-minute, 45-minute, or 1-hour tour.

As you fly over the reef, you’ll see some of Australia’s incredible natural wonders like the Daintree National Park, Mossman River, and the famous 4-mile Beach.

Prices range between AUD $399 ($293)  per person and AUD $699 ($514) depending on the duration of the flight.

Quicksilver Outer Reef Tour

Nautilus Aviation have teamed up with Quicksilver Cruises, combining the best of both worlds with an aerial tour and underwater tour.

You can opt for a scenic 35-minute flight from Port Douglas and Agincourt Reef, crossing the azure waters of the reef and passing by natural wonders like the Daintree River Mouth, Cape Kimberley, and stunning Undine Sand Cay.

After you land, you’ll take a high-speed catamaran. Then you can enjoy a leisurely three hours on the reef where you can snorkel, scuba dive, or relax on the beach.

Prices range from AUD $597 ($431)  and AUD $1015 ($746) depending on the tour booked.

Helicopter Flights Over Great Barrier Reef from Airlie BeachHeart Reef

This tour is operated by GSL Aviation and departs from Airlie Beach. With this tour, you’ll marvel at the best views of the GBR and iconic Whitsundays Island.

With this 2.5 hour tour, you’ll get to see why the reef is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and see places like Hill Inlet, Heart Reef, and Daydream Island. You’ll also spend time at the idyllic Whitehaven Beach.

This tour starts at AUD $589 ($433)

Townsville Helicopter Tours

Townsville boasts over 320 days of sunshine and offers the perfect place to take a helicopter tour over the GBR. Nautilus Aviation offers the tours outlined below.

30-minute Scenic Tour to Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island

Known by the locals as “Maggie,” Magnetic Island is situated in the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The island is home to a number of marine animals, including sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, and even humpback whales, which can all be spotted from the air.

This 30-minute tour costs AUD $399 ($293( per person.

45, 60 & 90-minute Scenic Flights

Take in the vast panorama of tropical islands scattered across the crystal clear turquoise waters of the coral sea.

Along the way, you’ll pass over Magnetic Island, Cape Cleveland, Palm Island, and Hinchinbrook Island.

From the air, you’ll also be able to see stretches of sandy beaches, mangroves, coastal swamps, and seasonal waterfalls.

Prices range from AUD $499 ($367)  and AUD $950 ($699) per person.

Get Ready to Book Your Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour

A scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is surely not to be missed.

You’ll be amazed by the crystal clear blue-green waters of the reef and its incredibly diverse wildlife. These tours provide plenty of opportunities to snap some Insta-worthy photos that would make your friends just a little jealous.

Whether you depart from Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach, or Townsville, you surely won’t be disappointed.

 

 

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