Great Barrier Reef tour – 10 SMART TIPS

13 May 2017

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You probably already read about our best family travel experience or our family TOP PICKS when it comes to the Great Barrier Reef tour. Now it’s time for us to GIVE YOU 10 extra SMART TIPS related to the same tour.

For one day, the Hai Hui Family headquarters was around the pontoon table that became our meeting point. There we kept our backpack with beach clothes and towels, it was the place where we wiped out or we got dressed, where we had lunch, and we were hiding in the shade when we felt the need to cool off.


Inside the pontoon


What to bring along for a one-day family trip to the Great Barrier Reef:

  • Sunscreen with great SPF factor (sun rays are very strong throughout the Cairns region and on the pontoon in particular) – we used our children cream with SPF 50 protection factor;
  • Swimsuit and beach towel (on the pontoon there are changing booths available only for this purpose, the toilets are located on the catamaran, and on the pontoon there are very useful freshwater showers);
  • Camera and underwater video camera;
  • Cash (Australian dollars) and / or credit card for on-board purchases (beverages, souvenirs, or other items) and for the optional the company sells.

We left valuables on board, small safe boxes are for rent and in which we kept the camera bag, wallet, mobile phones, and so on. Do not worry if you forget something, the company sells everything necessary (one piece bathing suits for ladies or men’s shorts), towels, caps, sunscreen, disposable underwater cameras. Still do not forget the money or the card!


Here are some extra tips about #GreatBarrierReef, if you want to book a similar tour.

Marine Touch Tank



  1. Put on your bathing suit under the daytime clothes, you will save time once you get to the pontoon. As the Catamaran houses about 300 people and there are just a few changing booths, you can go straight to snorkeling, put the gear on and jump into the water!
  2. Apply sunscreen before leaving the catamaran and descending on the pontoon (and save time to spend doing what you like on the reef);
  3. Leave your valuables in the vault-safe (go and rent one as soon as the catamaran leaves the Terminal, there is a limited number of cabinets and a lot of people on the ship!) The cost is 6 AU $ / day;
  4. Listen carefully to the team’s instructions and make a specific personal schedule before you reach the pontoon (you will arrive there shortly before 11 a.m., look at the hours scheduled for the Semi-Submersible Tour, Glass Bottom Tour, Feeding The Fish and Marine Life Touch Tank, you plan a personalized family program and you stick to it!); You can snorkel anytime between fixed-time activities until the catamaran leaves for the Terminal.
  5. Take a short break for lunch (1 p.m.), no more than 15-20 minutes, to enjoy some shrimps and salads, curry chicken or beef, rice or fruit. Lunch is included in the tour, you only have to pay extra for beverages (beer, natural juices or soda, bottled water, etc.);
  6. There is free tea and coffee aboard the catamaran in the morning and before leaving the pontoon at noon;
  7. You can rent an entire snorkeling suit, but I would advise you not to do it, as the water is warm, perfect for swimming, all year round;
  8. During the snorkeling experience, try to locate the professional underwater photographer who shoots the divers and those who snorkel around him. He feeds a giant fish, we met and took pictures of him;
  9. Do not forget to take your camera or video camera with you in the water!
  10. If you stay longer in Cairns, try visiting the Great Barrier Reef with several operators on different days, as each operator has his own pontoon and exploration reef.


Great Barrier Reef, QLD

We classify this family trip to the Great Coral Barrier – Reef Moore as the most significant and memorable family experience, even better than swimming and dolphin interaction in Xcaret Park near Playa del Carmen, Mexico, or desert safari in a 4×4 wheels drive, near Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

More information about the Great Barrier Reef can be found here.

Here’s a short video about our family experience at Great Barrier Reef. I hope you enjoy it!

You may also want to read about our experience in Cairns – a lovely tropical resort, gate to the Great Barrier Reef tours or how was our stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Cairns.

Video gallery

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