About the Great Barrier Reef

Learn about the GBR

The Great Barrier Reef - Experience World Heritage

The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is recognized for its outstanding universal value. It is one of the most important natural ecosystems on the planet, and it is a critical source of food, livelihoods, and tourism for the people of Australia. Located off the coast of north-eastern Australia, the Great Barrier Reef spans over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) along the Queensland coastline. It is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, and it covers an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 square miles).

Home to over 1,500 species of fish, including clownfish, giant trevally, and barracuda, as well as over 600 species of hard and soft corals, the reef is also home to dozens of species including dugongs, dolphins, and humpback whales. The reef is also an important breeding and nesting site for sea turtles and seabirds, such as the magnificent frigatebird.

Fringing reefs around the Frankland Islands
Frankland Islands Coral Reefs

The reef is managed by and cared for by GBRMPA, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. They work alongside the traditional owners, marine scientists, government departments, local tourism operators and individuals to protect the reef from environmental threats and preserve it from future generations.

All commercial day tours to the Great Barrier Reef pay an included EMC, or Environmental Management Charge, which goes directly to GBRMPA to fund the day-to-day management of the marine park. So by visiting the Frankland Islands with us, you’re helping to protect the reef!

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Unfortunately, the Great Barrier Reef is facing several significant environmental challenges that threaten its long-term survival. The reef is facing significant pressures from climate change, pollution, overfishing, and coastal development. These threats have resulted in declines in some fish populations and affecting the health of the reef ecosystem. Despite these challenges, several conservation and restoration efforts are underway, including initiatives to reduce pollution, promote sustainable fishing practices, and restore damaged reef habitats. These efforts are critical for ensuring that the Great Barrier Reef can continue to thrive.

Journey to the Great Barrier Reef

Discover a Cairns hidden gem

When visiting North Queensland, the must-do experience is a Great Barrier Reef day tour. Look no further than the Frankland Islands off Cairns, which offers pristine snorkelling opportunities amid beautiful, healthy corals. You can access this hidden gem on an organized day trip from Cairns.

Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef

Learn about the largest living structure on the planet and one of the natural wonders of the world – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Here are some fun facts about this awe-inspiring coral reef environment and its fascinating marine creatures.

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The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park classification extends into the airspace above the water and into the earth beneath the seabed.


You may think of coral reefs when you think of the Great Barrier Reef, but they only make up about 7% of the entire Marine Park.


The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is almost as big as Germany - laid on top it would cover 98.6% of the country.


The Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven turtle species and contains 25% of all known marine species in the world.

Nemo and Anemone
Cameron, Sept 2023 (Google Reviews)

Could not have been happier with our day. Great guides, easy down river trip and across to the island with stunning views. The island itself was beautiful and incredibly isolated, it was a small personal tour that was highly enjoyable. You should definitely do the guided snorkel tour if you do the day trip

Briony, August 2023 (Google Reviews)

Perfection! Having the option of semi sub tour, sup, snorkelling on your own, snorkel safari in group, island tour, beautiful lunch and an ideallic island setting is superb for a family wanting to explore Great Barrier reef and not be stuck on a boat the whole day. Swimming above coral, colourful marine life, fish and swam with turtles! Would love to go again! Thank you crew we have wonderful memories.

Farima, July 2023 (Google Reviews)

It was am amazing experience! I got picked up by a coach in the morning, the coach was well ventilated, drove for about an hour in that until we hour to the ferry. The boat trip was about an hour long too where I saw beautiful sights of nature! They provided free drinks and snacks both ways in the ferry and lunch was also included in the island! They can provide something for every dietary requirement, including vegan.

Andree, August 2023 (Google Reviews)

What a hidden gem this tour was. Beautiful island, river cruise and great reef. Nice small group. Had the island to ourselves. Knowledgeable, friendly crew. Fabulous value. Will definitely be recommending this trip.

Eleanor, August 2023 (Google Reviews)

Highlight of the holiday!! Can’t recommend enough: we were picked up outside our hotel in the morning, drove to the boat where we had a great trip down the Mulgrave river before another 30 min on the sea and we arrived at the island. Variety of activities available from free snorkelling in a watched boundary and a snorkel tour a bit further out, to a semi-submersible and rainforest island tour where you can see in rock pools. The semi-sub was a little murky so if you enjoyed the snorkelling tour, I’d carry on on your own, as it’s what you saw before, but less clear, but if you’re not comfortable snorkeling, then it’s a great alternative to see the corals.

Kate, August 2023 (Google Reviews)

Excellent day tour to a great little island. Crew were wonderful and provided an overall fabulous experience. Suitable for most all ages/abilities and can do as much or as little as you like. Highly recommend.

Natalie, June 2023 (Google Reviews)
We had a fantastic day out. Both snorkeling off the beach or through snorkeling safari are amazing. Lots of fish and good to see many healthy vibrant corals. The whole crew has been very helpful. It is a perfect trip for the whole family even for little kids.
Cindy, Oct 2023 (Tripadvisor)

Very well organized. Staff was amazing!! Something for everyone. You had your choice of snorkeling, glass bottom boat, kayaks, sup, guided nature walk ( totally amazing and interesting!) and there was even a treasure hunt for young kids. Food and snacks were great as well! Highly recommend!

Lorna, Aug 2023 (Google Reviews)

Had a great day out on Frankland Island Reef Cruises. You can do as much or as little as you want on the island so perfect if you want to snorkel and spend lots of time in the water or just sit on the beach in the sun listening to the birds. The boat trip over is pretty short so good if boat travel isn’t your thing. Semi-sub trip is great if you are not a confident swimmer or fan of snorkeling. The information is interesting and while not crystal clear its a good reminder the reef can survive & flourish but we can do lots to help in our everyday life. Loads of food for lunch and afternoon cheese & biscuits was a great way to finish off the day. Highly recommend this trip

Karen, Sept 2023 (Tripadvisor)

We can throughly recommend this small, relaxed all-inclusive reef tour.
The crew were amazing, the snorkel safari the best we’ve ever been on in clear, calm waters seeing beautiful corals, fish and turtles close up. Semi sub tour of the island, guided walk, use of paddle boards and kayaks and amazing food all included. A really great day out.
Thanks to all the crew. You worked so hard all day and were fun, helpful, friendly and very informative.
Thank you

Alison, Aug 2023 (Tripadvisor)

What an amazing day out in frankland Island.
Would highly recommended this trip – one of the best snorkelling I’ve done and its guided. if your not the best swimmer you can just walk straight into the crystal clear water and still see lots of amazing stuff.
The submarine was brilliant, got to see loads.
The island walk was very educational and saw some very unique things.
Great staff, great food. Overall amazing day out would highly recommend 🙂

Great Barrier Reef Tours in Cairns