Great Barrier Reef - 60mins
As vast as it is spectacular, the Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder and a must see from the air. Take a 60 minute flight over this spectacular ecosystem and discover why people travel from all over the world to see it. Highlights include: Fitzroy Island, Outer Great Barrier Reef, Michaelmas and Upolo Cay, Palm Cove, Kuranda and Cairns. This trip departs Cairns. Return transfers available from Port Douglas: $49 per person.
Taking off from Cairns we head south-west over Trinity Inlet and the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah, to fly over Fitzroy Island. Fitzroy is 30km from Cairns and is largely protected as a national park. The island itself is 339 hectares, with some towering mountain peaks. Its vegetation is mixture of coastal mangroves and open woodlands. The island is a popular day tour destination and also has a resort.
Outer Great Barrier Reef
From Fitzroy we head north-west, towards the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Depending on the time of year, we may see some Humpback Whales which migrate to the waters below during the winter months. Beneath us the Coral Sea is interspersed with just some of the Great Barrier’s over 2,700 individual reefs. The water depth varies from 30m to 5m and you can often see right through to the ocean floor.
Michaelmas and Upolo Cay
This scenic tour will take you over both Michaelmas and Upolo Cays. Michaelmas Cay is 43km north-east of Cairns and is an important breeding ground for over 16 Great Barrier Reef bird species. In the summer months up to 20,000 birds have been recorded on the cay at one time. Upolo Cay is closer to the mainland and much smaller than Michaelmas. This uninhabited sand cay is so small that it is sometimes fully submerged at high tide.
We cross the coast over the beautiful beachside resort township of Palm Cove. Here the golden beach is lined with tropical coconut trees and the waterfront precinct is a mixture of resorts, apartments, cafes and retail outlets. This vibrant community is also one of Cairns Regional Council’s northern suburbs and many locals like to call this home.
Heading inland we fly over the McAlister Range and Barron Gorge National Park, to pass over the small community of Kuranda. This Village in the Rainforest is not only a popular tourist attraction, but home to many local arts and crafts workers. It’s set amongst a stunning tropical rainforest landscape and bordered on one side by the mighty Barron River, which snakes its way down the Gorge towards the Coral Sea.
We continue our low-level flight over parts of the Wet Tropics World Heritage listed Rainforest. Beneath you lies a sea of green, a mountainous landscape covered in thick vegetation. Rugged granite peaks and mighty wild rivers are features of this southern section of the rainforest. A memorable way to finish a truly spectacular 60 minute helicopter adventure of the Great Barrier Reef. We return to land in Cairns.
In Flight Audio Tour
Each guest is provided with a headset, enabling easy communication between themselves and the pilot. Your pilot and guide knows this region well and will share stories on the major landmarks throughout your journey.