Green Island is a coral cay, 27 km off the shore of Cairns, Australia. Estimated to be 6000 years old, Green Island is located on the Great Barrier Reef, zoned in the protected Marine Park Heritage Area. Green Island is also a tourist favourite for those looking for things to do in Cairns out on the reef.
Surrounded by coral reef, Green Island is also home to the Green Island Reef Resort, which opened in 1994. There are a number of tours that can take you for a day trip to Green Island, including commercial charter boats, helicopters and sea planes. Activities include diving, snorkelling, canoeing, surf skiing, windsurfing and swimming. There is also a submerged underwater observatory, where you can view the reef without getting wet, which is quite popular as it gives visitors the opportunity to get in the water and view the marine life from deep diving depths.
Having been to Green Island a few times, we recommend (if possible) picking days with low winds. One these days, with low winds and minimal swell, the snorkelling conditions can be truly exquisite. Opportunities for snorkelling are all around the island, however the jetty is one of the most popular zones to snorkel for visitors, providing a large open space and relatively shallow waters (which are great for beginners).
In regards to getting to the island, there are a few operators that provide swift transport out onto the reef, although the most popular are the Big Cat and Reef Rocket cruises. There are also smaller operators that can get you out to the island, yet it all boils down to your own personal tastes. Charters such as the Big Cat Green Island Cruises even provide a buffet lunch, which is fantastic as exploring the island and its surrounding waters can really work up an appetite.
Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef are both highly sought after destinations for those looking for things to do in Cairns. We advise that if you are in the region that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to get out there. The reefs and islands are truly amazing and provide people with the opportunity to explore one of the greatest natural wonders in the world.