FAQs

Our crew get asked dozens of questions every day, some quirky some quite intelligent, some just plain entertaining. But as they say, there is no such thing as a dumb question so don’t be too scared to ask. If you don’t find what you want to know send us an email or give us a call on +617 40510444.

On The Day

Do you operate daily?

Yes, 7 days a week including public holidays (there is small surcharge for travel on Christmas day)

Where do I park?

Parking is available at the nearby Pier Shopping Complex/Shangri-la hotel, located opposite the Reef Fleet Terminal. Hourly cost is from AUD $1.60 for indoor and outdoor parking. All day parking is also available near Trinity Wharf at approximately $3 per day.

Do you have hotel transfers?

We have a fleet of modern air-conditioned coaches that offer a coach service from Cairns city hotels for just $20 per adult and $10 per child, for the return transfer.
If you are staying at one of the Northern Beaches (from north of the Airport to Ellis Beach) we also can pick you up from there too. Beach transfers are $24 per adult and $12 per child return. Please contact us if wanting to add a coach transfer to your booking.

Do I need to check in on the day?

Yes, please check in at The Reef Fleet Terminal at least 30 minutes prior to your departure. Please present relevant vouchers or itineraries at check in exchange for your boarding passes.

Can I take a pram on board?

All our vessels are pram friendly. The beach areas are not practical for prams however there are boardwalks and pathways throughout the island that are suitable. Prams can be stored on ‘Big Cat’ if needed.

How long does it take to get to Green Island?

We have our large stable catamaran leaving for the Full Day Tours at 9am – takes approximately 1 hour 15mins to get to Green Island. Or we have the smaller speedier boat ‘Reef Rocket’ for half day and full Day 11am departures – takes approximately 45 minutes

Weather

What if the weather is bad on the day?

In poor weather we are happy to move your booking without charge to the next most suitable day, subject to availability and with 48 hours notice. In the rare event we deem the weather too bad to travel and you are unable to reschedule, a full refund will be provided.

Will I get sea sick?

Hopefully not. This depends largely on the individual. Travelling on our fast, stable catamaran ensures the smoothest possible ride.

At 20 knots and above it can get a little bumpy at times however our skippers are skilled in picking the best route to our destination. If you are prone to other common forms of motion sickness such as travelling in a car or plane you may wish to take precautions. We have complimentary natural Ginger Tablets on board however these are preventative, not a cure, so should be taken approximately 30 minutes prior to departure for maximum benefit.

What is the temperature of the water?

December – February: 29c, 83f
March – May: 25c, 76f
June – August: 22c, 72f
September – November: 25c, 76f

Is there shelter and shade available?

Yes. The island has plenty of trees inland and spots around the beach to seek shelter. The lyrca stinger suits are great sun protection too. The Bigcat Green Island boat is open all day if you wish to have a break from the sun and heat and enjoy the air conditioned vessel.

General Questions

What do I need to bring with me?

We recommend you bring a towel, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and swimwear. Also, cash for drinks, snacks or souvenirs you may want to buy. Credit cards are accepted at most shops at the Island however surcharges may apply.

Is the Green Island tour recommended for children?

Our cruises are suitable for people of all ages, including families with young children. Our half day option is ideal for small children, infants and babies. Additionally snorkelling directly from the beach is perfect for children and first time snorkelers.

Is there a charge for infants?

Children under 4 years of age are classed as infants. There is no cost for infants to travel however you still need to add them to your booking for our boat passenger numbers.

Can my children travel alone to Green Island ?

Passengers 16 years and over are permitted to travel without adult supervision (photo identification will be required at check in). Adult supervision (18 years and over) is required at all times for children under 16 years of age. Terms and conditions of carriage: Passengers 16 years and over are not the responsibility of Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises. Diving options are not allowed without Adult/Guardian authorisation and supervisor.

Is this tour wheelchair friendly ?

Passengers must have some mobility and/or the presence of a carer who can assist them. Depending on tides it may be necessary to embark/disembark from different levels on the boat. Coral viewing and glass bottom boat activities are subject to the weather and the extent of the passenger’s mobility and/or the presence of a carer who can assist. Please note that the toilets on the vessel are not wheelchair accessible but there are disabled toilets available on the island. Please advise at time of booking if you have wheelchair bound passengers travelling.
These guidelines apply to standard wheelchairs only. We are not able to accommodate electric wheelchairs on any of the vessels or coaches.

Should I be concerned about Jelly Fish or Marine Stingers?

At certain times of the year, generally November through until May, jellyfish commonly called marine stingers can inhabit the seas of northern Australia. Most jellyfish are harmless to man, however certain varieties may cause a serious reaction. Jellyfish of this kind are normally only found in waters close to the mainland and do not usually frequent the reef. Incidents involving serious marine stings in the Green Island area are very rare. It is important that snorkelers and swimmers listen to the specific advice given regarding the degree of risk on any particular day.
We recommend that anyone wanting to enter the water at this time of year wears a lycra suit to protect you from the sun and to reduce the possibility of stings and irritations.
If you don’t have your own we do hire them for a small cleaning and maintenance fee of just $8 per adult and $4 per child.

Booking & Cancellations

Can I change my date of travel or cancel once booked?

We are happy to refund on direct bookings as long as we are given notice before close of business the day before departure (we are on the phones until 8pm) but we do ask for as much notice as possible as a courtesy.  All refunds must go back onto the original card used for card security reasons. If booking through a 3rd party you are governed by their cancellation policy and terms and conditions. **Combo tour packages require a minimum of 48 hours notice**

Can I book an open dated voucher?

You can, however travel on the date you desire is subject to availability. It is your responsibility to contact us at least 3-4 days prior to confirm your actual travel date. If the booking date on your voucher is in a different rate period to that in which you travel a small extra charge may be payable to cover any rate increase.

Do you ever cancel?

Rarely, only a handful of days every year. Cancellations are normally a precaution against the imminent threat of  Tropical Cyclone’s which are a part of life during the summer months in the tropics. Your safety and enjoyment of the reef is our #1 priority. If we deem it not safe to travel we will cancel the day. We make every effort possible to contact all passengers with as much notice as possible and offer the chance to travel on another day. If you can’t change travel days we will happily refund your ticket. Please note some bookings made though a 3rd party agent may charge a nominal fee or hold on to a deposit in line with their booking terms and conditions.

Do you offer a family rate?

Yes. For a family of 2 Adults and 2 Children (aged 4-14 years inclusive) one child travels free of charge (a saving of $49.00). This offer is valid all year around for direct bookings or through your preferred agent.

Reef Activity Questions

What’s the difference between the Green Island Semi Submarine tour and the Glass Bottom Boat tour?

The Semi-submarine tour is approximately a half hour coral viewing tour. This tour is recommend as it is a great opportunity to see plenty of marine life swimming right past your window! Similar to a divers perspective of the reef. This tour also has an informative commentary and fish feed included. The Glass Bottom Boat is also approximately 30 minutes and has a commentary and a fish feed. The main difference is the Glass Bottom Boat is more like a snorkelers view from the surface looking down.

Do you need a flotation vest when snorkelling?

This depends on the individuals swimming ability, there is a small fee for hire for the flotation vests. You can hire them on board on the day of travel. Each item is $8 per adult and $4 per child.

Do you offer diving at Green Island?

Diving Green Island has never been so easy ! SNUBA® is a shallow water diving system whereby customers can explore underwater up to 3 metres. No need to wear heavy equipment, the air tanks float on the surface and you breathe through a normal scuba regulator mouthpiece. Click here for more info. Introductory & Certified diving can also be booked at the dive shop at the Island.

How is snorkelling operated at the Island, from a boat or beach?

A Snorkelling and safety presentation is given on board en route to Green Island. Snorkelling is undertaken at your own leisure, directly from the beach. A life guard is on duty in the flagged area at the northern beach.