Hot Air Ballooning & Great Adventures Cruises

Starting from: $AU475.50

Tour Overview

  • Tour: 30min balloon flight + Reef with Great Adventures Platform
  • Package can be completed in 1 day (optional in 2 days if needed)
  • Tours are connected
  • Departure locations: Cairns
  • Ideal for snorkelling
  • Suitable for families
  • Number of passengers: Reef: 400/ Ballooning: 20 per basket
  • Number of reef sites visited: 1 site
  • Reef location(s): Norman Reef
  • Tour duration: 4:30am – 5:30pm
  • Travelling time to the reef: 2hrs
  • Time exploring the reef: 3 hours
  • Min Age: 4 years old
  • Condition: Being able to climb in and out of the basket by yourself
  • Vessel type and size: Catamaran / 30m with 3 levels


Hot Air Ballooning & Great Adventures Platform

Activity 1: Ballooning

Atherton Tablelands near Cairns has the perfect climate for hot air balloon rides offering spectacular scenery and it is an unforgettable experience to anyone going on a ride for the first time.

Have a great morning start!!! Rise up and fly over the scenic Atherton Tablelands with its rainforest fringed mountains around and tranquil country landscapes. The balloon will gently float above the tips of blue gums and paper bark trees, with the wide open spaces of the Tablelands below. The fantastic 360 degree views will make the memories last a lifetime .

All the pilots are very experienced and trained to Australia's highest standards, so there is no need to worry. Enjoy the freedom while the pilot makes sure the ride is as gentle as possible. Keep an eye out for kangaroos and some of Australia's local wildlife. Binoculars are ok on board to capture sightings of local birdlife. Come back to earth then continue the fun by helping the guides pack up.

Activity 2: Reef

Great Adventures travels daily to the outer reef so clients can explore the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef on their holiday on a spacious reef platform. Great Adventures' modern high speed catamaran departs Cairns a bit later than other boats at 10:30 am so this is a good option if you are arriving in Cairns on the same morning and would like to join a reef cruise.

Great Adventures spacious floating platform is suitable for all ages, swimmers and non-swimmers as the pontoon offers activities for people who wants to get in the water and also for those one who prefers to stay dry.

The pontoon features undercover seating, tables to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, full bar facilities, sundeck, a swimming enclosure for children, change rooms with freshwater showers and scuba diving facilities with a semi-submerged platform. The main activities included are unlimited snorkelling, underwater observatory, semi-submersible coral viewing and reef education presentation.

Extra activities include:

  • Introductory Diving (If you have never dived before)
  • Certified Diving (up to 2 dives)
  • Guided Snorkel Tours (maximize your snorkel experience with a guide by your side)
  • 'Scuba-Doo' Underwater Scooter (cruise the reef in an underwater scooter)
  • Sea Walker (diving with a helmet on - you breath air from the surface)
  • Helicopter Scenic Flights (see how colorful the reef is from the top)

What's included in the main price

  • Activity 1: Ballooning:
  • Return coach transfer from Cairns accommodation
  • 30 minute scenic balloon flight
  • Beautiful views of the Tableland valley
  • Cross country balloon chase aboard coach
  • Activity 2: Reef:
  • Return cruiseto the outer reef by a air-conditioned fast catamaran
  • Morning tea and coffee with cake selection
  • Three hours on Great Adventures platform in the outer reef
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • Use of buoyancy vests
  • Reef education presentation
  • Hot and cold buffet lunch
  • Semi-submersible coral reef viewing tour
  • Underwater Observatory
  • Afternoon tea and coffee available whilst at the platform, cheese and biscuits on return journey.
  • Activity 1: Ballooning:
  • Photos available to purchase
  • Activity 2: Reef:
  • Introductory dive
  • Certified dive
  • Scuba-doo scooter
  • Scenic helicopter flights (10 Minutes)
  • Guided snorkel tours
  • Coach transfer back to accommodation

Tour Itinerary

Time Description
3:50 – 4:15 Pick up from Cairns & Northern Beach accommodation
04:15 Journey to Atherton Tablelands starts
Travel time is approx 1 hour
05:15 Bus arrives at take off locations and balloons get ready to fly
06:00 First balloon flight takes off /Other passengers to do a balloon chase
06:45 Second balloon flight takes off/ Other passengers to do a balloon chase
07:30 Balloon flights and chase are completed
A group photo is taken and passengers can help the guides to fold and pack the balloon
08:00 Passengers return to the Mareeba Museum where they can have a look at the photos of the day
09:00 Bus departs Mareeba to return to Cairns
10:15 Passengers drop off at the Reef Terminal to catch the boat
10:30 Boat departs Marlin Jetty Cairns
Travel time is 2 hours direct from Cairns on a fast stable motor catamaran
12:30 Boat arrives at Great Adventures pontoon
Enjoy around 3 hours exploring the outer reef
15:30 Boat departs Great Advenure pontoon
Enjoy 2 hours exploring the outer reef
17:30 Boat arrives back in Cairns
Clients to make their own way to accommodation
  • Activity 1: Ballooning:
  • Comfortable clothes (preference of dark clothes)
  • Comfortable flat shoes
  • Jacket and long pants during winter
  • Bottle of water and snacks recommended
  • Activity 2: Reef:
  • Beach clothes and accessories such as swimmers, towel, hat, sunglasses, sun screen
  • Dry change of clothes for the trip home
  • Extra cash or a credit card for any onboard purchases
  • Motion sickness tablet is recommended to take 30 minutes prior to boat departure

Please Note:
Important Note:Ballooning is not suitable if you are pregnant.
If your flight cancels due to poor weather, you are entitled to a full refund.
You must be able to climb in and out of the basket unaided as this is a CASA safety regulation.
All Divers: In accordance with Australian Diving law, ALL DIVERS must complete a medical questionnaire on board, before diving.
Flying after Diving: If only one dive is undertaken then a minimum of 12 hours is recommended before flying. If more than one dive is conducted in the day, an interval of 24 hours is recommended.This is not applicable for low helicopter flights over the reef.
Introductory Divers - NOTE: Certain medical conditions may prevent you from diving, (e.g. Asthma, Heart Disease), please contact our office. Min. age to dive is 12 years.

Tour Prices

Rates & Tariffs

Season: 2017 - 2018 Rates Dates: 1st April 2017 - 31st March 2018 Action
Package Price (ex. Cairns) $475.50 per adult
$340.50 per child
Package Price (ex. Northern Beaches) $485.50 per adult
$350.50 per child
Additional Extras Dates: 1st April 2017 - 31st March 2018
Afternoon Coach Transfer (Cairns City) $26.00 per adult / $16.00 per child
Afternoon Coach Transfer (Northern beaches) $32.00 per adult / $17.00 per child
Introductory Dive $164.00 per adult / $164.00 per child
Certified Dive $116.00 per adult / $116.00 per child
Guided Snorkel Tour $62.00 per adult / $32.00 per child
Scuba-Doo $165.00 per adult / $165.00 per child
Helicopter Flight (10 Minutes) $179.00 per adult / $179.00 per child

Age: Adult age: 15 yrs + / Child age: 4-14 years inclusive.
Levies: Total price INCLUDES the $30 per person ballooning levy for civil aviation and $6.50 levy per person for the Reef Tax.

Booking fees: Tourism Cairns do not charge any booking fees.

Deposit and final payment: At Tourism Cairns clients are required to pay a deposit only at the time of booking. Final payment is to be completed 48 hours prior to departure or on the day of travel, depending on each tour operator's policy.

Cancellation by the traveller: If the tour is cancelled by the client up to 7 days prior to departure, a full refund is applicable. If the tour is cancelled by the client 7 days prior to departure, the deposit amount might be retained. If the tour is cancelled by the client 48 hours prior to departure, 100% cancellation fee may apply.

Booking amendments: If the date of a tour needs to be changed, Tourism Cairns must be notified in writing by the client up to 48 hours prior to the tour date.

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