Green Island Day Trip, Best Things to do
Whether you are looking for a day trip to Green Island from Cairns, or seeking a family holiday destination in Queensland, Green Island is a tropical paradise. Here you can find our Green Island Review with everything you need to know.
Visiting Green Island
Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Green Island is a hidden gem in far north Queensland, Australia. This tropical paradise is the perfect destination for families seeking an island filled with natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation.
Here we go through all you need to know about Green Island, where it’s located, how to plan a day trip to Green Island. We also include all of the best things to do in Green Island while you are there including family activities and things to do on Green Island with kids.
Here you can find the following:
- Green Island Ferry
- Green Island Day Trip
- Best things to do on Green Island
- Green Island Snorkelling
- Accommodation Green Island
- General tips for visiting Green Island
Where is Green Island?
So where is Green Island? Green Island is located about 27kms off the coast of Cairns, Queensland. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Green Island is a popular destinations for day trips from Cairns and offers a tropical paradise for visitors to explore.
It is accessible by boat or helicopter but the most popular destination ways of getting to Green Island is by boat transfer or tour.
Cairns airport is only about a 10 minute drive from the marina and has daily flights from most of the main airports within Australia making Green Island an easy family holiday destination.
Green Island National Park
Green Island, a coral cay, is a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its breathtaking underwater biodiversity.
Measuring just 12 hectares in size, this beautiful island is brimming with natural wonders. Its white sandy beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant coral reefs make it a remarkable destination for nature enthusiasts, snorkelers, and families especially. In fact, the island was full of families when we visited.
Green Island Day Trip
One of the most popular questions about the island has been “Is a day trip to Green Island worth it? Yes! Green Island, along with Fitzroy Island have lots of people travelling for a day trips each day!
Even though Green Island has resort accommodation and makes a lovely family holiday.
If you have a free day in Cairns but don’t have enough time to stay over, then a day trip is definitely worth it. In fact you can do most of our list below of things to do on Green Island on a day trip.
Green Island Ferry
Looking for a Green Island Ferry? Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises offer full and half day trips to Green Island depending on how long you have.
The half day trip is on a smaller boat (front in the photo) and takes around 45 minutes. The full day trip is on a larger boat (at the back of the photo) and takes about an hour and half.
We chose the full day trip to get the most out of it, and it didn’t disappoint.
The boat itself is large and comfortable, however the water can be a little rough depending on the weather on the day so don’t forget your medication if you get seasick.
You arrive on Green Island on the jetty and the boat stays there for the duration of your stay. If you have booked lunch, you go back to the boat between 12-2pm to eat.
The buffet lunch is fantastic, they serve up fresh prawns, and a variety of cold meats and salads. It is a cost-effective option for those doing a day trip to Green Island as some of the restaurants can be expensive. We found it super easy, especially with kids and the food was delicious.
Things to do Green Island
There are plenty of things to do on Green Island for families with kids of all ages.
Green Island Snorkelling
One of the most popular and best things to do in Green Island is snorkelling. The island is a coral cay, surrounded by the stunning waters of the Coral Sea and is known for its rich biodiversity and vibrant coral reefs.
If you are taking the Big Cat boat tour over, the snorkelling gear is included. Otherwise you can also rent snorkelling gear on the island.
Most people head straight over to the back beach, which is great for swimming, however we found the best spot for Snorkelling on Green Island was right beside the jetty. You literally swim off the beach and the coral there is amazing.
We saw plenty of fish and a few sea turtles too which was a highlight for the kids especially.
Green Island Glass Bottom Boat Tour
For those who like to stay dry but still want to see everything try a Glass Bottom Boat Tour. Tours depart regularly throughout the day and generally last from between 20-30 minutes.
The glass bottom boat is complimentary for resort guests but there is a fee for day trippers.
Swim or Relax on the Beach
You can swim at the jetty although if you head to the back beach there are sunbeds and it is patrolled. It is best to swim between the flags. The water is generally mild. At certain times of the year, usually November through until May, there can be jelly fish (marine stingers) so it is advised to wear a stinger suit.
Fish Feeding on Green Island
Each day at sunset it’s time to feed the fish on the island. Head to the jetty at 16:45 for the nightly fish feeding ritual. This was a favourite for our kids, witnessing the spectacle as large tropical fish rise to the water’s surface to eat.
It’s a fantastic experience and one of the best things to do on Green Island with kids.
Green Island Water Sports
There are plenty of water sports on Green Island. You can rent a canoe or kayak, or even take one of the tours. So much to see close to the shore but even more when you head out a little further.
If you want to get up close and personal with some real crocodiles, then make sure to check out Marineland Melanesia which is one of Green Island’s most popular attractions. It not only houses Australia’s largest captive crocodile, Cassius, but also boasts one of the most extensive private collections of exotic artifacts from Melanesian tribal cultures and impressive aquariums.
There are crocodiles shows and lots of opportunities to interact with baby crocs, it is one of the best things to do on Green Island for families.
General tips for visiting Green Island
Here are some of our tips for visiting Green Island for families.
- A Green Island day trip is fantastic and gives you a great overview of the island but if you have a few days stay overnight to really enjoy it.
- Snorkelling is the best right next to the jetty, for swimming go to the back beach.
- Make sure to bring or hire a stinger suit between November and May as there are dangerous stingers in the water during those months.
- Book well in advance if you plan on staying over, during peak months the resort books out well in advance.
Green Island Visit
Green Island Resort is a true gem in the Great Barrier Reef, offering a perfect blend of luxury, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking a romantic escape, a family vacation, or a diving adventure, this eco-friendly resort provides an unforgettable experience. And with full and half day trips to Green Island on Big Cat Green Island Cruises you can discover the magic of Green Island Resort and immerse yourself in the wonders of the world’s largest coral reef.
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