Cruise to Upolu Cay Reef and the outer edge of Upolu Reef

Upolu Cay is a naturally formed coral cay situated 30 kilometers from Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef. Its protected, shallow waters make it the perfect location from which to explore the reef, for both snorkelers and certified and introductory scuba divers. As it is a natural pontoon, the cay size and visibility is subject to conditions on the day, but the clear shallow blue waters surrounding the cay (whether visible or not) are always there!

Ocean Freedom’s luxury 20m cruising cat travels at 23 knots, reducing travelling time to the Great Barrier Reef to just one hour. The order in which the 2 destinations are visited will depend on the conditions on the day. Your skipper will pick the best order of destinations, to make your experience the best possible. You may even want to try your first ever scuba dive, or for the certified diver, enjoy being guided by our qualified instructors on some of the best dive sites on the reef.

Ocean Freedom Tour Prices ~ Cruise to Upolu Cay Reef and the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef

Tour Price Price Levy Total
Adult (15 Years +) $215 $20 $10* $225
Children (4 -14 Years) $125 $20 $10* $135
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $612 $80 $40* $652
*The Levy is a fee levied on all passengers to cover park entry fees, port and administration costs. Due to the Government temporarily waiving the environmental management charge, levy charged will be reduced to $10 until 2022.
Intro Dive Prices ** Price
First Dive $105 (Includes all tuition and equipment)
Second Dive $50 (Includes all tuition and equipment)
All diving (Introductory & Certified) is subject to having no medical condition (past or present) or taking any medication contrary to diving on day of travel. Prior dive medical clearance may be required.
Certified Dive Prices Price
First Dive $70 (Includes all tuition and equipment)
Second Dive $35 (Includes all tuition and equipment)
All diving (Introductory & Certified) is subject to having no medical condition (past or present) or taking any medication contrary to diving on day of travel. Prior dive medical clearance may be required.
Transfers Price
Return Inner city Cairns $18
Northern Beaches as far as Palm Cove $25
Transfer be pre-booked minimum 24 hrs notice, transfer cost is per person.


Best Day Out on the reef, most magical day!! Hired a go pro and saw so many beautiful fish and swam with Turtles. The location was absolutely beautiful with crystal clear water. The included food was of excellent quality and freshness. The staff went out of their way to help us with anything and were super friendly. We loved the fact there was a small group of 40 people and we didn’t feel crowded or like we were rushed. Overall it’s the best day we had. The weather was the absolute best conditions for a day on the water. The boat was clean and the equipment was in excellent condition. Highly recommend!!!

Melissa Jean - 17 Jul 2021

Great day out, this experience came highly recommended by friends and they were spot on. From the assistance with check-in through to the farewell the staff were engaging and made it a great day out. The weather was far from the best on the day we went but we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Highly recommended

David C - 9 Jul 2021

Your Ocean Freedom Tour Includes

  • Morning tea and coffee, Danish pastries and fresh fruit on boarding
  • 6 full hours on the reef at 2 destinations, including Upolu Cay Reef & Outer Edge Upolu Reef
  • Snorkelling tuition, tours and in-water assistance if required
  • Adventure Drift Snorkelling Tour with Marine Naturalist
  • Top quality Snorkelling / Diving Equipment (masks, fins, snorkel etc)
  • Lycra or wetsuits (depending on the season) and buoyancy snorkel vests
  • Large smorgasbord lunch: smoked salmon and prawns / mixed meat platter / chicken platter / 3 salads and assorted breads
  • Reef Talk by Marine Interpreter
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour
  • Prescription masks (please pre-book)
  • Scuba diving demonstration
  • Fish feed
  • Transfers to and from Upolu Cay (when conditions allow)
  • Platter of tropical fruit, cheese, crackers and assorted cake served during day

Ocean Freedom Optional Extras

  • Coach transfers ($18 Inner city return per person; $25 Northern Beaches, as far as Palm Cove, return per person) – must be pre-booked
  • Scuba diving. Ocean Freedom’s highly qualified dive instructors offer introductory and certified diving packages. For beginners, you are taught diving skills, equipment and communication before being taken beneath the water with our professional crew.Ocean Freedom specialise in first time divers, offering a unique ratio of only 2 divers to 1 instructor (usual ratio is 4:1). Certified divers will enjoy first class equipment and a free guide, to ensure you see the very best the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. Experience weightlessness under water and be amazed by the corals and marine life surrounding you.Please note: All diving is subject to you having no medical condition (past or present) or taking any medication which may be contradictory to diving.
  • Refreshments from the licensed bar
  • Underwater cameras
  • Range of quality merchandise

Your Day on Ocean Freedom View Full Itinerary

Check In / Departure

Your adventure begins with check-in at the Ocean Free / Ocean Freedom desk at 7.15am. Boarding commences on Cairns’ Marlin Marina from 7.30am. Enjoy fresh tea, coffee, fruit and Danish pastries on board, prior to the 8am departure when Ocean Freedom commences its cruise to Upolu Cay Reef and the outer edge of Upolu Reef.

Relax While We Cruise

You can relax in the air-conditioned saloon or on the fresh air sundeck. En route to the Great Barrier Reef, the friendly crew will provide an introductory safety briefing and for those wanting to partake in introductory or certified scuba diving, the paperwork and briefs will be completed on the way out, so we’re ready to go on arrival at the reef.

Upolu Cay Reef Site

On occasions the water maybe shallow enough to allow landing on the Cay itself (as shown above). On other days you can sometimes stand in ankle to knee deep water and get photos of you seemingly standing in the middle of the ocean! Some days the cay may be totally submerged, but still has beautiful, crystal clear waters to snorkel in.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Enjoy a Glass Bottom boat tour around the crystal clear waters surrounding Upolu Cay Reef. Ocean Freedom is the first boat to arrive, so you can enjoy this pristine area uninterrupted! Surrounded by stunning turquoise water and many types of corals, reef fishes, stingrays, cucumbers and sea stars, this is a great introduction to the reef.

Fresh, Delicious Lunch

Ocean Freedom’s friendly crew provide a delicious lunch at approximately 11:30am in a self-serve buffet style. Enjoy a sumptuous feast of smoked salmon, chilled prawns, cold chicken and meats, three different salads, fresh breads and fruit. While you dine inside or outside on the decks, we cruise slowly to the second site.

Outer Edge Upolu Reef Site

You will be amazed and impressed at the “Wonder Wall” on the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef. Rising 10m – 12m from the ocean floor, “Wonder Wall” plateaus just 0.5m – 1m under the surface (depending on the tide), making it an ideal snorkel and dive site. Enjoy an informative adventure drift snorkel tour with our Marine Naturalist.

Find Nemo & His Friends

The Outer Edge Upolu Reef is home to a diverse array of some of the Great Barrier Reef’s most famous critters, including nemo. In fact, out here, there’s nemos everywhere! Spend your time here viewing many different types of hard and soft coral, in addition to fans, giant clams, turtles and a huge diversity and abundance of reef fish of all sizes.

Maximum Enjoyment

At Ocean Freedom we’re 100% committed to making sure our guests have maximum enjoyment, on and off the boat. That’s why we give our skippers the flexibility to choose the order the two destinations will be visited in, pending the conditions and tides at the time of your travel. It’s all about making you smile!

Farewell, not Goodbye

After a full six hours of unrushed pleasure on the reef and shallow waters surrounding the Cay, cruise home while our crew serve a sumptuous selection of tropical fruit, cheese, crackers and a decadent cake platter. The ultimate way to wind down after a magical day on the one and only Great Barrier Reef! Arrive back into Cairns around 4.30pm.

© Ocean Freedom 2021

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