scuba dive cairns

Great Barrier Reef Pontoon, Cairns



Reef Magic A Family Friendly Way To See The Outer Great Barrier Reef

Reef Magic provides an exciting fun filled day exploring a small diverse portion of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The United Nations thru the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared it a World Heritage Site.

In its citation they state “If only one reef in the world gets this status it should be the Great Barrier Reef” and they noted it as the most beautiful place on earth both above and below the water.

Clearly it is a place that must be seen and experience to fully appreciate.

Many tour operators , have boat tours that will take you out to the reef for a day of sightseeing and snorkeling or scuba diving.

Many of these are outstanding activities.

Some people do not relish the though of spending a day on a boat no matter how beautiful the activities. Reef Magic’s Pontoon, Marine World, located on the outer Barrier reef, Moore Reef is an excellent alternative that offers a range of activities some in the water “wet” activities and some “dry” out of water activities.

Reef Magic II

Reef Magic cruises has just created a twin for it popular Reef Magic II, these high speed 30 meter long catamarans can travel at 27 knots bringing guest to the outer reefs in under 90 minutes.

The vessels will alternate duties.

While the boats are designed to seat 400 guest, a full sailing to Marine world is 190 guest.

This allows plenty of space in the enclosed air conditioned areas and plenty of deck space to enjoy the salt air en route.

While you spend the day at Marine World, your Reef Magic will be moored alongside providing additional air conditioned space.

Marine World

Marine World is a 45 meter long and 12 meter wide pontoon vessel semi-permanently moored at the edge of Moore Reef.

It acts as the center of your activities for the day.

Marine world is an ideal location to explore the Great Barrier Reef, especially for groups of mixed interest or athletic natures.

Marine world is on two levels.

The lower level is mostly covered and provides ample places to sit and relax as well as to enjoy your food. You will spend five hours on the Marine world and there is morning and afternoon tea (snacks) as well as a hot/cold buffet lunch. Coffee, Tea and water are available without cost while on-board the pontoon.

The upper level of Marine World is a sun deck. Not only is this an excellent area to work on your tan, it also affords great views of the nearby reef. Water level platforms allow easy entry for swimmers and snorkelers.

Dry Activities

For both those who do not want to get wet and those that do, there are a number of dry activities that will make the day complete.

Let’s start with the Marine biologist.

They get a full days work out of him, starting with the trip headed towards the reef. In the main saloon of the Reef Magic the biologist will give a talk on the different types of coral and marine life that you may encounter during your day.

There will also be explanations on how best to maximize your encounters as well as some conservation tips.

The lecture is also shown on monitors in the other portions of the boat if you do not wish to attend in the saloon.

Around lunch time, the marine biologist will give a little talk on fish identification at the observation area on Marine World and then moving to the snorkeling platform conduct a controlled fish feeding.

This will bring many of the reefs residence alongside the vessel so that you can get a close look at them in action.

The observation area mentioned is set below the water level and is open the entire day for you.

You can spend as much time as you like watching the reef.

The moon pool used by discover divers is nearby so you can also see them as they are taking their program.

There are two additional “dry” ways to look at the reef, Marine world operates both a semi-submersible and a glass bottom boat.

The Semi-submersible gives you the same viewpoint as a scuba diver on a shallow dive.

The vessel has large viewing ports along both sides and you sit about 1 meter below the surface in air conditioned comfort.

The tour along the reef last about thirty minutes with a marine naturalist pointing out different items of interest, something a scuba diver doe not have.

The Semi-submersible will guide along coral gardens and along the edge of a drop off.

You never know what you might see, but you will see a lot.

This activity is done a number of times each day and you are welcome to try it more than once. The other “dry” way to see the reef is the glass bottom boat.

This gives a snorkeler look at the reef. Your 30 minute boat ride will follow along one of the snorkelers  trails.

There is an optional way to see the reef and that is by helicopter.

Flights of different lengths are available and charges are based on flight time.

Wet Activities


The Marine World crew will offer you some basic instructions and help you fit the proper size gear for your snorkeling adventure.

Flotation vest are also available for those who wish them.

In the snorkeling area are a number of anchored floatation rings.

So if you get a little tired they are a good place to rest without standing on the reef. Snorkeling is available the entire 5 hours you are at Marine World.

Optional (extra fee) in water activities.

Experience snorkelers can take a guided tour at the reef edge to see a broader range of marine life, many too large for the shallows where the general snorkeling happens.

Discover diving

a program for those who would like to experience the reef in the same manner a scuba diver does but does not have a certification.

A short theory class starts the program followed by an actual dive under direct supervision of the instructor.

Diving is done at the moon pool on the pontoon.

The moon pool leads the potential divers to the sandy area directly below Marine world.

Here they can practice their skills before heading over to the reef nearby.

Certified divers may choose up to three dives during their visit.

A dedicated dive tender will take certified divers a short distance away from the Marine World to additional moorings and dive sites maintained by reef magic.

These sites will be deeper than the snorkeling sites and will cater to certified divers with a range of experiences.

Reef magic’s Great Barrier Reef Pontoon, Marine world is an great way to spend a full five hours on the reef.