Discover our Reef Encounter and Kuranda tour package

Reef Encounter and Kuranda combine an overnight stay on the Great Barrier Reef with a full-day adventure at Kuranda, the famous “village in the rainforest”.

Australia’s floating hotel, “Reef Encounter”, is one of Australia’s most unique holiday escapes.  Reef Encounter offers the facilities of a land-based resort while cruising the pristine waters of the marvellous Great Barrier Reef.

Participate in snorkelling and scuba diving to explore this marvellous underwater world.  Enjoy stunning sunrises and sunsets on the Great Barrier Reef while enjoying our liveaboard vessel’s facilities.

Next, this tour package brings you to Kuranda.  Kuranda is a picturesque village surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest.

The journey to and from Kuranda is an experience all on its own.  Hop on board Kuranda Scenic Railway and enjoy a 1 ½ hour train journey winding through dense rainforest and past magnificent waterfalls.

You will also return by the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.  On Skyrail, you will float above the trees, enjoying a bird’s eye view of the rainforest canopy.

Once you arrive in Kuranda, you will have plenty to do.  Browse the markets and purchase some local fare, or visit one of the wildlife parks located in this quirky and quaint village.

Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter is the perfect liveaboard trip for anyone wishing to experience the Great Barrier Reef in comfort and style.

Design your own Great Barrier Reef liveaboard package with Reef Encounter.  Depart any day of the week and stay for as many or as few days as you wish!  You can design this trip to depart on the day that suits you best.

Spending time floating between different spectacular outer Great Barrier Reef locations, Reef Encounter ensures that any keen snorkeler or scuba diver will experience the best that the Great Barrier Reef offers.

About Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter is a 35-meter catamaran designed for stability and comfort at sea.  The vessel Reef Encounter has 21 spacious staterooms, each with either one double bed or two single beds.

Our spacious liveaboard vessel features a large lounge and dining area.  Outside is ample deck space, a vast sundeck and sun lounges.  There is also an outdoor heated spa for relaxation during your free time.

Reef Encounter also has an onboard helipad.  Visitors who want to add a scenic transfer to their booking are in for a fantastic treat.  Please note that helicopter transfers are optional.  You can select this during your booking process.

Onboard Reef Encounter has purpose-built dive and snorkel platforms.  Stairs lead into the water, providing easy snorkelling and scuba diving access.
The Reef Encounter vessel has two compressors for quick air refills.

Onboard you will find accommodation, dining and facilities catering to most people’s needs.  Please inform us if you have any special requirements, such as dietary, allergies, or disability/mobility issues.

You can inform us of these by leaving a note in the ‘booking message’.

Facilities

  • Air conditioning

Modern Ocean-View rooms

Private Bathrooms

Large Dining Area

Bar and Lounge area

Heated spa

Water desalination Plant

Hydraulic scuba dive and Snorkel Platform

Helipad

Large Sundeck

Our Rooms

All rooms include

Air conditioning

Ocean Views

Private ensuite Bathrooms

Australian power outlets

Towels

Toiletries (Soap, Shampoo and conditioner)

Reef Encounter Snorkel and Dive Packages

Choose from the following packages:

Scuba diving

certified scuba diver with a guide

Personalised open water course

Advanced Adventurer course

Stress and Rescue course *All dive courses with SSI

 The Reef Encounter stay

This Itinerary is an approximate guide only and can change due to seasons and weather conditions.

Kuranda Train, Skyrail and Rainforestation

Kuranda is a world-famous tourist destination known as the “Village in the Rainforest”.

Combining the Scenic Train journey with the world-famous Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is the best way to experience this World Heritage-listed Tropical Rainforest.

During the 90-minute train journey, you will climb over 40 small bridges and through many dark tunnels while learning about the Pioneering history of the Tropical North.

On Skyrail, you’ll glide just meters above the Rainforest canopy before descending through the canopy layers.  You will have the opportunity to stop at two stations, Barron Falls and Red Peak Station.  Here, you will enjoy stunning views and rainforest boardwalks.

Kuranda is not complete without a visit to Rainforestation

Rainforestation is home to the Army Duck Rainforest Tours on land and water, the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, and a wildlife park home to many native Australian animals.

This unique tourist attraction is set on 100 acres of World Heritage-listed Rainforest.

Next, explore our other liveaboard options.

Highlights

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Kuranda scenic railway
  • Skyrail
  • Rainforestation Nature Park

Itinerary

Itinerary for our Reef Encounter and Kuranda package

Reef Encounter

Please note, this itinerary is based on a 3-day /2-night stay with Reef Encounter

First Day

Arrive

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 2 Day Dives + 1 Night

7:30am
Board the transfer vessel 'Reef Experience' at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in and your journey to Reef Encounter

9:30am
Arrive onboard Reef Encounter for your 'Welcome & Safety Talk' before being shown to your room to settle in and relax

10:30am
 Water Session: Time to snorkel for all guests before lunch

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13.00
Water Briefings: Certified Diver Briefings / Try Scuba Diving Briefings / Snorkel Adventure Briefings

13.30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time

15:00

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

15:30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

Summer


18:00
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

18:45
Night Dive Briefings

19:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

Winter


17:30
Night Dive Briefings

18:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

19:15
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

20:00
Dessert is served in the dining saloon

Full Day

On the Reef

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives + 1 Night

6:00am
Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

6:30am
 Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

7:30am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00am

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

8:30am
 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

10:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13:30
 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

15:00

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

15:30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

Summer


18:00
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

18:45
Night Dive Briefings

19:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

Winter


17:30
Night Dive Briefings

18:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

19:15
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

20:00
Dessert is served in the dining saloon

Last Day

Return

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives

6:00am
Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

6:30am
Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

7:30am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00am

Room Checkout

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

8:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

10:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13:30
 Water Session: Snorkel only session available to passengers before departure

14:45
Departing passengers board the transfer vessel 'Reef Experience' for the journey back to Cairns. Complimentary wine, cheese and biscuits served on the return journey

15:00 

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

16:30
Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina

*Please note, this itinerary does not apply to 'Great Barrier Reef Deal' bookings.

*Stateroom Check-In time is 10.00am with Check-Out time 8.00am on the morning of departure (access to a shared transfer/baggage room with bathroom is available along with all other boat facilities)

*Top Deck Club Check-in time is 10.00am with Check-Out time 2.00pm on the day of departure>

*This itinerary may vary due to weather conditions or other circumstances.

Kuranda

7:30 am Approximate pickup from your Cairns Accommodation

8:50 am Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway at the Freshwater Heritage Train Station

10:30 am Arrive at Kuranda Railway Station.

11:45 am Please be at the bus stop outside the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary to transfer to Rainforestation Nature Park.

BBQ Lunch. Enjoy a delicious hot buffet and a wide selection of salads, cheeses and fruits.

Army Duck Rainforest tour with Tropical Fruit Orchard.

Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience.

Learn to throw a boomerang and watch spear-throwing and didgeridoo playing.

Koala and Wildlife Park. Join a guided tour and see crocodiles, wombats, snakes, dingoes, a cassowary, hand-feeding kangaroos, and wallabies.

You’ll have the opportunity to have your photo taken cuddling and holding a small crocodile (Optional extra)

3:45 pm Transfer to Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Terminal for 4.00 pm boarding.

5:15 pm Your coach will be at the Caravonica Skyrail Terminal to transfer you to your accommodation.

Included

Reef Encounter and Kuranda tour Inclusions

On Reef Encounter

Onboard accommodation with a private bathroom

Coffee, Tea, and water

Our on-board chef freshly prepares breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Snorkelling equipment

Scuba diving equipment (with purchase of diving package)

Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Marine Biologist presentation

All Government Reef Taxes and Levies

Kuranda

Historical Scenic Railway

Kuranda Village

Rainforestation Nature Park

Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience

Army Duck Rainforest Tour

Koala and Wildlife Park

BBQ Buffet Lunch

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Return Transfers to and from Cairns City Accommodation

Optional Extras

Reef Encounter and Kuranda Optional Extras

Reef Encounter

  • Underwater camera hire is available for $89.00 per day
  • Wetsuit $5.00 per day
  • Prescription masks
  • Snacks and drinks from the bar
  • Dive guide
  • Diving packages and courses
  • Night diving for introductory divers

What to bring

Reef Encounter and Kuranda What to Bring

Reef Encounter

Small overnight bag

For safety reasons, Reef Encounter has a “No Shoe” policy. (There is no need to bring extra pairs of shoes)

Cash or credit card for purchases of snacks from the bar/souvenirs for sale on-board or underwater camera hire.

Sun hats, swimming clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and light casual clothing.

As the air-conditioning is set for heat during the day, it can become quite cool in the evenings; even being on the Great Barrier Reef can be cooler at night. Therefore a light pullover and cardigan should be packed.

Additional luggage can be stored at our Tourist information centre in Cairns.

How to get there

Getting To Reef  Encounter

Reef Encounter trips depart from Cairns Marina daily via a fast transfer vessel. Check-In and Boarding are at 7.30 am (for an 8 am departure) onboard Reef Experience.

Alternatively, you may transfer to and/or from your liveaboard tour by helicopter. The helicopter transfer is an optional extra you may select during your online booking process.

Bus transfers to and from your Cairns accommodation are available to the Marina at an additional cost and may be booked during your online reservation or added later by contacting our friendly reservations team.

The approximate arrival time back into Cairns Marina on the final day of your tour is 4.30 pm.

Important Information

Important information for our Reef Encounter and Kuranda tour package

Room check-in is 10:00 am, with the checkout at 8:00 am on the morning of departure. A shared transfer/baggage room, bathroom, and other boat facilities are available.

 

Please Note: Accommodation is not included on the night between Reef Encounter and Kuranda tour.

from $880
from $740
BookRead policies

Included

Twin Bed Stateroom Cabin - Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter Stateroom

Twin Share

2 x Single beds, ensuite Stateroom. Share with another guest

Grand Kuranda

Grand Kuranda - Ex Cairns (CKBB)

Combining the Scenic Train journey with the world famous Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Rainforestation including lunch is a great way to experience this World Heritage listed tropical rainforest and Kuranda.

Departs

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