Great Barrier Reef sightseeing by plane

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#1
bolingbrook, IL
2,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I’ll arrive in Arlie Beach on Radiance of the Seas on April 2nd and would like to take a flight over the Great Barrier Reef. Shore excursion on Royal Caribbean is $369 pp so I’m searching for something cheaper. Anyone taken one of these tours that they can recommend?

Thanks
#2
Laughlin, NV
217 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We are looking at doing the same thing. I have researched GSL aviation. Appears to be about $450 AUD for two. Looks great. Will be following to see if anyone has done the same.
#4
New Jersey
104 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
In November we did an awesome helicopter flight over the reef from Cairns with Nautilus Aviation.
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#5
bolingbrook, IL
2,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by GUT2407
How long is the $369 flight?
The excursion is 1 hr 45 min so my guess is the flight is 1hour.

If we book on our own, I wonder how much cab fare would be from the port to the airport.
#9
bolingbrook, IL
2,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Here's what their response said:

We offer two different fixed wing (plane) scenic flights. Our Island Explorer flight is 25mins in duration and flies around the Whitsunday Islands (including Long Island, Hamilton Island, Hook Island, Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and the Molle Group). The price per passenger for this tour is $119AUD.

If you wanted to see the Reef, our 1 hour 'Reef & Island' flight visits all of those Islands listed above as well as Heart Reef, Hook Reef, Hardy Reef & Bait Reef. The price per passenger for this tour is $219AUD.

Alternatively we offer Helicopter tours as well

Our Whitsunday Heli Experience (H1) tour is a 30 minute tour to the Molle Island groups with a landing on the beach for roughly 15 minutes. On this flight you will see the views of Long Island, Daydream Island the Molle group islands and Airlie Beach. This is $199 per person.

Our Whitehaven Heli Tour (H2) is a 2 hour tour over to Whitsunday Island with a landing at Whitehaven Beach. You will get roughly 1.5 hours on Whitehaven Beach. This is $279 per person.

Our Reef with Whitehaven Landing (H3) is a 2.5 hour tour over the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Island with a landing at Whitehaven Beach. You will get roughly 1.5 hours on Whitehaven Beach. This is $699 per person.

Our Reef Scenic (H4) is a 60 minute flight over the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and the Great Barrier Reef including Heart Reef. This flight is only a scenic flight and does not offer a beach landing. This is $499 per person.


They also said that they need to know whether your port is Abell Point Marina or Port of Airlie
#10
Laughlin, NV
217 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Great info - thanks.

Not sure on our port -- it is tendering. So ships must tender to different ports? We are on Celebrity --- will have to ask about that.
#11
bolingbrook, IL
2,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
We’re on Royal Caribbean. Since Celebrity and RCI are the same company, I would assume they use the same location (Abell Point) but I don’t know for sure.
#13
791 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
Originally posted by GJCruiser
Thanks for the info. I will have to ask on the Celebrity board to see if anyone knows. The Celebrity website is not very informative.
I was in Airlie twice on Celebrity, '16 & '17.
Both times we tendered to Port of Airlie.
This is the one east of town, and closer to Whitsunday Airport (if that is where the flights are).

This was before the bad cyclone of last year however, so I don't know if that changed things.