Activities at Michaelmas Cay

Activities at Michaelmas Cay

Be active and enjoy all the included activities – snorkel in the cay’s protected shallow waters, cruise in the Semi-submarine/glass bottom boat Reef Discovery tour for a diver’s view of the reef, watch the fish feeding presentation and observe the island bird life. Throughout the day, the “beach buggy shuttle” will transfer you between Ocean Spirit and the beach. To protect this renowned bird sanctuary, access on the cay is limited to the roped beach area. If you prefer a more leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef, relax on the beach or onboard Ocean Spirit’s spacious decks. The choice is yours!

Snorkelling at Michaelmas Cay

Included activity

Snorkelling is fun way to experience the many treasures of the Great Barrier Reef. With easy access from the beach at Michaelmas Cay, people of all ages and experience, can enjoy the reef, quietly drifting over the myriad of corals and colourful fish. The Cay, with its calm, shallow waters, is ideal for first-timers and young families who want to experience it together. Most of the reef's diversity, around 90% of it, is known to be in the top 4 metres of the water.

Ocean Spirit Virtual 360° Tour
A mask, a snorkel and fins are all provided and you’re set for your snorkel adventure on Michaelmas Cay. Our qualified crew are on hand to supervise and show you the basics (if you need them). Buoyancy vests are also provided and will help you stay effortlessly afloat as you discover the world below.
For some great snorkelling tips, make sure to watch the crew’s fun snorkelling demonstration on your journey to Michaelmas Cay too.

Ocean Spirit

Lycra Suits

Lycra suits are available for adults and children entering the water, providing sun protection and reducing the possibility of stings and irritations from marine stingers that can frequent tropical waters seasonally.  

The lycra suits have long sleeves and legs with a hood and mittens. They're a great fun fashion statement and photo opportunity too!

Snorkelling can be a strenuous activity. Please use caution and inform our crew of any medical conditions.

Semi-submarine/glass bottom boat Reef Discovery tour

Included activity

Cruising in our air-conditioned semi-sub (or glass bottom boat), seated just one metre below the waterline, you’ll get a diver’s view of the reef without getting wet! With the large viewing windows, our expert crew provide an informative commentary on the corals and marine life before your eyes as you learn about the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef in this interactive tour. 

You’ll be in the midst of beautiful coral formations as we observe a treasure trove of marine life going about their daily life. The reefs surrounding Michaelmas Cay are home to several varieties of spectacular giant clams, sea turtles, giant trevally, hump-headed parrotfish, black tip reef sharks and a magnificent variety of colourful and exotic tropical fish.

Our Semi-submarine/glass bottom boat Reef Discovery tour takes around 30 minutes and is included in your day at no extra cost so make sure you hop on board to join us for an up close encounter of a very special kind!

Marine Biologist Guided Snorkel Tour

Optional activity

If you’d like to learn more about the fascinating marine creatures of the reef, you can join an optional guided snorkel tour with the marine biologist. You’ll be part of a small group as you get an up close and personal insight into this amazing underwater world.

Michaelmas reef is renowned for an abundance of giant clams and sea turtles amongst a myriad of colourful marine life. Just some of the commonly seen marine life you may encounter on the guided snorkel tour include all types of hard and soft corals (there are over 400 types of corals on the Great Barrier Reef!), colourful parrotfish and fusiliers, schooling fish, trevally, clownfish (Nemo!), sea cucumbers and giant clams.
This tour is conducted directly from the beach in the cay’s protected waters.

The tour lasts for approximately 45 minutes and is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy together. It’s a great educational experience and most of all a lot of fun!

Guided Snorkel Option

Guided Snorkel Tour

All equipment and lycra suit provided.

Adult $80.00 | Child $42.00 | Family $206.00

Prices valid to 31 March 2025.

Introductory diving at Michaelmas Cay

Optional activity

Explore the reef from a fish’s point of view! Scuba diving is a close encounter of the most unique kind. Glide past stunning coral formations, swim along with schools of fish and discover what’s hiding in the reefs around Michaelmas Cay. No experience is necessary to take a fully supervised, guided introductory dive and you’ll be able to add another dimension to your reef experience delving beyond what a snorkeller can see in this special underwater world.

It’s fun and easy with one of our professional and experienced instructors by your side who will guide you through every aspect of your dive, allowing you to have a relaxed, enjoyable experience.

The only requirements are that you are over 12 years of age, pass the onboard medical questionnaire and participate in our 30 minute dive brief.

Michaelmas Cay is the perfect dive site for first-timers. The island is wind protected and its waters calm and shallow. Once at Michaelmas Cay, you’ll gear-up and start your dive experience with a skills practice session with your instructor in the shallows of the cay and soon you will be ready for your dive adventure!
At the completion of your first Scuba Dive, you’ll also receive a certificate of recognition and exciting memories to last a lifetime!

If you are considering an introductory dive please see our dive crew on boarding the vessel. Pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment as places are limited.
Guided Snorkel Option

Introductory Scuba Dive

All equipment, including wetsuits and prescription masks (if required) are included. Multi-lingual diving instructors are available upon request, however it is advisable to contact our office for specific language needs to ensure availability.

Adult $160.00

Prices valid to 31 March 2025.

Advice for Water Activities

The minimum age for Introductory Scuba Diving is 12 years. Certain medical conditions, medications and height restrictions may preclude some people from participating in optional in-water activities. For advice, contact our office. After a single dive a wait of 12 hours is recommended before ascending to an altitude of 300 metres or greater. If doing multiple dives an interval of 24 hours is suggested.


Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence St. Cairns, Queensland.
Australia, 4870 
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Email: [email protected]
Phone: (+617) 4044 9944