Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest on a Budget

Our Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest on a Budget package gives you the adventure of a lifetime! Visit the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Listed site. Travel to the stunning Kuranda Village  within the Wet Tropics by Train and Skyrail.

Day One: Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise

Compass Cruises has been taking people to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for many years. Snorkel and dive amongst beautiful corals. View a colourful variety of tropical marine life. Relax on the huge sundeck. See the Great Barrier Reef from the glass bottom boat (optional Extra). Take the “Wild Ride” on the famous Compass Boomnet. Scuba Diving is available for all levels of experience. Snorkeling is made easy with our helpful crew.

Tour Itinerary

  • 07:30 – Board the boat Compass, at Cairns Marina ‘Marlin Wharf Berth 18’, for check-in.
  • 08:00 –Approximately depart Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Safety talk, snorkel and dive briefings
  • 10:30 – Arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef Location
  • 12:30 – BBQ Lunch with fresh salads
  • 13:00 – Cruise to 2nd Reef Location
  • 15:30 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 17:30 – Approximate Arrival time at Cairns Marina

What's Included

  • Snorkel equipment hire & tuition (excluding wetsuits).
  • Flotation devices
  • Fresh fruit platters when boarding.
  • Delicious BBQ lunch with an assortment of fresh salads (dietary requirement catered for).
  • Boomnetting (weather permitting).
  • Glass of wine, cheese & crackers on return journey.
  • Complimentary tea & coffee all day (whilst vessel is stationary).
  • All reef taxes and levies.
  • Assistance for non confident swimmers.
  • Compass Cruises is also a disability friendly tour.

What to Bring

  • Cash or credit card for purchases
  • Sun cream
  • Hat
  • Towel
  • Swimming Clothes
  • Proof of certification if a certified diver
  • Booking voucher 

How To Get There

Compass Cruises departs from Cairns Marina, Marlin Wharf, Berth 18

View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences on the vessel at 7:30 am for an 8:00 am departure

Compass arrives back to Cairns Marina at approximately 5:30pm

Where Can I Park?

There are a number of parking stations throughout Cairns that are in walking distance of the Marina.  Click here to see where

Important Information for Scuba Diving

We have a passion to show you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record.   We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and / or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.   It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Compass Cruises Medical Questionnaire

We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have.   Please Contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us

Or alternatively, you may like to consult your own Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive.  For multiple dives you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive. If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible

Day Two: Scenic Train & Skyrail

Travel by the scenic rail and learn about the pioneering history of the tropical north. During the journey, climb over 40 small bridges and through many dark tunnels. Wind your way from Cairns to Kuranda. Stop off to view the impressive Barron Falls.

Spend free time in Kuranda. Explore the many quaint market stalls. Experience lots of Aussie wildlife!

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway provides an extraordinary birds-eye-view of the rainforest. Soar silently only meters above the rainforest canopy. See and experience the rainforest in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Hop off and enjoy the 2 rainforest boardwalks along the journey. A relaxing finish to your Reef and Rainforest on a Budget package.


As at July 2020, Skyrail is currently not operating.  This tour itinerary has changed, and you will now be transferred from Kuranda at 3.00 pm by air-conditioned coach to your Cairns accommodation.

Tour Itinerary

  • 7:00 – 7.30 am Approximate pickup from your Cairns Accommodation
  • 8:00 am   Arrive at Freshwater Station. Explore the Railway Museum and Pioneer Cottage while you wait to board
  • 8:30 am   All aboard! Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • 10:15 am  Arrive at Kuranda Railway Station, explore Kuranda, a village in the rainforest
  • 4:00 pm    Transfer to Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Terminal for 4 PM boarding.
  •  5.15 pm   Your coach will be at Skyrail Terminal to transfer you to your Cairns City Accommodation.

What's Included

  • Return bus transfers to and from Cairns City accommodation (bus pickups are not available from outside of Cairns City area).
  • When booking please advise your accommodation details in the notes section for pickup.
  • 5 hours to spend exploring Kuranda Village.
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Skyrail Cablecar 

What to Bring

  • Comfortable Walking shoes
  • Camera Cash/Credit card for purchases
  • Bottle of water


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