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Michaelmas Cay tours from Cairns

The great land of Australia is home to many natural wonders and gorgeous sights, and while nobody knows what exactly the future will hold for the tourism industry, there’s no doubt in our minds that Queensland will continue to thrive for years and decades to come.

Alas, while most of the focus tends to go on the wilderness, there’s also something to be said for the outrageous beauty held within the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Our specific focus point here is going to be the wonderful Michaelmas Cay. This 50 shades of blue extravaganza is a hidden treasure located far out in the ocean, and because of how easy it is to miss, we want to point out some of the best Michaelmas Cay tours from Cairns that are out there in the world.

How long does it take to reach Michaelmas Cay from Cairns?

The Great Barrier Reef is a somewhat daunting destination given how far and wide it stretches out across the coastline of Queensland. Still, there are very few places that aren’t accessible, and it is in fact possible to head on over to Michaelmas Cay on a not-too-long trip from the gateway city of Cairns.

Using the Seastar as an example it’ll usually take around 1 hour 15 minutes, or potentially a bit longer depending on how the waters are feeling, to complete the journey on one of the Michaelmas Cay tours from Cairns. The exact distance between the two spots is believed to be around 40km.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Michaelmas Cay?

The outer beaches can be visited between 9.30am and 3pm so it’s smart to plan around that, but more often than not, the available tours will be able to accommodate for an experience that lasts the whole day.

Depending on how luxurious you want to go there are lunches and buffets available with guides letting you know what exactly it is that’s sitting out there in the Cay.

Water-based activities are often at the top of the priority list for the majority of folks who choose to go on tours out to this location which, given where it is, should come as no surprise whatsoever.

This really is one for the Reef enthusiasts but you don’t have to exert a tonne of energy to have a good time, as it’s pretty easy to sit back and relax either on the boat or on the beach while the sun shines down.

After a period of usually around 5-8 hours, it’s back off to good old Cairns.

Michaelmas Cay may not come across as the biggest or most outrageous excursion in the region of Queensland, but trust us when we tell you there’s a lot of entertainment to be found.

Semi-Submersible Tour

Head on down to the lower deck of the boat or catamaran and see the unbelievable sights of the coral viewing tour. You’re semi-submersed in the water at this stage, as the title suggests, and it’s so easy to get a brand new appreciation for underwater life and everything it entails.

Snorkeling Tour

Between an introduction to snorkeling and marine biologists actually running you through the intricacies of the activity, there’s a lot to unpack here. The Cay is an absolute goldmine of snorkeling fun and if you don’t believe us, try it out for yourselves.

Sailing Tour

We all want to know what it’s like to live life on the other side and with this sailing tour, you can do just that. It’s high-end, it’s elegant, and there’s an argument to be made that learning how to master the sea is one of the most important qualities a person can possess. Plus, you know, it’s nice to feel ultra powerful from time to time.

Are there any combo tours including other places to visit?

The Cay can and should be the main attraction if you’re heading out into the open waters but as is the case with 99% of places around Cairns, there’s a whole lot more than meets the eye.

Green Island

The shallow waters of Green Island make for quite the diving experience as you truly get to grasp what it means to see crystal blue waters. It’s not that far, it’s a great swimming spot and it’s a perfect opportunity to double up and see another new place.

Reef Hopping

The Oyster Reef, Arlington Reef and so many more are available here outside of just Michaelmas and because of that, there are plenty of tours that allow you to stop and smell the roses of these other beauties. It’s convenient, it’s practical and it’s also pretty gorgeous.

Palm Cove

Palm Cove is actually a suburb of Cairns itself but given it’s one of the hubs used to transport travelers back and forth between the Cay, it only makes sense to check it out and see what it has to offer. From the gorgeous trees that line the beach to the relaxation felt upon arrival, you can’t go wrong.

Travel tips

  • Nobody likes a show-off, and that’s especially true for a place like the Cay. Due to the fragile nature of the nesting and seabirds who call it home, visitors are only allowed onto the exterior beaches between very specific times. It’s a simple tip but it’s one that needs to be repeated: respect the rules and respect the precious wildlife that resides here because it only takes one slip-up to cause chaos.
  • The adventure out to this point in the deep blue waters is a long one and while this may sound silly, it’s important to plan your bathroom breaks. There are no public facilities here and there’s no wheelchair access available, so don’t leave yourself feeling disappointed.
  • It’s always nice to go to a new location and be completely blown away on the first glance, but there are so many fascinating facts related to Michaelmas Cay that it seems wrong not to try and investigate them further. We’d suggest doing a bit of research and that way, you’ll know what you’re looking at, and it’s also fun to ask any potential tour guides some questions.