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Reef Encounter, Cairns

4-star4 stars
Cairns Marlin Marina - Marlin Jetty ABoat: Reef Experience, CairnsQLD4870Australia

Cairns cruise with restaurant, bar/lounge
  • Free buffet breakfast
  • My family and I had an amazing 4 day, 3 night stay on Reef Encounters. The crew was…Nov 27, 2017
  • A really fun place to stay if you want to be out on the reef for more than a few hours.…Oct 29, 2017
26See all 26 reviews
From 901 reviewsTripAdvisor Traveller Rating

Reef Encounter, Cairns

from $595
  • Standard Double Room
  • Standard Twin Room
  • Superior Double Room
  • Superior Twin Room

At a glance

Key facts

Hotel size

  • This hotel has 21 rooms
  • This hotel is arranged over 3 floors


  • Check-in time 7:30 AM-7:30 AM
  • Check-out time is 4:30 PM
There is no after-hours reception at this property. Guests arriving late won't be able to check in until the next morning. The property is a ship at sea. Guests must take the Reef Experience catamaran from Cairns Marlin Marina, A Finger, to reach it. The catamaran begins boarding at 7:30 AM, with check-in and breakfast on board. It departs for the ship at 8 AM. You will check-out of your room at 9 AM, and arrive in Cairns is at 4:30 PM upon departure. For more details, please contact the office using the information on the reservation confirmation received after booking.

Required at check in

  • Credit card or cash deposit required

  • Government-issued photo ID required

  • Minimum check-in age is 18

Travelling with others


  • Pets not allowed

Other information

  • All-inclusive rates available
* See small print for additional details or extra charges

In the hotel

Food and drink
  • Free buffet breakfast daily
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/lounge
  • Coffee/tea in a common area
Things to do
  • Spa tub
  • Snorkeling on site
  • Television in common areas

In the room

Home comforts
  • Air conditioning
Freshen up
  • Private bathroom
  • Shower only
  • Free toiletries

Special features

All inclusive

All-inclusive room rates at Reef Encounter are available. These rates are higher because they include onsite food and beverages in the room rate (some restrictions may apply).
Activities and facilities/equipment
Water activities

  • Snorkeling
  • Snorkeling excursions

Not included
  • Motorized water sports
  • Sailboats
  • Scuba-diving certification
  • Scuba-diving excursions
  • Scuba-diving lessons
  • Windsurfing equipment
  • Premium food items
  • Premium and/or non-domestic beverages
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Minibar
  • Room service
  • Airport transfers
  • Childcare
  • Laundry/dry cleaning services
  • Spa/beauty facilities and services
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Activities and services offered by independent operators
  • Offsite tours
  • Transportation to offsite activities
  • Gratuities
  • Taxes


Onsite venue - Overlooking the ocean, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Reef Encounter, Cairns’s small print

Also known as

  • Reef Encounter Boat
  • Reef Encounter Boat Cairns
  • Reef Encounter Cairns
  • Reef Encounter Hotel Great Barrier Reef


Only registered guests are allowed in the guestrooms.

Transfers via boat or helicopter are required and must be arranged before travel by contacting the property at the number on the booking confirmation.

Mandatory fees

You’ll be asked to pay the following charges at check in or check out:

  • A tax is imposed by the city: AUD 30.00 per person, per night. This tax does not apply to children under 4 years of age.

Optional extras

Cribs/Infant beds are available for AUD 50.00 per night

We have included all charges provided to us by this hotel. However, charges can vary, for example, based on length of stay or the room you book.

What’s around Reef Encounter, Cairns


  • Cruise from Cairns
  • ZOO To You HQ Wildlife Discovery Centre - 0 min walk
  • Reef Fleet Terminal - 3 min walk
  • Cairns Harbour Cruises - 4 min walk
  • Esplanade Lagoon - 7 min walk
  • Michaelmas Cay - 7 min walk
  • Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome - 7 min walk
  • Cairns Regional Gallery - 8 min walk

Getting around

  • Cairns, QLD (CNS-Cairns Intl.) - 14 min drive
  • Cairns Station - 19 min walk
  • Freshwater Station - 21 min drive
  • Redlynch Station - 21 min drive

Recent reviews

Superb 9.0 From 26 reviews

Reef Encounter, Cairns
As Advertised
Great service. Price on was for snorkeling option only. Time of our lives. Great service and accommodation. Everything as advertised.
A Traveler, us2 night family trip
Reef Encounter, Cairns
Awesome experience for Great Barrier Reef
We did this to stay overnight on the reef. If you book through, you will still have to pay for the tax (per day that you are there) and any diving upgrades. This booking is only good for the snorkel experience but you can upgrade easily (you just have to pay the price difference between the snorkel and the diving trips). Overall the experience was great. The room was small but that's what you get on a boat. It was comfortable and clean. We spent all day diving on the reef. The employees were very courteous and helpful. We loved the whole experience!
A Traveler, us1 night romance trip
Reef Encounter, Cairns
Just do it.
We stayed for three nights. Everything was amazing. The captain. The crew. The food. The Accomodations. We will return again.
william, us3 night romance trip
Reef Encounter, Cairns
Very Good8.0
Great way to see Down Under
Beware when you book through a third partyvendor that you are only purchasing a snorkeling package. we are avid, certified divers who were surprised when we got on board when we were presented with an additional bill in order to be able to scuba dive.We were also greeted with an additional bill for taxes. once you got that out of the way, we did a lot of eating and diving! the food was healthy, delicious and plentiful, and the diving was the same. we had booked the Top Deck package which was very special. we were assigned a young lady to take care of our every need throughout the trip. she was more than helpful, and made our stay very special, including setting up our private candle lit dinner table on the top deck where we watched the sunset before our night dive and returned afterwards for dessert and a bottle of champagne. You load your own equipment on your body, then lug it up and down a flight of stairs to get into and out of the water. if you're wearing a wetsuit, you've added a few pounds on the weight belt, and it's a heavy that every two hours and you've earned the big meals being served!
Jennifer, us1 night romance trip
Reef Encounter, Cairns
It was great to have stay overnight on the reef, and we enjoyed the multiple opportunities for diving. definitely worth the experience.
A Traveler, au1 night romance trip

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Reef Encounter, Cairns

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