Green Island is the only coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest growing on it! Just past the day visitors swimming pool you will come across the start of a series of wooden boardwalks that will take you on a tour through the rainforest.
I can highly recommend going for a wander. The walks are quite informative as there are signs along the way pointing out interesting plants and telling you about different animals and birds that call the forest their home.
It is a great way to get out of the sun for a while and learn more about the beautiful Green Island.
When I visited Green Island there was a cold wind and it was a little too cool for me to want to go snorkelling, so I opted for a glass bottom boat tour.
It had been years since I had been on a glass bottom boat and I had forgotten how much I like them (ok, not the same buzz that you get from getting under the water yourself, but still pretty good!).
The tour guide was very friendly, though unfortunately he had a strong foreign accent and it was difficult to understand him at times.
The tour lasted about 30 minutes and we saw all manner of sea-life. The highlight for me was seeing a couple of turtles just below the surface.
One of the most popular activities on Green Island is snorkelling. The island is on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and there are some fabulous sights to see just under the water. Please note that we are not talking about the ultra-amazing sights you can see on the outer reef, but nonetheless, still great.
The white sandy beach makes this a good place to teach the kids to snorkel, and you can always relax on the sand and watch the older kids if you don't want to get your hair wet ; )
Snorkelling gear was included on the tour we did to Green Island, though it looked like plenty of people had brought their own equipment as well.
If you need a snack or a full meal when you are on Green Island then there are a few different dining options.
We were only on the island for a half day, and towards the end of our visit we were in need of a quick snack to tide us over till lunch back in Cairns, so we headed to the casual looking Reflections Pool Bar, which was located, not surprisingly, by the pool.
Favorite Dish: We ordered coffees and a couple of small sweet treats to share and took a seat. Service was friendly enough but pretty slow.
Oh well, we were on an island right, and life is supposed to move a bit slower ; )
To get to Green Island we caught a fast catamaran from Cairns, with the company Great Adventures. We did their 'Green Island Eco Adventure', which at a cost of around $60 per person gave us:
- return trip to the island (took around 45 minutes)
- morning tea onboard the boat
- a choice of doing a glass bottom boat tour or use of snorkelling equipment
- Guided eco island walk
- Entry to island swimming pool and use of day visitor facilities.
The catamaran left from the main wharf area in Cairns. It was a decent size boat, with plenty of seating in and outside. I was impressed with the friendliness of the staff and enjoyed the trip.