Can you see the Great Barrier Reef in a glass bottom boat?

Can you see the Great Barrier Reef in a glass bottom boat?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 10/18/2022

Reading time: 3 mins

The Great Barrier Reef is at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists. The reef is one of the seven wonders of the world, and travellers come from far and wide to marvel at the rich marine life and colourful coral submerged in the turquoise waters.

Glass bottom boat tours are a fantastic way to see the reef without having to jump in. Perfect for families with young kids, or for those who prefer to stay dry. It should be noted that whilst you will see coral and fish through the glass, nothing beats being in the water yourself and swimming along the reef. The boats are fantastic, yet if conditions aren’t ideal, it may be a little less clear.

For something extra special, you can partake in the glass bottom boat tour in the evening. Watch below as the ultraviolet light omitted from the boat showcases the reef in a completely different way. Seeing the coral and sea creatures in this light has become a popular option, as it is not something everyone gets to experience, or even knows is an option!

Which tours include the glass bottom boat?

Companies will list in their itineraries if the glass bottom boat is included or an optional extra. If this is something you’d like to experience, be sure to speak with your travel agent or reservations specialist for confirmation to avoid disappointment.

Check out our Great Barrier Reef tours below – our experienced crew will ensure you have the best day possible exploring the beautiful reef. Tours operate daily.

Snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef

The glass bottom boat isn’t the only way to experience the magnificent reef. Snorkelling and diving options have you swimming through the crystal-clear water, swimming past coral, fish and maybe even a turtle.

Tour companies provide snorkelling equipment for travellers, and many include a complimentary free first dive for beginners and experienced divers. If you choose to dive, you will be briefed on the boat on the way out to the reef before jumping in. Your instructor will let you know if you are unable to proceed for any reason – Australia takes diving safety very seriously.

Great Barrier Reef Pontoon

A permanent floating structure on the reef, the pontoon is a wonderland for families on the water. You can sunbake on the large deck, cool off in the swimming pool, fly down a waterslide straight into the reed, or check out the underwater observatory.

You have flexibility on how you spend your day on the pontoon, but bottom line is you are on a floating funhouse on the world’s most famous reef. On board eating and kitchen areas are available to keep you fed and hydrated throughout the day. There are also touch pools and presentations about marine life for the kids. This pontoon is a full day of fun.

Whether you opt to get out swimming in the reef or staying on board and watching below through a glass bottom boat, a day on the Great Barrier Reef is magic. This incredible reef is Australia’s pride and joy, and you should come and see for yourself why so many travellers – and locals – take the boat journey out to see it.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.