Is Michaelmas Cay worth visiting?

Is Michaelmas Cay worth visiting?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/20/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

Michaelmas Cay is an exquisite reef sand cay that sits 40 kilometres from Cairns.

Michaelmas Cay is one of the most visited reefs within the Great Barrier Reef. The sand is pure white with gorgeous turquoise water surrounding the cay.

To reach Michaelmas Cay, some catamarans visit frequently, or you can book a tour or drive a private boat.

What can I do at Michaelmas Cay?

Michaelmas Cay has very clear water, which makes it one of the best spots for water activities.


Snorkelling at Michaelmas Cay is one of the popular activities. With the clear water, you can explore the reef, swim with the marine life, and also see the colourful coral.

Michaelmas Cay Snorkel

Scuba diving

Scuba diving is the best way to go deeper in the water and more freedom to swim around. The visibility underwater is super clear, allowing you to see far ahead of you.


If you’re not fully into trying out snorkelling or diving, you can go swimming or just get your legs wet in the water. It’s hard to resist the blue water by Michaelmas Cay.

Glass bottom boat

And if you don’t want to get into the water at all, you can still see everything underwater on the glass bottom boat. The boat will take you around Michaelmas Cay where you can look out for different marine creatures and even watch the coral sway in the water.

What animals can I see at Michaelmas Cay?

Michaelmas Cay Sea Birds

Michaelmas Cay has a range of marine creatures, plenty of giant clams, and even sea birds. You can see the marine life when you go snorkelling, scuba diving, and even on the glass bottom boat.

Marine life

Michaelmas Cay is home to all kinds of marine life like the small colourful fish and larger creatures like the green sea turtles.

A very large fish to spot is the seven foot long humphead Maori wrasse. You won’t miss seeing one of these fish swimming around, and they may even approach you while you’re in the water.

Sea birds

On Michaelmas Cay is one of the important sea bird habitats in the Southern Hemisphere with around 23 species of sea birds on the cay.

Most of the species of sea birds nest and breed during the summer months, though breeding still occurs throughout the year. The sooty terns breed around every eight months, while most will breed annually.

Needless to say, Michaelmas Cay is certainly worth your time when you visit the Great Barrier Reef.

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.