What Should I Bring to the Great Barrier Reef?

What Should I Bring to the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/17/2020

Reading time: 4 mins

All set to jump in and start exploring the amazing underwater ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef? Read our list on what to bring on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef so you are good to go!

Your Great Barrier Reef tour is booked and you’re raring to go. Before you make your way to down to the jetty, read through our checklist of what to bring to ensure you have everything you need for a perfect experience exploring this fascinating underwater world.

What to bring on a Great Barrier Reef Day Trip

Snorkelling and diving equipment are included in all our Great Barrier Reef tours, so you just need to bring whatever you usually take for a day out in a small bag or backpack. Some items we recommend include:

  • Swimmers/bathers: even if you plan on hiring a wetsuit or using a stinger suit in the water, you will need your own swimsuit or shorts to wear underneath
  • Towel: a big beach towel is great to dry off, but a travel towel will be enough if you don’t have much space
  • Sunglasses: polarised work best on the water, but any that offer sun protection will be fine
  • Hat: a broadbrimmed hat to wear when you are not in the water will protect your face and neck from the strong tropical sun
  • Sunscreen: make sure it’s reef safe and apply it at least 30 minutes before you enter the water
  • Thongs/sandals: wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet
  • Seasickness tablets: if you are prone to motion sickness, make sure you take some tablets before you get on the boat, and bring some extras to take later
  • Dive licence: if you are a certified diver who plans on diving, bring your certificate and photo ID with you
  • Medical certificate: all divers will need to fill out a form to be cleared to dive by the crew on board. If you have any medical conditions that may prevent you from diving, you will need to bring a note from a dive doctor clearing you to dive
  • Waterproof camera: if you want to capture photos of your amazing experience underwater, bring your own waterproof camera, or hire a GoPro from a store in Cairns before you go. A red filter will also help bring colour to your photos underwater
  • Smartphone: a photographer will be on board to capture your memorable day, with the photos available to purchase at the end of the day. Bring your smartphone so they can transfer them directly to you before you disembark
  • Refillable water bottle: water is available onboard, so you can top up and stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Card or cash: there are plenty of optional extras available on the day, not to mention additional snacks and drinks at the bar. Bring some cash or your card in case you want to make any extra purchases on the day
  • A light jacket or windbreaker: keep warm if it gets windy
  • Extra clothes: an extra set of dry clothes to change into will keep you comfortable for the journey home

What to bring on your Great Barrier Reef Overnight Tour

As well as any items for a day tour, bring along some essentials for an overnight stay on the reef in small overnight bag or suitcase. There’s not too much space onboard so store any extra luggage at your hotel before you leave.

  • Toiletries: anything you need to washup on an overnight trip
  • Warmer clothes: as it cools down at night on the water, bring long trousers and a jumper to keep warm on deck
  • Book: something to keep you entertained when the sun goes down
  • Anything else you need for an overnight trip: phone/camera chargers, earplugs, security blanket

Got everything? Great! Most importantly, don’t forget your sense of adventure for this amazing experience exploring the Great Barrier Reef!

Related article: Top 5 Things to Do in 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.