Mission Beach Snorkel Tour Review

Mission Beach snorkel tour to Beaver Reef, on the Great Barrier Reef. Full day adventure onboard Reef Goddess, visit two reef sites, with up to 3 hours snorkel time. Cruise out into the blue to see coral gardens, swim with sea turtles, starfish, staghorn corals and lots of lovely little reef fish. Amazing weather, great family day out.

Mission Beach snorkel tour. From Clump Point to coral gardens. Making memories.

Mission Beach Snorkel Tour With Mission Beach Dive

Mission Beach Dive is one of the only operators to run Mission Beach snorkel tours to the Great Barrier Reef and they don’t operate every day, so make sure you plan and book ahead for this experience. We jumped on board their Reef Goddess for a full day snorkel trip, visiting two reef destinations – Eddy Reef and Beaver Reef. It was family friendly, with lots of kids on board.

“We had never visited the Great Barrier Reef from Mission Beach, so were unsure what to expect. Couldn’t have picked a better day weather wise. Flat blue sea, warm waters and coral gardens teeming with all of our favourites, including colourful chromis, starfish, giant clams and Green Sea Turtles. There was even some diving dolphins by the boat during lunch.” – Julie Johnston

Beaver Reef A Great Snorkeling Location

Beaver Reef is one of the 3,000 coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (approx.) and is classified as a Green Zone, with no fishing allowed. It’s about a 90-minute boat ride from Mission Beach, when you travel on Reef Goddess. Beaver Reef is suitable for scuba divers and snorkelers, with a max depth of around 20m and coral gardens rising up to within a few meters from the surface. Coral cover is excellent, with a combination of hard and soft corals, on bommies, walls and shelves. During our snorkel we saw blue and orange starfish, beautiful giant clams, anemonefish, angelfish and more.

Eddy Reef was the other stop of the day. The coral was not as abundant here, but there was lots of marine life and our son loved jumping from Reef Goddess’ top deck down into the clear waters below. The medium sized boat provides a comfortable ride to and from Clump Point at Mission Beach to the Great Barrier Reef, seating is on the lower level and top deck, or head up to the bow and dangle your legs over the side to enjoy the splash of the waves on your feet.

Mission Beach Snorkel Tour What You Get

We went on the Mission Beach Dive ‘Full Day Snorkel the Outer Great Barrier Reef’ tour, cruising on their Reef Goddess vessel. It departed Clump Point at Mission Beach at around 8.30am and returned to the mainland around 4pm. The day included visits to two separate reef locations – Beaver and Eddy Reef – but they can choose between several reef sites and will pick the best on the day, to maximise your experience pending weather and conditions.

Their Mission Beach snorkel tour includes the use of mask, snorkel and fins. The crew provides a safety briefing and snorkel demonstration during the outward journey. They also provide tips and advice on the best places to snorkel (and not to) at each reef site. Lunch is included and is served buffet style, with a selection of cold meats and salads, fresh prawns and bread rolls. Beverages could be purchased and are in addition to the tour price.

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We went in September. Clear water, colourful reef, with lots of coral and fish.

Questions About Snorkeling From Mission Beach

Can you snorkel off Mission Beach?

Yes you can snorkel directly off Mission Beach, but honestly there is not too much to see. If you want to ‘see’ the Great Barrier Reef, then you need to go to it.

How far is Beaver Reef, on the Great Barrier Reef, from Mission Beach?

As the crow flies, Beaver Reef on the Great Barrier Reef is about 40km offshore from Mission Beach.

How long does it take to get to Beaver Reef from Mission Beach?

When travelling with Mission Beach Dive, on their Reef Goddess vessel, it takes about 90 minutes travelling time from Clump Point to Beaver Reef.

How much does it cost to go to the Reef from Mission Beach?

We booked the Mission Beach Dive ‘Full Day Snorkel the Outer Great Barrier Reef’ tour, cruising on their Reef Goddess vessel. At the time of travel [September 2022] this cost $210 for Adults and $130 for Children. A Family Rate of $680 for 2 Adults and 2 Children.

Does Mission Beach have stingers?

Yes, Mission Beach does have stingers during a seasonal period. This is true of much of Queensland’s north eastern coastline. Mission Beach Dive does provide lycra suits which provide protection from the sun and the stingers.

Is the reef better in Mission Beach or Cairns?

We will answer this one according to our own personal experiences. We have been on every reef trip from Cairns, visiting islands, outer reef pontoons, outer reef destinations and coral cays. We thought Beaver Reef was comparable with some of the outer reefs from Cairns. Eddy Reef not so much.

Is the reef better in Mission Beach or Whitsundays?

Again, will answer this one according to our own personal experiences. We think the Whitsundays is a fantastic sailing and island destination. We think Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is a great Great Barrier Reef destination. In our experience, snorkelling at Mission Beach was much better than snorkelling at the Whitsundays – the corals are closer to you, visibility is better and overall, there was more ‘reef’ to ‘see’ at Mission Beach.

Can I fly my drone on the reef at Mission Beach?

Yes, you can at Mission Beach. No, you can’t on Mission Beach Dive or Reef Goddess. They have a strict no drone policy, so leave the DJI at home 🙁

Snorkeling from Mission Beach What You Need To Know

Mission Beach Dive do not operate every day. If you are planning a Mission Beach holiday and want to include a snorkel trip to the Great Barrier Reef in your itinerary, it’s best to plan and book ahead to avoid disappointment. This was a family friendly Mission Beach snorkel trip and there were lots of families on board, with children of varying ages.

  • Snorkel Equipment supplied
  • Wear sunscreen and sun smart clothes
  • Not Suitable for Non-Swimmers
  • Buffet Lunch Included
  • Cool Drinks Available For Purchase
  • Two Outer Reef Sites
  • Departs Clump Point, Mission Beach

About the Author

Julie was born in Cairns and grew up running around in the cane fields south of the city. She has explored, breathed and loved everything about our amazing Cairns region her whole life. Excited to be able share this wonderful place with our son and see it all again through ‘new’ eyes. Watch this space for more info on the people, places, destinations and things you can do up here.

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