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Things to bring with you to Green Island
On the boat
You need to arrive as early as is practical to make sure you get a window seat, facing forward, on the boat. We arrived on time and had to face backwards with only one person at the window. The boats have a small bar to buy drinks and chips and the prices are reasonable. The trip took about 50 minutes to get from Cairns to Green Island. There was a short overview of snorkeling that is worth listening to even if you are a regular snorkeler.
At the Island
There are a few shops on the island. A typical resort-wear style shop with emergency bathers and the like, an ice-cream shop, a bar, and a lunch cafe. Depending on which boat you came on you may actually return to your boat for lunch rather than eating on the island. Your day ticket to the island should include some kind of lunch in the price.
As you walk off the pier you can either turn left or right to get to the beach. I would recommend going to the left as the beach on that side of the island is monitored for a life guard and they at least have a report on the water currents so you know what you are in for. The current is always strong on the island, so watch your kids as they may float away faster than you can watch them.
During summer (Dec to Feb) this part of Australia has something called stingers in the water. There was a report of one getting a tourist on Monday 1st Jan 2007 (not confirmed) on Green Island. They can be lethal if not given medical attention urgently. However typically these are found on the coast of Australia only, not on the reef. Green Island has only a handful of stingers each year.
To help protect you from the stingers you can hire a full body Lycra suit. This wills top you getting stung everywhere except your face and at the same time offer full protection from UV rays from the sun. I didn't where one but my children did. Oddly enough the attack was on someones face recently, the only area not protected by the full body suit.
Bugs and Mosquitoes didn't seem to be a problem on the island, I could imagine though that at sun-set they would come out in force.
If you are affected by sea-sickness very badly then you have one other option to get home, helicopter. Pricing is $220 per person for the 15 minute trip.