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“A day trip worth saving up for”

Daintree Air Services
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US$123.25*
and up
30-Minute Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight from Cairns
Ranked #50 of 159 Tours in Cairns
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Daintree Air, A Cairns based air charter company, offer day tours to Lizard Island and Cape York as well as scenic reef flights over the Great Barrier Reef. Daintree Air Services have been operating in Cairns for over 35 years and are the only operator to offer safe and affordable reef scenic flights in multi engine air-conditioned aircraft. We offer our clients the best flights in Queensland! During the Lizard Island Day Tour clients experience several hundred kilometres of the Great Barrier Reef and world heritage rainforest of Far North Queensland as well as spending six hours on the ground to snorkel some of the world's most beautiful reef. Clients have the option of spending their time on the island snorkelling, exploring the island or simply relaxing under the Casuarina trees. The spectacular reef, the unspoilt island in the coral sea combined with the scenic flight over the reef and rainforest makes this a very special day. General air charter is also offered by Daintree Air Services to mining, government and corporate clients. During November of 2012 the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia approved the trainer to be used for the purpose of Licence Renewals, Pilot Training, and Pilot Recency for instrument approaches.We now have one of the very most advanced CASA approved Pilot Training Devices in Australia here in Cairns, to be used by Daintree Air Pilots as well as for the use of Pilots from other Companies whom wish to use the trainer for currency.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“A day trip worth saving up for”
Reviewed 8 January 2014

My husband and I spent 10 days in Tropical North Queensland and this was one of the highlights! Although I don't care for Cairns one bit, staying in a hotel there, just for this day trip, is worth it. We had a rental car, so we drove ourselves to the their office in the morning. If you don't have a rental car, they will come pick you up from wherever you are staying. One woman in our group was flying in that morning and her flight was delayed, so they pushed out the trip an extra 45 minutes and waited for her. I was OK with this, because I know I would have appreciated it if I was her! And because we got a late start, we returned later, as not to cut into any of our time on the island.

Getting a birds eye view of the reef and the Daintree rainforest is spectacular. If you plan on taking photographs, sit on the side of the plane that doesn't have the sun shining in through the window. I took many beautiful photos that have a glare from the window, so that was disappointing.

Our pilot was in his early 30's I believe (I forgot his name), and he was great! He was our pilot, our tour guide and our cook. Very friendly and relaxed. He encourage my husband and I to go ahead of the group during the hike to the Blue Lagoon at a faster pace if we wished. I'm glad we did because we got to see a reef shark right on the waters edge! He also encouraged us to go and wander and not worry about holding up the group when they left for the snorkeling beach on the other side of the island. When we got back to the plane, he was waiting for us and had already sent everyone else to the other beach. I appreciated the flexibility to allow everyone to do as they wished.

The lunch provided was very good, and the snorkeling couldn't be better! So easily accessible and no shortage of sea life! We did a bit of snorkeling in the Whitsundays and although that was pretty good, it was packed with people and the fish were no where near as large as these. If you aren't going to scuba dive the reef, you should snorkel on Lizard Island for sure!

Our timing was perfect, as it is after the busy season and before the rainy season. Couldn't have been happier!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank crystallaloca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • English first
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English first
Oak Park, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Favorite excursion in AU”
Reviewed 8 January 2014

My adult daughter and I spent a fabulous 10 weeks driving all around AU Summer 2013. We started our adventure in Cairns, and based on TripAdvisor recommendations, did the Lizard Island day trip with Greg. We had a fantastic day! Greg was a gregarious host; energetic, fun, and a genuine Aussie character. The lunch was fabulous; complete with wine! Lizard was a taste of the "real" GBR - off the tourist grid (no amenities, no crowds). Just pristine beaches and the best snorkeling we've ever experienced. At the end of our ten weeks, after seeing and experiencing all the best of AU (down the east coast, across the south coast, up the west coast AND Uluru) we decided we had to go back to Cairns and fly with Greg one more time to Lizard before heading back home. Our second trip was even more fun than the first. I recently read the negative review posted (the one negative review amongst dozens of fabulous reviews) and don't believe for a moment any of the ridiculous assertions made by the writer. Greg, Judy, the "boys" - all the Daintree Air team are just the best. I hope to do it again someday...

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank gingyboom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prague, Czech Republic
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Warning, offensive owner, bad service, rude behavior”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We've been on Lizard with Daintree Air on 16 Nov 2013 and while my husband explained below brief details about our horrible trip day, I would like to tell you what to expect after the trip. Asked last week the Daintree AIr owner to send us invoice for the 10,500.00$ we paid and the answer from the owner Greg (arrogant old guy) was that we are sick and poor, actually spent half page to explain how poor we are as coming from a "country behind the iron curtain" (not rasistics, right). Btw, Czech Republic, our home, was part of Communistic world counting 250+ million people more than 25 years ago. Probably Greg remember that time because he bought his plane even before that. If you decide to hire Greg's company, do not forget to ask him about his "funny" opinion about Chinese, Russians, Europeans, Americans and aborigines- he got neglecting stories about all and we had the "pleasure" to enjoy them. While being fed with rubbish and short of water.

Glad to hear from the latest reviews that the catering got improved, probably because Ben was driving. Anyway, if Daintree Air services improve, our reviews worth.

Not to forget, we still do not have our invoice, just insulting emails discriminating our country and neglecting the Australian fiscal regulations. Funny, right! This is the least you can expect when reading all positive reviews and ask for invoice for the service you pay. Good luck to all with Daintree Air and their 25 year aged plane.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
8 Thank Tanya I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
56 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Spectacular Day!”
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This was the first time we traveled on a small plane like this, so it was something new and we were slightly unsure what to expect. After emailing Greg for a while, we decided to go for it. We never spent this much on a tour but thought it would be worth it.

Judy picked us up right on time from our hotel. We were told to bring water and they will have everything else. Greg obviously paid attention to small details as our tour time was moved a bit later than usual due to high tide on the island (so we can spend more time during the low tide which makes snorkeling easier). We were given all the snorkeling gears and after a briefing by Greg who gave us an overview of what to expect and what we would see (with a sence of humor), off we went.

My daughter (13) got to sit by the pilot in the copilot seat (awesome!). The plane obviously was not brand new but definitely was in a good condition and comfortable (not old as mentioned by two other reviewers on this forum). The view of the reef from the plane was breathtaking. We know the reef is large, but to see it for oursleves is just amazing.

We arrived after one hour flight. Then we walked to the beach (10 minutes). It was baking hot on the way and we were glad we brought umbrellas. Once on the beach it was not bad as there were shades and breeze was blowing. The beach was gorgeous with white fine sand and we saw shark and ray right away from the shore. We jumped into a small canal leading to the ocean and then snorkeled. The reef was really healthy with lots of soft corals, all kinds of fish, huge purple and yellow tiger paw clams. We also saw octopus, ray and clown fish as well as bright blue sea star.

Lunch was very delicious with prawns, pasta salad, sandwiches, fresh fruits and soft drinks (not 5 crackers as mentioned in another review). There was wine too but we didn't drink any. There were birds on the beach too (yellow bellied sunbird, silver gull and beautiful doves). We snorkeled one more time after lunch then my daughter played on the beach which was full of little snails and small living things.

Six hours went by too fast. We left and flew back by Daintree forest. We visited the area by car the day before but it gave us a totally different perspective seeing it from the air. The forest was so lush and green. It was a very beautiful sight.

Greg greeted us upon arriving. Ben was our pilot (who was also our guide during snorkeling and also set up lunch for us). He was very genuine and kind. We were driven to our hotel by Judy.

We would definitely do it all over again. This was a high lightof our trip and quite a memorable day.

If anything, the speaker in the plane did not work that well, but the view trumped the description by a thousand-fold.

Ben was

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Bluebear_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
Reviewed 1 January 2014

In August 2013 my daughter and I were flown by Greg (another reviewer called him "The Coolest Australian") and seven other passengers to Lizard Island for the day. Pickup at hotel, all gear provided, low flight over the reef. After we landed Greg offered us the choice of just snorkeling or walking to a beach (whose name I don't want to mention because if everyone goes there it won't be magic), then a snorkel. We chose the latter, and the day couldn't have been better. Greg comes across like he's going to enjoy his life, and his enjoyment led to ours. He led us on a tour over what he called the best snorkeling path on the Great Barrier Reef, and I can't imagine anything finer. Lunch was delicious, too soon we had to leave, and for the flight back to Cairns Greg offered us the option of flying once more over the reef or over the mountains on the mainland.

Couldn't have asked for a better trip. Well worth the splurge.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Edward2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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