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Reef Magic Pontoon

Reef Magic Field Trip

Relax on our state of the art pontoon launched in April 2022, as your base to explore the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This product provides incredible opportunities to combine science communication and Indigenous tourism in one spot. With our dedicated team of Marine Biologists and Cultural Guides we can immerse students in Western Biology and Cultural Histories.
Allow your students the opportunity to see resilience building on the reef as our Marine Biologists share with you the current research being developed on Moore Reef. Or, see it first hand as you access the first of its kind, a working laboratory floating on the reef. Enjoy the underwater observatory and coral viewing vessel to gain a different perspective of the reef and keep your toes dry. For the more adventurous, allow us to organise itineraries that involve outer wall snorkelling and the comparison of two different marine habitats.

Travel 90 minutes from Cairns via a comfortable catamaran ride. Upon arrival students and teachers will have roughly 5 hours to participate in place-based learning and engaging activities. The activities can be differentiated to meet the specific needs of your class and desired student outcomes.


  • Up to 5 hours at two outer reef locations
  • Designated guides for your students
  • All equipment and instruction
  • Cultural and Biological guided snorkelling tours
  • Coral viewing vessels
  • Underwater observatory


  • Depart – 9am
  • Arrival into Cairns – 5pm


GBR Biology led guided snorkelling

Accessibility to snorkelling from Reef Magic’s Pontoon is terrific for students of all ages. They can make use of the 15 metre long snorkel platform to gear up and prepare themselves for their guided snorkel. During this activity students will be working with a designated Marine Biologist or Cultural Guides for a personalised and private tour.

Students will explore the lagoon area on Moore Reef, meeting the iconic Maori Wrasse that frequents the pontoon and listen to the guides interpretation and stories of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and its’ inhabitants. Providing the most up to date information and helping to subdue misconceptions associate with this ecosystem. Your Marine Biologist can discuss biological and ecological process of the Great Barrier Reef and information on the management of the reef system and the threats it faces. Talk to our guides about what your students are learning in the classroom and allow us to customise the conversation to meet your students needs.

On the tour, students can engage in citizen science on the reef. Collecting real-world monitoring data, including the Eye on the Reef program with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority [GBRMPA] and submitting images through the sightings network. Students can learn the importance of indicator species, how the reef is monitored and be able to submit their findings into the GBRMPA’s database.

Coral Viewing Vessels

Stay dry and enjoy the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef as you drift across the top of the reef platform. Reef Magic provides two options for experiencing the reef on board our coral viewing vessels. Your students will have the opportunity to ride on a glass bottom boat or semi-submersible, accompanied by our guides who will have an opportunity to further the information shared about the Great Barrier Reef. Listen to an engaging 30-minute presentation adapted to what you see during the tour. Points of interest along the way include incredible walls of hard and soft coral formations, large pelagic fish species and turtle sightings, allow our cultural guides to also provide insight into the traditional management of the Great Barrier Reef told through the use of props.

Underwater Observatory

In their free time on the pontoon students can explore the underwater observatory where the team at GBR Biology can help set up Curriculum activities and students can enjoy the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef happening before them through floor to ceiling windows in air-conditioned comfort.

Research Station

Allow your students the opportunity to learn in a working laboratory. With Marine Biologists as your guides, allow our staff to expand on students’ biological science knowledge. Using our research projects as the foundation for curriculum linked activities. Students can get hands on, conducting plankton tows, using microscopes, viewing baby corals and looking at Crown of Thorns Starfish to name but a few activities.

Ongoing Biology Projects

With you Marine Biologists look at trends happening on Moore Reef for your students to come back annually and add to your own data sets. Observe the changes in Moore reef over time on topics your students find engaging. Run transects and photo quadrats with qualified professionals.

Request more information from GBR Biology 

Need more assistance? Contact our friendly & passionate team to receive detailed information about our exclusive education programs including our itineraries.

Use the form below or alternatively email our Education Manager Kristy Janin