Airlie Beach

2-Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsleep" Experience

Airlie Beach, Australia

From USD 443.39

Select Date and Travellers

You will not receive a refund if you cancel.
  • 2 days (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Spend two days and one night on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s largest coral reef systems. The Reefworld pontoon is your base for snorkeling, semi-submersible rides, and other underwater explorations by day. Stay overnight on the upper deck of the pontoon, 40 nautical miles (74 km) from shore and sleep under the stars in a swag (tent). Includes most meals and round-trip transport from the Port of Airlie or Hamilton Island.
  • 2-day Reefsleep experience—sleep on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Spend the night sleeping out under the stars in a tent
  • Spend two days on the Great Barrier snorkeling, swimming, and viewing the marine life from the semi-sub rides or the underwater observatory
  • Round-trip and most meals included

Why Travellers Choose This Tour

Staying overnight means that when the daytime visitors leave, you have the reef to yourself.

What's Included

  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Overnight accommodation in a Reefbed
  • Round-trip cruise
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing with reef appreciation talk
  • Underwater viewing chamber
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Lunch (2)
  • Optional activities including scuba diving, helicopter flights, massage (available to purchase on board)
  • Drinks (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting points

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Start time

08:00 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Your 2-day trip to the Great Barrier Reef begins when you board the high-speed catamaran at the Port of Airlie or Hamilton Island. Transfer to an innovative pontoon that features an interactive underwater viewing chamber, a semi-submersible, and a spacious sun deck. Enjoy activities such as snorkeling, semi-submersible tours, and scuba diving (own expense) with experienced guides who provide all the necessary equipment and instruction, in addition to informative commentary about the underwater world.

For your overnight accommodation, stay in a swag—a tent equipped with a mattress and bedding. One breakfast, two lunches, and one dinner are included, along with afternoon tea. It's the ultimate way to experience one of Australia's most famous natural wonders.
Day 1

Travel from Port of Airlie, via Hamilton Island, to Hardy Reef

1 Stop

Cruise Whitsundays

Depart from Port of Airlie to travel out to the Great Barrier Reef.

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Accommodation: Deluxe Reefbed under the stars

Meals: LunchDinner

Day 2

Spend the day on Hardy Reef before cruising back to Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach

1 Stop

Hamilton Island Marina

Quick stop to drop off passengers

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Accommodation: Not included

Meals: BreakfastLunch

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • It is recommended that you bring only one small bag per person with the things you will need for your overnight stay including, swimwear, towel, sunscreen, light jacket or sweater, money and/or credit card for on board purchases and camera
  • You will be required to complete a medical and dietary requirement form that will be sent to you on confirmation of the booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions. Swags can be zipped, are water-proof and can tolerate wet weather
  • A history of certain medical conditions may preclude a guest from SCUBA diving unless a current Diving Medical Certificate can be shown to the instructor.
  • All intending divers over the age of 55 years of age must produce a current Diving Medical Certificate. All divers are subject to a medical questionnaire on board the vessel before diving and their fitness to dive will be assessed by a diving instructor
  • Minimum age is 12 years
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travellers

Cancellation Policy

This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

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    133 reviews
    Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
    Reviews by Viator travellers.
    Showing 1-10 of 133 reviews
    A unique way to experience the Barrier Reef and a fun, memorable experience. So happy we did this!
    Grahame_C, Oct 2022
    A very unique experience which was great fun. Made new friends during the pre-dinner gathering and during dinner, which was lovely. We were not adequately prepared for the cooler spring weather so were cold on both ferry rides and during dinner. Loved sleeping on deck which was very cozy.! The crew members were all very helpful and attentive, they made very good coffee too!!! My only criticism would be that the guided snorkel tour was pricey and maybe should be included for overnight guests. I think that it was more suited to those that were nervous or snorkeling for the first time. Once taken to the top of the reef I was happy to snorkel unassisted. Had I known what was involved I would not have signed up. However, the reef staff were also a great group. Overall, it was a memorable experience and enabled us to see more of the Whitsundays during our short visit to Airlie Beach. Thankyou.
    Venetia_B, Aug 2022
    The Reef sleep experience is simply amazing, the crew looking after us were fantastic, the food incredible and then the opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive Hardy Reef.... what can I say, it is an experience of a lifetime
    Fantastic experience
    Sharon_F, Apr 2022
    Absolutely loved it . Great snorkelling, great food, great company, ,great staff. Weather was not kind to us for the 2 days , very wet and windy. We got to have a look in the suite and next time that would be my choice . We made good of a bad situation .
    Jennifer_M, Mar 2022
    It was an very well organised trip! The food and all inclusive drinks were amazing and having a the whole Reef shared only with a few other people was amazing!
    Book it right now! Ask if "below decks rooms" are available if you are worried about weather.
    Diane_D, Mar 2020
    I felt like I won the lottery being able to stay for the reef sleep! Staff was incredible! I was confused about after taking public ferry to reef world, we were 100% stationary-not cruising to multiple snorkeling spots. (I probably read too many descriptions, but it was fine!) Marine biologist student w us was dissapointed to see the small area of reef we were allowed to snorkel on, but she was estatic at marine life we did see in the small area. Loved the food and the beds. Also surprised it was all you can eat and drink. Would make an incredible gift for people! Would go again! Loved you guys! Tory Robin and Diane
    Thrill of a lifetime!
    jodi_s, Mar 2020
    The reefsleep was one of the best experiences in life! Everything went smoothly thanks to the professionalism of the team. The boat ride, schedule for activities, and assistance were all top notch. Staying overnight and being able to snorkel and stargaze with a small group was amazing. The staff was knowledgeable, and helpful beyond belief. The food was amazing. The swag was comfortable with all the bedding you need. Our team, led by Phoebe and Thor made this trip outstanding. We wanted for nothing. The Great Barrier Reef should only be experienced this way! We can’t thank the team enough!
    Great Barrier Reef Sleep Experience
    Annie, Feb 2020
    We loved this experience. The beginning was a bit confusing as we had to go to the airport to meet the boat that took us out to the Reef. Turned out they were building/fixing the usual dock at the marina. This part of the trip was not clearly explained to any of our fellow passengers either and initially no one was at the airport to explain. Eventually people arrived and after filling out another medical report (one of many) we boarded the trimaran that took us out to the Reef. The representatives were friendly and informative. We had our own table on the boat. After a smooth two hour ride we arrived! A hearty lunch was provided and our group of overnight guests was provided with an area to keep our things until the swags (where we slept) were available at three. We then went diving, snorkeling or on the submersible. The staff were overall friendly and helpful with helping you choose sizes, etc. there are bins full of what you need. I went for my first ever dive and I give huge kudos to the instructor who helped me through the entire process. It turned into a fun, positive experience. So much to see! The best was after the day guests left and we had the entire place to ourselves. Peaceful, beautiful and all of the resources of the boat available. They served a terrific dinner under the most amazing night sky I have ever seen. The swags were very comfortable. Sort of like camping only cozier. You do have other guests on either side of you, which we didn’t mind a bit, but sone people might not like that. There are two underwater suites available as well. Woke to an amazing sunrise, more good food and more snorkeling and diving. Very much enjoyed the time before they day guests return. The food was excellent, unfortunately however my husband has CeliacDisease (an autoimmune disorder where you cannot eat wheat, rye and barley) and while the kitchen was very accommodating there was gluten somehow in the lunch the last day and he got violently ill. We told the staff so they could try to figure out what happened and avoid this for anyone in the future. It was an amazing experience and we were so glad to see the Great Barrier Reef up close and personal. So active at night and the early morning! Saw so many things. Endless fish, giant clams, sea cucumbers, turtles and endless coral. The only bad part was leaving, and of course being made sick by the gluten. This impacted us as we had to cancel plans on Hamilton Island that we will never get back and my husband will be sick for about three days with the after effects of being “glutened”, but we still had one of the best experiences we have ever had! Highly recommend it. And while it might seem a bit pricy to some once you get there and see what they have invested and how well done it all is I think you might agree it is a great value. The memories? Priceless!
    The reef to ourselves!
    Asila46, July 2019
    We had the most amazing time staying on the Heart Pontoon! We made quick work of getting into the scuba sessions (I was a little nervous, but my instructor took me from almost chickening out to going twice and loving every second) After the cruise boat left, it was just my husband, myself and another couple! We had the whole Pontoon to ourselves to have a delicious dinner made by our host Gabi (such a lovely person, and terrific host!) And the to wonder through the observatory and snorkeling without the throngs of people earlier in the day. The sleep was great under the stars and serenity of literally nothing around you. Couldn't recommend this trip enough!
    Our experience was amazing. We were...
    Hilary T, Jan 2018
    Our experience was amazing. We were a small group that stayed out overnight and the opportunities to snorkel on the reef were fantastic. We met some great people and developed new friendships. The staff were great and very accommodating. I really cannot say enough good things about the staff who stayed out of the reef with us. I highly recommend this tour.
    A totally unique experience. In...
    Global Traveler, Nov 2017
    A totally unique experience. In addition to doing everything the daytrippers could do snorkeling, scuba diving, semi-submersible tour, helicopter flight, we got to have the pontoon to ourselves after they left in the afternoon. Then we had more opportunity to snorkel and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef, including a feast in the underwater observatory since it was too windy for us to dine outside. It worked out great--we enjoyed watching the fish as we ate, and the fish enjoyed watching us. Then we got to sleep in our swags, which were nice and cozy. Our host Georgie was awesome. She really took care of us and made sure we were enjoying ourselves and never hungry since she was constantly feeding us. : Our Reefsleep group really bonded too. Overall, this was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had traveling. I can't speak highly enough about it!
    one of the best things I did in...
    graziella_r, Mar 2017
    one of the best things I did in Australia! To have the place only for a maximum 10 person during the evening, night and next morning is fabulous. don't expect to sleep much because of the birds and enjoy the amazing stars in the sky! meals provided are good and the reef is magical!
    Fantastic, would recommend to anyone...
    Cara H, Jan 2017
    Fantastic, would recommend to anyone! The overnight experience was out of this world!
    I am so glad that I did this! It...
    Laurel_B, Dec 2016
    I am so glad that I did this! It was an amazing trip and well worth the money. Our Reefsleep host Jennifer was great, very friendly and cooks an awesome breakfast! The swag was pretty comfortable, and it was so nice to sleep on the top deck.
    An amazing experience, well organised...
    Carly H, Feb 2016
    An amazing experience, well organised, a must do if you are in the Whitsundays!
    This tour was excellent and the...
    Kyle M, Jan 2016
    This tour was excellent and the chance to experience the reef with very few other people around was well worth it!
    It was a great night on the roof...
    chalf2011, Nov 2015
    It was a great night on the roof. The personnel was very helpful. Also the dinner was quite enjoyable. Especially the time when the day tourists had left was great, having time to enjoy snorkelling in quiet and having the reef almost to yourself.
    Absolutely amazing experience - the...
    Rebecca M, Aug 2015
    Absolutely amazing experience - the only way to see the reef. You get the entire area of the reef to yourself and get to see the wildlife in the morning hours when they are most active and vibrant. The staff was incredible and made the trip even better.
    Never let the facts get in the way...
    Shane R, Aug 2015
    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story! Firstly, the good part the Barrier Reef is amazing and the experience after the day-trippers had departed is definitely the way to go. However, then it goes down hill from a hospitality viewpoint! The accommodation: We took the option of the Double bedroom with a bathroom. We were unable to access OUR bathroom until after the boat had departed because it was actually the Men's changeroom during the day. Therefore sharing was de rigeur! Then, let's talk about the buffet lunch prepared by an award-winning restaurant a few prawns, chicken legs and cheap ham with some salads was totally uninspiring and even worse was the cloudy water masquerading as chicken and sweet corn soup! After farewelling the mother ship, we enjoyed the solitude of the reef as we waited with trepidation to savour the gourmet barbecue. The Entree: there was one other person staying on the pontoon with us. Therefore, we were told, there was a choice provided it was two agreed to one and the other had no choice one serving of lukewarm seafood chowder whilst the other 2 were served up a mouth watering spinach pie, clearly a dish that synonymous with the abundance of amazing Queensland fresh produce. The Chef orchestrated the well publicised gourmet barbecue as she created a variety of shoe leather along with some exotic' vegetables! Wafer thin steak, stringy chicken and chewy fish were plonked on to our plate surrounded by a greasy onion, tomato and capsicum mix. Oh, dessert Cheesecake that may have been compliments of Sara Lee!!! All along we are serenaded by a cacophony of birds, who, despite their noise, kept running into the bulkheads as they were blinded by the light. And there was more: we were woken at 730 by a knock on the door and the bellow of breakfast by Chef. Another fryup, this time of overcooked eggs, greasy hashbrowns, bacon, sausage, tomato and toast. The Reef 10 Food 3
    Absolutely brilliant trip. Would...
    caoimhe23, Jan 2015
    Absolutely brilliant trip. Would recommend the 2day tour for sure. Brilliant staff. loevly food. There was beautiful views. Snorkelling and scuba dive were highlights!
    A once in a lifetime experience...
    Denise D, Dec 2012
    A once in a lifetime experience. What seemed a bit indulgent price wise was worth every cent. The diving and experiences with the day trippers is first rate but when the big cat leaves the serenity is awesome.