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An unrivalled aerial journey boasting majestic views & intimate encounters.

Fly to the iconic Heart Reef over the dazzling blues and greens of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays and revel in its pristine beauty. Exclusive, extraordinary and truly unforgettable, our premium helicopter tours are experiences in the sublime.

great barrier reef tours helicopter

Fly over the resplendent blues, greens and whites of the Whitsundays in the glorious Great Barrier Reef from the greatest viewpoint on Earth. Absorb the unparalleled views of the iconic Heart Reef and then land (optional) on a private luxe pontoon moored in the crystalline waters below to swim and snorkel in the lagoon that surrounds the heart-shaped reef.

great barrier reef tours helicopter

EXPERIENCE THE WONDER

Soar over the colourful aquatic world of the Earth’s largest living organism, visit the iconic Heart Reef, and experience a once-in-a-lifetime premium helicopter tour of this dazzling region of Australia with us.

THE WHITSUNDAYS

Welcome to the Whitsundays, where superlatives and reality meet in a tropical embrace. The Whitsunday Islands are a remote group of 74 subtropical islands bathing in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef National Park just off the northeast coast of Queensland — approximately halfway between Brisbane and Cairns.

great barrier reef tours helicopter

All our helicopters at Heart Reef Helicopters are maintained to the highest levels by a team of engineers at Helibiz and are fitted with emergency pop-out floats and emergency locator transmitters. We also provide headsets for all passengers, allowing for internal communication and noise protection.

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Cairns Helicopter Flight & Great Barrier Reef Tour | DUCD | Cruise Fly

Tour Code: 606

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches

Cairns Helicopter Flight | Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Flight

Tour Highlights

  • Learn about the Great Barrier Reef with in flight commentary from the helicopter pilot as they point out locations of interest as well as spotting the marine life below 
  • Explore the marine life, coral gardens and colourful reef formations of the outer reef as you dive and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. 
  • This Great Barrier Reef tour from Cairns really has it all, a luxury boat that speeds you to two different reef sites in a day and a spectacular helicopter flight for approximately 25 minutes back to Cairns 
  • Inclusions on your Cairns helicopter flight and Great Barrier Reef boat tour include up to 5 hours on the outer reef, a barbeque lunch, 2 different reef locations, a 25 minute helicopter flight and optional upgrades to scuba diving. 

Description & Tour Inclusions

Included in price.

  • Cruise to two outer reef locations
  • Up to five hours snorkelling on the Outer Great Barrier Reef
  • Snorkeling equipment & flotation devices
  • Delicious BBQ Lunch including fresh fish, prawns, steak, vegetarian option and a variety of salads. Please advise in advance any special dietray needs.
  • 25 Minute Scenic Helicopter Flight over the Great Barrier Reef to Cairns (Approx timing)
  • Use of lycra/sun-suit hire
  • Tea & Coffee provided
  • Glass of wine & a light snack on return toCairns
  • Experienced & professional dive instructors
  • Spacious air-conditioned modern lounges and stylish upper deck to relax

Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Fly Package from Cairns. New boat, 5 hours exploring 2 reefs, return to Cairns on a low level helicopter flight. This is an extraordinary way to see the Great Barrier Reef at its best.

Book Your Cairns Cruise and Fly Scenic Helicopter Flight Early As Only 6 Helicopter Seats are Allocated Daily.  

This is one of the most popular Cairns helicopter flights and Great Barrier Reef combo tours on offer year round in Cairns and Far North Queensland.

This Great Barrier Reef tour allows you to explore two spectacular reef sights from below the water and then see the immense beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from the seat on you brilliant 25 minute scenic helicopter flight back to Cairns all in the one day.  

In the morning board our beautiful boat and cruise to the outer Barrier Reef for a day of snorkelling and scuba diving. Return to Cairns on a 25 minute scenic helicopter flight and see the amazing lace like corals below and keep your eyes open for the marine life such as Humpback whales.  (seasonal) 

With an early morning high speed boat departure from Cairns Marlin Marina in Spence Street at 8.00am, settle back into the comfortable seats in the air conditioned saloon and enjoy the ride and scenery as you cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef for an exciting day of adventure and exploration.  

We spend up to 5 hours snorkelling and scuba diving two different reef sites for colourful corals, fish, sea turtles, giant clams and other marine life.

Each different coral outcrop supports a different type of marine life so you are sure to see a lot more variety from visiting two reef locations on the one day.

Enjoy a sumptious barbeque luncheon with salads and refreshments with alcoholic beverages available at the bar. 

Your return journey back to Cairns is on a 25 minute scenic helicopter flight where   you will be flying low over the reefs, islands and sand cays enabling you to take in some sincerly spectacular scenery.  

This is one Great Barrier Reef tour experience at a great value price!  

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Cairns Cruise and Fly Full Day Reef Tour

Departing from Cairns, your full day Great Barrier Reef tour will include a boat cruise to two outer reef locations, 5 hours to explore the outer Great Barrier Reef, use of snorkeling equipment, BBQ lunch and a 25 minute (approx) scenic helicopter flight return to Cairns. 

Whilst on the outer Great Barrier Reef you can also book in optional   extras  such as guided snorkel tours or scuba diving. 

Your Coach Awaits

Pick up and departure times will be provided when booking.

If you are self driving, you can check in at the DUCD office at Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns at 7:15am for an 8:00am departure. 

Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tour & Helicopter Flight

Upon boarding our luxury vessel, we will begin our journey to the outer Great Barrier at 8:00am.

With 12 exclusive moorings at six reef locations, your outer reef destinations will be chosen by the skipper on the day dependent on weather conditions and water clarity to ensure that you have the best underwater experience on the day.

Generally, the first outer reef destination is Norman Reef or Saxon Reef , before travelling to North Hastings Reef in the afternoon.

Take a seat in the air conditioned cabin or head to the top deck for some fantastic photo opportunities as you cruise out to the reef.

Soon you will arrive at the first of your outer Great Barrier Reef locations. Onboard the vessel you will have plenty of time to relax.

Relax on a sun lounge on the top deck, enjoy a cheeky sunbake on the middle deck or take a seat outside on the front of the boat.

For those eager to explore the unique coral gardens, marine life and reef formations below, free snorkeling equipment and demonstrations are provided throughout the day.

For those who wish to try scuba diving , the onboard divemasters will provide in depth briefings and tips on where to find the cool stuff on each coral reef location we visit.

Wetsuits, flotation noodles and life jackets are also available.

Enjoy a guided snorkeling tour whilst onboard to really experience the best of the many reef sites.

A delicious BBQ lunch will be served onboard including prawns, fish, steak, sausages, vegetarian options, tropical salads and pastas.

After soaking in the pristine and spectacular underwater sights of your first reef location, you will then cruise out to your next outer reef location. 

Upgrade to an Introductory or Certified Scuba Dive

There’s no better way to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef than by a guided scuba dive.

With 12 exclusive moorings located at six reef locations, your boat cruise will journey to the best sites on the day depended on weather and water clarity, which means you will be greeted with the best possible visibility and pristine conditions on the day.

Your diving experience will be led by a team of experienced PADI professionals who will lead you through colourful coral gardens and unique marine life direct from the onboard diving platform.

For introductory divers , no experience is necessary and your experienced guides will be with you every step of the way.

For certified divers , you will have the option to enjoy up to 3 divers per day. 

All scuba divers will be required to fill out a Medical Questionairre form before being permitted to dive.

25 Minute Scenic Helicopter Flight to Cairns

After enjoying a relaxing and exciting 5 hours on the outer Great Barrier Reef, you will then enjoy a 25 minute scenic helicopter flight back to Cairns.

Please note helicopter flight time and path is approximate.

Before boarding your luxury helicopter, you will meet your experienced and friendly Pilot guide for a pre departure briefing.

Once seated in the comfort of the helicopter, your flight will then take off from the outer reef heli pad.

Prepare to be amazed as your flight begins its journey over the many wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Soon you will be greeted with spectacular views of Hastings Reef, Saxon Reef and Norman Reef as you begin your once in a life time scenic helicopter flight adventure.

Listen as you pilot provides inflight commentary and information about the many reef formations, sand cays and islands throughout the flight.

Continuing west you will soon be welcomed by beautiful views of the Arlington Reef System .

Your pilot will have you spotting for marine life including turtles, rays, sharks and large tropical fish.

From here you will glide past Vlasoff Cay and Upolu Cay, white sand islands that majestically sit upon the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Soon you will be greeted by beautiful views of Green Island and its white sands, fringing reefs and lush rainforest.

As you continue towards to the mainland, you may be lucky to spot Humpback Whales if you are travelling throughout the winter months of July to August .

Have your camera in hand as the sparkling azure waters of the reef soon transform into the stunning stretch of coastline on the mainland.

Be rewarded with breath taking views of Palm Cove , Cairns Northern Beaches and Cairns city. 

See more helicopter flights and reef trip tour combos here

Tour Details

Tour languages offered.

great barrier reef tours helicopter

Departs From

Departure time.

Check in time 7.15am to 7.45am Departs 8:00am - Returns approx 3:05pm

Departure Instructions

Check in times 7.15am to 7.45am. Departs at 8:00 am from Reef Fleet Terminal, Cairns

Pickup Locations

  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Check pick up transfer costs

Destinations

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Norman Reef
  • Hastings Reef

Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation

Does not operate Christmas Day

Times are approximate

Available for Purchase / Hire

  • Introductory or Certified Dives - Time permitting
  • Return accommodation transfers

Fitness Level Required

Medium, Active

Restrictions

  • Weights of individual passengers and accompanying carryon luggage (max 5 kg) MUST be advised at time of booking. A weight variance greater than 10% may incur an additional fee. Maximum single seat payload of 130kg.
  • Scuba Diving – minimum age 12

Weight: Up to 130 Kg / 287 Lb

IN-WATER RESTRICTIONS

Scuba Diving Restrictions

  • Certain medical conditions and medications may preclude some people from scuba diving.
  • Participation is subject to a medical questionnaire completed on board with the tour operator
  • Minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years.
  • Flying after scuba diving: a wait of 12 hours is recommended after one dive, 18 hour after 2 dives and at least 24 hours after multiple dives, before ascending to an altitude of 300 metres or greater.

Advanced Dive Medical

Read more about Diving Safety on the Great Barrier Reef.

Additional Information

  • All product requires a minimum number of passengers to proceed
  • All tours include a $20 levy payable onboard to DUDC
  • Departure times are subject to availability and weather conditions
  • Tours and aircraft substitutions are subject to Management and/or Pilots discretion, weather, air traffic control and availability.

Eco Certifications

Advanced Ecotourism Certified

What to Bring

  • Swimming costume
  • Camera (charged)
  • Change of dry clothes
  • Cash or credit card

great barrier reef tours helicopter

Child Policy

  • Children 3 years and older are legally required to occupy their own seat and therefore must pay the per seat price
  • Children 0-2 years travel FOC on the lap of a parent / guardian (max 1 per flight).

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be in writing.

We understand things may change, so we have made cancellations very easy.

In every instance we always recommend you purchase travel insurance for life’s last-minute hiccups.

Please see our   terms and conditions  for details prior to booking.

Operators policy:

  • Cancellation notice of 48hours is required for a full refund claim and 24-48 hours, for a 50% refund claim. No refund applies if booking is cancelled inside 24 hours.

Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au $550.00 Family: au $2,200.00

Choose Your Option

15 yrs & over

Ages of Children

(discounts may apply), 1300 231 118, +61 427 074 745, you may also like.

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Departing: Townsville city

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Charter Boat Port Douglas - 12 Guests - Snorkelling

Enjoy a private charter dive and snorkel tour from Port Douglas on a boat with crew to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Departing: Port Douglas

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I want to do that...

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Cairns helicopter tours

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  Outer Reef Odyssey  

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Great Barrier Reef scenic flight

A fabulous scenic Cairns helicopter flight. In forty minutes, we’ll go beyond the inner reef, to the outer regions of the Great Barrier Reef where the frequency of coral structures is outstanding. The additional time allows us to explore more widely, watching out for the incredible reef wildlife flourishing in this World Heritage listed icon.

  from  

  $ 499  

  per person   .

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40 mins      map        min 2    

Book now  ,    guaranteed window seats   .

Cairns helicopter tour to Inner Reef

  Inner Reef Explorer  

This 30-minute Great Barrier Reef scenic flight takes in the highlights of the inner reef. There is simply no better way to appreciate the sheer size and scale of the Great Barrier Reef than from the air. Expect picture-postcard views of the reef and an abundance of wildlife - sharks, turtles, rays and even whales (July to Nov).

  $ 399  

         30 mins      map        min 2    .

Cairns helicopter scenic flight

  Zoom around Cairns   

Cairns helicopter flight.

Get a taste of the thrill of a scenic Cairns helicopter flight as we showcase the ultimate view and distinctive beauty of Cairns. Circle the city while taking in Marlin Marina, Trinity Inlet and Admiralty Island. With the rainforest clad slopes of the Great Dividing Range as your backdrop, it’s a view that's Instagram worthy!

  $ 169  

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            10 mins      map        min 2  

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  Reef Rainforest Duo  

Scenic cairns helicopter flight.

A spectacular reef & rainforest combination. For 60 minutes, cruise over 120km from Cairns City to the highlights of the Great Barrier Reef. Upolo - Vlasoff Cay, Arlington Reef and Green Island. Heading coastal, the Northern Beaches pass under as we soar the Great Dividing Range passing Barron Falls, Kuranda and Lake Morris.

  $ 699  

        60 mins      map        min 2    .

cairns helicopter tours barron falls

  Barron Gorge & Falls  

Cairns scenic flight.

Your Cairns helicopter tour will take you high over the Barron River as the Gorge carves its way toward the rainforest village of Kuranda, perched 1,000 feet up on top of the Great Dividing Range. Passing over the Kuranda scenic railway and world famous Skyrail rainforest cableway we complete our climb directly above the mighty Barron Falls.

  $ 299  

        20 mins      map        min 2    .

cairns helicopter tours beyond the range

  Beyond the Range  

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Climbing over the city of Cairns we cross the Great Dividing Range taking in Lake Morris, the waterholes of Crystal Cascades and the Barron Gorge with Barron Falls. Your Cairns helicopter will circle the rainforest village of Kuranda and descend the lush eastern slopes of the range, passing Double Island, Palm Cove and the Northern Beaches of Cairns.

  $ 39 9  

Zoom scenic flight over Vlasoff Cay

  Coral Cay Bubbles  

Private cairns helicopter tour.

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Nestled in the blue waters of the Coral Sea, capture those Instagram moments on your own private Sand Cay. Make this the highlight of your visit to the Great Barrier Reef – add an unforgettable element to the inner reef scenic tour by including a 30-minute landing on breathtaking Vlasoff Cay. Conditions apply.

IMPORTANT - Sand Cay landings are restricted by availability and tides - Read more

  $ 599  

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60 mins total      map         min 2  

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  Reef Rainforest Fusion  

Cairns helicopter tour.

This flight offers real ‘bang for your buck’ in spectacular fashion. Savour our beautiful Inner Reef as Green Island, Arlington Reef and iconic Vlasoff Cay sweep below. Then fly the coast - Double Island and Palm Cove herald a climb to 2,500ft over the Range with crystal clear views of Kuranda, Barron Falls to Stoney Creek with the Reef shining in the distance on your return.

  $ 549  

  per person*   .

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45 mins       map          min 2  

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  The Reef Spectacular  

The Reef Specialists. A motto we’re very proud of and this hour-long extended reef tour clearly shows why. We tailor each flight over the vast Outer Reef archipelago. Flying south of Cairns peninsula past Fitzroy Island we explore Sudbury, Elford and Moore Reefs then track north to massive Arlington Reef and world famous Vlasoff Cay. This really is the ultimate reef experience.

  $ 6 9 9  

  per person  , 60 mins       map         min 2  .

Atherton Tableland helicopter tour

  Taste of the Tablelands  

This spectacular Cairns to Atherton Tablelands scenic flight is dotted with volcanic water formations - Crater and Tinaroo Lakes, Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham feature as we approach our lunch destination, Skybury Coffee plantation where your reserved table awaits. Spend a leisurely hour enjoying the crisp mountain air as you take in beautiful mountain views from the deck.

  $ 849  

 2.5 hrs total      map        min 2  ,     *food & beverages payable on the day.   .

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Ultimate Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest 45-minute Helicopter Tour

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  • Cairns & the Tropical North

Ultimate Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest 45-minute Helicopter Tour

Fly high over the Barron Gorge and stunning rainforest canopies before heading over magnificent sights such as the Great Barrier Reef, it’s spectacular islands and sand cays. This 45-minute helicopter flight allows one to see the ‘best of both worlds’, as it showcases the highlights of heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

From $349,00

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Great Value Reef Day with Scenic Helicopter Flight

Adult $369|Child $289 4-16 years Great Value !! Save $79

Departs daily 8.00am - 4.30pm Experience the ultimate adventure value package on the Great Barrier Reef with views from above and below the Reef. Includes an awesome 10-minute scenic Helicopter flight to see the colours of the Great Barrier Reef from the air! Full day with two locations on the Outer Barrier Reef on board the luxury vessel "Evolution" including snorkelling, lunch and sunbathing.

Experience the ultimate adventure package and best value day on the Great Barrier Reef with amazing views from above and below. Enjoy a full day to two locations on the Outer Barrier Reef on board the luxury vessel "Evolution" including snorkelling, lunch, sunbathing and in the afternoon; you will board a Nautilus Aviation Helicopter for an incredible 10-minute scenic flight to see the magical colours of the Great Barrier Reef from the air! Departs 8.00 am Return 4.30 pm. 7.30 am Check-in at Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence St Cairns

Evolution also caters to both dive beginners and certified divers. Scuba diving packages include a full dive & safety briefing, specialised top-rated dive gear, and a fully qualified dive instructor. Note some medical conditions and medication can exclude you from diving.

  • Snorkel at 2 unique outer reef locations
  • Snorkelling equipment & floatation devices
  • Free use of lycra/sun-suit
  • Hot BBQ lunch
  • 10 minute Scenic helicopter flight.
  • Tea & coffee provided
  • A glass of wine and a light snack on return
  • Prescription Masks
  • Certified diving - $80
  • Introductory diving - $80
  • Semi Submersible Coral Viewing Adult$20 Child $10 (subject to weather & bookable on board)

PLEASE READ dive medical before booking any dives. This will be required to be completed on the day of travel.

View Dive Medical.pdf

  • Reefsmart sunscreen
  • Underwater camera
  • Water bottle (you are able to refill on board)
  • Change of clothes
  • Extra cash or credit card for onboard purchases

Optional extras

What to bring.

Scenic Flight 10

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Departs Cairns Daily 10.30 am - 5.20 pm Discover the Great Barrier Reef with Great Adventures for three 3 hours at the Outer Reef Activity Platform. Here you can experience the reef for swimmers and non-swimmers and enjoy the many activities available. Relax as you enjoy the sundeck with a delicious buffet lunch.

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Reef and Island • Moore & Fitzroy Island

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FROM $559 Departs Mon to Sat 11.00am – 6.00pm Experience a 30-minute Great Barrier Reef scenic flight. Takes in the highlights of the inner reef. There is simply no better way to appreciate the sheer size and scale of the Great Barrier Reef than from the air. Expect picture-postcard views of the reef and an abundance of wildlife – sharks, turtles, rays and even whales (July to Nov). Enjoy lunch on the waterfront at Dundees, before joining your afternoon guided Cairns City sights Tours.

Reef Magic Pontoon

Great Barrier Reef Tour with Reef Magic from Cairns

From Adult $299|Child $149|Family $747 Seasonal rates apply.

Departs daily 9am - 5pm The all-weather Reef Magic Pontoon is the newest and most technologically advanced pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef and is designed for a sustainable future. A 90-minute cruise takes you to this all-inclusive pontoon for snorkelling, scuba diving, helicopter flights, and more. Stay dry with a sundeck, and view the coral from the  underwater observatory, glass-bottom boat, or semi-submersible tour.

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Great Barrier Reef Day Tour with Ocean Freedom

Adult $279| Child $200| Family $870 Departs daily 8.00 am - 4.30 pm Cruise to 2 unique Great Barrier Reef sites in style and speed on a 20-metre motor catamaran. Ocean Freedom is the only boat in Cairns offering a total of 6 hours on the reef, meaning there’s absolutely no rush in the day. You get to enjoy all the complimentary water activities whilst still having time to relax and enjoy a long lazy lunch. 

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GREAT BARRIER REEF HELICOPTER FLIGHTS

Scenic flights, charters & tours of the great barrier reef.

Only from the air can you truly appreciate the beauty, variety and sheer scale of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. This is the only place on earth where two UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites exist side by side, being Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropical Rainforest.

Change Location Cairns Great Barrier Reef Port Douglas Townsville Darwin & The Top End Horn Island

Helicopter Flights, Charters & Tours

Discover the great barrier reef.

Witness a vast panorama of sprawling coral reefs, tropical islands and sand cays merging seamlessly into lush rainforest covered mountains housing vast river systems and spectacular seasonal waterfalls with breathtaking views as far as the eye can see.

See it from our perspective! 

Cairns Helicopter Tours, Flights & Charters

SELECT SPECIALITY

Experience the difference, experiences.

Explore the reef from above

GREAT BARRIER REEF HELICOPTER TOURS

Private charters, commercial services, emergency & rescue, how to find us.

Hangar 9, Bush Pilots Ave, General Aviation Aeroglen QLD 4870 Telephone +61 (0)7 4034 9000

Cairns Helicopter Tours, Flights & Charters

Marina Point, 2 Pier Point Rd, Cairns City QLD 4870 Telephone +61 (0)7 4034 9000

Helicopter Tours, Flights & Charters

WHERE WE FLY

Nautilus Aviation operates from 10 bases across Northern Australia, including Cairns ,  Port Douglas ,  Townsville ,  Horn Island in Queensland and Darwin , Kakadu (Jabiru) & Nhulunbuy (Gove) in the Northern Territory.

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The Whitsundays

In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, these stunning islands offer some of Australia’s most breath-taking views. View

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Tailor your own tour and embark on a spectacular journey over world-famous natural attractions. View

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New Tour – Journey To The Heart

Heart Reef and the Heart Island Boat close by

Journey To The Heart

Exhilarating. Intimate. Unique. Only accessible by helicopter, land on ‘Heart Island’ moored near Heart Reef to sail and snorkel around this naturally occurring heart-shaped reef after a glorious aerial journey over the Great Barrier Reef.

Up to 2 departures daily, tide permitting…

Not suitable for non-swimmers or children 0-13 years.

$1,350 per person (Max. 6 guests)

Popular tours.

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Heart Reef & Whitehaven Beach Express

$380 per person (a minimum of 4 persons is required for the tour to proceed and a minimum two persons per booking).

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Heart Reef & Whitehaven Stopover

$850 per person (2 – 3 guests).

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Reefworld Fly & Cruise

$630 per person (3 – 13yrs, $550pp), are you ready to fly.

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Hamilton Island Air offers helicopter, seaplane and aeroplane tours throughout the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef and Hamilton Island area. Our luxurious tours can include scenic flights, helicopter transfers, reef cruises, snorkelling and more. Book Online for the experience of a lifetime.

Introducing

Land on ‘Heart Island’ moored near Heart Reef to sail and snorkel

Rusmania

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Rusmania • Deep into Russia

Out of the Centre

Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

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Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

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To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

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Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

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At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

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The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

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The Unique Burial of a Child of Early Scythian Time at the Cemetery of Saryg-Bulun (Tuva)

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Pages:  379-406

In 1988, the Tuvan Archaeological Expedition (led by M. E. Kilunovskaya and V. A. Semenov) discovered a unique burial of the early Iron Age at Saryg-Bulun in Central Tuva. There are two burial mounds of the Aldy-Bel culture dated by 7th century BC. Within the barrows, which adjoined one another, forming a figure-of-eight, there were discovered 7 burials, from which a representative collection of artifacts was recovered. Burial 5 was the most unique, it was found in a coffin made of a larch trunk, with a tightly closed lid. Due to the preservative properties of larch and lack of air access, the coffin contained a well-preserved mummy of a child with an accompanying set of grave goods. The interred individual retained the skin on his face and had a leather headdress painted with red pigment and a coat, sewn from jerboa fur. The coat was belted with a leather belt with bronze ornaments and buckles. Besides that, a leather quiver with arrows with the shafts decorated with painted ornaments, fully preserved battle pick and a bow were buried in the coffin. Unexpectedly, the full-genomic analysis, showed that the individual was female. This fact opens a new aspect in the study of the social history of the Scythian society and perhaps brings us back to the myth of the Amazons, discussed by Herodotus. Of course, this discovery is unique in its preservation for the Scythian culture of Tuva and requires careful study and conservation.

Keywords: Tuva, Early Iron Age, early Scythian period, Aldy-Bel culture, barrow, burial in the coffin, mummy, full genome sequencing, aDNA

Information about authors: Marina Kilunovskaya (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Vladimir Semenov (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Varvara Busova  (Moscow, Russian Federation).  (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Kharis Mustafin  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Technical Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Irina Alborova  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Biological Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Alina Matzvai  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected]

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  23. The Unique Burial of a Child of Early Scythian Time at the Cemetery of

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