What to pack for a day cruise or island adventure to the Great Barrier Reef

Embarking on a holiday featuring a boat cruise or island trip to the Great Barrier Reef promises an unforgettable experience amidst the stunning natural beauty of our iconic reefs. But what should you pack to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable adventure? We’ve put together a list of the essential items you will need to make the most of your iconic reef or island experience.


  • Swimwear: Obviously the first and most important item is your swimsuit! An essential for snorkelling, diving, or simply lounging on the deck of your boat.
  • Lightweight Clothing: Pack breathable, lightweight clothing such as shorts, T-shirts, and sundresses for warm weather.
  • Cover-ups: Bring sarongs or cover-ups for sun protection and modesty when transitioning from water activities to onshore excursions.
  • Hats and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays with a wide-brimmed hat and polarised sunglasses.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Opt for sturdy sandals or water shoes for exploring rocky shores or walking on the deck of the boat.
  • Casual Evening Attire: Pack casual outfits for evening dinners or cocktails on the boat or at island resorts.


  • Sunscreen: Choose a water resistant sunscreen with high SPF to protect your skin while snorkelling or swimming in the Great Barrier Reef (and be sure to reapply regularly!).
  • Aloe Vera Gel: It is also a good idea to pack some soothing aloe vera gel for relief from sunburns.
  • Rash Shirt or Wet Suit: Consider packing a rash shirt or wet suit for added sun protection and warmth during water activities, or at minimum a t-shirt to cover shoulders.


  • Snorkel Gear: If snorkelling gear is not included in your tour, it’s a good idea to bring mask, fins, and snorkel for exploring the underwater wonderland.
  • Underwater Camera: Capture the vibrant marine life of the reefs with a waterproof camera or GoPro.
  • Dive Certification Card: If you plan to scuba dive, don’t forget to pack your dive certification card and logbook (if applicable).
  • Wetsuit or Dive Skin: If you’re diving, consider packing a wetsuit or dive skin for thermal protection and buoyancy control.


  • Travel Documents: Be sure to pack any essential travel documents such tour tickets to ensure a smooth boarding process.
  • Medications: Pack any prescription medications, seasickness medication, or first-aid supplies you may need during your trip.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated throughout your journey with a refillable water bottle.
  • Dry Bags: Keep your belongings dry and protected by packing them in waterproof dry bags or pouches.
  • Power Bank: Ensure you stay connected by bringing a portable power bank to charge your devices during longer excursions.


  • Binoculars: You may like to try spotting wildlife from afar with a pair of compact binoculars.
  • Insect Repellent: Ward off pesky mosquitoes and insects with a reliable insect repellent.
  • Reusable Tote Bag: Bring a reusable tote bag for carrying souvenirs or snacks.

With this handy list of travel essentials, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable boat cruise or island adventure to the Great Barrier Reef.

Remember to prioritise comfort, sun protection, and of course enjoyment as you immerse yourself in the unforgettable beauty of our beautiful ocean, reefs and islands. Safe travels and happy exploring!


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