Educational Programs

Green Island

By June 30, 2020 No Comments

Coral cay education day trip

On this excursion students will travel to Green Island, a vegetated coral cay located off the coast of Cairns. Green Island is an excellent place to explore tropical rainforest and World Heritage coral reefs.

On this trip students will travel out via a comfortable catamaran ride to Green Island. Upon arrival students will have around 5 hours to undertake some of the exciting and educational activities. These activities are fully tailored to suit the desired outcomes of the group and meet any curriculum or learning goals.

Marine Biology Guided Snorkelling

Located on the Great Barrier Reef, Green Island is a fantastic place to snorkel. With coral reefs right off the beach it is one of the easiest places for snorkelers to access the GBR.

On this activity students will be accompanied by a Marine Biologist on a personal, private tour to see the coral reefs and seagrass meadows of Green Island. On the tour the Marine Biologist will help students to understand the ecology of the Great Barrier Reef and its’ inhabitants and provide up to date information on threats and management of the reef.

On these tours’ students can participate in collection of real-world monitoring data including the Eye on the Reef program. Students will learn how reef health is monitored and submit their findings to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s database.

Island Ecology Walks 

Green Island hosts a unique tropical rainforest isolated from any part of mainland Australia. Two sides of the Island are connected by an easy boardwalk where students can accompany a guide through the forest.

On this activity students will learn about rainforest ecology on the island, the natural and anthropogenic history, the connectivity of reef and rainforest as well as the cultural significance of Green Island.

Marine Land Melanesia

A fascinating walk-through museum decorated with Melanesian artifacts, tropical saltwater aquariums and an open pool housing local marine life. The walk-through ends in a park housing up to 50 live crocodiles at a time.

During this tour students will meet crocodiles from hatchlings through to the world’s largest Saltwater Crocodile in captivity Cassius (5.5m long!). Students can learn about these spectacular animals in an extremely exciting manner seeing them up close and can even attend a daily feeding show to witness these powerful hunters in action.

Coral Viewing Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Join the tour to view the spectacular coral gardens surrounding Green Island. Points of interests include Green and Hawksbill turtle sightings, hard and soft coral species and the magic of the reef, which changes moment to moment.

Indigenous Culture Stories

Wunyami (Green Island and surrounding reef) is within the sea country of the Guru-Gulu Gunggandji Aboriginal people and holds traditional and contemporary cultural significance for them. They have lived in this area for thousands of years. In times of lower sea levels, the Gunggandji hunted and gathered on the grassy plains of ancient reef formations, right out to the edge of the present-day barrier reef. Then, when sea levels rose and Green Island reef had developed, they paddled to the island in canoes for hunting and ceremonies. Today, the Guru-Gulu Gungandji retain a strong spiritual connection with their country and have an active voice in managing the island.

The Guru-Gulu Gunggandji share an understanding of their land and sea country. This cultural knowledge includes the creation of all things, how to find food, and peoples’ relationships with the country and with all living things. It is passed on to younger generations through art, music, dance and stories. In the past, ceremonies were also an important way to teach about culture—Wunyami (place of spirits) was a place of initiation ceremonies where young boys became men. Today the Traditional Owners hope to revive initiation ceremonies to help keep their culture alive. Green Island reef is still an important hunting and fishing place. Through these continuing uses of the area and its resources, the Guru-Guru Gunggandji people maintain their obligations that arise from traditional lore, kinship and totems.

Join our Indigenous Reef Education Rangers for a personalised tour, sharing culture, stories and history.

Education and Research 

  • Up to 5 hours at Green Island
  • Guided snorkeling tours with Marine Biologist / Ranger
  • All equipment and instruction
  • Lycra suit and wetsuit inclusive
  • Sea Country Island Ecology Walks
  • Marineland Melanesia Tours
  • Citizen science projects
  • Environmental management, Climate Change and Research talks