Agincourt Reef vs Moore Reef, Which is Better?

Agincourt Reef Vs Moore Reef Which is Better

Agincourt Reef vs Moore Reef, Which is Better?


The question of the decade here in Cairns! Agincourt Reef vs Moore Reef, Which is Better?


This topic could be a controversial issue, but it’s not it just needs some simple understanding of what the differences are.


There is allot of marketing hype from the different reef tour operators. Most of it is true and all have there valid reasons for wanting you to visit them.


Let us walk you thru it so you understand what the difference between Agincourt Reef and Moore Reef.


Agincourt Reef, what is it?


Agincourt Reef is a giant ribbon reef. It is a collection of hundreds of smaller reefs located nearly 70klm offshore from Port Douglas on the continental shelf of Australia. Part of the Ribbon reef systems that travel from Port Douglas to Lizard Island.


Agincourt Reef is a reef system that grows on the edge of the continental shelf of Australia. This is where the Coral Sea meets the Great Barrier Reef. Agincourt reef is the only true Outer Barrier Reef systems accessible on a 1-day tour to the Outer Great Barrier Reef.


South of Port Douglas the Ribbon Reefs do not grow on the Outer Reef, these reefs are still beautiful but are not located on the edge of the continental shelf.


Moore Reef, what is it?


Moore reef is a large horseshoe type reef system located East / South, East of Cairns. Nearly 45klm offshore from Cairns. It has 3 moorings for large pontoon operators and offers a shorter travel time from Cairns to the Reef. Moore reef is not located as far offshore as Agincourt Reef.


The reason Moore reef is also popular for travelers is it takes a shorter amount of time to get to, which then gives you more time at the reef to snorkel and dive. This is true it does mean you can check in at the Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns and not have to travel to Port Douglas by bus to catch the large wave piercing catamaran to Agincourt reefs.



Which is Better?


Ok, this is where it gets tricky, you will find many differing opinions but here is our point of view.


Agincourt reef is absolutely stunning there is no doubt about that, the system is located so far offshore away from creeks and river systems and gets flushed by fresh clear sea water from the Coral Sea. With just a handful of day snorkel and dive boats visiting this region, Agincourt reef is a very special place.


Moore reef is also a hidden gem. It is so large that 3 different reef tour operators all have moorings at this one reef. Yet you can’t even see the other operators due to the distance between them. Located so close to Cairns makes traveling time allot less, this is a large convenience for most people. But the site itself is stunning. The Northern end of Moore reef has a large atoll with hundreds of coral bommies popping up from the deep all the way to the surface of the water. The Outer Reef walls drop away to over 30 meters and large schooling pelagic fish can be seen swimming the outer walls.


How to choose a Reef tour to either Agincourt Reef or Moore Reef?


The simplest way to work this out is based on where you are going to be staying. If you are staying in Port Doulas or the Northern beaches of Cairns like Trinity Beach, Palm Cove Beach or even Ellis Beach then visit a day boat the goes to the Agincourt Reefs. Your geographical location means you are already very close to Port Douglas where the marina is. The Reef Marina in Port Douglas is where all the day snorkel and dive boats depart from. See a range of Port Douglas tours that visit the Agincourt reefs.


If you are staying in Cairns or even on the South side of Cairns at Cairns Holiday Park then you should visit Moore Reef. It is way more convenient to park your car or walk to the Reef Fleet Terminal to check in at one of the three boat operators that visit Moore Reef. You have one of the most famous reef operators from Cairns – Reef Magic Cruises followed by Sunlover Reef Cruises located on the Southern end of Moore reef and Great Adventures which also have a pontoon located on the Northern End of Moore Reef.




So the best thing to take away from this is, you will have a fantastic time on any of the reef tour operators. They all offer excellent service and all offer there own style of operation. If you are finding it hard to choose work out where you are staying. As mentioned above if you are staying North of Cairns at the Beaches or Port Douglas make the effort and visit the Agincourt Reefs.

If you are staying in Cairns or on the South Side then visit Moore Reef from Cairns. If it is in your budget visit both locations. Remember spending one full day on the Great Barrier Reef means you will see about .0001% of the Great Barrier Reef. The more times you can get out there the more things you are going to see.

I hope this has helped give you a basic understanding of what the main differances are bewteen Agincourt Reef and Moore Reef. If you have any questions about tours to the reef please contact our reservation staff on E: or PH: 0740411635.




Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll - Chief Travel writer and Scuba Diving enthusiast at Cairns Tour Info. Follow him on Twitter.

Do you need help choosing?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.


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