Why is Great Barrier Reef so Expensive?


Snorkelers enjoying The Great Barrier Reef

Why is Great Barrier Reef so Expensive?


Welcome to our latest article on Why is Great Barrier Reef so Expensive?


So you’re thinking of coming to Australia for a holiday, and your top priority is to snorkel or dive on the Great Barrier Reef!


So I’m guessing have probably already been scouring the internet looking at all the options on how to get to The Great Barrier Reef and what you can expect to see and do.


During your research, I’m guessing you probably were blown away by the pricing! Am I correct?


How do the companies come up with the different pricing and the ultimate question, why is the Great Barrier Reef so Expensive?


The Answer to Why The Great Barrier Reef is so Expensive!


  1. Fuel Particularly Diesel
  2. Staff Wages, Insurance and Levies
  3. Great Barrier Reef Permits
  4. Boat & Mechanical Maintenance


It all comes down to the Australian economy, this has accelerated over the last 10 years and inflation is very high. The price of fuel is still $1.50 per litre and diesel is even more expensive. A goods and services TAX of 10% commonly known as the GST is applied to all products and services.


So go back 15 years ago and a Cairn’s Outer Barrier Reef Tour would have set you back about $150AUD. Also keep in mind 15 years ago the Australian dollar was trading at about 65cents to the US Dollar. So back then Australia was a cheap tourism destination.


Fast forward 15/20 years and you have a much stronger economy based on mining exports, a strong banking sector and this has lead to higher inflation of the dollar and all products and services. Did you know the minimum wage in Australia at the time of writing this article is $16.87.


So companies and business have high staff wages, high fuel, product and services bills. All of this goes into the price of your Great Barrier Reef tour ticket.


So it is now about $200 AUD to visit The Outer Barrier Reef and in another 5/10 years that will be more like $250 AUD.


So everything is relevant, a day trip to the reef might seem expensive today but in 5/10 years time it will be even more expensive.


So my recommendation is to just go with what you can afford. If you have flown to Australia with the intention of seeing all that there is to see and do. You will need to budget for this holiday and way up which are the most important things to see and do.


One of the number one things in the whole of Australia is to visit The Great Barrier Reef!


So you need to decide if this is something important for you, then make sure you budget for it. That way when you arrive in Cairns looking for a Great Barrier Reef tour you will be free to choose from any one of the many Cairns Snorkel & Dive Tour companies.




Clint Carroll

Clint Carroll is the Manager of Cairns Tour Advice & Booking Centre. An adventure travel enthusiast, travel blogger, avid scuba diver and founder of Greenbuddy.com.au. based in Cairns, Australia. Connect with Clint on Twitter.



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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