Northeast off the coast of Cairns, the snorkelling at Michaelmas Reef offers plenty of giant clams and stingrays to observe. Within the Michaelmas Cays National Park, this reef surrounds the 10km long sandy cay with waters from 1 to 10 meters deep. During Michaelmas Reef snorkeling, you may encounter Maori wrasse, damselfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, lionfish, stingrays and white tipped reef sharks.
In addition to the diverse marine life, the Irukandi Jellyfish may also be present from November to April. This tiny box jellyfish is about one cubic-centimeter in size and is the most venomous jellyfish in the world. Snorkelers who have encountered the Irukandi Jellyfish have reported only a slight stinging sensation, and then 30 minutes later they have muscle cramps and nausea followed by increase blood pressure and heart rate. A sting usually requires hospitalization. A full-body stinger suit with hood is recommended from November to April when snorkeling here.
To reach the snorkeling at Michaelmas Reef from Cairns, you can use a daily charter boat tours. It is about 33km northeast of Cairns and is is located just south of Paradise Reef.
Overall, Michaelmas Reef is the 27th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 37 snorkeling dives in Queensland.