Snorkeling in this part of the Coral Sea means amazing views of underwater life most people had no clue existed. Stingrays, reef sharks and various schools of small fish are only the "tip of the coral" to what you can see through a face mask.
In our experience, Quicksilver might be one of the finest reef tour companies in operation (and no, they didn't tell us to say this). Zippy catamaran trips depart from tropical Cairns or Port Douglas, with plenty of options for diving at a handful of the area's 2,900 individual reefs. Quicksilver also has their very own floating pontoon in the middle of the Agincourt Reef that offers helicopter tours, glass bottom boat tours and snorkel/dive adventures, not to mention a seafood buffet included in the price.
In our searches for flights down under, we found an excellent deal with Qantas called the "Ultimate Aussie Pass." This pass allows travelers to fly round-trip to Sydney from LA and includes 3 internal flights down under; all for $1,599. Other options are package deals with hotels, tours and transfers for $2,499.