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Northern Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area

Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is the closest point in Australia to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

When travellers visualise themselves on the Great Barrier Reef - they think of Tropical North Queensland. While the reef is large in area the region boasts the only major international airport along the reef - giving the best access to this natural wonder in Queensland.

In Tropical North Queensland, visitors experience the Great Barrier Reef in a number of ways. The most popular is by fast catamaran - when passengers are taken to their reef destination in air-conditioned comfort on high-technology crafts designed to protect the environment.

The Great Barrier Reef provides superb recreational activities such as snorkelling, diving, swimming and fishing, or cruising, and offers a superb environment for scientific research.

Great Barrier Reef
Cairns, Cairns Area
Queensland
Australia

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Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This island national park, located close to the mainland, is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. The island and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, part of Michaelmas and Upolo Cays National Park, is one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Michaelmas Cay is a small, low sand cay, covered by grasses and low-growing plants.

Barron Gorge National Park

Kuranda, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Rugged mountains, ravines, tumbling waterfalls, magnificent rainforest, rich and varied wildlife, easy access and a fascinating history make Barron Gorge National Park one of Queensland’s most popular national parks.

Hope Islands National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This island national park includes East and West Hope islands as well as Struck Island and Snapper Island. East and West Hope islands are low-lying cays. West Hope Island is a shingle cay formed from piles of loose shingle (coral debris) on which only the most hardy plants such as mangroves survive.

Agincourt Reef

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Agincourt Reef, off Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef, is a series of many smaller reefs with at least 16 different dive sites. The Channels offer interesting swim-throughs and caves, while The Gardens are renowned for their exceptional abundance of brightly coloured reef fish.

Green Island National Park

Green Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This small rainforest-clad coral cay is surrounded by coral reefs and is one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular destinations. A true coral cay, it was formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble deposited on the calm side of a platform reef.

Mackay Cay

Cape Tribulation, Douglas Area
The snow white sand and the crystal clear waters of Mackay Cay act as the ultimate holiday backdrop. As a small sand island approximately fifty kilometers from Port Douglas, Mackay Cay is located on the north west corner of the Mackay Reef.

Osprey Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Osprey Reef is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the world, located off Cairns in the Coral Sea. The North Horn site on the reef is a remote sea mount rising 1000 metres from the ocean floor. There are spectacular wall drop-offs, amazing visibility and a popular shark-feeding location!

Nursery Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
One of the most impressive dive sites on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, is a large pinnacle called Nursery Bommie. This column of coral rises from 2 metres to 25 metres and is decorated with sea whips, soft corals and gorgonians, but it is the fish life that will be most remembered.

The Oasis Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Divers exploring The Oasis at Milln Reef, off Cairns, have a choice of exploring coral gardens in the shallows or a series of bommies in deeper water. The bommies are quite spectacular, rising from 20 to 30 metres and coloured by beautiful whip corals, soft corals and gorgonians.
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