Cairns, Port Douglas & The Wild North Great Barrier Reef

Home to two World Heritage-listed natural wonders and boasting a unique environment where Australia's largest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns and Port Douglas are natural hotspots for tropical experiences and reef-based adventure. There’s enough reef, sun, and wildlife to keep you occupied for a lifetime.

  • Get a birds-eye view from a scenic helicopter flight and soar above the Daintree Rainforest and Ribbon Reefs before touching down on your very own sand cay on the outer-reef for a picnic lunch.
  • For the adventure of a lifetime, join a research expedition and swim with dwarf minke whales.
  • Go on a coral reef walkabout underwater and keep your hair dry! With tours available from Green Island and Moore Reef, it’s an amazing way to see coral creatures and marine life up close.
  • Take the plunge and learn to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. For the ultimate experience, combine your course with an all-inclusive liveaboard trip to the outer reefs and experience what rush hour traffic is like on the largest reef in the world.

The Wild North

For those who have already been there, done that and got the t-shirts, the reef’s Wild North offers endless opportunities to get in touch with your inner Bear Grylls.

  • Experience game fishing and discover the hidden cultural treasures of the Torres Strait Islands. The Great Barrier Reef off Cape York is also the place to be for truly amazing sport fishing, with northern bluefin tuna, dog-tooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, marlin, and huge Spanish mackerel up for grabs.
  • Feed the resident giant potato cods that weigh 150kg, witness a live shark feed on Osprey Reef or in the winter season watch pods of minke whales and dolphins as they frolic in the warm water.
  • Dive the world famous waters of the Cod Hole at Lizard Island and visit the remote Haggerstone Island, accessible only by air from a neighbouring Island.

Plan your holiday

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Mission Beach Dive

Multiple Locations
Welcome to Mission Beach Dive where they will create your Outer Great Barrier Reef Experience! They can help you whether you wish to take your family snorkelling, a couples special dive or snorkel charter, advance your dive training and more.

Quicksilver Cruises

Multiple Locations
Experience the Great Barrier Reef with Quicksilver, Australia's most awarded reef cruise company. Choose from Quicksilver’s multi-award winning Outer Reef Cruise to the renowned Agincourt Reef where you’ll find the widest range of reef activities suitable for families and all ages, swimmers and non-swimmers included.

Cairns Aquarium

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$42.00 - 199.00
Cairns Aquarium is Australia’s newest and most spectacular aquarium. It is the only aquarium in the world to exclusively showcase the stunning aquatic wildlife from tropical North Queensland’s two World Heritage listed areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.

Reef Magic Cruises

Multiple Locations
If you only experience the Great Barrier Reef once you will want to see it at its best. Outer reef locations such as Marine World are visited by those wanting superior coral quality, colour and overall diversity of reef life.

Sunlover Reef Cruises: Arlington Express

Multiple Locations
Your Great Barrier Reef leisure adventure awaits with the most flexible outer-reef experience available. The Arlington Express operates a full-service outer-reef day trip during peak periods and for special adventures at special prices.

Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises

Multiple Locations
Green Island is a beautiful coral cay on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive and swim in the warm island waters, view the spectacular reef from a semi-submarine or glass bottom boat, explore the island or just relax on the white sandy beach.

Nautilus Aviation - Cairns

Multiple Locations
For that once in a lifetime experience, every time, Nautilus Aviation offers one of the best ways to see the world’s natural wonders just outside their doorsteps. With over 25 years of commitment to exceptional service, Nautilus Aviation have over 25 state-of-the-art helicopters across its bases in Queensland (Cairns, Townsville, and Horn Island), the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

Vlassof Cay

Aeroglen, Cairns Area
Vlasoff Cay is a Tropical North Queensland bucket-list attraction just north of Green Island. It is a picturesque sand bar on Vlasoff Reef, an outer reef of the Great Barrier Reef. Day tours by boat operate regularly.

Fish Bowl Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Divers wanting to encounter a great variety of reef fish are highly recommended to visit the Fish Bowl. This lovely dive site is located off Cairns and situated on the western side of Hastings Reef. The terrain at Fish Bowl is a mix of coral gardens and coral heads that form a bowl shape, but divers will also find gutters, ledges and walls in depths to 18 metres.

Calypso Reef Cruises

Multiple Locations
Calypso Reef Cruises offers family cruises, reef tours and dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling and scuba diving. Agincourt Reef - Explore the very outer Great Barrier Reef in luxury and style with Calypso.
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From the Blog

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I know just the place: Shona Whittaker, Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef

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