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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Reef Teach

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$23 - 60
Reef Teach will greatly enhance any Great Barrier Reef visit. Their customers describe Reef Teach as informative, fun, hilarious, inspirational and most of all credit Reef Teach for enhancing their trip.

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.

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.

Coral Gardens Dive Site, Flynn Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Positioned 20 kilometres east of Green Island off the Cairns coast, Flynn Reef is home to several dive sites - with the Coral Gardens being just one of them. Located on the outer reef this site has consistently good visibility of close to 30 metres.

Three Sisters Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Three Sisters, part of the impressive Milln Reef, can be found just a short boat trip from Cairns. The three large, colourful bommies are perhaps most famous for the Gorgonian Gorge, with the second and third sisters rising to within one metre of the surface - the three metre gap between them is constantly filled with schools of fusiliers and snapper.

Eddy Reef Dive Site

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
Eddy Reef is located off Mission Beach and is accessible on day boats. Divers exploring this reef will find a maze of coral ridges in depths from 10 to 20 metres that are covered in some of the most beautiful corals – wide gorgonians, lovely pink whip corals and delicate soft corals.

Twin Peaks Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Saxon Reef off Cairns is dotted with a number of wonderful dive sites, including the brilliant Twin Peaks. Two huge coral bommies, rising from 18 metres to almost touch the surface, give the site its name and always make for an impressive dive.

Southern Small Detached Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Southern Small Detached Reef, 80 kilometres North of Lockhart River in Far North Queensland, is a remote but stunning reef. Sitting so far off the coast, the walls of the reef drop to over 100 metres, with the deep waters inviting lots of larger marine life such as turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, pelagic fish and occasional manta rays.

Two Towers Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Two Towers could be called Two Big Towers and Several Smaller Towers as this site is a wonderful collection of bommies on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns. Rising from 25 metres, the two main pinnacles stand 20 metres tall and are covered in lovely corals and a great variety of invertebrate species and reef fish.

Steve's Bommie Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Located north of Cairns, Steve’s Bommie is an incredible dive site located at Ribbon Reef No.3. The bommie rises from 30 metres deep up to just five metres below the water, and attracts schools of bigeye trevally, barracuda, yellow-lined snapper, Moses perch, yellow-lined goatfish and many others.
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