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.

Bougainville Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Bougainville Reef is a small reef in the Northern Coral Sea surrounded by some amazing dive sites. Only four kilometres in diameter, and offering no shelter in rough weather, Bougainville Reef is usually only dived on a stop-off between other reefs in this remote area.

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.

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.

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.

Michaelmas Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Michaelmas Reef is another of the wonderful dive sites off Cairns. A coral cay is located at the southern end of the reef and is home to thousands of sea birds, but more interesting for divers is the fact the island is a nesting place for turtles.

Tijou Reef Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Tijou Reef is located at the southern end of the Far Northern Reefs, so is often the first or last dive site explored on an expedition to this remote area. The sheltered western side of Tijou Reef is dotted with coral bommies and coral gardens that offer wonderful diving in depths to 30 metres.

Turtle Bommie

Cairns, Cairns Area
Turtles are often encountered on the dive sites off Cairns and a good place to encounter one is Turtle Bommie. This magic dive site is located off Saxon Reef, with the terrain made up of coral gardens and a collection of small and large bommies in depths to 15 metres.

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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