Tropical North Queensland Islands

Blessed with sand cays and tropical islands scattered across the Great Barrier, you’ll find the best island paradise to stay in luxury, camp or pop on your mask and snorkel and explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Islands of the Great Barrier Reef

Green Island

Perfect for the whole family and budget conscious travellers, Green Island is just 37 acres of forest, sand and reef. Complete with 46 luxurious hotel suites clustered under the island’s resort, you can even choose to spend a night (or two). And, here’s how you make the most of your trip to Green Island.

Fitzroy Island

Home of 2018’s best beach; Nudey Beach (according to Australia’s top beach expert), Fitzroy Island offers a little something for every visitor. From walking trails to snorkel spots, you’ll find lots to do on and around the island. This 48 hour guide can also help you plan your next trip.

Lizard Island

Perched on a small coral cay, you’ll find the luxury island refuge of Lizard Island. With world-class dive sites like the Cod Hole nearby, you’ll have lots of opportunity to see the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. And when you surface to breathe, explore 24 private beaches.

Bedarra Island

Take off those watches, when you visit Bedarra Island you needn’t measure time. Put your feet up in your private villa or explore 45 hectares of forest and beach. And when you’re feeling peckish, you can indulge on a tropical breakfast buffet, customised lunch and multi-course dinner.

Plan your holiday

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North Horn Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
The most legendary dive site at Osprey Reef is the amazing North Horn. Located at the northern tip of the reef, this site features a sloping coral shelf in depths from 12 metres to 40 metres, and walls dropping into one kilometre.

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.

Cobia Hole Dive Site

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Located just off the shore of Lizard Island north of Cairns, Cobia Hole features a jumble of rocks, no bigger than a tennis court, decorated with marine life. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, this rocky outcrop is home to hovering sweetlips, emperors, cobia, estuary cod and more.

Wonga Beach

Douglas Area
Named after the beautiful Torres Strait pigeon, Wonga Beach is a quiet refuge north of Mossman. Off shore there are views to Snapper Island and it is within easy access to the Daintree River and its rainforest habitat.

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.

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.

Fitzroy Island Dive Site

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Fitzroy Island is a popular day trip from Cairns and has a surprising amount of marine life. This charming continental island is close to the mainland, so doesn’t have great visibility. Around the island are rocky reefs with varying amounts of coral cover.

Snake Pit Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Snake Pit is located inside the Ribbon Reefs, not far from Lizard Island, and is a dive site where divers are guaranteed to encounter an olive sea snake or three. Although highly venomous, olive sea snakes are fortunately quite docile and pose little threat to divers.

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation, Douglas Area
Stepping straight on to the beach from the rainforest is a very special experience at Cape Tribulation. This extraordinarily pretty stretch of the Daintree National Park is where you can climb aboard a fast boat to explore the Great Barrier Reef or take a kayak to nearby islands.

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.
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Frankland Islands

Probably one of the most untouched island group near Cairns, it’s no wonder why the Frankland Islands tops this list of island you’ve never heard of. There are five islands in the group and although you’ll need your own boat to explore all five, you can also board a day cruise and explore the islands with a guide.

Low Isles

15km from Port Douglas is the Low Isles with shallow and protected lagoon waters perfect for beginners learning to snorkel. You’ll even spot marine turtles floating by.

Dunk Island

If you love to go off the grid, look no further than Dunk Island where more than half of the island is national park. Hike or explore walking trails, snorkel or fish and when you’re ready to call it a day, set up a tent and camp under the stars.

Torres Strait Islands

Situated off the tip of Australia, you’ll find 274 islands enriched with culture and natural beauty. Experience true island hospitality when you visit Thursday Island or taste authentic Japanese cuisine at an operating pearl farm on Friday Island. Check out these must do’s for your next visit.

Sand Cays

Mackay Cay

50km from Port Douglas, you’ll find Mackay Cay on the north west corner of the Mackay Reef on the Great Barrier Reef. It rises just metres above high tide and protects a variety of endangered plants and animal species.

Vlassof Cay

Charter a private helicopter and enjoy a beach picnic like no other on Vlasoff Cay. Have the entire cay to yourself and snorkel its surrounding reef system to see the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef.

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