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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Sunlover Reef Cruises

Multiple Locations
  • Free WiFi
Discover one of the natural wonders of the world as you join Sunlover Reef Cruises fast, air-conditioned catamaran to the brand new multi-level pontoon (floating platform), now with large waterslide and sundeck, located at Moore Reef, on the outer edge of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

Seawalker Green Island

Multiple Locations
Especially for those who might not want to or might not be able to participate in scuba diving or snorkelling, Seawalker @ Green Island is an underwater experience the whole family can enjoy. It is a fully guided underwater experience where your face stays dry and you walk underwater on the sea floor (not on an artificial platform) surrounded by fish and marine life at the beautiful coral garden.

Thetford Reef Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Thetford Reef, nestled close to the Cairns coast and just a short boat trip from the popular Green Island, is a two kilometre long burst of colour - with scattered coral heads, sandy floor areas inviting glittering schools of sea life, and lots of swim-throughs for adventure-seekers.

Northern Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
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.

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.

Great Tropical Drive

Multiple Locations
Explore palm-fringed beaches, ancient rainforests and the golden outback on a self-drive tour taking in the highlights of North Queensland. With 26 different routes to follow, the Great Tropical Drive takes you to some of Australia's best-known tropical attractions including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest, Hinchinbrook Island and the Undara Lava Tubes.

Turtle Bay Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
At Turtle Bay, off cairns on the Great Barrier Reef, you can come face to face with 'Killer' a giant 35 kilogram Maori Wrasse who expects the Divemaster to feed him. See 'Dopey' the resident turtle, a giant clam and several species of sea cucumbers.
Free Entry
Situated north of Cooktown, close to the Queensland cape, Great Detached Reef is a large complex of several reefs sitting on an old fossil mountain range. With roughly 46 kilometres of edge, wall diving is spectacular here, with steep cliffs dropping down to over 400 metres and small caves scattered across the reef walls.
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.

Reef Magic Cruises

Multiple Locations
  • Free WiFi
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.
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