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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Pixie Pinnacle Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Situated on the Ribbon Reefs off the coast of Cooktown, hop on a livaboard dive boat in Cairns to discover Pixie Pinnacle. At 30 metres tall and about 15 metres across, Pixie Pinnacle is a pyramid of coral and marine life, with its peak sitting two metres under the water’s surface.

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.

Cod Hole Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Possibly the most well-known dive site in the world can be found roughly 96 kilometres north of Cairns, at Cod Hole. Part of the string of long narrow Ribbon Reefs, Cod Hole is home to a group of very friendly potato cod, reaching up to 100 kilograms, that have become accustomed to divers over the past 30 years.

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.

Clam Gardens Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The name kind of gives it away, but divers will see a number of giant clams while exploring the Clam Gardens. Located on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns, the giant clams at the Clam Gardens are set in a very pretty coral garden, dominated by a range of healthy hard and soft corals.

Lighthouse Bommie Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Lighthouse Bommie is a giant tower of coral that rises from the sea floor at 25 metres and stands 20 metres tall. Located on the Ribbon Reefs, north of Cairns, this impressive pinnacle is visited each week by liveaboard dive boats.

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.

Sunlover Reef Cruises - Arlington Reef

Multiple Locations
Sunlover Reef Cruises' award winning tours takes guests to explore two pristine outer reef locations, Moore and Arlington Reefs, and has long been committed to providing quality and enjoyable Great Barrier Reef experiences with the utmost respect for our environment.

Nursery Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
One of the most impressive dive sites on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, is a large pinnacle called Nursery Bommie. This column of coral rises from 25 metres to 30 metres and is decorated with sea whips, soft corals and gorgonians, but it is the fish life that will be most remembered.

Challenger Bay Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Divers that love to watch fish, and plenty of them, will have a great time exploring Challenger Bay. Located on Ribbon Reef No.10, north of Cairns, Challenger Bay is a picturesque sandy bay dotted with small bommies and lovely coral gardens.
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