Aus queensland turtle great barrier reef
Aus qld great barrier reef
aus great barrier reef dive coral
Aus queensland great barrier reef
One of the world's greatest natural wonders

Discover the Great Barrier Reef

Be mesmerised by 600 types of coral, over 2900 individual reefs, and 900 tropical islands. A wonderland that stretches over 2300 kilometres, and covers an area of approximately 344,440 square kilometres. Home to the world's largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef is truly an astonishing marine park.

Where should you visit the Great Barrier Reef?

Visit an array of world-class dive sites and admire the reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Explore together with an experienced Barrier Reef Travel Guide

Queensland's most beautiful natural wonder

This part of the world is filled with jaw-dropping scenery, awe-inspiring marine life and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Discover the world's largest collection of coral, the only place on earth where two UNESCO World Heritage Sites meet and much more. Are you ready to uncover the treasures of one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders?

Attractions

Indigenous Australians have had a connection to this special part of the world for more than 60,000 years. A World-Heritage Area, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most complex natural systems on Earth. One of Australia's most sought attractions, there are many unique and fascinating things to discover during your tour of the Great Barrier Reef.

One of the most complex natural ecosystems in the world

Marvel at 300 coral cays, approximately 150 inshore mangrove islands, and an abundance of marine life. With more than 100 species of jellyfish, 1625 species of fish, and 3000 species of molluscs. Uncover 500 species of worms, 600 types of soft and hard corals, 133 varieties of sharks and rays and more than 30 species of dolphins and whales. Rich in biodiversity and natural wonder, a place that can even be seen from space!

The Barrier Reef Marine Park is bigger than the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland combined!

Take a scenic flight over the Coral Sea and marvel at the Great Barrier Reef
Go on a day tour and experience the magic of the Whitsundays
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Cairns

Located in Tropical North Queensland, the laid-back city of Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. From here, you can discover tropical paradises such as Fitzroy Island and Green Island. There is also a large selection of day tours or multi-day tours to choose from, together with a small group.

Take an awe-inspiring journey through an ancient rainforest

While you are visiting Cairns, why not visit the oldest tropical rainforest in the world as well? Take a ride on the Skyrail, a cableway that allows you to explore untouched and undisturbed places. Once you reach Kuranda, be sure to visit the colourful local Kuranda markets. And take the scenic train back - A must-do in this part of Queensland!

Relax on Fitzroy Island, located 45 minutes by ferry from Cairns
© Tourism and Events Queensland
During your visit to Cairns, be sure to hop on the Skyrail
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Unravel the treasures of Michaelmas Cay

Michaelmas Cay is a sand cay, national park and protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. Located 17 kilometres north of Green Island, the vegetated coral island covers an area of 1.8 hectares. Rich in marine life, here you can admire green sea turtles, molluscs, hundreds of tropical fish and an abundance of giant clams. To reach Michaelmas Cay, you can catch a ferry from Cairns, which takes approximately one hour and ten minutes.

Discover a tropical haven, Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is located 29 kilometres southeast of Cairns. An outdoor paradise with a marvellous collection of things to do and see. Snorkel, swim, dive, hike or view the reef onboard a glass-bottom boat. Or if you prefer, simply relax by the beach and enjoy all that Fitzroy Island has to offer.

Take a day trip to Kuranda!
© Tourism and Events Queensland Tourism/ Tropical North Queensland
Spot sea turtles off Fitzroy and Green Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Would you like to go diving?

Uncover the wonders and colours of the iconic Great Barrier Reef with Silverswift. Hop aboard and take a journey from Cairns on a 29-metre long catamaran to discover three different dive locations. Each diving location is unique and has different ecological diversity to observe. You will visit Flynn, Pellowe, Milln and depending on conditions, Thetford Reefs.

The friendly crew has an abundance of knowledge to share with you

During your introductory scuba dive, you can admire coral gardens and colourful reefs. Encounter over 1000 different species of tropical fish, and adore molluscs and sponges. After your dive, catch some Far North Queensland sunshine on the deck. Enjoy some lunch and watch the blue glistening water lapping in the wind.

Have close encounters with fascinating marine life off the coast of Cairns
Snorkelling is also a great way to discover the reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Port Douglas

Tropical, upmarket and friendly, Port Douglas is an ideal base to discover the Great Barrier Reef. Located approximately one hour drive north of Cairns, this place is oozing with luxurious beach vibes. With plenty of unique accommodations to choose from. From here, you can also visit the World-Heritage-Listed Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge.

Port Douglas is the gateway to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest
© Manno Moreno, Unsplash
Port Douglas is an ideal destination to absorb the tropical vibes
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Take a day tour to Low Isles and discover an underwater haven

Low Isles is located 15 kilometres off the coast of Port Douglas and is an ideal spot for snorkellers. Set sail and be enchanted by two small, sandy coral cay islands. Surrounded by 55 acres of coral reef, here you can find 150 different species of fish, reef, sea cucumbers, molluscs and other marine life.

Spend a day on the Coral Sea and be amazed by the Outer Reef

Be mesmerised by the Outer Reef and set sail to a protected coral cay, such as Mackay or Undine Reef. Once the vessel reaches a moor, you can explore this wonderful environment. Get acquainted with the Outer Reef and enjoy snorkelling, swimming or getting sun-kissed on the deck. Admire the world undersea from a different angle in the glass-bottom boat and marvel at the reef. Ask the onboard marine biologist any questions you have about this unique place.

Have close underwater encounters with the reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland
There are plenty of eco-tourism, Great Barrier Reef tours on offer
Aus Waterlilies in Kakadu Darwin NT

Get inspired for your dream holiday to Australia

Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to Australia in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!

Register now

Whitsundays

Feel glamorous as you sail away on board a catamaran, drifting through sparkling turquoise waters and gently floating past tropical islands. Discover the majestic Whitsunday Islands, over 70 islands off the coast of Airlie Beach. Surrounded by the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. Spend your days snorkelling and exploring an abundance of marine life including various types of reefs, fish, turtles and possibly dolphins.

Soak up the sparkling sea views

Have a go on the sea scooter and glide through the warm waters with some stand-up paddleboarding. Soak up the North Queensland sunshine with some sun lounging, hide in the shade with a book or actively help to hoist the sails. Be sure to visit the famous white pearled sandy, Whitehaven Beach and Whitsunday Island.

Get a bird's eye view of the iconic heart shaped reef
Are you a non-swimmer? Relax on deck!

Islands

There are over 900 islands within the Great Barrier Reef, with over 600 islands that make up the main archipelago of the reef. This means there are plenty of idyllic tropical escapes to experience in Queensland. Many of them offer some of the most luxurious and spectacular accommodation in the whole of Australia. Other islands are completely undisturbed and uninhabited.

Visit Australia's unforgettable tropical islands

  • Lizard Island
  • Magnetic Island
  • Lady Elliot Island
  • Orpheus Island
  • Heron Island
  • Hamilton Island
  • Lady Musgrave Island
  • Pumpkin Island
Escape to Hamilton Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Set sail off the coast of Magnetic Island and discover the reef
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Activities

Where to stay?

Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our large collection of hand-selected accommodations located in places such as:

  • Port Douglas
  • Cairns
  • Mission Beach
  • Magnetic Island
  • Whitsundays
  • Airlie Beach
  • Townsville
  • Lizard Island
  • Pumpkin Island
  • And much more!


A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself

Whether you prefer to sail the gorgeous Whitsundays and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime, Reef Sleep Experience. Indulge at a luxurious resort on Lizard Island or relax at a quirky bed and breakfast in Cairns. We have found the perfect place for you to have the absolute best reef experience. Your travel specialist will match you up with an accommodation that suits your wants and needs.

Absorb the laid-back lifestyle outside of Cairns
Small-scale accommodation that is unique as you are

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Why book with us?

  • A well-designed holiday, just for you
  • Small-scale accommodations run by friendly local hosts
  • Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
  • A travel tempo and driving distances that match your needs
  • Ingrained sustainability in all facets of your holiday
  • 30 years of experience in travel to Australia

Let's design your holiday together

We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

All the things you love

and none of the things you don't

Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your Journey Down Under starts here.