maori wrasse on the great barrier reef

Things to do

Great Barrier Reef & Ocean

Unforgettable moments at sea

As temptations go, it’s hard to go past Tropical North Queensland’s unique offerings: the world’s most extraordinary reef – dotted with tropical islands where the only sound is the waves lapping the shore (or a cocktail being mixed in the swim-up bar) – and pristine ocean bordered by kilometre-after-kilometre of white-sand perfection.

Start your adventure on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. You could spend weeks exploring this amazing underwater universe, with its colourful coral gardens and bommies and its abundant marine life, from tropical fish to turtles, rays and even whales.

There are plenty of snorkelling and scuba-diving excursions to choose from, but that’s just the start. Non-swimmers will love the glass-bottomed boats that give you a window onto the reef, while thrillseekers might want to try helmet diving. Prefer staying above water? Set sail for a day or take a kayaking tour between Mission Beach and Dunk Island. Take to the skies in a heli or fixed wing aircraft for an unforgettable bird’s-eye view of all this unmatched beauty.

To make the most of your stay, book into one of the area’s tranquil oceanside retreats. From family-friendly apartments in Trinity Beach, north of Cairns, to a back-to-nature experience sleeping under canvas or one of Port Douglas’s fabled five-star resorts, an unforgettable experience awaits.

Reef Health

The health of the Great Barrier Reef is monitored very closely by both local operators and the Marine Park Authority. Currently the reef appears to be healthy and flourishing with only minor bleaching present in some areas.

Coral bleaching is a natural stress response and individual coral colonies are likely suffer from a degree of bleaching in any given summer and is not of major concern to scientists and marine biologists. However mass coral bleaching events can result in coral mortality. Luckily there are a number of initiatives underway to restore coral in areas that have experienced damage in recent years. Find out how you can help contribute to the health of the reef here.

Welcome to wonderland

Beautiful ocean and the world’s largest coral reef: dream holidays are made of this.

Great Barrier Reef
Everything you need to know about Master Reef Guides

Anyone who’s ever done an organised tour will know the host or tour guide can make or break the experience. That’s why it pays to book a Great Barrier Reef tour with one of the Master Reef Guides, the official ambassadors of the world’s most famous reef.

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scuba diver nautilus shell
Great Barrier Reef
25 Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef

As you’d expect from one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is home to some weird, wonderful and just plain loveable creatures. Here’s 25 fun Great Barrier Reef facts about a marine world larger than Italy.

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scuba diving great barrier reef
Great Barrier Reef
Diving 101 – Everything you need to know about scuba diving

Have you ever dreamed of scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef? Just imagine sinking down into the warm waters, exploring coral gardens and seeing this wondrous world through the eyes of a fish. Learning to scuba dive is easy and is your passport to a brave new world. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about learning to Scuba Dive.

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Quicksilver Pontoon Agincourt
Great Barrier Reef
This is what a day on the reef looks like

Ready to dive in? Pack your swimmers, hat and sunscreen. Quicksilver Cruises has you covered with all the rest.

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Gareth Phillips snorkelling on the reef
Great Barrier Reef
Reef Talk – A chat with marine biologist Gareth Phillips

The Great Barrier Reef is a thriving, living marine environment. It inspires all who visit, even those who see it every day, like marine biologist and owner of Marine Discoveries, Gareth Phillips.

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Minke whale article tile
Great Barrier Reef
Swim with dwarf minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the only place in the world that you can swim with dwarf minke whales: an experience so exclusive it only happens for two months of the year and only in Tropical North Queensland.

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snorkelling with maori wrasse turtle and fish
Great Barrier Reef
12 Famous residents of the Great Barrier Reef

Only 12 residents? There’s probably a gazillion of them, but let’s start things slowly shall we. It’s not easy to keep track of every single one of the Great Barrier Reef’s inhabitants but here are some of the most famous ones in Tropical North Queensland.

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master reef guides great barrier reef
Great Barrier Reef
Ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef

There’s a sense of responsibility that comes when you’re visiting one of the world’s seven wonders; a calling to nurture nature. If leaving only footprints (or fin waves in this case) is high on your priority list, here are some ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef during your next holiday.

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Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef with Tusa
Great Barrier Reef
Snorkel vs intro vs certified dive

Check out this handy guide to find your reef style – from donning a mask and snorkel or taking your very first dive, to unique diving experiences reserved for certified divers.

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Fitzroy Island tile
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Everything you need to know about Fitzroy Island

If you want proof not all Great Barrier Reef islands are born equal, pay a visit to the supermodel of the island world, Fitzroy Island.

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scuba diving ribbon reefs
Great Barrier Reef
7 reasons to book a liveaboard diving experience in Tropical North Queensland

With over 2,300km of reefs, sand cays and islands to explore, extend your reef experience from one night to up to one week with a liveaboard diving trip.

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