maori wrasse on the great barrier reef

Things to do

Great Barrier Reef Cairns & Northern Beaches

Unforgettable moments at sea

Start the adventure of a lifetime on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and spend weeks exploring this astonishing and seductive underwater universe, with its colourful coral gardens, alive with abundant marine life, tropical fish, turtles, rays and minke whales.

With the Great Barrier Reef right on Tropical North Queensland’s door step, you’ll be spoilt for choice for underwater adventures like snorkelling and diving. Pack the swimmers and head down to the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal where you can organise a reef trip with one of the many fantastic reef cruises. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or an amateur behind the reel, fishing charters are a great way to find the best spots and capture the full experience of reef fishing. There are a number of professional reef charters that provide the fishing gear and priceless knowledge – the crew will help identify your catch and if you’re lucky, often clean it for you as well.

Prefer an island paradise instead? Then Fitzroy, Normanby and Lizard are some of the region’s incredible islands surround by crystal-clear blue waters and fringed with coral reefs. Non-swimmers will enjoy the reef from glass-bottomed boats that provide a window into the remarkable underwater world. You can also choose to take to the sky in a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft for an unforgettable scenic view of the unforgettable beauty of Tropical North Queensland

Take a scenic helicopter flight to a remote sand cay on the Great Barrier Reef

Coral Expeditions II Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef with Mission Beach Dive

The Reef in 360

Filmed at Agincourt Reef, a reef system located on the outer edge of the continental shelf off the coast of Port Douglas. Dive off the back of a boat and into this incredible part of the Outer Great Barrier Reef, which is uniquely different to fringing island reef systems or those inner reefs located closer to shore. The deep reef walls are home to intricate eco-systems where colourful corals flourish in the continual movement of the ocean and marine-life comes in all shapes and sizes. Even though it takes a little longer to reach sites on the Outer Barrier Reef, the visibility is often better creating a pristine environment for scuba divers and snorkellers to spot sea turtles and larger fish like Maori Wrasse.

Welcome to wonderland

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

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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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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Book now and save $100 on tours

Are you visiting Tropical North Queensland soon? Take advantage of our Tropical Dollars and get $100 off tours and experiences* when you book through Experience Oz! Use code TNQ100

*Min spend $200. T&C’s apply. Travel by 21 June 2024.