Aerial view of Great Barrier Reef
Vlasoff Cay
Great Barrier Reef

While it can be seen from space, the only way to fully appreciate the natural marvel that is the Great Barrier Reef is by diving on in. With hundreds of islands harbouring enchanting underwater activities, lush rainforests and accommodation so exclusive it feels like you own the place, you’ll leave with a new definition of paradise. 

Travel guides

Places to stay

From sleeping in a swag under a blanket of stars on Cruise Whitsundays’ Reef Sleep, to kicking back at luxury island lodges like Orpheus Island off Townsville, there’s an accommodation option to suit any type of Great Barrier Reef holiday.

Enjoy the sunny side of life at Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort in Cairns - a sleek and aesthetically cool five-star resort option, with a focus on sustainable luxury. Dive into the sand-fringed lagoon pool before a sunset tipple at rooftop digs, Rocco.

If going off the grid is on the cards, set off to Heron Island to spend your days snorkelling with white-spotted eagle rays, turtles and exploring the HMAS Protector shipwreck. Just off Townsville is Magnetic Island where the itinerary consists of soaking up the views of the Forts Walk, hand-feeding the resident rock wallabies and an array of water activities.

Check in to Thala Beach Nature Reserve between Cairns and Port Douglas for a truly tropical escape, home to a coconut plantation and boasting views of the Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, another UNESCO site and the world’s oldest rainforest.

Things to do

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living ecosystem and can be seen from space. Spanning 2,300km from Bundaberg to Tropical North Queensland, it’s a biodiverse paradise, home to an array of marine life, including six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and the elusive dwarf minke whales.

With so many ways to explore this World Heritage-listed area, the question is where to start? Explore one of the thousands of snorkel and dive sites, from fringing reefs to the outer Great Barrier Reef, accessible from the many beaches and islands scattered along the coastline. Take a day trip to Agincourt Reef with Quicksilver Reef Cruise from Port Douglas, swimming alongside vibrant corals and marine life. Or, you can opt to indulge in the laidback luxuries of an island escape at spots like Lady Musgrave Island off the Southern Great Barrier Reef or Fitzroy Island off Cairns.

For the most breathtaking view, you’ll want to take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef from one of the many operators spanning the coastline. You can even land on Vlassoff Cay for a private beach picnic. Adventure-seekers can sail their way through the turquoise waters of The Whitsundays, hopping around the 74 islands. For nature-lovers, dive into a liveaboard experience in Tropical North Queensland, the only place in the world where humans can interact with dwarf minke whales.

Outdoor and adventure

Discover Tropical North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef with Qantas and Tourism Events Queensland. We sent Jarrad Seng to Tropical North Queensland to discover the magic of the Great Barrier Reef, it's rolling waterfalls, golden beaches and pristine waterholes. Start your Tropical North Queensland adventure today with Qantas. 

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