Great Barrier Reef: Places to Explore

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  • Cairns

    Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point...

  • Magnetic Island

    More than half of Magnetic Island's 52 square km (20 square miles) is national parkland, laced with miles of walking trails and rising to 1,640 feet at the Mt. Cook summit. The terrain is littered...

  • North Coast Islands

  • North of Cairns

    The Captain Cook Highway runs from Cairns to Mossman, a relatively civilized stretch known mostly for the resort towns of Palm Cove and Port Douglas. Past the Daintree River, wildlife parks and...

  • Townsville

    This coastal city has little in the way of sandy beaches or surf, but it does have shady parks, charming colonial buildings, and a boardwalk-flanked waterfront Esplanade with a terrific man-made...

  • The Whitsunday Islands

    The Whitsundays are a group of 74 islands situated within 161 km (100 miles) of each other and around 50 km (31 miles) from Shute Harbour, the principal mainland departure point, though some boats...

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