Great Barrier Reef Restaurants

Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include some or all meals. Some larger resorts have a range of restaurants, with formal dining rooms, outdoor barbecues, and seafood buffets; some have premium dining options for which you pay extra. Dress is generally "island casual." Some upscale restaurants—such as those on Hayman Island—require men to wear jackets for dinner and frown on flip-flop sandals. On the mainland you'll find plenty of casual, open-air restaurants, serving mainly Modern Australian–style meals that showcase seafood and regional produce. With a few notable exceptions, Cairns, Palm Cove, and Port Douglas are your best bets for upscale dining.

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  • 1. A Touch of Salt

    $$

    This Modern Australian eatery fits the bill: location (riverfront), service (impeccable), ambience (relaxed), food (exciting and flavorful), and wine (top-flight). The menu is a carefully...Read More

  • 2. Harrisons

    $$

    A classic "Queenslander" with a lovely outdoor cocktails area shaded by century-old mango trees and fine dining inside, Harrisons impresses with deftly executed dishes that...Read More

  • 3. NuNu Restaurant

    $$$

    Sexy suede lounges, intimate banquettes, and unbroken views of the Coral Sea make lingering easy at this Palm Cove eatery with the region's best and...Read More

  • 4. Bommie Restaurant

    $$$

    With sail-shaped tables, chic Eames chairs, and marina views, Bommie has a sophisticated, upmarket ambience perfect for a special celebration. It's the ideal setting for...Read More

  • 5. On The Turps Bar & Restaurant

    $

    At this open-air restaurant in the Daintree rain forest, wallabies, bandicoots, and musky rat kangaroos might join you at the table as you tuck into...Read More

  • 6. Romano's

    $$

    The full-frontal marina views from the broad balconies of this two-level waterfront eatery make it a favorite for family celebrations and romantic dining. The menu...Read More

  • 7. Salt House

    $$ | CBD

    Blessed with mountain and ocean views and located in prime position at the Cairns Marina, Salt House serves Modern Australian fare in casual chic environs....Read More

  • 8. Temple of Tastes

    $$

    Knowledgeable staff, an impressive wine and cocktail list, and a torchlit waterfront terrace are among the many reasons to dine at this excellent resort restaurant...Read More

  • 9. Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar

    $$

    Atmospheric indoor-outdoor dining, attentive service, and a well-stocked bar are nice, but the primary draw at this relaxed restaurant is the food, which highlights the...Read More

  • 10. Déjà Vu Restaurant

    $$$

    Alfresco tables and Balinese-style dining pavilions flank an infinity-edge pool at this classy Airlie eatery,open for leisurely dining--and daytime swimming, if you desire. Here, the...Read More

  • 11. Fire

    $$$$

    This elegant restaurant, refurbished in rich ruby hues, is the resort's culinary showpiece. Its imaginative dishes are built around premium ingredients, sourced locally and from...Read More

  • 12. Hanuman Cairns

    $$$ | CBD

    A flavorful addition to Cairns's dining scene, this restaurant in the Hilton Cairns does wonders with tropical produce and South-East Asian flavors. Moody violet lighting,...Read More

  • 13. Bamboo

    $

    This lovely pan-Asian establishment overlooks a tranquil Japanese garden with rock pools, waterfalls, and a teahouse. Menu choices include Thai, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian...Read More

  • 14. Mariners

    $$$

    This breezy, upscale eatery turns the local catch into fresh contemporary dishes: freshly shucked oysters, butter roasted Moreton Bay bugs, and king salmon all artfully...Read More

  • 15. Lime & Pepper Restaurant

    $$

    European flair meets great local produce at this upscale beachfront restaurant and bar. Lime & Pepper mixes fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and bush-tucker ingredients, such...Read More

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