Great Barrier Reef

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Great Barrier Reef - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Airlie Beach Lagoon

    Beach–Sight

    This stinger-free swimming enclosure on Airlie's shorefront has dedicated lap-swimming lanes, real-sand "beaches," adjoining children's pools...Read More

  • 2. Birdworld Kuranda

    Zoo/Aquarium

    One of your best chances to see the endangered Southern cassowary, a prehistoric emu-like bird, is at Birdworld Kuranda. It's home to hundreds...Read More

  • 3. Cod Hole

    Reef

    For divers and snorkelers, the usually crystal-clear waters off Lizard Island are a dream. Cod Hole, 20 km (12 miles) from Lizard Island, ranks...Read More

  • 4. Daintree National Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    The world's oldest tropical rain forest is an ecological wonderland: 85 of the 120 rarest species on earth are found here, and new ones are...Read More

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  • 5. Great Barrier Reef

    Local Interest–Sight

    To astronauts who've seen it from space, the Great Barrier Reef resembles a vast, snaking wall—like a moat running parallel to Australia's entire...Read More

  • 6. Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetlands Reserve

    Resort–Sight

    If you drive 70 km (44 miles) west of Palm Cove you'll encounter another world: giant termite mounds dot savanna scrub, and vast reclaimed wetlands...Read More

  • 7. Mossman Gorge

    Museum/Gallery

    Just 5 km (3 miles) outside Mossman are the spectacular waterfalls and swimming-hole-studded river that tumble through sheer-walled Mossman...Read More

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  • 8. Reef HQ Aquarium

    Zoo/Aquarium

    Come eye-to-eye with sharks, rays, giant trevally, and green sea turtles at the Reef HQ Aquarium. It houses a 200,000-gallon predator tank,...Read More

  • 9. Reef Teach

    CBD | Educational Institution

    Knowledgeable marine biologists and conservationists give entertaining talks and multimedia presentations, usually to packed houses, about everything...Read More

  • 10. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

    Smithfield | Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    From the Skyrail terminal just north of Cairns, take a six-person cable car on a breathtaking 7½-km (5-mile) journey across pristine, World...Read More

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  • 11. Tanks Arts Centre

    Edge Hill | Arts/Performance Venue

    This vibrant arts center is housed in a trio of repurposed World War II–era oil storage tanks in Cairns's lush Flecker Botanic Gardens, 4 km...Read More

  • 12. The Esplanade

    CBD | Park/Playground

    Fronting Cairns Harbour, this busy boardwalk and recreational zone is the focal point of life in Cairns. Along the walk you'll encounter shady...Read More

  • 13. The Strand

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    Dubbed Australia's Cleanest Beach, this palm-flanked stretch of sand—lined with jogging tracks and cycleways, picnic-friendly parklands, and...Read More

  • 14. Wildlife Habitat

    Zoo/Aquarium

    This world-class wildlife sanctuary just off the Captain Cook Highway is divided into "immersion" wetland, rain forest, grassland, and savanna...Read More

  • 15. Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

    Zoo/Aquarium

    More than 1,500 tropical butterflies—including dozens of the electric-blue Ulysses species and Australia's largest butterfly, the green-and...Read More

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  • 16. Babinda Boulders

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    About an hour's drive from Cairns, Babinda Boulders is a popular swimming hole—and a sacred Aboriginal site. It's 7 km (5 miles) inland on The...Read More

  • 17. Billabong Sanctuary

    Zoo/Aquarium

    This eco-friendly, interactive sanctuary on 22 acres of bushland shelters koalas, wombats, dingoes, wallabies, endangered bilbies, snakes, crocodiles...Read More

  • 18. Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Just south of Cooktown within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park protects a unique mix of gigantic...Read More

  • 19. Cairns Marlin Marina

    CBD | Marina/Pier/Dock

    This floating marina's 261 berths bristle with charter fishing, diving, and private vessels, including superyachts up to 60 meters (197 feet...Read More

  • 20. Cairns Regional Gallery

    CBD | Museum/Gallery

    Occupying the impressive former Public Office Building constructed in the 1930s, Cairns Regional Gallery houses a hodgepodge of local, national...Read More

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