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

    Hugely popular with locals and visitors, especially in stinger season, this stinger-free swimming enclosure on Airlie's shorefront has dedicated lap-swimming lanes, real-sand "beaches," adjoining children's...Read More

  • 2. Daintree National Park

    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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  • 3. The Esplanade


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

  • 4. The Strand

    Dubbed Australia's Cleanest Beach, this palm-flanked stretch of sand—lined with jogging tracks and cycleways, picnic-friendly parklands, and hip beachfront bars—has two swimming enclosures and a...Read More

  • 5. Babinda Boulders

    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...Read More

  • 6. Cairns Marlin Marina


    This floating marina's 261 berths bristle with charter fishing, diving, and private vessels, including superyachts up to 197 feet long. At the Reef Fleet Terminal...Read More

  • 7. Castle Hill

    The summit of pink-granite monolith Castle Hill, 1 km (½ mile) from the city center, provides great views of the city and Magnetic Island. While...Read More

  • 8. Conway National Park

    Ten minutes' drive southeast of Airlie, Conway National Park is a 54,000-acre expanse of mangroves, woodlands, rocky cliffs, and tropical lowland rain forest that shelters...Read More

  • 9. Flinders Street

    A stroll along Flinders Street from the Strand to Stanley Street takes you past some of Townsville's most impressive turn-of-the-20th-century colonial structures. Magnetic House and...Read More

  • 10. Grassy Hill Lighthouse

    A strenuous, not especially scenic walk or short drive from Cooktown lie Grassy Hill and the lighthouse, spectacular lookouts affording panoramic views of Cooktown, the...Read More

  • 11. Great Green Way

    A scenic section of the Bruce Highway locals call the Great Green Way links Cairns with Townsville, taking you through sugarcane, papaya, and banana plantations,...Read More

  • 12. Nature's Powerhouse & Cooktown Botanic Gardens

    This interpretive center and museum at the entrance to Cooktown's Heritage-listed Botanic Gardens is home to a valuable collection of local botanical illustrations by internationally...Read More

  • 13. Queens Gardens

    North Ward

    Offering shade and serenity less than a mile from the CBD, Townsville's colonial-era botanic gardens occupies 10 verdant acres at the base of Castle Hill....Read More

  • 14. Townsville Town Common Conservation Park


    Spot wallabies, echidnas, dingoes, goannas, and hundreds of bird species at this terrific wetlands conservation park crisscrossed by walking and biking trails, and dotted with...Read More

  • 15. Tully Gorge National Park

    In the wettest zone of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, the mighty Tully River is a magnet for white-water rafters, while the gorge's scenic,...Read More

  • 16. Wallaman Falls

    Surrounding the highest sheer-drop waterfall in Australia is glorious Girringun National Park, in which ancient rain forests accessible via scenic walking trails shelter rare plants...Read More

  • 17. Wooroonooran National Park

    Extending south of Gordonvale to the Palmerston Highway near Innisfail, this is one of the most densely vegetated areas in Australia. Rain forest rules, from...Read More

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