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. Birdworld Kuranda

    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 of colorful...Read More

  • 2. Mossman Gorge

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

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  • 3. Reef Teach


    Knowledgeable marine biologists and conservationists give entertaining talks and multimedia presentations, usually to packed houses, about everything Great Barrier Reef–related, from sea turtles' sleep cycles...Read More

  • 4. Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

    More than 1,500 tropical butterflies—including dozens of the electric-blue Ulysses species and Australia's largest butterfly, the green-and-gold Cairns birdwing—flutter within a compact rain-forest aviary, alighting...Read More

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  • 5. Cairns Art Gallery


    Occupying the impressive former Public Office Building constructed in the 1930s, Cairns Art Gallery houses a hodgepodge of local, national, international, and Indigenous artworks, including...Read More

  • 6. Cooktown History Centre

    Cooktown's historical museum, aptly housed in a former postal and telegraph office built in 1875, is staffed by affable volunteers and houses an extensive collection...Read More

  • 7. Cooktown School of Art Society / Elizabeth Guzsely Gallery

    Locally made works (including Indigenous art) in various media line the walls of this terrific gallery, where you'll often find artists working on-site. Proceeds benefit...Read More

  • 8. Hamilton Island Wildlife

    This charming wildlife sanctuary houses kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, dingoes, birds, and reptiles, including a resident croc. Guided tours run daily, at 10 am and 3...Read More

  • 9. Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

    Hartley's houses thousands of crocodiles as well as koalas, wallabies, quolls, snakes, lizards, southern cassowaries, and tropical birds in natural environs, accessible via boardwalks and...Read More

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  • 10. James Cook Museum

    Cooktown, in its heyday, was a gold-mining port, with 64 pubs lining the 3-km-long (2-mile-long) main street; a significant slice of this colorful history, including...Read More

  • 11. Museum of Tropical Queensland

    Centuries-old relics from the HMS Pandora (the ship sent by the British Admiralty to capture the mutinous Bounty crew), which sank in 1791 carrying 14...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. Mareeba Tropical Savanna and Wetlands Reserve

    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

  • 14. Cairns Tropical Zoo

    At this 10-acre zoo, visitors can hand-feed tame kangaroos, cuddle with koalas, enjoy breakfast with the wildlife, and attend daily snake, crocodile, and bird shows....Read More

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  • 15. Reef HQ 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, a hands-on discovery...Read More

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