You can swim, snorkel, dive and sail the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, a living masterpiece so large it can be seen from outer space. It stretches more than 2,000 kilometers along the Queensland coast, and you can explore it from the mainland, the islands, or on a cruise.
Our favorite mainland towns are Palm Cove or Port Douglas, north of Cairns. Both are small beach towns with a relaxed tropical lifestyle where you can explore the shops and restaurants all within walking distance of your hotel. Day trips are available to the Reef for snorkeling, diving or deep-sea fishing, the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation, Kuranda, or the Atherton Highlands for sunrise hot air ballooning.
Australia’s northernmost resort island, Lizard Island is located right on the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, fringed with colorful coral reefs and 24 powdery white beaches. Sensational diving opportunities abound in this Marine National Park and snorkelers are rewarded for little effort with coral gardens, brightly colored tropical fish and giant clams just moments from the island’s beaches. Discover secluded, pristine beaches, enjoy deep sea game fishing, bush walking, sailing, a glass bottom boat trip, or perhaps indulge in the spa.
If cruising is more your style, consider a 3,4 or 7-day cruise aboard the Coral Princess, small-ship Great Barrier Reef cruising at its best.
Great Barrier Reef