Great Barrier Reef Destinations

Read about the best destinations in Queensland to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is the closest city to the Great Barrier Reef and you can be snorkelling around a tropical island in just 45 minutes via a quick ferry transfer or a 25 minute helicopter flight. For a tour to the outer Barrier Reef, sit back relax and enjoy a 90 minute boat ride to an outer reef interactive pontoon and explore the underwater world in a myriad of ways. From Townsville a quick ferry ride has you exploring the beautiful Magnetic Island in no time where you can enjoy both land and in water activities. The Whitsundays are famous for liveaboard yacht holidays, Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island, luxury yacht charters and of course Heart Reef. The Fraser coast is famous for whale watching and remote island tours. Each one of these departure points on the Queensland coastline have something to offer all sorts of travellers. For a locals insight to these destinations speak to the team from Barrier Reef Australia.

Fitzroy Island Resort, Tropical North Queensland

Cairns Tropical North Queensland

Cairns Tropical North Queensland
Fitzroy Island Resort, Tropical North Queensland

Cairns and Port Douglas are the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns, Tropical North Queensland offers the best scuba diving and snorkelling tours to experience the Reef's unique marine life and brilliant corals. Book a helicopter flight to see the Great Barrier Reef today!

Hamilton Island - Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef - Sailing,

Whitsundays

Whitsundays
Hamilton Island - Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef - Sailing,

The stunning Whitsundays renowned for its Great Barrier Reef tours to Whitehaven beach, helicopter rides over Heart Reef and Great Barrier Reef sailing holidays. The Whitsundays offer Great Barrier Reef tour experiences for everyone.

Things To Do Townsville, North Queensland-

Townsville North Queensland

Townsville North Queensland
Things To Do Townsville, North Queensland-

With the natural beauty of its World Heritage-listed national parks, Great Barrier Reef and Magnetic Island, the warm tropical climate of the Townsville region excites and entices visitors from all over the world to come and enjoy all the things to do and things to see in this great town.

Aerial of Great Keppel Island

Capricorn Region

Capricorn Region
Aerial of Great Keppel Island

Immerse yourself in one of Queensland’s best kept coastal gems with the Southern Great Barrier Reef, rugged wilderness, a rich history and secluded beaches in Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Great Keppel Island at your doorstep.

Fitzroy Reef Lagoon, Gladstone Region

Gladstone Region

Gladstone Region
Fitzroy Reef Lagoon, Gladstone Region

The Gladstone region is one of Queensland’s best kept secrets with an abundance of pristine beaches, untouched islands and subtropical hinterland waiting to be discovered. Gladstone is the gateway to the popular holiday regions of Agnes Waters, 1770 and Lady Musgrave Island tours.

A turtle-y hello from Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg

Bundaberg North Burnett

Bundaberg North Burnett
A turtle-y hello from Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg

Hailed as a major food bowl for the nation, the Bundaberg North Burnett region produces 25 per cent of Australia’s produce, is the southernmost gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and home to a rare colony of nesting marine turtles.

Whale watching - Hervey Bay - Fraser Island

Fraser Coast

Fraser Coast
Whale watching - Hervey Bay - Fraser Island

Combining some of Queensland’s most incredible history with some of its most stunning geography, the Fraser Coast, home to the Whale Watch Capital of the World Hervey Bay, and the world's largest sand island Fraser Island, this region is a true tourism gem in the Great Barrier Reef tale.

Cape York, The Wild North

The Wild North

The Wild North
Cape York, The Wild North

Looking for the ultimate adventure? Australia’s Wild North offers both a rich history and an abundance of remote natural beauty.

The Gateways to the Great Barrier Reef

Discover the Great Barrier Reef's iconic coastal, and island destinations with the Barrier Reef Australia team. Don't waste hours looking for all the things to see and do on the Great Barrier Reef, just call our team and we can lead you to the types of tours, activities and destinations to suit your travel style. We have been showing visitors the best tours and attractions on the Great Barrier Reef for over 20 years.

Cairns, Tropical North Queensland

Cairns

Cairns

Cairns tours to the Great Barrier Reef attract visitors to see this World Heritage-listed underwater world and its brilliant marine life. Browse the biggest selection of Cairns tours and attractions and read the indepth tour itineraries of each tour. Tours departing from Cairns offer activities for all types of travellers whether on a budget or those looking for more intimate luxury travel.

Port Douglas,Tropical North Queensland

Port Douglas

Port Douglas

Sophisticated eateries and bars, luxurious holiday homes and resorts, and a bustling marina – Port Douglas is the number one destination for celebrities to holiday and mix it up with the locals. An ideal location from which you can explore the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

Green Island Tours - Aerial view of Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef

Green Island

Green Island

Green Island just off Cairns is a nature lover's paradise and the only coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest. See all the things to do and things to see on Green Island. Snorkel tours, dive tours, helicopter scenic flights and Seawalker.

Fitzroy Island Resort, Tropical North Queensland

Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island

Beautiful Fitzroy Island is just a short boat ride from Cairns and is one the most favourite islands on the Great Barrier Reef. Stay for a holiday and enjoy the snorkeling and scuba diving straight off the island. Fitzroy Island is ideal for kids of all ages and romantic couples.

Low Isles Port Douglas - Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Low Isles

Low Isles

Explore the beautiful Low Isles on the Great Barrier Reef just off shore from Port Douglas on a half day, full day or combination snorkel tour and sunset cruise. A group of islands that are home to sea turtles, dugongs and other fascinating marine life. Take it easy or enjoy all the activities on the island such as the lighthouse historic walk and nature excursions.

Lizard Island Aerial  View - The Wild North

Lizard Island

Lizard Island

Lizard Island offers 24 stunning white sandy beaches, national park surrounds and is uniquely located in the centre of inner and outer reef systems as well as fringing reefs. Lizard Island is also home to the famous Cod Hole dive site and the northernmost luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Relaxing in the town of 1770

Seventeen Seventy

Seventeen Seventy

Known as the “birthplace of Queensland,” Seventeen Seventy or 1770 is the closest access point to the Southern Great Barrier Reef with deserted beaches and pristine coral cays at your doorstep. Right next door to Agnes Waters, 1770 is the only place you can surf and dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Visit Lady Musgrave Island from 1770 in Australia

Airlie Beach Tours and Attractions - Waterfront Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, the vibrant mainland gateway to the Whitsundays is an aquatic playground with plenty for thrill seekers and nature lovers to choose from. Book a Sail and snorkel tour thru the Whitsundays passage on an overnight reef trip. Take a scenic flight over Heart Reef, or dive the depths of the Great Barrier Reef

Whitehaven Beach Whitsundays

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

With fine white silica sand and a maze of stunning sandbars linked by azure-coloured tidal pools, Whitehaven Beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach in Australia. Boats arrive daily at Whitehaven Beach to admire the beauty of the swirling sands and brillant blue waters against the back drop of green atop Hill Inlet lookout. Book a Whitehaven Beach tour when visiting the Whitsundays.

Hamilton Island - Whitsundays

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island

One of Australia's most popular holiday destinations and the only island in the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef with its own commercial airport. Hamilton Island is a holiday hotspot for local and international visitors, boasting pristine white beaches, a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life, and year-round mild temperatures. See all the tours and attractions of Hamilton Island here.

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg North Burnett

Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island

Hailed as the launch pad for the Great Barrier Reef, the most southern island of Lady Elliot is regarded as reef royalty. This is the place where you can swim with Manta Rays, see Dugongs, whales, sea turtles and other exceptionl marine life. Lady Elliott Island is a place not to be missed. Enjoy a day snorkelling Lady Elliot Island on scenic flights from various locations in Queensland.

Fraser Island Tours : Lake McKenzie, Fraser Coast

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

The world’s largest sand island, K'gari (Fraser Island) is a sparkling gem in the Queensland tourism story, flush with natural attractions, flora, fauna, culture and history. Take a look at all the things to do and things to see on K'gari (Fraser Island) on the East coast of Australia.

Cape York, The Wild North

Cape York Peninsula

Cape York Peninsula

Discover Cape York, the wild and rugged national parks, hidden beaches, unique wildlife, rich history and remote islands of Australia’s northern tip, Cape York Peninsula. Book a scenic flight from Cairns or Cooktown to visit Cape York.

Beachfront dining, Palm Cove

Palm Cove

Palm Cove

Conveniently located between Cairns and Port Douglas, the beachside suburb of Palm Cove is one of Australia's most popular holiday destinations in Far North Queensland. There are so many tours and attractions on offer for holiday makers in this dreamy beachside mecca and each of the tour operators will collect guests from their hotels to take them our on tour of the Great Barrier Reef.

Sunrise, Mission Beach, TNQ

Mission Beach

Mission Beach

A beautiful beachside town located between Townsville and Cairns, with the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest right on its doorstep. Offering a range of activities from extreme sports to beach relaxation. Mission Beach is perfect for family holidays, eco-adventures, adrenaline seekers and backpackers.

Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Set against a backdrop of lush greenery, gigantic granite boulders and a stream feeding the popular swimming hole, Mossman Gorge is the southernmost part of the Daintree Rainforest. Explore the area via one of the easily-accessible walking tracks or experience local Indigenous culture on a guided rainforest tour.

4WD adventures, Cooktown

Cooktown

Cooktown

Cooktown is one of Australia’s most unique coastal townships, guests can immerse themselves in the rich historical, cultural and natural beauty of Cooktown. Book a scenic flight day tour to Lizard Island or Cape York or a fly/drive tour of Cooktown and the surrounding attractions.

Daintree Rainforest - Cassowary looking for food on the beach

Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest

Lauded by Sir David Attenborough as “the most extraordinary place on earth”, the Daintree Rainforest is home to a diverse array of prehistoric flora and fauna. A visit to Cairns Tropical North Queensland isn’t complete without exploring this magical part of the region.

Kuranda

Kuranda

Kuranda is the quaint ‘Village in the Rainforest’, nestled on the Atherton Tablelands, is famed for its markets, wildlife experiences, and fudge. Travelling to and from Kuranda is a spectacle in its own right. Experience the best of Kuranda, the rainforest and surrounding attractions with one of our great $$$ saver combo deal tours.

Cities of the Great Barrier Reef

Explore our indepth articles on the attractions of the eight cities that lie within the regions of the Great Barrier Reef. Learn all about what there is to see and do in those destinations and how to make the most of your holiday time in those towns and cities.

Snorkelling with the famous Maori Wrasse Wally on the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns

Cairns

Cairns tours to the Great Barrier Reef attract visitors to see this World Heritage-listed underwater world and its brilliant marine life. Browse the biggest selection of Cairns tours and attractions and read the indepth tour itineraries of each tour. Tours departing from Cairns offer activities for all types of travellers whether on a budget or those looking for more intimate luxury travel.

Townsville City - Aerial View

Townsville city

Townsville city

The thriving city of Townsville isn’t named the cultural capital of regional Australia for no reason – this is a city with style and innovation that has the added bonus of providing remarkable nature and outdoor experiences around Townsville and with a 20 minute boat ride you are on magnficent Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef.

Riverside walk, Rockhampton

Rockhampton

Rockhampton

Known as the ‘Beef Capital of Australia,’ Rockhampton is located in the central Capricorn Region boasting a rich history and an abundance of natural wonders.

Gladstone marina

Gladstone CBD

Gladstone CBD

Situated in the heart of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Gladstone CBD is fast becoming a popular tropical getaway for all types of visitors.

Bundaberg, Bundaberg North Burnett

Bundaberg

Bundaberg

Mention Bundaberg and the two words that come to mind are rum and turtles. This sub-tropical city is best known for its iconic rum and its nesting and hatching loggerhead turtles.

Hervey Bay Pier, Fraser Coast

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay

Renowned as the Whale Watching Capital of the World, Hervey Bay lives up to its glowing global reputation for natural experiences, adventures and excitement. Hervey Bay is also the departure point for Fraser Island tours. See all the things to do and things to see in Hervey Bay.

Cape York, The Wild North

Cape York Peninsula

Cape York Peninsula

Discover Cape York, the wild and rugged national parks, hidden beaches, unique wildlife, rich history and remote islands of Australia’s northern tip, Cape York Peninsula. Book a scenic flight from Cairns or Cooktown to visit Cape York.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef by Map

The Great Barrier Reef on the Eastern Australia coastline is 2,300km long from North to South starting at the tip of Cape York Peninsular in the north and extending down to Bundaberg. What makes the reef even more special is its close proximity to the coastline ranging from a short 16km to 160km on the outer reef. The main places visitors stay to explore all the attractions of the Great Barrier Reef are north to south Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, Hamilton Island, Mackay, Yeppoon, Agnes Water & Seventeen Seventy.