Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef Top 10 Attractions
Choose from over 600 islands!
The massive size of the Great Barrier Reef means there is lots of space for over 600 islands. You are spoilt for choice, from popular locations with regular and fun activities to eco-resorts and luxurious paradises, and uninhabited hidden gems. There is a lot of diversity and something to appeal to everyone in this remarkable environment, so explore the choices to create a must-see bucket list.
Near Cairns: Bedarra Island, Dunk Island, Fitzroy Island, Green Island, Haggerstone Island, Lizard Island, Magnetic Island
Whitsundays Islands: Daydream Island, Hamilton Island, Heron Island
Southern Great Barrier Reef: Great Keppel Island, Lady Elliot Island, Lady Musgrave Island, Pumpkin Island
Diving and Snorkelling
The warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef beckon, whether you are an inexperienced swimmer or a veteran. Snorkelling or diving is a must-do activity and there are on-site PADI courses available to teach people of all ages at most reef locations, whether in the shallows near golden sandy beaches or from a cruise boat out on the Reef.
Thrills and Spills
From skydiving over the Whitsundays to crocodile spotting on the Daintree Rainforest and white-water rafting on the Tully River, there are so many options to challenge eager adrenaline junkies tracking the Great Barrier Reef. Think about taking a high-flying hot-air balloon ride or step it up with a jet-ski and ocean raft combo exploring the islands.
Relax in Island Style
Stylish accommodation options are available on many islands from the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef to its southern starting point. They offer pampered relaxation in exclusive living conditions far from the city’s hustle and bustle. A couple offer direct flight access and some cap the guest numbers to no more than a few dozen, enhancing the isolation and privacy
Explore Rainforest and Reef
The rainforest meets the reef in Daintree north of Cairns, providing a unique opportunity to appreciate both World Heritage sites in the same general location. Check out the crystal-clear waters of Mossman River or track to Cape Tribulation where rainforest-clad mountains sweep down to long sandy Coral Coast beaches.
Sleep on the Reef
Don’t just visit the reef, sleep on the reef! There are several options along the Reef to make this dream come true, from liveaboard vessels to pontoons, and luxury resorts.
Take a Private Yacht
A group of friends or families can indulge in their own Great Barrier Reef discovery tour by booking a private yacht with Aquarius to sail around Low Isles off the coast of Port Douglas. Enjoy a seafood buffet of the huge upper deck after a morning or afternoon snorkelling on the reef.
Frolic with Whales
Take to the waters to swim, dive and frolic with dwarf minke whales during their migration to the outer Ribbon Reefs for breeding. A limited number of operators offers overnight expeditions.
Sea Turtles Hatching
An excellent attraction for families is close to the city of Bundaberg at Mon Repos National Park. It’s where loggerhead turtles come to lay their eggs between November and January, and weeks later through to March, the hatchlings are born. A great location on the Southern Great Barrier Reef which is ideal also for swimming, sailing and shore diving.
Walk on the Sea Bed
Non-swimmers can enjoy the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef by walking on the seafloor in a controlled environment at Green Island close to Cairns. Wearing a helmet connected to the surface through an air hose, the Seawater experience provides unlimited views of the marine and coral wonderland.