Just off the coast of North Queensland is one of Australia’s most well known natural features, the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching for over 2000 kilometres along the coastline, the reef is an amazing place to come face to face with native wildlife, learn more about the unique aquatic ecosystem, and try out a variety of thrilling water sports. Due to the reef’s size, there are countless points of access, from picturesque beach towns like Port Douglas and Airlie Beach to larger cities like Cairns.
In Port Douglas you will find the gorgeous Four Mile Beach, a perfect place for a walk at sunrise or sunset. The town itself is a pedestrian paradise, with shops, cafes, beaches, and accommodation all in close proximity. The location is also ideal for anyone wanting to explore Tropical North Queensland’s scenery, situated between the coastline and Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest.
If you want to visit the Whitsunday Islands along the reef, Airlie Beach might be the best coastal town for you to visit. With ferries out to Hamilton Island and Daydream Island, Airlie beach is an ideal starting point for exploring the reef.
Cairns is a much larger city, with nightlife and cultural attractions in addition to the beautiful beaches and reef access. From Cairns, there are many ways to explore the reef, like taking a sailing tour, going diving, or taking an educational course. You can also fly to the secluded northernmost part of the reef on Lizard Island, a luxury eco-resort with twenty-four private beaches.