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Cairns Port Douglas Daintree Great Barrier Reef Australia
  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Activities and short breaks
  • Holidays

Cairns

Cairns is Australia’s north eastern capital on the coast of Queensland. Cairns has extensive shopping facilities, a casino, a palm fringed esplanade and boating marina, but no beach. Tidal flats offer the opportunity for viewing coastal bird life including pelicans, spoonbills and herons.

Inland you will find extensive sugar cane plantations and a mountain plateau known as the Atherton Tablelands where you will find a number of attractive small villages, good rainforest walks with picturesque waterfalls and some magnificent examples if ancient fig trees notable for their buttressed and aerial root systems. A circuit of the Atherton Tablelands involves a drive of around 200kms, with stops and walks it makes for is a big day out, or for a shorter trip go directly to Kuranda 27kms north of Cairns. Kuranda Village has become known for its markets, Tjapukai Dance Theatre (Aboriginal), Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Cairns is a warm, sophisticated place, thriving with colour and life. The capital of the Tropical North, Cairns has unlimited activities and attractions to keep you busy. From the magical aquatic world of the Great Barrier Reef to the fascinating World Heritage listed Daintree.

Port Douglas (65kms north of Cairns)

Far North Queensland's Port Douglas stretches from the glamorous Four Mile Beach to the untouched natural wilderness of Dickson Inlet. The picturesque town of Port Douglas has become an international holiday Mecca and is located just 70 kilometres north of Cairns. With an eco-friendly tourism industry the area has been preserved with little over-bearing development. The town at Port Douglas is a pleasant combination of the laid back, casual style of the tropics and the sophistication of a modern day Australian tourist resort. The marina at Port Douglas is the departure point for day trips by boat to the Great Barrier Reef.

Visit the nearby Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary, a leader in its field of wildlife immersion exhibits, the award winning sanctuary provides visitors with a chance to observe, up close, a huge range of flora and fauna. Breakfast with the Birds’ is a popular daily event or you can ‘Lunch with the Lorikeets’. Explore the three distinctive wildlife settings: The Wetlands with its selection of wading birds. The Rainforest featuring parrots, cassowary, and Boyd’s Forest Dragon and the Grasslands where you see wallabies and kangaroos, follow the boardwalks to view estuarine and fresh water crocodiles.

Daintree Coast

About 17,000 hectares between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation is protected as part of the Daintree National Park and is World Heritage listed. Most of the remaining lowlands are made up of over 1000 privately owned rural and residential blocks, many of them still covered in rainforest.

This is Australia's largest remaining stand of lowland tropical rainforest - a last refuge for unique plants and animals with a history stretching back over many millions of years. The Daintree Coast is a small part of the Kuku Yalanji tribal area and has great spiritual and cultural significance for these people.

Cruise the Daintree River to watch birdlife, spot crocodiles and other mammals such as goanna that inhabit the river environment.

Outback Queensland

For a truly unique experience travel deep into Queensland's Outback, an environment that is often harsh, sometimes lush and always beautiful.  Enjoy your outback experience from the comfort of top class accommodation, within a 600,000 hectare working cattle station, located 300km inland from Cairns. Situated high on an escarpment overlooking the Mitchell River experience warm hospitality, gourmet dining, expansive views and, after an evening under the stars, you will understand why they call this ‘big sky’ country.

Great Barrier Reef

Stretching more than 2000km along the Queensland coastline and covering 35 million hectares, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef. It is home to an abundance of marine wildlife - including more than 1500 brilliantly coloured species of tropical fish, 4000 species of molluscs, 400 species of sponge and 300 species of hard corals. Rated as an area of outstanding universal value means this site receives World Heritage status.

Extensive seagrass beds provide a home for the dugong, a mammal species internationally listed as endangered. The reef also contains nesting grounds of world significance for the endangered green and loggerhead turtles. It is also a breeding area for humpback whales that migrate from the Antarctic to the reef to give birth to their young in the warm waters.

The great Barrier Reef’s islands and cays support bird species by the hundred, including reef herons, ospreys, frigate birds and sea eagles. The reef is also of cultural importance, containing many archaeological sites of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. Some notable examples include Lizard and Hinchinbrook Islands with their spectacular galleries of rock paintings.

The Great Barrier Reef region deserves more than a day trip and a number of island resorts are located between the reef itself and the mainland.

Heron Island

Heron Island, offers a diversity of experiences including family friendly adventures, great diving and relaxing beach holidays combined with comfortable resort surroundings.

Heron Island is located on a true coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Being an ecological resort, you will be fascinated by your natural surroundings and marvel at life on the reef. Underwater, you can explore a living garden of coral and may come across turtles, manta rays, colourful fish and other magnificent marine life.

Heron Island lies on the Tropic of Capricorn, 72 kilometres NE off the coast from Gladstone.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, delivers personalised service, exquisite food and a host of activities in distinctly unique and intimate settings on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lizard Island Located right on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, fringed with coral reefs and 24 powdery white beaches. Lizard Island is an idyllic retreat offering sensational diving, snorkelling right off the beach, inner and outer reef fishing, gourmet beach picnics and indulgent spa treatments. Featuring 40 elegant villas, Lizard Island is reserved for a fortunate few.

Lizard Island is located 240km north of Cairns and 27km off the coast of North Queensland.

Accommodation

Cairns
The Pullman Hotel Cairns
Hotel
Capture the casual lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland without compromising on style or comfort at the Cairns International Hotel - a haven for relaxation where colonial charm meets tropical elegance. Subtle, unobtrusive yet impeccable attention awaits.
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Cairns
The Sebel Harbourlights Cairns
Apartments
Ideally situated on Cairns' stunning waterfront with amazing views over the marina, The Sebel Harbour Lights Cairns offers fully self-contained apartments with furnished balconies that make the most of the stunning views of the marina, Marlin Parade or parklands. 114 beautifully appointed and fully self-contained 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.
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Daintree
Silky Oaks Lodge
Luxury Lodge
Nestled on the edge of the Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest, Silky Oaks Lodge is the Daintree's ultimate resort where this rare wilderness can be enjoyed in elegance and ease. From the moment you arrive at Silky Oaks, you feel the aura of the Daintree. Vast and pristine, it is the oldest living rainforest on Earth. The Lodge itself overlooks the Mossman River so idyllic it has no equal for natural beauty, supreme comfort and ease of access.
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Great Barrier Reef
Reef Encounter Great Barrier Reef
National Park
Reef Encounter offers 2, 3 and 4 day Scuba diving and snorkeling liveaboard tours on the Great Barrier Reef – Step aboard Reef Encounter, our floating boutique resort, for your Great Barrier Reef experience. Live and sleep on the reef and see it at its best – day and night!
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Heron Island
Heron Island Resort
Deluxe Hotel
Heron Island is a true coral cay right on the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. Here you can swim straight off the beach to an endless garden of coral where the waters are literally teeming with beautifully coloured fish and marine life. The reef experience on Heron is exclusively for guests, a unique experience few other resorts in the world can offer.
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Lizard Island
Lizard Island Resort
Luxury Lodge
Lizard Island is one of a kind - a work of nature's art. Located right on the Great Barrier Reef. It is a private paradise with 24 powdery white beaches. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, then Lizard Island should be top of the list. This is without question, one of Australia's premier resorts. Being right on the Great Barrier Reef is rare enough, but Lizard Island offers the full spectrum - both the inner and outer Reef experiences.
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Palm Cove
The Sea Temple & Spa Palm Cove
Deluxe Hotel
Serenely positioned on the edge of a shimmering white sand beach, which stretches endlessly along a palm fringed shore is the enchanting Sea Temple Resort & Spa Palm Cove.
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Port Douglas
The Sea Temple & Spa Port Douglas
Deluxe Hotel
Set on almost 10 acres of tropical beachfront at the southern end of Four Mile Beach, Sea Temple Resort & Spa Port Douglas combines luxury and first class service to create a haven of privacy and relaxation. With the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation all on your door step, Port Douglas is the gateway to a magnificent display of Australia's natural beauty.
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Activities

Cairns
Tjapukai

Journey into dreamtime legend and discover the magic of Australia’s ancient indigenous culture.
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Great Barrier Reef
Reef Encounter Great Barrier Reef

Reef Encounter offers 2, 3 and 4 day Scuba diving and snorkeling liveaboard tours on the Great Barrier Reef – Step aboard Reef Encounter, our floating boutique resort, for your Great Barrier Reef experience. Live and sleep on the reef and see it at its best – day and night!
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Port Douglas
Poseidon Great Barrier Reef Cruises

Poseidon snorkel and diving trips to the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas. Snorkellers and Scuba Divers can enjoy 3 spectacular sites at the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs on the Great Barrier Reef.
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Port Douglas
Sailaway IV

Great Barrier Reef sailing & snorkelling cruise departing Port Douglas aboard the luxury sailing catamaran Sailaway IV, taking limited number of guests to the spectacular destination of the Low Isles, featuring a guided snorkel tour with a marine biologist.
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Holidays

Cairns
7 Day Great Barrier Reef Daintree Rainforest Holiday

The holiday in Australia for visitors wanting great scenic diversity, from the Great Barrier Reef to tropical rainforest, stunning scenic drives, plus quality time in key city and village locations sophisticated Port Douglas or casual Cairns. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of some of tropical Australia.
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Australia
12 day holiday in Australia Sydney Melbourne Cairns Great Barrier Reef

This 12 day Holiday in Australia covers the city and country highlights, Sydney city and Sydney harbour, a guided wildlife safari into the Blue Mountains. Then on to Melbourne for city highlights and a guided Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild tour. From Melbourne to the tropical north of Australia with Cairns, Aboriginal Culture and an overnight cruise on the Great Barrier Reef.
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Australia
20 day holiday in Australia Sydney Tasmania Melbourne Ayers Rock Cairns Great Barrier Reef

This 20 day Holiday in Australia covers the city, country and outback Australia highlights, Sydney city and Sydney harbour, a guided wildlife safari into the Blue Mountains. Tasmania including Cradle Mountain and Hobart. Travel down the Great Ocean Road to explore from Lorne. Then on to Melbourne for city highlights and a guided Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild tour. Heading into Outback Australia fly to Ayers Rock. Then to the tropical north of Australia with Cairns, Aboriginal Culture and an overnight cruise on the Great Barrier Reef.
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Australia
20 day holiday in Australia Sydney Tasmania Melbourne Adelaide Cairns Great Barrier Reef

This 20 day Holiday in Australia covers the city, country and outback Australia highlights, Sydney city and Sydney harbour, a guided wildlife safari into the Blue Mountains. Tasmania including Cradle Mountain and Hobart.Then on to Melbourne for city highlights and a guided Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild tour. From Melbourne down the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide then to the tropical north of Australia with Cairns, Aboriginal Culture and an overnight cruise on the Great Barrier Reef.
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Australia
14 Day East Coast Sydney Cairns Great Barrier Reef Port Douglas Daintree Australia

14 days - East coast of Australia, this holiday focuses on the East Coast including Sydney, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef overnight cruise, Port Douglas and The Daintree, Cape Tribulation regions. Ideal for families or couples, best time to travel is May through October to avoid the North Australia Wet season.
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