4.5 star rating: Recommended 180 Reviews

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  • Address: Pier Marina, Pier Point Road
  • Hours: Open daily
  • Admission: Free

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's greatest natural treasure, and the world’s largest coral reef. This underwater wonderland stretches for 2,300 km (1,426 miles) from Bundaberg to Australia's northernmost tip. At its closest, it's only 30 km (18.5 miles) away from the Queensland coast.

The Great Barrier Reef encompasses almost 3,000 individual reefs. Their multicoloured beauty is made up of 400 types of living and dead coral polyps, home to around 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 breeds of clams, 500 types of seaweed, 200 species of birds, 1,500 different sponges and half a dozen varieties of turtles.

The Great Barrier Reef is also dotted with around 900 islands, including coral cays such as Green Island and Heron Island, along with the Whitsundays sand islands. Fringing reefs surround the islands, while the outer reef faces away from the mainland and islands and out to sea.


Practical Info

The best way to experience the Great Barrier Reef is on a snorkeling day cruise from Cairns, Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas or Townsville. The water is at its clearest from April to October. Sightseeing cruises also sail out to sea for a day of fish feeding, reef education and underwater safaris.

Tours & Tickets

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Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

4.5 star rating: Recommended 328 Reviews

Make the most of your visit to the Great Barrier Reef on a full-day tour by fast boat, with five hours to enjoy two premium spots on the reef with snorkeling ...  Read more

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $106.46

3-Day Great Barrier Reef Tour: Lady Musgrave Island and the Town of 1770

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Dive into a 3-day guided tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Spend two nights at a beach resort located in the town of 1770, and take a day trip to Lady Musgrave ...  Read more

Location: Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $220.79

Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise from Port Douglas

4.5 star rating: Recommended 28 Reviews

Not a confident swimmer, but want to experience the Great Barrier Reef? At Low Isles you can snorkel straight off the beach, enjoy coral viewing on a glass ...  Read more

Location: Port Douglas, Australia
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $140.05

Cairns Super Saver: Great Barrier Reef Cruise plus Kuranda Scenic Railway plus Cape Tribulation Day Trip

4.5 star rating: Recommended 31 Reviews

Over three days, experience the best of tropical Far North Queensland! Go diving or snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway and ...  Read more

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $298.67
$325.11 Save $26.44

2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 43 Reviews

Spend two days exploring the very best of Cairns. Enjoy a full day in tropical Kuranda and on your second day discover why the Great Barrier Reef is one of the ...  Read more

Location: Cairns, Palm Cove and Northern Beaches, Australia
Duration: Valid for 2 days over a 7 day period

From USD $354.40

Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 20 Reviews

View the colorful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef on this full-day trip from Cairns. Whether you are a snorkeler or a scuba diver, experienced or a ...  Read more

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $150.05

Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass

4 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, grab an Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Pass. Save money and see the reef from every angle on three cruises ...  Read more

Location: Cairns and Port Douglas, Australia
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $325.82

Learn to Scuba Dive on the Great Barrier Reef: 4-Day PADI Open Water Dive Course

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Take the opportunity to learn to dive while you’re in Cairns! With classes limited to eight participants, led by professional and friendly instructors, you’ll ...  Read more

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $342.97

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