Great Barrier Reef snorkel
Great Barrier Reef snorkel


Far North Queensland is the home of course to the Great Barrier Reef, however the reef is just one of the many incredible attractions in the area. From unique wildlife to family friendly islands, there is a lot to see.


Flights to Far North Queensland typically come into Cairns, the perfect hub to start your experience in the Great Barrier Reef and surrounds. Cairns is located three quarters of the way up Queensland – ‘the Sunshine State’ – and at a Latitude of 16°57’S,  has a tropical climate. Originally a sleepy sugar milling town, Cairns is now a hub for reef tours and trips to the surrounding area.


Spectacular Rainforest


Due to the climate, the area is well known for its incredible rainforest and rainforest wildlife. Tour groups like Reef Encounters operate tours through the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest as well as the Great Barrier Reef itself.

Kuranda Scenic Railway North Queensland Australia
Kuranda Scenic Railway North Queensland Australia

The Kuranda Scenic Railway is also a sight to behold, where you can take an open carriage train up tracks that offer spectacular views on one side, and lush green rainforest on the other.


Another sight to behold – particular for those with the photography bug – is the fairy-tale gardens of Paronella Park. A spectacular castle built on 5 Hectares beside a waterfall, it’s a great place for a day trip and a picnic, to take the family or even plan your wedding. For lovers of nature there are also a number of waterfalls within driving distance, including Millstream, Millaa Millaa, and Malanda falls.


Get amongst the ocean


The Great Barrier Reef is not to be missed while you’re in the area, whether it’s for snorkelling, scuba, a one day trip or a stay on-board for multiple days on the reef. Reef Encounters have been operating tours in the area for 15 years now, and have a wealth of knowledge and passion. Of course being surrounded by the ocean doesn’t just mean being in the reef – there area number of spectacular islands to touch down on, offering sensational blue waters, resort living, warm water and waves.


Hamilton Island offers a spectacular resort lifestyle as well as being popular as a location to see Dolphins and sea life. Daydream Island is perhaps the most family friendly option, offering all sorts of children’s activities depending where you stay. If hidden away luxury is more your thing, you’ll want to check out Green Island and Lizard Island – smaller islands where the resorts have a bigger focus on you doing nothing but being pampered and enjoying the sun and crystal blue waters!


Perhaps stay Indoors?


The sun, surf and sand is certainly spectacular in the Far North, but if you want to balance that with something a little more ‘indoors’, there are some incredible Food and Wine options around. The area is of course known for its seafood, but if you are looking for great seafood in Cairns then Barnacle Bills on the Cairns Esplanade may be for you


Lastly, but by no means least, this article would not be complete without mentioning the oldest living culture in the world.

We strongly recommend spending time to visit Rainforest Station in Kuranda their Pamagirri Aboriginal

Pamagirri Aboriginal Culture Experience
Pamagirri Aboriginal Culture Experience

While there are plenty of locations in Cairns to experience an insight into rich native culture, Rainforestation, Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience is one not to be missed.  Australia’s Indigenous culture is one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world.  Rainforestation welcomes you to share in the Pamagirri Aboriginal experience, this experience includes a Aboriginal dance show and a a dreamtime walk.

Whatever your inclination, we can show you the best way to make the most of your Far North Queensland getaway.