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Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Holidays


The Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region is Australia's tropical paradise. Few places on earth rival North Queensland for unique natural attractions; chief among them the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef with its dazzling coral and colourful sea life and the ancient tropical rainforests, such as Daintree. This tropical paradise offers natural beauty, islands and beaches, relaxation, indulgence, an envied lifestyle and adventure.

The beautiful city of Cairns and stylish Port Douglas are the main hubs in this area, however there are plenty of remote resorts offering isolated and secluded luxury getaways. Exciting adventure, nature at its most sublime and world-class resorts, restaurants and lifestyle are all waiting to be experienced in this blessed corner of the world.

Top itineraries in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Sydney, Uluru & the Great Barrier Reef

15-day tailor-made journey from £2,730 pp incl. flights

Discover the city sophistication of Sydney, the monolithic beauty and Aboriginal culture of Uluru and the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Australia and New Zealand Discoverer

21-day tailor-made journey from £4,500 pp incl. flights

This 21-day tailor-made itinerary combines the best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. You'll explore New Zealand's world-famous glaciers and remote fjords with a self-drive before discovering Australia's sacred Ayers Rock, stunning beaches and delightful waterside cities.

Sydney, the Whitsundays and Brisbane

17-day tailor-made journey from £2,640 pp incl. flights

Between the sights of Sydney and Brisbane, hop out to the Whitsundays to enjoy some island relaxation alongside hikes, cruises, kayak paddles and snorkelling trips. You'll also enjoy a two-night stay in Macao, an east-meets-west melting pot of culture and cuisine.

Hong Kong, Sydney & Port Douglas

14-day tailor-made journey from £2,695 pp incl. flights

This three-centre holiday combines the great city destinations of Hong Kong and Sydney with the tropical charms of Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef.

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Top places to stay in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef

Contemporary lodge

Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 resorts in the world, Lizard Island is a spectacular and secluded island escape that is the ultimate in understated luxury.

Qualia, Great Barrier Reef


Situated on the northern tip of Hamilton Island in Queensland’s idyllic Whitsundays, qualia is one of Australia’s finest luxury resorts. You don’t have to take our word for it – in 2012 it was voted the Best Resort in the World in the Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards.

Lady Elliot Island, Southern Great Barrier Reef


The unpretentious 41-room resort on tiny Lady Elliot Island provides one of the Great Barrier Reef’s most genuine eco-tourism experiences, where the spectacular nature of the place takes centre stage.

Haggerstone Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef


Enjoy your very own Robinson Crusoe experience at this island resort in the upper reaches of the Great Barrier Reef.

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Where to go in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Mission Beach

Mission Beach is relaxed beachfront town around two hours south of Cairns. Here two World Heritage areas, The Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest converge with more than 14 kilometres of golden sandy beaches to create a popular tropical paradise destination.

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and richest source of marine life as well as the only living thing visible from space. The islands and reefs of this breathtaking natural wonder lie within easy distance of the Queensland Coast and never cease to amaze visitors with their vib…

Daintree & Cape Tribulation

The 135-million-year-old Daintree rainforest is the oldest in the world. It is a vast, exotic living museum, home to the largest range of plants and animals in the world. Once you cross the Daintree River north toward Cape Tribulation you are entering an untouched and ancient region where a 4WD veh…

Port Douglas

The palm-fringed resort town of Port Douglas attracts sun-seekers, honeymooners, celebrities, and even US Presidents to rejuvenate on its shores. Luxurious day spas, championship golf courses and designer boutiques sit comfortably alongside Aussie pubs and independent shops and local markets.

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When to go to Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

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For almost guaranteed sunshine, head to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef between May and September, when the weather is warm, the skies are cloudless and the underwater visibility is at its best. In the north, the wet season runs from October to March, although the temperature throughout Queensland is warm year round.

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Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef articles

  • The best beach resorts in Australia

    It's well-known that Australia is blessed with sands, sun and surf but, with so much to choose from, it's easy to get lost. With this in mind, this is our definitive guide to Australia's best beach resorts, from the Great Barrier Reef to Kangaroo Island.

  • Best Queensland Marine Life Experiences

    From the Gold Coast to the Tropical North, Queensland has over 7400km of coastline inhabited by hundreds of species of marine wildlife.

  • The Best Beaches in the Whitsundays

    The 74 islands at the centre of the Great Barrier Reef are fast becoming the choice destination for travellers, with a host of fine resorts, facilities and an abundance of natural beauty. We reveal the best beaches on the Whitsundays to help you plan which one to visit.

  • Where to stay on the Great Barrier Reef

    The Great Barrier Reef consistently takes one of the top travel spots – here are our favourite islands on which to make base and enjoy the fabulous region of white-sand beaches and an abundance of marine life.

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Meet our Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0634

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0634 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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