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Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Holidays

Introduction

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.

Special offers in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Singapore To Sydney on Silver Muse

21-day cruise from £12,660 pp incl. flights

Special
cruise offer

Save 10% and 25% Solo Fares

Departing from one of the most progressive cities in the world, set sail for 18 days of adventure and discovery. This voyage is a tapestry of blue; from sea to sky imbibe in a palette of colour as never seen before.

Aussie Discovery on Seven Seas Mariner

20-day cruise from £11,315 pp incl. flights

Special
cruise offer

Receive $500 shipboard credit per suite plus free land tour
Book by: 31 March 2019

Guests in all suite categories can enjoy a FREE 3-Night Sydney and Beyond pre-cruise land program or FREE 3-Night Sampling Singapore post-cruise land program on this voyage.

The Greatness Of Australia on Seven Seas Voyager

21-day luxury cruise from £10,925 pp incl. flights

Special
cruise offer

Receive $500 shipboard credit per suite plus free land tour
Book by: 31 March 2019

Cruise in ultra-luxury style on this three-week voyage, which perfectly pairs the tropical beauty of Indonesia and northern Australia with such city greats as Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney.

Top itineraries in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Sydney, Uluru & the Great Barrier Reef

15-day tailor-made journey from £2,620 pp incl. flights

Free Singapore stopover

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 £4,380 pp incl. flights

Free Singapore stopover

This tailor-made holiday 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

16-day tailor-made journey from £2,275 pp incl. flights

Free Singapore stopover

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.

Hong Kong, Sydney & Port Douglas

14-day tailor-made journey from £2,750 pp incl. flights

Free Singapore stopover

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.

See all itinerary ideas

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

Accommodation

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

Accommodation

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

Accommodation

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

See all places to stay

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. Spectacular and awe-inspiring, this natural wonder never ceases to amaze.

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

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
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Max temp Min temp Rainfall

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.

See regional weather

Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef articles

  • Australia’s top 10 iconic landscapes

    Australia is one of the most varied landscapes on earth. It's got a range of stunning, idiosyncratic landscapes, from the snow-capped peaks of the Australian Alps to wildlife-rich coral reefs, crystal-clear lakes, bio-diverse tropical rainforests, and dust-filled deserts.

  • 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.

See all articles

Meet our Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0634

Meet the team

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.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

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  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
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