Be first to get our hottest deals, top tips and advice!
Cairns

North Queensland

Travel guide & tips

If it's something in the water that made North Queensland so infectiously crazy, then it lies just off shore and is called the Great Barrier Reef. Nature's biggest masterpiece aside, this is also the perfect place to soak up the rich culture of Australia. This top right side of Australia has beaches, night markets, great weather, one of the world's oldest surviving rainforests, and loads of hidden waterfalls - plus some amazing islands just off the coast to check out! Local Aussie living at it's best.

ONE STOP TO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF - FLY TO CAIRNS FOR £599!

london to cairns

What is the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is like mother nature's masterpiece (and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!) - it's the largest living thing on Earth... 2,300km of reefs, islands, corals and an endless amount of brightly coloured fish, dolphins, turtles, and whales. It's even visible from space, although if you want to stay a little closer to Earth you can see it when you fly in to Cairns. You can go sailing around the islands, snorkelling the reefs, or diving into the depths of the ocean. One thing's for sure, visiting the Great Barrier Reef will be a memory that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Top places to visit in Cairns & North Queensland

Port Douglas
Sophisticated yet low-key and relaxed, quaint Port Douglas is a perfect place for recharging before the rainforest calls. Grab some towel space on Four Mile Beach, sip a cocktail in a swanky bar and wander the boutique shops for one-off buys.
Magnetic Island
With secluded beaches, top diving and koalas aplenty, this is Australia at its finest. What's more as the home of Oz's Full Moon Party, it's THE place to part. So pack the thongs (no not THOSE) get out the UV paint and get ready to rave until dawn!
Daintree
Daintree Rainforest
Pure wildlife-lust satisfaction! Roam this lush and ancient rainforest keeping your eyes peeled for impressive cassowarys, Lumholtz tree kangaroos and crocs on a river cruise.
Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation
"Where the rainforest meets the reef" - this area is part of the Daintree National Park, and where you can literally stand on the beach and be right next to the rainforest. But looking amazing isn't the only thing Cape Trib has going for it - people love to go hiking, boardwalking, jungle zip-lining and wildlife spotting here too.

In and around Cairns

Cairns
Cairns Budget Buster
Get active on this epic four-day adventure in and around Cairns. Spot crocs as you cruise through the rainforest, ride the rapids of the famous Tully River and swim and snorkel with the exotic and colourful fish and coral of the Great Barrier Reef.
4 days from £423
View tour
Raging Thunder
Raging Thunder: Xtreme Rafting
Power down the awesome grade four Tully River, glimpsing the stunning surroundings of the World Heritage Rainforest as you whizz by! This adrenaline pumping day is packed with white water action…plus a delicious barbeque lunch.
Full day from £116
Call to book
Cairns
Cairns Adventure Package
If action and adventure is your thing - this is the trip for you! Unleash your wild side as you navigate grade four rapids, take a balloon flights over the Atherton Tablelands, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and sea kayak off beautiful Fitzroy Island.
6 days from £579
View tour

Cape Tribulation, Daintree & Atherton Tablelands

Go Wild Cape Tribulation Overnighter
Experience one of Oz's most scenic coastal drives as you head to Port Douglas where you'll see native animals, enjoy a cruise on the Daintree River spotting crocs, and trek through rainforest. On day 2, choose from sea kayaking, horse riding and jungle surfing.
2 days from £127
View Tour
Uncle Brians
Uncle Brians Tablelands & Waterfalls Tour
Leave Cairns and head back to nature, treating yourself to an exhilarating day of amazing wildlife and scenery. Visit the Atherton Tablelands, take a cooling dip in the cascading waterfalls and capture the incredible volcanic craters.
Full day from £77
Call to book
Rainforest Daintree
Rainforest Meets Reef
Daintree is a beautiful part of Australia, where the rainforest runs right down to the edge of the sea. Get the best of both worlds on this three-day tour. You'll experience the Wildlife Habitat Sanctuary and have a  sunset paddle in a kayak. Opt to go on a Jungle Surfing zipline tour, Ocean Safari Reef Experience and Daintree River Cruise.
3 days from £294
Call to book

The Whitsundays

An archipelago of 74 castaway islands slung across the tip of the Great Barrier reef, the wondrous Whitsundays are a showstopper of any East Coast trip. The gateway onto this paradise of near-deserted white beaches is Airlie beach. Despite the ironic lack of a beach, this party-hard town makes up for it with a vast tropical lagoon and wild nightlife. Opt to stay in Airlie, on an island resort or aboard a sailboat, catamaran or yacht!

Whitsunday Sailing & Island Hopping

Maxi Sailing
Ideal for: Time poor, cash-strapped socialites
Maxi Sailing is great fun and high on the adventure scale! The trip usually holds larger groups of people between the ages of 18 and 35 years. They are very sociable, so expect a bit of a party in the evening.
 
2 days from £244
Call to book
Awesome Foursome
If you would prefer to stay on Airlie Beach and island hop on the days inbetween, this is the trip for you! During your hopping, discover the brilliant white sands of Whitehaven Beach, swim and snorkel in beautiful hard-to-reach bays and head out to the Great Barrier Reef for some colourful coral and tropical fish.
5 days from £365
Call to book
Adventure Sailing
Ideal for: groups of mates, big adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies!
Enjoy rainforest walks, snorkel the coral reef or soak up the sunshine on the deck, plus there are options to scuba! The boats offer bunk-style accommodation, although some offer private cabins.
 
3 days from £336
Call to book
Reef Sleep
Reef Sleep
Why not spend a unique night at the Barrier Reef? Depart from Airlie Beach and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef - from here jump in the blue water for a spot of snorkelling with sea turtles, reef sharks and colourful fish. That night, sleep under a blanket of stars in a 'swag' out on the reef.
 
2 days from £275
Call to book

Looking for some more inspiration? Check out our STA Travel Blog!

STA Travel Blog

Which Great Barrier Reef trip is best for you?

Read Blog
STA Travel Blog

A sneak peek into hidden Queensland

Read Blog
STA Travel Blog

Why you should start your working holiday visa in Queensland

Read Blog