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Cairns & North Queensland Travel Guide

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. Local Aussie living at it's best.

Top places to visit in North Queensland

Girl posing for picture with her arms in the air on Magnetic Island

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.
Person look at palm tree's in Daintree Rainforest

Cape Tribulation & the Daintree Rainforest

This area north of Cairns is part of the Daintree National Park and is literally where Australia's rainforest meets the reef. 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. Keep your eyes peeled for cassowarys, Lumholtz tree kangaroos and crocs!
View on Port Douglas in 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.

Cairns & North Queensland tours

Person diving with camera in the Great Barrier Reed

Snorkel & dive the Great Barrier Reef

With numerous reef locations available, each site offers a new experience, selected for its unique variety of marine life and corals. In between water activities, relax on the expansive sundecks overlooking the Coral Sea.
Tropical fish in the Great Barrier Reed

Cairns Budget Buster

Get active on this epic 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.
Port Douglas beach

Go Wild Cape Tribulation Overnight

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.
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.

Whitsundays sailing tours

Whether you're cash-strapped social sailor or just looking to lounge around in the sun, we can help you find the perfect boat and tour. All the sailing operators are eco certifies, all meals are included on board and all boats come with snorkelling gear included. Here are some of our favourites...
Sailing boat with people on it sailing in the Whitsundays

Maxi Sailings

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. These sailings are very sociable, so expect a bit of a party in the evening.
1 & 2 night options
Contact us to book
Person diving in the Great Barrier Reef looking at tropical fish

Traditional Sailings

Full of history and old-world charm, these boats are primed for seeing the islands in true buccaneer style. They may look traditional but be prepared for Tarzan-style rope swings, bow nets for lounging and even hot tubs.
1 & 2 night options
Contact us to book
5 people walking in the sea while on a sailing tour in the Whitsundays


These sailings are popular with the young at heart. These speedy catamarans are great fun and will have you whizzing past many of the 74 islands of Whitsundays. Expert staff will show you all the highlights.
Young women in a bikini sitting by the nose of a boat in a bright blue sea

Luxury Sailings

Intimate boats that give you space, quiet and five-star food. The way to go if you want a more personal experience. Group sizes have a maximum of 8.
2 or 3 night options
Contact us to book

Explore Cairns & The Great Barrier Reef

Frequently asked questions about the Great Barrier Reef

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.

Where is the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef lies just offshore of Queensland in the Coral Sea and runs the entire length of the East Coast state. Stretching more than 2300km it's the world's largest coral reef and it's so impressive that it can even be seen from space! Each part of this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a different and exciting experience to tick off as you travel up the coast. Go sailing around the islands, snorkel the clear waters and go diving to discover the beauty of the reef. After you've experienced it, you'll understand the importance of protecting the reef so that future generations can make amazing memories just like yours. 

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

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STA Travel Blog

Why you should start your working holiday visa in Queensland

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