Cairns, Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

By James Dixon | 22nd January 2015

The beautiful city of Cairns in Queensland’s tropical north is the gateway to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. Located 1700km north of Brisbane on the Atherton Tableland, Cairns is the primary commercial centre, which services the Far North Queensland and Cape York Peninsula areas. One of Australia’s top five tourist destinations for international travellers and a significant holiday destination for domestic travellers, Cairns offers the very best in scenic panoramas, pristine beaches, exceptional local produce, a thriving cafe culture and World Heritage Listed rainforest.

Great Barrier Reef Tours

The relaxed and friendly environment of this internationally stylish city is the ideal location from which to depart to explore the warm coastal waters, reefs and lagoons of the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching for more than 2000km along the Queensland coastline, this dazzling underwater wonderland can be explored in a myriad of ways, from snorkelling and diving, sailing around the lush and verdant islands in a glass-bottomed boat and kayaking, to taking a scenic flight in a helicopter or seaplane.

One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Great Barrier Reef is home to schools of colourful fish, reefs of spectacular coral, giant sea turtles, gorgonian sea fans, giant clams and a plethora of other marine life too numerous to count. Reef sharks, clown fish, sea snakes, dolphins, whales and molluscs – such as the octopus – are just some of the abundant aquatic life that make up the diverse ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, which includes 1800 species of fish, more than 10,000 types of sponges, 350 species of coral and 125 species of shark. This stunning natural world is one of the most expansive aquatic habitats on the globe and is the only living entity that can be seen from space. Made up of 2900 reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is a spectacle not to be missed.

Activities for all levels of experience are available at Cairns Tours for the Great Barrier Reef, allowing you to choose an adventure perfect for your level of ability and preferred activity. You may wish to learn to dive or snorkel, swim with the turtles, or ride a catamaran to a secluded island; all these activities and more are available to you only minutes from Cairns, the city with the closest access to the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef.