Cairns is a modern and vibrant city and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest. Cairns is an ideal base to explore the wonderful attractions Tropical North Queensland has to offer.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's most extensive coral reef ecosystem, covering approx 348,000 square kilometres from the Gulf of Papua in Australia's north, to the Bundaberg region in the south. It is five times the size of Tasmania or larger that the United Kingdom and Ireland combined! And is one of a few living structures visible from space, appearing as a complex string of individual reef structures along Australia's northeast coast.

Within the GBR there are some 2,500 individual reefs, over 900 islands, 300 coral cays and about 150 inshore mangrove islands. It is also home to an extraordinary variety of marine life; there are over 1,500 species of fish, about 400 species of coral, 4,000 species of mollusk, and some 240 species of birds, plus a great diversity of sponges, anemones, marine worms, crustaceans, and other species. No other World Heritage property contains such biodiversity! 

Cairns is known as the 'Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef'. Located in Far North Queensland (approx 2 hours flight from Brisbane), it is the closest departure point for reef cruises to the outer barrier reef. Travel time to the outer barrier reef takes just 90 minutes by boat, or a 30 minute helicopter flight. If you want to see a tropical island then Green Island and Fitzroy Island are just a 45 minute boat ride away. Reef trips depart daily and cater for all abilities.

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