Great Barrier Reef trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Great Barrier Reef
The world's largest coral reef system, the world's largest structure built by living organisms, and one of CNN's "Seven Natural Wonders of the World," tops the itineraries of most visitors to Australia. You can see the reef system--which includes over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands spanning 2,600 km (1,600 mi) and covering 344,400 sq km (133,000 sq mi)--from outer space. Get a bit closer with a snorkeling or scuba diving tour departing from Cairns. Many companies operate out of the city, but make sure you choose one that's a member of the Australian government's High Standard Tourism Program, signifying a commitment to sustainable tourism. Choose a day tour for an introduction to the reef system or fully immerse yourself on a multiday trip on a live-aboard boat. However long you opt at the reef, you'll return with memories of a vibrant underwater world and improved knowledge of the ecological importance of reef systems. Great Barrier Reef is in Queensland. Find what you're looking for from your Great Barrier Reef holiday, by planning the whole thing with us using our handy Australia trip itinerary site.
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Great Barrier Reef
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Top Great Barrier Reef tours
Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $124
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
Green Island Day Trip from Cairns BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $66
Duration: 8 hours
Cairns Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $13
Duration: 15 minutes
Places to visit in Great Barrier Reef
Popular things to do in Great Barrier Reef
Kid-friendly things to do in Great Barrier Reef
See all ›
See all ›
Hidden gems in Great Barrier Reef
See all ›
Recently planned trips to Great Barrier Reef
26 days in Queensland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 30 days in Mackay BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: June, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 17 days in Yeppoon SEE PLAN June, kids, popular sights Preferences: June, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 30 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, teens, popular sights Preferences: June, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 22 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 36 days in Cairns BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
Message from Tourism Australia
Home to diverse marine life of the most vivid colours, the Great Barrier Reef offers the opportunity for great adventure, whether you do it in luxury or on a budget. Explore the stunning Whitsunday Islands, trek the ancient Daintree Rainforest or relax on luxurious tropical islands such as Hayman and Lizard. Island-hop or stay in one of the many coastal getaways such as Cairns, Hervey Bay, Mission Beach and Port Douglas. International flights fly directly into Cairns Airport, while domestic flights fly onto Hamilton Island or into Proserpine (on the Whitsunday Coast) or Townsville airports on the mainland.