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bedarra island in the family group of islands

Things to do


Idyllic escape from the everyday

There are islands and then there are the islands of Tropical North Queensland, which are among the most beautiful in the world.

Scattered right along the coast, the islands of the Great Barrier Reef offer an idyllic escape from the everyday. Whether you want to camp out and fall asleep beneath a blanket of stars, or prefer to lie back in luxury and enjoy a little five-star pampering, there is an island that’s right for you. And with many of the islands accessible by ferry or even water taxi, getting there is easy.

If untouched nature is your thing, Dunk Island delivers, with its golden reef-fringed beaches, virgin rainforest and well-maintained campground – all just a quick boat trip from Mission Beach. If you’re partial to a hike, don’t miss the 9km trail that takes you through fern forests and eucalypt stands to the island’s highest point, Mount Kootaloo.

For a family-friendly, easily-accessible option, Fitzroy Island is hard to go past. Wander its pretty bush tracks to access beaches such as Welcome Bay and Nudey (definitely not nudist), the latter strewn with dramatic granite boulders. Expect to encounter turtles and clownfish in the shallow reefs that surround the island.

Looking for something more indulgent? Bedarra Resort, beloved by the likes of Elton John and Russell Crowe, is the perfect romantic retreat, with just eight luxurious villas. Or try Lizard Island, where the reef begins just metres from the beach and where world-famous dive sites such as Cod Hole are within easy reach. Lizard’s other great attraction is its beautiful beaches. With 24 to choose from, you can count on finding a deserted stretch of sand whenever you need one.

Hang out in paradise at Fitzroy Island, just 45 mins from Cairns

Catch the Dunk Island Water Taxi from Wongaling Beach

Hike to the summit at Fitzroy Island for spectacular views of the Great Barrier Reef

This island life

Discover the perfect patches of paradise that are the islands of Tropical North Queensland.

Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
Secret Beaches & Coves of Mission Beach

Mission Beach would be better referred to as Mission Beaches with its 14km stretch of sand interlinking three beaches and four villages. Lesser known are the smaller beaches and coves that make up a huge part of its charming appeal.

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Great Barrier Reef
Sleep tight in paradise

Rest your head somewhere unforgettable on a visit to Tropical North Queensland. Angela Saurine explores five memorable accommodation options.

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Lizard Island – The northern-most resort on the Great Barrier Reef

Surrounded by pristine turquoise waters that will make you question whether you’re in a dream, discover the true meaning of tropical oasis at the exclusive and ultra-luxurious, Lizard Island.

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Tropical Lifestyle & Culture
Best waterfront bars in Tropical North Queensland

Beaches and bars are a match made in heaven – especially in the tropics, where any excuse to down a cool beverage is welcomed. Here are some of the coolest waterfront and beach bars Tropical North Queensland has to offer.

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Great Barrier Reef
25 Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef

As you’d expect from one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is home to some weird, wonderful and just plain loveable creatures. Here’s 25 fun Great Barrier Reef facts about a marine world larger than Italy.

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Great Barrier Reef
Reef Talk – A chat with marine biologist Gareth Phillips

The Great Barrier Reef is a thriving, living marine environment. It inspires all who visit, even those who see it every day, like marine biologist and owner of Reef Teach, Gareth Phillips.

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Great Barrier Reef
12 Famous residents of the Great Barrier Reef

Only 12 residents? There’s probably a gazillion of them, but let’s start things slowly shall we. It’s not easy to keep track of every single one of the Great Barrier Reef’s inhabitants but here are some of the most famous ones in Tropical North Queensland.

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Explore Islands