Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Jewel of the Tropical North. Cairns has got a few pretty amazing names to describe it. And for those who visit the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef and the Far North, the sights, sounds and food of Cairns are not to be missed.

Water Based Activites

The title that most of us associate with Cairns is ‘Gateway to the Reef’. The huge expanse of this natural wonder of the world is a bit daunting, even for those who have been sailing in its waters for years.

But Cairns offers a brilliant ‘jumping off point’ for anyone wanting to see the Reef in all its glory. Many fantastic reefs and dive sites are less than a couple of hours away from the shoreline. And shallow water snorkelling, glass-bottomed boat reef tours and eco-adventures on the water all add to the long list of ways to experience the reef with a mini-mum of fuss.

You can even spend the night sleeping under the huge expanse of the Milky Way above, with the reef below, by booking a night on a moored pontoon that sits on the water above the Outer Reef.

The proximity of these reefs to Cairns is why many choose to base themselves in the city throughout their stay. Of course, for reefs that are more secluded and exclusive, that are shared with fewer people, luxury yacht charters offer an alternative to get there, especially for those locations that are a bit further afield.

Land Based Journeys & Attractions

But it’s not just the natural heritage under the water that Cairns gives you access to. You can also step away from the waterline and pretty quickly find yourself stunned by the scale of a 100 million-year-old wet tropical forest.

This site is recognised globally and a protected reserve that is untouched by human devel-opment.

You can travel to the very uppermost reaches of the canopy of this incredible forest eco-system with the Skyrail. There are also opportunities to learn about local wildlife at re-serves and stations in the forest itself.

Visiting Cairns and the reef

There’s no bad time to visit Cairns and the surrounding regions. That said, we find that many of Whitsunday Islands Luxe Charters’ happiest clients are those who trade-in a cold southern winter for the easy warmth and fresh sea breezes of a mild North Queensland winter.

Of course, for those wanting long, lazy days cruising the pristine waters, exploring the reef and enjoying the dozens of hidden islands and bays, summer offers longer days, warm nights and clear skies only occasionally interrupted by the trademark short, sharp summer storms with their spectacular lightning shows.

If the idea of doing any of the above appeals to you, we might be able to help.

We can help to organise your dream escape and private charter on one of our fleet of world-class luxury superyachts.

Our team is friendly, experienced, and equipped to make the experience a memorable one for you. If you so choose, we can also take care of bookings for any additional activities and experiences you might want to take part in, from snorkelling to skydiving to a day of rest and relaxation at a spa.

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