Which city is closest to the Great Barrier Reef?

Which city is closest to the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/12/2021

Reading time: 2 mins

Located on Australia’s eastern shore lies the spectacular Great Barrier Reef.

Being the largest living thing in existence, and bringing thousands of travellers to its waters, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Offering stunning sapphire waters filled with extortionary wildlife. Due to the attraction being in the middle of the ocean, all visitors must boat to the reef from one of the nearby coastal cities.

By far the closest, and easiest city to choose is Cairns, being the to-go place for Great Barrier Reef tours. Submerge yourself in the city lifestyle before hopping on board a boat and getting up close and personal with this world-famous marine attraction.

About Cairns

Cairns, Queensland

Famous for being a paradise for sun and sand, it is considered the official gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Many travels to this tropical region just to see the fabulous marine life nearby, but the city is Cairns offers a lot more than just an entryway to the sea. Over the years, Cairns has increased in popularity, offering a fabulous range of incredible restaurants, fantastic local shopping opportunities, and fun activities for the whole family. The ever-changing calendar of family-friendly events, markets, and festivals are great for anyone wanting to skip the outdoor adventures trips for a day or two. Even after a long day of sightseeing in the region, visitors can sit back and enjoy the laid-back nightlife this area is renowned for.

The Restaurants

Cairns has a thriving food scene, with many trendy cafés and restaurants dotted along the bustling streets. By far the most popular cuisines to order are within the seafood category, with the local fisherman bringing it mountains of delicious seafood varieties. Cairns’ balmy weather matches with these dishes, with the cocktails and sparkling wine on offer pairing perfectly.

The Markets

Shop until you drop at one of the many tropical markets Cairns has to offer. Here you can stroll through the hundreds of stalls laid out against the beachfront or in the outskirts of the rainforest region. Enjoying the locally handmade goodies, from food treats, homemade beauty products, to stunning fashion. You don’t even need to buy anything to enjoy the markets, with a fun atmosphere and live musical performances more than enough!

Related article: Where do Great Barrier Reef tours leave from?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.