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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

A maze of 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 km (1,616 miles), the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most spectacular natural attractions, and one of which Australia is extremely proud. Known as Australia's "Blue Outback," the reef was established as a marine park in 1975, and is a collective haven for thousands of species of sea life as well as turtles and birds. - Copyright © 2014 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Things You Can't Miss

Place
Gateway to Far North Queensland
Gateway to Far North Queensland

The compact seaside city of Cairns offers tours to dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, plus trips into the nearby rain forest.

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Image Credit

© Nick Rains/Corbis

Place
Snorkel, Then Chill on a Fabulous Beach
Snorkel, Then Chill on a Fabulous Beach

White-sand beaches dot Queensland’s 4,000-mile-long coastline, from upscale Palm Cove to famously gorgeous Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island.

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Image Credit

ltos/Getty Images

Place
Want Your Own Private Island?
Want Your Own Private Island?

Funky Heron in the south, upscale Lizard in the north and luxurious Hayman in between are single-resort islands offering water sports, spas and more.

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Image Credit

JohnCarnemolla/Getty Images

Place
Scenic Beauty and Local Culture at Mossman Gorge
Scenic Beauty and Local Culture at Mossman Gorge

Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal guides share their knowledge with visitors exploring the lovely river and lush woodlands of Daintree National Park.

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Image Credit

© Steve Parish/Steve Parish Publishing/Corbis

Place
Train From Cairns to Queensland’s Highlands
Train From Cairns to Queensland’s Highlands

The Kuranda Scenic Railway traverses rain forest and deep gorges and passes two striking waterfalls as it winds 23 miles from seacoast to mountains.

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Image Credit

Wirepec/Getty Images

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