Published on July 13, 2015

End of program trip to Great Barrier Reef

Admittedly, Melbourne was slightly harder in terms of finding trips that The Intern Group doesn’t already cover in their program, and I mean what beats tickets to Formula One Racing or the Eureka SkyDeck Experience?! So therefore I thought an end of program trip to the Great Barrier Reef would be the perfect suggestion; undeniably the pinnacle of all things Australian.


Find yourself a good hotel in Cairns as this will be the hub of your stay near the Great Barrier Reef. Melbourne’s international airport offers flights to Cairns with various airlines and from there you can take a shuttle (cheaper when travelling alone) or taxi (more economical in groups) to reach Port Douglas. You can check into one of the many hotels within the area such as the Cairns Tropical Garden Hotel or the Cairns Plaza Hotel that are both in very central locations and offer you a space to relax after a long day of exploration.


Five days is the perfect amount of time to spend here as you can do a wide variety of things in a shorter space of time. The most important activity that should be first on your itinerary is taking a day trip to the outer reef. Cairns Dive School is locally owned and they provide guided trips that include diving around this area. If you prefer to stay above water there are many cruises that also offer full day trips with guided tours and include breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

Since most of the guided tours to the outer reef also include a trip to Green Island, you can spend a night at the resort there and wake up early to explore the area itself. With so many activities provided by different companies on the island it can be difficult to know which one to choose. However, I definitely think that the ‘Seawalker’ is the one to go for as it provides you with the ultimate walking experience on the seafloor at Green Island. Food is provided all day by the resort with great spreads and lots of different cuisines to choose from. As evening falls, enjoy the sunset at one of the many beach bars before heading back on a catamaran to Cairns.

Although walking may not be for everyone, you can’t miss the opportunity to try bushwalking and beach walking on Fitzroy Island, also known as the prettiest beach in Queensland. With its white sands and crystal clear water it is definitely a beach paradise. There aren’t loads of places to eat here, so to keep yourself going take a trip to Woolworths before you catch the boat to the island and stock up on food to make sandwiches or salads, lots of fresh fruit and snacks.


The final part of your trip should be spent exploring an area called Atherton Tableland just inland from Cairns where there are rainforests, clear water lakes and endless waterfalls. This is easy to get to and provides you with the ultimate backdrop for all your holiday pics. Since this will be the last night, celebrate the end of the trip of a lifetime with a dinner reservation at Water Bar & Grill Steakhouse on the waterfront for the perfect and memorable end to your holiday where you can try some of the best cuisine offered in Cairns while checking out amazing views.

Interested in interning in Australia? Apply now!

Sources:Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Hotels, best restaurants in Cairns,

Photo 1: based on two clownfish, by Paul Arps, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2: based on Great Barrier Reef, by Tchami, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3: based on Whitsunday islands, by Sami Keinanen, CC-by-2.0

The author
Ella Martin

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