Cairns is your gateway to the sun-kissed tropical islands of the Great Barrier Reef: the kind of escape that dreams are made of. Wake up here and they’re blissfully real.

Stretching 2,300-kilometres up the length of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space, but you don’t have to work for NASA to suss why its unique geography has been declared a World Heritage Area. Before hopping in your wetsuit to discover the reef’s 90-plus islands, spend some time in fun-loving Cairns, a magnet for water-babies thanks to its destination diving, sailing and snorkelling. Expect awe-inspiring nature, exciting activities and mouth-watering restaurants and bars for après-sun lounging.

Miranda Krestovnikoff is a British radio and TV presenter specialising in nature. She is a qualified scuba diver, a wandering gourmet and an accomplished musician. We sent her to Cairns to report back on her adventures; you can watch her video from Cairns above.

Miranda says: ‘As a water baby, I was keen to encounter the Great Barrier Reef, so I took a short flight straight to Hamilton Island, part of the Whitsunday Islands, and just south of the reef. 

I jumped onboard with Explore Group tours. As we journeyed towards the reef, we passed the 74 islands of the Whitsundays – many covered in forest and totally uninhabited. It was like being part of a pirate adventure film.’

Begin your Australian adventure in style with Singapore Airlines. Fly one stop to Cairns from £665

Getting There with Singapore Airlines

Begin your Australian adventure in style with Singapore Airlines, the world’s most awarded airline. Flying four times daily from London Heathrow, and 5 times weekly from Manchester to Singapore, Singapore Airlines offers spacious cabins, delicious food, plenty of entertainment and top-notch service. Fly via Singapore and connect to key destinations across Australia, including Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Darwin, Cairns and Canberra.