Great Barrier Reef Restaurants

Typically, restaurants on Barrier Reef islands are part of each island's main resort, so many resorts' rates include some or all meals. Some larger resorts have a range of restaurants, with formal dining rooms, outdoor barbecues, and seafood buffets; some have premium dining options for which you pay extra. Dress is generally "island casual." Some upscale restaurants—such as those on Hayman Island—require men to wear jackets for dinner and frown on flip-flop sandals. On the mainland you'll find plenty of casual, open-air restaurants, serving mainly Modern Australian–style meals that showcase seafood and regional produce. With a few notable exceptions, Cairns, Palm Cove, and Port Douglas are your best bets for upscale dining.

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  • 1. Beach Almond Beach House

    $$ | Seafood

    This low-key eatery's simple beach-shack setting on Palm Cove's seafront underplays the freshness and flavor of its Modern Asian food. Seafood...Read More

  • 2. Harrisons

    $$ | French

    A classic "Queenslander" with a lovely outdoor cocktails area shaded by century-old mango trees and fine-dining inside, Harrisons impresses...Read More

  • 3. On The Inlet Seafood Restaurant

    $ | Seafood

    Choose your own live mud crab from holding tanks at this much-lauded seafood restaurant fronting Dickson Inlet. Watch yachts dock as you sit...Read More

  • 4. Salsa Bar & Grill

    $ | Australian

    Rub shoulders with local foodies on the deck of this lively waterside institution that serves tropical Modern Australian fare. The large wooden...Read More

  • 5. Vivo Bar and Grill

    $$ | Australian

    Diners at this classy beachside eatery enjoy Coral Sea views framed by palms and melaleucas along with Mod Oz dishes. Housemade muesli and freshly...Read More

  • 6. Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

    $ | Australian

    Stylish and hip yet comfortable, Whet Cafe, Bar and Restaurant draws visitors and locals with its outdoor deck, perfect for long lunches, sunset...Read More

  • 7. Lime & Pepper Restaurant and Bar

    $$ | International

    European flair meets great local produce at this upscale beachfront restaurant and bar. Lime & Pepper mixes fresh seafood, tropical fruits...Read More

  • 8. NuNu Restaurant

    $$ | Australian

    Sexy suede lounges, intimate banquettes, and unbroken views of the Coral Sea make lingering easy at this Palm Cove eatery. The menus showcase...Read More

  • 9. On The Turps Bar & Restaurant

    $ | Mediterranean

    At this open-air restaurant in the Daintree rain forest, wallabies, bandicoots, and musky rat kangaroos might join you at the table as you tuck...Read More

  • 10. Temple of Tastes

    $$ | Asian

    Knowledgeable staff, an impressive wine and cocktail list, and a torchlit waterfront terrace are among the many reasons to dine at this excellent...Read More

  • 11. Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar

    $ | Australian

    Atmospheric indoor-outdoor dining, attentive service, and a well-stocked bar are nice, but the primary draw at this relaxed restaurant is the...Read More

  • 12. Bistro 3

    $$$ | Australian

    This chic, colorful eatery has an unabashedly local focus, showing off the region's best in tasty Mod-Oz dishes and serving fine Australian...Read More

  • 13. Casmar Restaurant

    $$ | Australian

    The ocean's bounty is the focus at this cosy upstairs restaurant overlooking the Palm Cove waterfront: try the seafood platter for two (A$90...Read More

  • 14. Dragonfly Gallery Café

    $$ | Café

    Constructed by local craftspeople from native timber and stone, this gallery sits among rain-forest gardens and overlooks natural barramundi...Read More

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