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. A Touch of Salt

    $ | Australian

    This Modern Australian eatery ticks all the boxes: location (riverfront), service (impeccable), ambience (relaxed), food (exciting and flavorful...Read More

  • 2. Bayleaf Balinese Restaurant

    $ | CBD | Indonesian

    Dining in the open-sided restaurant or alfresco under the light of tiki torches, you can enjoy some of the most delicious, innovative cuisine...Read More

  • 3. Fire

    $$$$ | Australian

    This elegant restaurant, refurbished in rich ruby hues, is the resort's culinary showpiece. Its imaginative dishes are built around premium...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Mariners

    $$ | Seafood

    This breezy, upscale eatery turns the local catch into fresh contemporary dishes: artfully arranged sashimi, house-made tagliatelle marinara...Read More

  • 6. Bamboo

    $ | Asian

    This lovely pan-Asian establishment overlooks a tranquil Japanese garden with rock pools, waterfalls, and a teahouse. Menu choices include Thai...Read More

  • 7. Bommie Restaurant

    $$$ | Australian

    With sail-shaped tables, chic Eames chairs, and marina views, Bommie has a sophisticated, upmarket ambience and smart-casual dress code (collared...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Romano's

    $$ | Italian

    The full-frontal marina views from the broad balconies of this two-level waterfront eatery make it a favorite for family celebrations and romantic...Read More

  • 12. Sunset Cruise & Dine on the Denison Star

    $$$$ | Australian

    The Denison Star, a magnificent 107-foot motor cruiser hewn from Tasmanian Huon pine, glides out of Hamilton Island Marina most evenings for...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Déjà Vu Restaurant

    $$$ | Australian

    Alfresco tables and Balinese-style dining pavilions flank an infinity-edge pool at this classy Airlie eatery,open for leisurely dining–and daytime...Read More

  • 16. Hanuman Cairns

    $$$ | CBD | Asian

    A flavorful addition to Cairns's dining scene, this restaurant in the Hilton Cairns does wonders with tropical produce and South-East Asian...Read More

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