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. 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

  • 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. Ochre Restaurant

    $ | CBD | Australian

    Local seafood and native ingredients take top billing at this upscale yet relaxed Cairns institution that specializes in bush dining. Try the...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. Fish D'Vine and Rum Bar

    $ | Seafood

    The menu here showcases seafood in all its forms—from beer-battered fish-and-chips to seafood chowder and wild-caught barramundi (the chef will...Read More

  • 9. JAM Corner

    $$ | Australian

    This fine-dining restaurant sources terrific organic and tropical produce for its modern Australian menus, which change seasonally, but always...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Restaurant M Yogo

    $$ | French

    Occupying a prime pier-front position, Restaurant M Yogo offers refined dining in relaxed environs. Chef Masa puts a deft, modern-Japanese spin...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

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