Australia's Great Barrier

Best place to see Great Barrier Reef

Stretching over 2000km over the eastern shore of Australia, the truly amazing Barrier is a mind-blowing all-natural question. This marine wonderland and Unesco World Heritage Site harbours certainly one of richest ecosystems in the world. Over 2900 individual reefs compose this difficult living system, along with some 900 countries spread from the Tropic of Capricorn to the fringes of Papua brand new Guinea.

There is numerous places to start your reef adventure, and a variety of how to understand kaleidoscopic spectacle, from diving and exploring by sailboat to a scenic journey or leisurely walk over the coastline of a coral-fringed area.

Snorkelling & scuba diving

Donning a mask and fins is the better way to get a detailed up view of dazzling corals, ocean turtles, rays, sharks and tropical fish each and every colour and dimensions. Much of the diving and snorkelling regarding reef is vessel based, although there are exemplary reefs surrounding a few of the countries.

Boat excursions

Day trips leave from many places over the coast, also from area hotels, and usually visit 2 or 3 various websites, permitting about three hours of underwater time. Complete day excursions to the reef expense around $200, including lunch, treats and snorkel equipment, with diving an optional extra.


If you’re desperate to do just as much scuba diving that you can, a live-aboard watercraft is the greatest option. This permits reef-goers to plunge around four times each and every day, including night dives, and see much more remote areas of the Great Barrier Reef. Trip lengths range from anyone to 12 evenings, though three- and four-day trips are being among the most common. Prices for a four-day/three-night travel start at around $800.

Scenic routes

For a sea eagle's view throughout the reef, just take a helicopter or seaplane trip. Popular places to set up trips are Airlie Beach, with excursions taking in the spectacular Whitsunday isles, and Cairns, with routes over rainforest-covered Green Island. A 30-minute scenic trip prices around $270.

Reef walking

Numerous reefs inside south an element of the Great Barrier Reef tend to be subjected at reduced wave, allowing visitors to walk on the reef top, on sandy tracks between residing red coral. This is a great way to learn about marine life, particularly when a naturalist guide accompanies you.

Where you can base yourself

At over 2000km long, the reef is big so it is crucial that you select your entry point. Several cities spread along the Queensland coast act as gateways on reef, plus there are certain island hotels which range from small and secluded to remarkably large and really seen.


Cairns is undeniably the primary launching pad for reef tours – you can find a staggering quantity of operators here. You can do anything from reasonably cheap day trips on large boats to intimate five-day luxury charters.

Port Douglas

Only north of Cairns, Port Douglas is an upmarket resort town and a gateway towards the Low Isles and Agincourt Reef, an external ribbon reef featuring crystal-clear water and particularly stunning corals.

Airlie Beach

The tiny city of Airlie Beach is famed because of its multiday cruising trips off to the Whitsunday Islands, an archipelago with turquoise oceans, red coral gardens and palm-fringed beaches. Just seven of Whitsunday's 74 islands provide lodging, and these range from easy campgrounds to elegant hotels. Bustling Hamilton Island has the largest tourist infrastructure as well as its airport may be the primary arrival point to the Whitsundays.


Townsville is a renowned gateway among scuba divers. Whether you’re discovering or experienced, a four- or five-night on-board scuba diving safari across the many countries and pockets regarding the reef is an excellent option.

Getting indeed there

Australian continent's significant companies (Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australian continent) link Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with airports in Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach (really in Proserpine) and Hamilton Island. As well as domestic flights, Cairns Airport obtains various intercontinental routes provided by Jetstar, Cathay Pacific and Air brand new Zealand. To attain Port Douglas, take a shuttle or taxi from Cairns airport.

When you should go

Local plumber to check out the truly amazing Barrier Reef is from Summer to November, as soon as the weather condition is mild and presence is generally great. Avoid checking out from December to March whenever northern Queensland has actually a definite wet-season, bringing oppressive temperature and numerous rain.

Things to see in the event that you’ve just got five times

The Cairns location makes a beneficial base for witnessing a variety of destinations in a finite time. On day one take just about every day day at the exterior reef; these time go to Green Island (or overnight during the upper end resort indeed there); a day later go snorkelling, bushwalking and beach-walking on Fitzroy Island. Just take a break through the water on time four and visit the rainforests, ponds and waterfalls of this Atherton Tableland, just inland from Cairns. On your own last time, look at the coral-fringed Frankland Islands. All are effortlessly organized as time trips from Cairns.

Another great choice is the Whitsunday Islands. From Airlie seashore book a three-day/three-night sailing trip, going to coral reefs and pristine uninhabited countries. Afterward invest two days snorkelling, beachcombing and soothing amid the tropical beauty of one associated with the hotels in the Whitsundays.

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