Visiting the Great Barrier Reef

Australia is home to the world’s largest coral reef system. It’s made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands.  It spans an area of 344,400 square kilometres.

It was named a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is recognised as one of the natural wonders of the world.

Whether you live in Australia or are a visitor, you owe yourself a visit to this natural beauty.

There are several places to kick off your visit.

Port Douglas

Located an hour north of Cairns, Port Douglas is a small peaceful place for reef trips.  Port Douglas is a picturesque town that has lots to offer.

The first thing on the agenda is a visit to the reef.  Take a tour of the outer reefs.  This is perfect for those who can swim and have a sense of adventure.  Book a sailing catamaran for a full day of snorkelling and sailing. You’ll be accompanied by a team of marine biologists who can explain the reef and keep you entertained.

The reef is filled with schools of colourful fish and stunning coral formations.  The crystal clear waters and pure white sand beaches of the Coral Cays.  The combination makes for an unforgettable day.

If you’re ready for a break from the ocean, how about a Port Douglas golf tour?  For golfers, this is a great opportunity to play golf at some of the world-class facilities near Port Douglas.

The Mirage Golf Course is a beautiful and testing course, that is playable for golfers of all levels.  It has generally wide fairways and beautiful conditions. It’s not the only one.  Other great courses include the Mossman Golf Course and the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Resort.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is a part of the Whitsunday Islands and has some of the best Great Barrier Reef snorkelling and scuba experiences in Queensland.

Hamilton Island is car-free, which adds to its allure.  Not having to deal with traffic and parking is a joy when you are on vacation.  Most people get around the island by golf buggy.  They are available for rent or you can use the local shuttle bus.  It offers free pick-ups and drop-offs at several locations around the island.

Catseye Beach is popular for water sports.  You can hire kayaks, snorkelling gear, stand-up paddle boards, and small sailing boats if you want to get out in the water.

You can take a full-day snorkel tour or a 2-night adventure tour from the Explore Group.  With hundreds of five-star reviews, you are in good hands.

For something unforgettable, you can take a helicopter tour from Hamilton Island Air. It’s exhilarating, intimate and unique.  You will visit the world-famous Heart Reef, land on a private pontoon, and take a glass-bottom boat tour of the reef.  You’ll have the chance to get in some snorkelling in the crystalline waters.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget.

No matter where you go, or how you access the reef it is a memory you will carry with you forever.