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Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

As a whole, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders. Stretching over 2,600km it’s the largest reef system in the world, made up of over 900 islands, 2,900 individual reefs.

The Whitsundays Region is lucky in its position as the closest point on the Queensland coastline to the Great Barrier Reef.

This makes it the perfect place for visitors wanting to go snorkelling, scuba diving, or even cruising on glass bottomed boats, without having to stay on the resort islands.

Whether you want to get in the water and up close with the marine life, or appreciate the natural beauty from a comfortable, dry position, the Great Barrier Reef has so much for every traveller to see and do.

Exploring the Reef

The most obvious choice for a holiday in this stunning Marine Park is scuba diving. There are a number of professional operators you can book a trip with from Airlie Beach or most of the islands. They’ll teach you the basics of scuba diving, then take you out to visually stunning dive sites where you can explore all the colour and diversity of the reef.

For those not comfortable with going too far under, there’s also the option of snorkelling. You’ll get to paddle along the surface of the water, enjoying the shallower reefs only a couple of feet below.

If you’re looking to sit back and relax on your holiday there’s a wide range of cruise boats that take people for tours of the Marine Park. You can sit back and enjoy the warm weather as you sail around the islands with stunning ocean views.

Book Whitsundays Scenic Flights Online NowYou can even find boats with glass bottoms so you can see the magnificent coral reefs without even getting wet.

Other Activities

The Great Barrier Reef is so large you can even see it by air. There are a number of air tours of the reef, departing daily from the mainland and some of the Whitsundays Islands. You can hop aboard a small plane, helicopter, or even a sea plane to see the remarkable coral formations like Heart Reef from above.

Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise

Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise

Book Whitsundays Sunset Sailing CruiseSlip into the sunset sail in style on a 62ft gaff-rigged topsail schooner, an American Bluenose a replica of the Grand Banks fishing boats in Maine. Whitsundays sunset sailing cruise departs from Abell Point Marina. After being welcomed aboard traditional 62-foot gaff rigged schooner by the friendly crew enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and nibble on delicious snacks as you take in the views of Airlie Beach from the water. Help hoist the sails or sit back, relax, and enjoy ambience as you cruise across Pioneer Bay.

 

Whitsundays Private Sailing Charter

Whitsundays Private Sailing Charter

Book Whitsundays Private Sailing CharterCharter your own sailboat in the Whitsunday Islands for up to 24 guests with this private tour that gives you a choice from three day sail options and one sunset option. Set off across Whitsunday Passage in the footsteps of Captain Cook, and catch the breeze on a 62-foot (19-meter) gaff-rigged schooner, aka a tall ship. Your tailored charter includes a spot for snorkeling and either a visit to Whitehaven Beach, famous for its bright white sand, or to Langford Reef where you have a good chance of swimming with turtles.

 

Whitehaven Beach and Dumbbell Island Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

Whitehaven Beach and Dumbbell Island Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

Book Whitehaven Beach and Dumbbell Island Sailing and Snorkeling CruiseSail the Whitsundays in a 62-ft gaff rigged schooner. Help out with the sails or chill on deck as the sails fill in the breeze. Head for the Whitsundays' iconic beach - Whitehaven. Disembark at Tongue Bay for a 10-minute walk to the Hill Inlet lookout. Capture some pics of the world's most photographed beach before heading down to experience the soft, white sand. Spend an hour and a half on the beach before heading back for lunch on board as you head for a beautiful snorkelling spot where the water is teaming with fish and the coral is dazzling. Then it's homeward bound while snacking on a fruit and cheese platter and the sails carry you back to Abell Point Marina. Special Offer - Book by June 25, 2017 and travel between June 20 and November 30, 2017 to save 15% off our previously offered price! Excludes departures from August 10 to 17, 2017 and September 16 to October 8, 2017 - Book Now!

 

Whitsundays Full-Day Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran

Whitsundays Full-Day Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran

Book Whitsundays Full-Day Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran Take an exhilarating cruise in the Whitsundays on board an amazing high-speed ocean-going catamaran. The vessel is designed for stability and speed and ensures all guests have an awesome adventure in comfort and style. Included in the full-day cruise is a walk to the famous Hill Inlet Lookout, a delicious lunch and snorkelling at two different locations on the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to Reefworld

Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to Reefworld

Book Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to ReefworldDo you want to experience a close encounter with the famous Great Barrier Reef, then this is it! Enjoy a cruise out to the reef, where you'll moor up next to Reefworld. From this innovative and spacious pontoon, you can snorkel and dive the tropical waters until your hearts content. Top up you tan on the sun decks, see the reef up-close without getting wet with a ride on a semi-submersible, and learn about the marine life through presentations by reef experts. There's no better way to experience the reef!

 

Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises

Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises

Book Whitehaven Beach Half-Day CruisesEnjoy relaxing on the pure white sand of Whitehaven Beach. You can walk along the seven kilometer stretch of natural silica sand, swim in crystal clear water or lay back and read a good book. There is no better place to unwind then finding your own slice of paradise and feeling the ocean breeze sweep over you as your body melts into the sand. The only way to truly experience one of the world's best beaches is in style and comfort aboard a large, high-speed and air-conditioned catamaran. Special Offer - Special Offer: Book by June 25, 2017 and travel between July 18 and October 31 and children 4-14 years travel free on the afternoon departure. This special offer is not available on departures between September 16 and October 3, 2017. - Book Now!

 

Lady Enid Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip Including Whitehaven Beach

Lady Enid Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip Including Whitehaven Beach

Book Lady Enid Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip Including Whitehaven Beach A true sailing experience through the Whitsunday Islands on board the rare Australian classic yacht Lady Enid. Become involved as much or as little as you like, help set the sails, take a turn at the helm or lean back and relax and enjoy the uninterrupted beauty of the Whitsunday Islands. Barefoot luxury at it's best, sailing to one of the world’s best beaches, Whitehaven Beach and visiting Hill Inlet,  swimming the crystal clear waters of Betty's Beach at Whitehaven and snorkeling the Island Reefs will certainly ensure beautiful memories are made. Your crew will welcome you as their guests, not just a passenger and with only a maximum of 24 guests and three crew at your service, you will want for nothing more. The gourmet meals are certainly a feature of this experience, including morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and as you'll sail back to port into the sunset while a glass of sparkling wine and antipasto is served.

 

2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Trimaran 'Avatar'

2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Trimaran 'Avatar'

Book 2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Trimaran 'Avatar'Avatar Whitsundays is the only commercial sailing trimaran in the Islands. What does this mean for you? Minimal lean while sailing, maximum deck space with nets for sun baking, you can soak up the stunning World Heritage-listed Whitsunday Islands while never feeling over crowded. Just the way it’s meant to be. Avatar caters to guests between 18 and 35 years old and the young at heart. She Sleeps 26 guests and 3 crew in a mixture of open plan bunks and private doubles  . All meals are freshly prepared on board and include home cooked roast with trimmings and gravy, spaghetti bolognese, pies, fresh meats, salads, breads, fruits, dips and crackers Plus loads more! You wont go hungry!

 

Whitehaven Beach Cruise Including Hill Inlet Walk

Whitehaven Beach Cruise Including Hill Inlet Walk

Book Whitehaven Beach Cruise Including Hill Inlet Walk Spend a full day exploring Whitehaven beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Whitsunday Islands. You’ll take a leisurely hike to Hill Inlet lookout where you get a famous view of Whitehaven beach! Snorkel away from the crowds, and have time to lounge on the beach or swim. Your day trip includes a guide, snorkel and beach equipment, lunch and afternoon tea with a small-group tour limited to 16 people.

 

Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach Sailing Adventure

Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach Sailing Adventure

Book Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach Sailing AdventureSail through the Whitsunday Islands and explore magnificent Whitehaven Beach, voted one of the world's best beaches on this full-day sailing adventure from Port of Airlie or Daydream Island. With the thrill of high-speed sailing through the famous Whitsunday Islands, swimming and snorkeling at fantastic inner-reef sites, this full day of fun and adventure is the ultimate Whitsunday Islands experience.

 

Whitsunday Islands Full-Day Cruise: Whitehaven Beach and Daydream Island

Whitsunday Islands Full-Day Cruise: Whitehaven Beach and Daydream Island

Book Whitsunday Islands Full-Day Cruise: Whitehaven Beach and Daydream Island Explore Australia’s gorgeous Whitsunday Islands on a full-day cruise to Whitehaven Beach and Daydream Island from Port Airlie or Hamilton Island. Enjoy free time to stroll along the beaches, take scenic nature walks, or even snorkel or golf. On board, your friendly skipper will provide informative commentary about the sights you see. This is an amazing day out with a great mix of island time, cruising time and with lunch included.

 

Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the Whitsundays

Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the Whitsundays

Book Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the WhitsundaysSpend the day at sea, sailing, snorkeling, beachcombing and enjoying the Whitsunday Islands' spectacular natural beauty. Go snorkeling at a protected beach and enjoy morning tea with chocolate cake, a buffet lunch and afternoon hors d'oeuvres, freshly prepared on board. There’s plenty of room to relax on the tallship’s large deck, ideal for calm sailing in the protected waters of the Whitsundays' fringing reefs. Combining adventure on the high seas, snorkeling and a non-stop smorgasbord of food, a tallship cruise is the best way to experience the beautiful Whitsundays Passage in one day. With numbers restricted to less than 40, you can sit back and relax or join the crew and try your hand at raising the sails!

 

About the Great Barrier Reef

Running along Queensland’s north east coast line, the Great Barrier Reef stretches over 2,600km and covers a remarkable 344,000 square kilometres. Made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, it is the only single structure made by living organisms that can be seen from space. It really does deserve its place as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

The reef supports a huge diversity of life, including a number of vulnerable and endangered species, some of which can only be found on the Great Barrier Reef. It’s also home to large populations of dugongs, more than 1,500 tropical fish species, sea turtles and 30 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

It’s estimated that the reef structure is somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, with the remains of older reefs in the area that date back half a million years. Because of their need for sunlight, coral reefs can only grow in waters above a depth of 150 metres, yet cannot grow above sea level. With such a small area in which the reef can grow there is great concern of late with matters of global warming and rising sea levels.