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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.

Whitsunday Island Boat Adventure

Whitsunday Island Boat Adventure

Book Whitsunday Island Boat Adventure This is an excellent choice for travellers with limited time — explore all the highlights of the Whitsundays, including a visit to Whitehaven Beach, snorkel, stand-up paddle board and visit Hill Inlet in a day.
Snorkelling equipment, stinger suit, stand-up paddle board and food (morning tea, buffet lunch and afternoon tea) are all included, so all you have to bring is your sense of adventure!

 

Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

Book Whitehaven Beach 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.

 

Ocean Rafting Tour to Whitehaven Beach

Ocean Rafting Tour to Whitehaven Beach

Book Ocean Rafting Tour to Whitehaven BeachVisit three top destinations whilst having the ride of your life! Each Ocean Rafting day includes an exhilarating ride to world famous Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Beach and Lookout, pristine snorkelling reefs and guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walks, all in one day! The semi rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing you to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. 
Ocean Rafting offers two different Whitehaven Beach tours to choose from, the Northern Exposure and the Southern Lights tour. The significant difference between the two tours is that the Northern Exposure offers more snorkelling time and the Southern Lights offers more beach time.
Ocean Rafting is the only tour operator to have direct access to the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach and special snorkel sites at Hook Island and Border Island ensure a memorable underwater experience.

 

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.