Great Barrier Reef & Islands
The Great Barrier reef is the world's largest living organism and is visible from outer space. Imagine how awe inspiring it is when viewed up close!
There are so many ways to view and enjoy this wonder of the world without damaging it or causing it any stress, thus preserving it for future generations.
The ultimate reef experience would have to be living on it ! You can do it! You can stay on a coral cay island surrounded by the reef. Wake up metres from the waters edge and enjoy breakfast while you sit so close the water is almost lapping at your feet. You can do this at both ends of the reef. In the far north Haggerstone Island is one such experience and is on the bucket list of every person who is passioante about a luxurious yet eco responsible reef experience.
Further south, the southernmost Island of the reef is Lady Elliot Island. Lady Elliot island is an amazing eco resort with it's own solar power factory, nesting sea bird populations and is a Turtle nesting mecca. Here you can just walk in and out of the water into an amazing reef system just metres from the door of your accommodation. The clarity of the water here will amaze you and it is often chosen by the movie makers for filming underwater footage.
Cairns is a main destination for anyone serious about experiencing the Great Barrier Reef in all of it's unspoiled beauty and mystery. From Cairns you have the choice of many operators who have their own pontoons anchored at the best places to snorkel and dive. Cairns is also a vibrant city with an array of accommodation choices to suit everyone from backpackers to movie stars.
There are countless cruising options where you can live aboard a vessel and snorkel or scuba all day (and night if that's your thing). Glass bottom boats mean you can view it without getting your feet wet or putting your head under water.
From Port Douglas, just one hours drive north along the coast, you can sail to a sandy cay on a large catamaran and listen to guitars playing while you soak up some tropical sunshine and snorkel off the beach.
The Great Barrier Reef is a true marine wonderland and should be a part of every Australian experience. The only problem is that Australia is full of many wonders that can also make that statement. For that reason, when planning your trip, allow much more time than you think you need, because whatever you allow it is never enough.