Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most famous marine wildlife habitats. The Great Barrier Reef stretches over 1,000 miles along Queensland’s coast line and is the largest reef structure in the entire world. This precious natural resource is protected by the Australian government and was designated a World Heritage Area in 1981, because of its exceptional universal value.
The reef is well known for its diverse marine life, the reef itself is made up of over 400 different kinds of hard, soft and multicoloured coral. The coral is home to a wide variety brightly coloured fish, turtles and other sea life.Credit: sxc.hu: OwnMoment
Things to do at the Great Barrier Reef
There are many tours are offered by marine biologists and naturalist who know a great deal about the Great Barrier Reef and love sharing their knowledge.
For those who really want to experience the marine life there are day tours for snorkelling, diving and there is even shark feeding stations and intact shipwrecks to explore. Some of the best diving spots and dive platforms are easily accessible by boat from the mainland. There are many companies that offer tour packages that can take you directly to the best spots. Another option is to walk from the beach into the water and snorkel around the islands as there are lots of shallow corals.
If you prefer not to get wet, you can view the fish and coral through underwater observatories. You also have an option to so sailing on a catamaran.
For a unique and amazing experience you can see this paradise by air. Helicopter rides and seaplane tours are available from a vast number of tour companies.
Depending on which island you choose to stay there are plenty of other exciting activities, some islands cater more towards families and there are over that cater more towards honey mooners. There are also islands which are uninhabited so you will have to sleep out in a tent on the beach underneath the stars. Some activities that might be available on the islands are water sports, wild life parks and hikes through rain forests.
The closest mainland access is from Mission Beach, and takes about 1hour to get the Great Barrier Reef by boat
If you plan on visiting the reef don’t forget to bring a lot of sunscreen and pack your hat and sunglasses as Queensland has an average of 265 days a year of sunshine.
The Great Barrier Reef is located on the coast of Queensland, Australia. The main access is from Cairns but there are other nearby towns and islands that offer access to the reef.
Best time to visit
You can visit the Great Barrier Reef all year round. Queensland has a tropical climate and is very sunny with warm summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during autumn and spring as summers can be too humid and hot while the winters are quite dry and mild.
The cost depends on where you stay your tour package and length of your visit. The cheapest option is to stay at Cairns. Places like Hamilton Island tend to be a lot pricier.