This Top 10 list of things to do is just some of the experiences visitors can enjoy on the Great Barrier Reef.
The 2,300-kilometre Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. Home to diverse marine life of the most vivid colours, experiencing the Reef is a life-changing adventure, whether your clients do it in luxury or on a budget. See the Reef by scuba, snorkel, glass-bottom boat, jet ski, semi-submersible, sail boat, from the air or even skydive to be completely immersed in this wonder of the world.
Snorkel and Dive
With 2,900 islands to explore and warm waters all-year-round, the Great Barrier Reef offers some of the world's best dive sites. Join a tour to explore the deep, wild waters or enjoy snorkelling right off the beach there is an experience for everyone. Hire a mask and snorkel to explore the island’s colourful reef on Magnetic Island, just a 25-minute ferry ride from Townsville. Get closer to the reef and dive with clownfish, giant clams, reef sharks, Maori wrasse on the outer reef in Tropical North Queensland, 90 minutes from Cairns.
One of the best ways to experience the amazing beauty of the Great Barrier Reef is to see it from the air. Take a quintessential scenic flight with Air Whitsunday over Heart Reef or enjoy a scenic helicopter flight from Cairns to Green Island.
See the sights without getting wet at an educational, interactive aquarium. Perfect for young children and non-swimmers who want to understand the majesty of the coral kingdom, Reef HQ in Townsville boasts a Turtle Hospital, where sick and injured turtles are rehabilitated. It also offers sleepovers, where visitors can observe the nocturnal habits of reef creatures. Be guided through nine amazing North Queensland ecosystems from the world’s most ancient rainforest to the world’s largest coral reef to discover 70 different exhibits showcasing the rare and incredibly unique species of this region, at Cairns Aquarium.
With only 10 guest villas, Bedarra Island Resort is one of Queensland’s most private luxury island retreats, just a 45 minute heli-transfer from Cairns airport to their beachside heli-pad. Lizard Island, Australia's northernmost island resort on the Great Barrier Reef, is truly secluded from the rest of the world and is located a one hour scenic flight over the reef from Cairns. Lizard Island Resort is perched on a small coral cay putting guests a snorkel and pair of fins away from one of the world’s natural wonders. Qualia on Hamilton Island is only a two- to three-hour flight away from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and offers world-class experiences and more than a handful of restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops at your tropical paradise doorstep.
Sleep Overnight on the Reef
For a once in a lifetime experience, extend your clients visit to the reef and stay the night. Sunlover Reef Cruises (ex Cairns) offers guests Sunlover by Starlight at Moore Reef, an awe-inspiring underwater spectacle, teaming with brilliantly coloured corals and more than 10,000 marine species. Visitors stay overnight in a swag, under a billion stars, camping with up to 18 other people on a stable large pontoon. Cruise Whitsunday’s Reefsleep (ex Airlie Beach) offers snorkelling, swimming, semi-sub rides, fish viewing from the underwater observatory and sunbathing on deck. Come 3pm, the vessel departs the pontoon and this magnificent part of the world is open to Reefsleep guests to enjoy.
Skydive into the most picturesque drop zone in the world and experience the greatest reef thrill there is. The experienced tandem instructors will handle the parachute, so all your client has to do is enjoy the incredible view. Freefall from 14,00 feet for an exhilarating view over the reef before landing on Mission Beach, Cairns or Airlie Beach.
Day Tour Cruise
Spend a day on the reef and zoom straight to the outer Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas with Quicksilver Cruises to explore Agincourt Reef. Head to the Whitsundays for an exhilarating ride to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet or discover pristine snorkelling reefs and take a guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walk with Ocean Rafting.
The Great Eight Marine Life
The Great Eight is Queensland’s underwater answer to an African safari’s Big Five. It’s not only a checklist of the reef’s most stunning marine creatures but a great way to ensure your guests see all manner of other wonderful fish, coral and sea life along the way. Check the Great Eight off the bucket list by seeing: clownfish, giant clams, manta rays, Maori wrasse, potato cod, sharks, turtles and whales.
Islands of the Great Barrier Reef
Explore the secluded and uncrowded islands of the tropics including Townsville’s Magnetic Island, The Palm Island group and Orpheus Island by yacht. Head south and swim with resident manta rays and snap a turtle selfie in the waters surrounding Lady Elliot Island, Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Sail and Liveaboard
Toast the setting sun over the Great Barrier Reef aboard a swish catamaran in Tropical North Queensland, or charter a yacht and sail around the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays.