7 Best Places to Experience the Great Barrier Reef ...


7 Best Places to Experience the Great Barrier Reef ...
7 Best Places to Experience the Great Barrier Reef ...

Want to learn about some amazing places in the Great Barrier Reef? Are there any more places on earth that are more spectacular as the Great Barrier Reef? As if Australia isn’t already blessed with a wealth of gorgeousness, Mother Nature had to bestow one of her most amazing gifts too. Lying in the Coral Sea, covering 133,000 square miles and stretching for 1,600 miles, there are plenty of places in the Great Barrier Reef for an adventure or two. The nearly 3,000 individual reefs and more than 900 islands are a stunning playground for every water based and beach based activity you can think of and then some, and I set myself the unenviable task of picking just 7 things to do and places in the Great Barrier Reef where I know you’ll have an incredible experience.

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Hike the Thorsborne Trail

Hike the Thorsborne Trail Located between Cairns and Townsville, this 32km hike is one of those must do experiences in the Great Barrier Reef. Allow at least 4 days for the hike in order to enjoy beaches, swamps, mountains and rainforest landscapes. You will also see animals from butterflies to sea turtles and crocodiles. This is a serious hike for the experienced walker as the trail can be difficult and is not graded or hardened. The trail is limited to 40 hikers at a time, so be sure to plan ahead and book permits well in advance.


Paddle the Whitsunday Islands

Paddle the Whitsunday Islands Explore the 70 plus islands, inlets and bays in this group on your own or with a half or full day guided kayak tour. Enjoy the clear, tranquil waters and expect to see dolphins frolicking and turtles gliding gracefully through the water. At the right time of year you may also be privy to whale sightings. Some companies offer overnight camping trips or extended tours. Push off from Shute Harbor – 160km north of Mackay.


Lounge on Great Keppel Island

Lounge on Great Keppel Island There are some sublime places in the Great Barrier Reef where the beaches are beyond fabulous. On Great Keppel Island there are 17 white sand beaches to choose from, just 30 minutes by ferry from the mainland. Safe, crystal waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving, and the marine life is abundant. Or just kick back in a hammock and listen for the over 100 species of native birds found on this sanctuary. Ferries depart every 30 minutes from Keppel Bay Marina – located just 9 km from Yeppoon.


Camp in Deepwater National Park

Camp in Deepwater National Park Take a 4WD road trip up the Queensland coast, 103 km North West of Bundaberg to find this campground. Experience the Deepwater Creek catchment area, which is widely regarded as one of the few pristine freshwater streams in the Great Barrier Reef area. The over 4,000 hectare park also contains sandy beaches, lowland vegetation and a 70 meter high sand dune. The beaches here are also nesting grounds for Flatback, Leatherback, Green and Loggerhead turtles. There are numerous species of birds, and the largest species of cockroach in Queensland, Macropanesthia rhinoceros or the rhinoceros cockroach.


Stay in Style at Wilson Bay

Stay in Style at Wilson Bay While many of the places in the Great Barrier Reef are rough and ready in their natural beauty, your whole getaway doesn’t have to be so. Wilson Bay is an exclusive private Island resort that accommodates just 12 guests at a time. It is also a nature preserve featuring turtles and bird life. Enjoy everything you’d expect from a Conde Nast recommended property, including gourmet dining, for a reasonable $450 per person, all inclusive rate based on 2-night, double occupancy stay.


Surf in Agnes Water

Surf in Agnes Water Still relatively undiscovered, Agnes Water is a small surf town on the Great Barrier Reef that is worth a trip. It is the most northerly facing beach on the east coast. Escape the crowds of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts by travelling about 500km north of Brisbane. There are various accommodations in the area, including hostels and campsites. Enjoy swimming and fishing if the swells are not in your favor.


Go Wild on Fraser Island

Go Wild on Fraser Island This island is a World Heritage Listed site and widely recognized as one of the must-go places in the Great Barrier Reef. It is 120km by 24km with a total area of over 1800 km, and considered to be the largest sand island in the world. The sand that comprises it has been accumulating on volcanic bedrock for over 750,000 years. Located approximately 200km north of Brisbane, get there via ferry or chartered light plane. You will need a 4WD to get around. Allow about 3 days to see it all, and be sure to explore the west side of the island – fewer tourists and more locals there.

I don’t know that I could ever choose which places in the Great Barrier Reef I would want to see first. It is one of those places where you probably need to spend a month, minimum, exploring. Have you ever been? Was it as fabulous as I imagine?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Great Keppel island was the best when I was a kid. But it's not the same anymore. :(

I remember going for a road trip with my family when i was a kid - well anyway, snorkelling at great keppel island was definitely unforgettable! I'd go there again, recommend it!


Thanks so much for all these Australian themed articles recently... I'm loving them!

I live on Hamilton island, and the reef is amazing, although I don't get to go out there too often as it is expensive, but it's good to know there are other places I can go to see my country! I love the water, and everything about the Great Barrier Reef! This was an excellent read, thanks for sharing

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