Great Barrier Reef
Natural attractions don’t come much bigger or better than Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, this marine wonderland is the earth’s largest coral reef, with more varieties of coral, fish and aquatic plants than anywhere else on the planet.
Dotted amongst the reef are scores of tropical islands and coral cays, fringed with long golden beaches and private inlets.
Queensland is on Australia’s east coast, north of New South Wales in the subtropics. Culture-vulture Brisbane is the state’s capital, and Airlie Beach, Townsville and Cairns are the main coastal centres for launching into the big blue from the mainland. International flights touchdown in Brisbane and Cairns, and from there you can fly direct to the only airport in the Whitsundays on Hamilton Island.
Snorkelling and Diving
With 2300 kilometres of reef to choose from, the Great Barrier Reef is your scuba diving oyster. Whether you’re a learner diver or PADI-certified expert, there’s a scuba and snorkelling experience for everyone.
Snorkel the islands’ fringing reefs if you’re a beginner, or set sail on a catamaran to spend the day at Reefworld on Hardy Reef. Reefworld is a fully self-contained Reef experience: view the spectacular marine life from a semi-submarine, take an introductory dive with a fully qualified instructor, or discover the Reef’s secrets on a guided snorkel safari.
Cruise to the outer reef if you’re an experienced diver, and try wreck diving, reef diving, pontoon diving and liveaboard diving for multi-day dive cruising.
Sharing the tropical waters on your underwater safari are thousands of varieties of fish molluscs, hard and soft coral, sponges and seagrasses, protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Hamilton Island is your launching pad for Great Barrier Reef holidays and Whitsundays beaches. Helicopters and seaplanes whisk you to the Great Barrier Reef for aerial views of the reef and its islands. Cruise to the reef on an air-conditioned catamaran tour from Hamilton Island, or charter a luxury yacht for Whitsundays sailing.