1. CRUISE MICHAELMAS CAY
Visit the Reef in style on board Ocean Spirit a high-performance catamaran. Sailing daily from Cairns to Michaelmas Cay, you can dive and snorkel the Reef among the turtles and colourful fish, lie on the deck and soak up the sun or enjoy a glass-bottomed boat tour. Michaelmas Cay is also home to over 23 species of seabirds and is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries on the Great Barrier Reef.
2. SEAPLANE OVER HEART REEF
This scenic flights where you can see the silica sand of Whitehaven Beach on Withsunday Island. It’s a great opportunity to see the amazing beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.
3. CRUISE TO AGINCOURT REEF
Take a cruise to the renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the very edge of the Great Barrier Reef. From the spacious activity platform you can snorkel, dive and helmet walk in an underwater world filled with a kaleidoscope of colour and brilliance.
4. SPEEDBOAT TRIPS
It offers 14 guests at a time the chance to snorkel vast coral gardens and witness the abundant fish life of the Low Isles.
5. SNORKEL MAGIC ISLANDS
The island is just a 25 minute ferry ride from Townsville. Hire a mask and snorkel to explore the island’s colourful reef.
6. SKYDIVE ABOVE THE WHITESUNDAY
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 you have to do is enjoy the incredible view.
7. WITNESS THE TURTLE HATCHINGS AT HERON ISLAND RESORT
Turtles lay and hatch here between November and March and both events are amazing.
8. STINGRAYS AT DAYDREAM ISLAND
Wade into the man-made Living Reef and hand-feed the debarbed stingrays.. Daydream’s 2,650 square-metre Living Reef is home to more than 140 species of marine fish and 83 species of coral.
9. HOT AIR BALLOONING
The great heights that hot air ballooning will send you to will provide amazing views not only of the Great Barrier Reef itself but also the incredible natural surroundings that make up the geography of this tropical north Queensland region.
10. WHITEWATER RAFTING
Pristine rainforest, crystal-clear rivers and breathtaking scenery are just a few of the reasons to take a whitewater rafting trip on the beautiful Russell and Barron Rivers, located just a short distance inland from the Great Barrier Reef.
11. EXPLORE THE DAINTREE RAINFOREST
The amazing blues of the ocean that blankets the Great Barrier Reef is not the only visually incredible display on offer in the region; look inland and you'll soon come across the vibrant greens of some of the oldest and most beautiful rainforest in the world – the ancient and World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest.
SURROUNDING AREAS TO VISIT
The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is from June to November, when the weather is mild and visibility is generally good. Avoid visiting from December to March when northern Queensland has a distinct wet season, bringing oppressive heat and abundant rainfall.