See the Great Barrier Reef
Whether or not you are a first-time visitor to Australia, there are several experiences that you should not miss—especially if you are an adventure traveller. One of those experiences is visiting and experiencing the Great Barrier Reef.
As you likely know, the Great Barrier Reef is world-renowned for being the largest coral reef on our planet. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef, you will see a stunningly diverse collection of sea life that you simply cannot find at other destinations. It truly is a sight to see.
But having said this, wanting to visit the Great Barrier Reef and actually seeing the Great Barrier Reef are two separate things. The Reef itself is extremely large, stretching over 2,300 kilometres and occupying an area over 344,000 square kilometres. Because of this, it is worth your time to be strategic and plan certain elements of your experience before you arrive.
Visiting the Great Barrier Reef
To start, one of the most important decisions that you can make when visiting the Great Barrier Reef is choosing what you want to do. Quite obviously, the Reef is known for its unbelievable snorkelling and diving opportunities, but it doesn’t end there. Visitors can view the Reef from boats containing glass bottoms. You can even sign up for a helicopter tour to gain an expansive view of the sheer scale and beauty of the Reef. Whatever route you go, make sure to actively make a choice before arriving at the Reef. Doing this will save you some valuable time.
Choose a Reef Adventure
Another decision that you will want to make is choosing whether to chart your own adventure. While it is possible to plan your trip all by yourself, many tourists opt to work with an independent travel company—like Passions of Paradise, Tusa Cruise & Dive, or Quicksilver Poseidon—to handle the logistics of your visit. A company like Passions of Paradise can handle everything from chartering a catamaran or boat to the Reef to providing high-quality snorkelling equipment.
From making these initial decisions, you will also want to consider whether you want to venture beyond the Reef itself. To get to the Great Barrier Reef, you will likely travel through Cairns Australia. Cairns is a terrific tourist town that contains a great dining scene and exciting nightlife. You likely will be spending multiple days exploring the Reef, so it can be a great idea to find some lodging in Cairns Australia. Not only does it offer easy access to the Reef, but it is a great town in and of itself. When you are finished exploring the sea life within the Reef, don’t hesitate to explore everything that Cairns has to offer.
When to go?
Next, think about when you want to travel to the Great Barrier Reef. While nothing is stopping you from seeing the Reef according to your own schedule, there are certain months that are more pleasant. For instance, experts say that the best time to visit the Reef is from June to November. This is because the weather is milder and the visibility is good. By contrast, try to avoid December through March. These four months are during the wet season in northern Queensland, meaning that you will experience extreme heat and constant rainfall. Again, nothing is stopping you from visiting during those months, but understand these potential challenges before arriving at the Great Barrier Reef.
Finally, think about what to bring. If you are going on a tour, your tour company will likely provide all the necessary equipment to snorkel or dive. But along with this, consider bringing things like sunglasses, sunscreen, and even stinger suits. These tools and supplies will make your visit to the Great Barrier Reef much more pleasurable.
An Adventure of a Lifetime
The Great Barrier Reef is truly one of the world’s most impressive sights. It is a bucket list item for many travellers. Before arriving, though, it is important to follow the tips above, do your research, and prepare for your visit. By putting in the hard work now, you will ensure that you experience an adventure of a lifetime. Have fun!