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Things to do on the Great Barrier Reef

If you’re looking for some of the best things to do on the Great Barrier Reef, you’ve come to the right place. From scenic helicopter flights and seaplanes, to reef cruises and tours, and Great Barrier Reef snorkelling, you’ll find the best experiences for exploring Australia’s greatest natural wonder. If you’ve never seen this world heritage listed coral reef, then we definitely recommend ticking it off your bucket list with an experience from RedBalloon today!

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Great Barrier Reef Tours

If you’ve never seen the Great Barrier Reef in person but it has always been on your bucket list then today’s the day you stop dreaming and starting experiencing! Whether you take to the sky, sea or the deep below there are plenty of different ways to explore one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It’s the only living thing on Earth visible from space which means no matter what the distance, there is great beauty to be discovered in the breathtaking coral reef.

Where is the Great Barrier Reef?

If you haven’t heard much about this reef then the first thing to know is that it is located off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Stretching 2,300km in length, this ecosystem is larger than the Great Wall of China and home to thousands of reefs and marine life. There are also a number of Islands to stay and explore during your trip to the reef including some of the most famous locations like Hamilton Island, The Whitsundays, Hayman Island and Lizard Island to name a few. You can also access the reef from mainland Tropical North Queensland from areas including Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach and Townsville.

What activities you can do at the Great Barrier Reef?

There are no shortage of activities and Great Barrier Reef tours available on RedBalloon that will leave you spoilt for choice. Whichever way you choose to explore this amazing place you’ll experience some of the most breathtaking and picturesque scenery and marine life on earth. To help you pick what to do here are a list of our top 5 things to do on the Great Barrier Reef.

  1. Snorkelling is definitely one of the top things to do on the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you’ve done it before or it’s your first time, there is no better way to explore this natural wonder then by jumping in and visiting the world below the sea. Swim through the crystal clear waters to discover the vivid colours of the tropical fish surrounding you, which will take your breath away.
  2. Jumping on board a cruise is one of the best Great Barrier Reefs tours on offer. Whether it’s on a sailing boat, catamaran or cruise, these are one of the best and most relaxing ways to experience the reef. You’ll enjoy travelling around to some of the most spectacular and beautiful outer reef destinations and often they include the option for in-water activities. After your Great Barrier Reef cruise, you’ll feel truly grateful at all the amazing things you go to discover making it the perfect activity for both tourists and locals!
  3. Take to the sky with a helicopter flight over the coral Barrier Reef. This is definitely one of the best vantage points to discover the crystal clear waters and vibrant colours of the ecosystem below. To top of it off, the sky’s the best way to see heart reef – the famous composition of coral that is naturally formed into the shape of a heart. It should definitely be on top of your must-do list if you’re looking for things to see during your Great Barrier Reef holidays.
  4. Being able to tick off Great Barrier Reef diving would be a pretty amazing experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a certified scuba diver, you’ll find the perfect experience for you on offer at RedBalloon. The feeling of being able to dive into the deep blue sea, swimming through the coral and discovering the hundreds of different marine life inhabiting the reef will be an experience you remember for years to come. Try one of the RedBalloon  scuba diving Great Barrier Reef experiences today!
  5. Last but not least, our 5th pick would definitely be to visit Whitehaven Beach. Known for its picturesque white sand and located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Only accessible by boat or sky, the 7km stretch of white sand, washed by swirls of turquoise blue and green water, is something you have to see to believe! It truly is one of the most unspoilt places in the world that should be visited at least once in your life.

When is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef?

With a RedBalloon experience, you can enjoy visiting the Great Barrier Reef all year round! However, for the best weather and water conditions, the most recommended time to go is June through to October as you’ll enjoy clear waters and balmy weather. During November through to May you may experience tropical seasons and rain pour but if that is the only time you can go don’t worry because there are still plenty of things to do on the Great Barrier Reef during this period. Also, this period is also known as ‘stinger season’ because of the jellyfish and Irukandji that can be dangerous for swimmers. If you want to go swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving during stinger season you still can but we recommend you wear a stinger wetsuit to help protect you!

Gateway destinations for the Great Barrier Reef

Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef

Located in Tropical Far North Queensland, this town is on the Coral Sea making it the perfect base for visiting the reef. There are plenty of amazing Great Barrer Reef tours and snorkelling experiences departing from Port Douglas including the Outer Barrier Reef cruise, snorkel and lunch package. This all-inclusive tour will get you up close and personal to the wild marine life and the stunning underwater landscapes this protected marine park is recognised for.

Cairns Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is a city in tropical Far North Queensland and considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of amazing reef tours, snorkelling and scuba diving adventures departing from Cairns, making it a great location to stay. For the ultimate experience, enjoy a Great Barrier Reef cruise, dive, snorkelling and heli flight package leaving from Cairns. You’ll get to explore this world-heritage wonder on a full day cruise before enjoying a scenic helicopter flight over Hastings Reef.

Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef

There are over 74 Whitsunday Island that lie between the northeast coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Whilst most of these are uninhabited, some of them are the perfect spot to stay and explore the surrounding coral reef. The 5 night Long Island beachfront bungalow stay for 2 people is located in the heart of the Whitsundays. Enjoy a blissful getaway enveloped by beautiful beaches, pristine coral reefs and swaying palms.

Airlie Beach Great Barrier Reef

Located in the Whitsunday region, Airlie Beach is the perfect mainland base for exploring this beautiful part of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a range of experiences departing from this coastal area including a full day reef adventure with lunch. Cruise out to the Barrier Reef taking in the magnificent underwater world before enjoying a scrumptious lunch and drinks onboard.

Whether you’re looking for Great Barrier Reef tours Cairns, Port Douglas reef tours or anything from the Whitsunday Islands, you’ll find the perfect activity from our range of experiences. There are plenty of amazing Great Barrier Reef attractions and experiences on offer at RedBalloon! Don’t know which one to pick? Don’t worry, you can always choose a gift voucher and decide later. A gift voucher can be used to purchase any experience or product on the Great Barrier Reef including any accommodation available on RedBalloon. Find out more about our gift vouchers.

Things to do in Tropical North Queensland

Whilst enjoying things to do on the Great Barrier Reef, why not discover our whole range of Tropical North Queensland experiences. North Queensland is the perfect base for day trips and visits not only to the Great Barrier Reef but also the Daintree Rainforest. Discover cruises, snorkelling tours, accommodation packages and plenty more experiences in TNQ on RedBalloon.

Things to do in Queensland

Discover these Great Barrier Reef tours and plenty more experiences from the RedBalloon range of things to do in Queensland. You’ll never be short of things to do in the sunshine state with activities in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and plenty more destinations.

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