The Best Gateways to Great Barrier Reef

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Great Barrier Reef, Picture courtesy – cloudfront.net

Clouds of reef fish and corals, French frigate shoals, NWHI

Picture courtesy – thestandarddaily.com

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Picture Courtesy – wordpress.com

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Great Barrier Reef, Picture courtesy – staticflickr.com

The Great Barrier Reef stretches to over massive 2300km along the coast of Queensland. It runs from just below the Tropic of Capricorn to the frontier of Papa New Guinea. It is undeniably the biggest underwater realm, where habitats of more than 1500 species of fishes thrive and along with numerous types of sponges, mollusks and corals. Boasting about 2900 individual reef, Great Barrier Reef holds bigger area than England, Scotland and Whales collectively.

Its goliath size often leaves people bewildered when planning a trip here. Most people choose to go on day trips from much enchanted Cairns, but there are several other gateways as well. Here’s our pick of top ways to explore the reef.

Port Douglas

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Port Douglas Carnival, Picture Courtesy – carnivale.com.au

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Picture Courtesy – cairnsholidayspecialists.com.au

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North cairns; Picture Courtesy – salamandatravel.com

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Dive operator, Picture Courtesy – cairnsdiveschool.com.au

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Corals, Againcourt Reef; Picture Courtesy – diveplanit.com

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Picture Courtesy – blogspot.com

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Snorkeling, Againcourt reef; Picture Courtesy – blogspot.com

Just drive for an hour towards the north Cairns, a slow-paced beach town where choices of snorkeling and diving abound. Keep in mind to book a trip to outer reefs which are less blemished than those closer to the mainland.

The most profound site here is Agincourt Reef, a complex network of reefs which to its bounty Barracuda Bommie, Helms Deep as well as the Castle Rock. Not to mention the Agincourt is the sumptuous smorgasbord of submarine wilderness including coral gardens, packs of barracudas and giant clams.

Lizard Island

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Lizard Island, Picture Courtesy – rarewallpapers.com

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Picture Courtesy – wordpress.com

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 Lizard Island Resort; Picture Courtesy – queensland.com

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Bush Camping; Picture Courtesy -fdncms.com

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Picture Courtesy – greatbarrierreef.org

If you continue to head northwards, you will find a 1000-hectare national park just about 27km off the coast. It has under its badge, 24 enticing white-sand shorelines alongside gin-clear waters and profound corals encircling the island. To find many iconic Snorkeling sites, you just need to wade out from the beach.

Divers can opt for easily available trips to two best dive site of Australia; Pixie Bommie and Cod Hole. However unlike the flourishing snorkeling and dive sites you have to choose from only two lodging options: Bush Camping which is more authentic and rustic and Lizard Island Resort which is soaked up in opulence.

The Whitsundays

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Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday; Picture Courtesy – greatbarrierreef.org

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Picture Courtesy – nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

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National Park, Whitsunday; Picture Courtesy – queensland.com

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Hook Islands, Picture Courtesy -panoramio.com

The 74 islands of Whitsundays have kept postcard vendors in business for almost a century now. Marked by turquoise waters, coral atolls, palm swayed shorelines and Bushwalks which peers through its wilderness packed National Parks. There are plentitude of options for exploring the reef: you can choose to base in Hook Islands, where you will find some of the best Scuba diving and Snorkeling in the whole of continent. Stay in five star resorts of Hayman or Lindeman Islands. Alternatively stay on the Airlie Beach on the mainland’s coast and take day trips to various islands.

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