Every year, the Great Barrier Reef attracts thousands of tourists from all around the world. Visitors flock the area to take a glimpse of the largest coral reef system that is so big, you can actually see it from space! Of course there is also the irresistible clear ocean that is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you are planning to visit the reef, chances are your first stop is at Cairns or Port Douglas since these two regions are the main gateway to the natural wonder. Thanks to the booming tourism of the area, there are many choices you can choose from when deciding how to tour the area. Here are some of the best tours for you to consider.
Silverswift Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive
If you want an inclusive snorkel and scuba diving cruise, the Silverswift Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive from Cairns can be a great option for you. This whole-day cruise will bring you to three popular dive sites in a luxurious catamaran. If you’re not that experienced, not to worry. Guides are onboard to help you gear up, either for snorkeling or scuba diving. Moreover, a lunch buffet and afternoon lunch are included to the 10-hour tour.
Fitzroy Island Day Trip
Want a Great Barrier Reef tour with a destination? A Fitzroy Island day trip is perfect for you! It is a whole-day tour from Cairns where you ride a boat on a 45-minute journey that showcase the breathtaking view of the ocean and the renowned reef.
Once you arrive on the island, you have a choice of lounging in the white sand beach or go snorkeling in the clear waters. You can also have a go at kayaking, and even hiking, thanks to the island’s lush ecosystem.
PADI Open Water Dive Course
If you are on the more experienced side of scuba diving and want to advance your skills while exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the 4-day PADI Open Water course is the right choice for you. Before heading out to the big blue, you get to practice in a classroom and a swimming pool with professional instructors first, to ensure that you’d be ready when traversing the open water. Hotel transfers are available during the four-day course, as well as diving equipment, a manual, and a photo certification card, among others.
Wavedancer Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour
This tour leaving from Port Douglas lasts approximately seven hours. You will ride a gorgeous sailboat that would take you to Low Isles and its surrounding beaches and reefs. The highlight of the tour is snorkeling with a marine biologist! You don’t only get to see majestic sea animals, you also get to learn about them from an expert. This tour is an ideal day for families with little children since the course does not set out to the open waters.
Scenic Reef and Rainforest Helicopter Flight
If you have a budget and want to witness the Great Barrier Reef up in the air, a helicopter tour may be the best option for you. You are given two flight choices between flying over the Great Barrier Reef and different islands or a longer one with the reef and over the Daintree National Park. Either way, you will see equally- amazing sceneries. The tour is guided by your pilot and of course, you get a lot of chances to take pictures in angles that not everyone gets to experience.
One of the most popular tour companies that caters to tourists seeking the Great Barrier Reef, Quicksilver Cruises offers a wide array of options no how you want to experience the reef. From snorkeling and scuba diving, you also have the option to walk the ocean floor or ride a semi-submersible for an underwater observation while you stay dry! The good thing is, Quicksilver Cruises also covers both Cairns and Port Douglas, so you can seek them out regardless of where you are staying.
Wavelength Reef Cruises
Taking pride in their low impact reef tourism, Wavelength Reef Cruises specializes in serving small groups of snorkelers who are looking for outer-reef snorkeling. Locally owned since 1986, you can take advantage of their small operation if you are looking for a more intimate way to explore reef. Their guided snorkeling tours are also led by marine biologists, which is an added bonus.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful parts of Australia and is definitely a must-visit when you’re in Queensland. From boat rides and snorkeling tours to scuba diving and helicopter rides, there are many ways to experience the majesty of this natural wonder. To ensure the preservation of the reef, make a conscious decision to seek out tour companies that are committed to sustainable tourism.