Go snorkelling around the beautiful Great Barrier Reef​. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Fall in love with the Great Barrier Reef & Whitsundays

Head to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday islands where you can swim, snorkel and dive in a stunning coral reef filled with marine life. The Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef is in North Queensland and has crystal clear warm water, making it the perfect holiday destination all year-round.

The Great Barrier Reef is a whopping 2,300 kilometres (1430 miles), and is the largest coral wonderland in the world. It is home to stunning tropical fish and marine life, and is so beautiful that has been named as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
 
Floating among the coral reef is the stunning Whitsundays, which is made up of 74 tropical islands. A handful of these islands have been made into resorts and cater for all budgets and experiences. Some of the most popular resort islands include Hayman, Hamilton, Daydream, and South Molle.
 

 

What to do on the Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef

  • With beautiful warm waters all year round, you can swim and snorkelling with tropical fish, turtles, starfish, sea urchins, sharks, sting rays, and other marine life that live in the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef.
  • Scuba divers flock to the Great Barrier Reef to swim among the thousands of brilliantly coloured fish, coral, whales, dolphins and turtles. The local dive companies will take you exploring into this underwater paradise.
  • Hire a boat and go sailing or take a cruise around the Whitsundays, or go out in a glass bottom boat and view the coral reefs.​
  • Take a whale watching cruise.
  • Book a fishing tour where you can chase tuna, coral trout and mackerel.
  • Take a scenic flight around the Barrier Reef on a seaplane or helicopter.

 
Play some beach cricket on the Great Barrier Reef.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

  • Visit the beautiful white sands of the Whitehaven beach which is known as one of the best beaches in the world.

The Whitsunday Islands & how to get there

These Islands are near Mackay


Soak up a luxurious ocean massage on Hayman Island. Photo: One & Only Hayman Island.
 



 











Hayman Island

Hayman Island is an elegant, 5-star resort. It’s renowned as a wedding and honeymoon location, and attracts the rich and famous. It’s not cheap, but it is worth every penny. While you're there, treat yourself to an ocean massage.

Daydream Island

Daydream Island Resort & Spa is a tropical paradise complete with its own Rejuvenation Spa, open air cinema or surrounding National Park. This is a gorgeous island to recharge your batteries or to take the family for a holiday.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is the place where you can do everything or enjoy doing nothing. This large island is perfect for everyone – from couples, families, groups. It also has lots of accommodation to choose from including apartments, hotels, bungalows, and private homes. There’s also the Beach Club which is reserved especially for adults.

There’s a great range of restaurants and cafes to sample. As for activities, enjoy free use of catarmarans, canoes, windsurfing and snorkeling equipment. There’s also a selection of pools and sandy beaches to enjoy. Paid activities include scuba diving and snorkeling tours to the outer reef, golf, tennis bike riding, catarmaran and yacht hire. Check out the various accommodation options. 

Get the soft white sand between your toes on Whitehaven Beach. Photo: Tourism Australia

Tropical North Queensland Islands & how to get there

These islands are near Cairns

Lizard Island 

Lizard Island is a sophisticated, 5 star Resort. It’s luxurious and private, has its own airstrip and a National Park. You’ll enjoy some of the best scuba diving, snorkelling and game fishing in the world.

Go Kayaking on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, QLD.
Photo: Delaware North Companies

Green Island 

Green Island is just off Cairns, and is surrounded by a magnificent coral reef. You can either stay at the island resort, or spend the day there aboard one of the many cruises that stop off there for the day.
 

Fitzroy Island Resort 

Fitzroy Island Resort has white sandy beaches, sheltered waters, and is ideal for swimming and water sports.

Booking.com  

Go snorkelling around Lizard Island.
Photo: Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree

 

Magnetic Island 

Magnetic Island has a variety of family apartments, resorts and backpacker hostels, and visitors can enjoy kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, or simply relaxing and enjoying the cafes and restaurants.


What better way to enjoy time with the family on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Tourism Australia

Haggerstone Island

Haggerstone Island is a secluded and unspoilt island retreat. It has just 4 guest lodges, and you can only get there by light aircraft at certain times of the year. This is when you really want to get back to nature, and it’s right on the Great Barrier Reef.


 


Southern Barrier Reef Islands & how to get there

These islands are near Brisbane

The Southern Barrier Reef has 43 islands including the spectacular Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island. These islands are not far from Brisbane.
 

Heron Island

The Marine life on Heron Island is waiting for you. This beautiful island is actually on the reef, so you're never far from the sandy beach or the reef's edge.
 

Lady Elliot Island 

Lady Elliot Island is famous for its Green and Loggerhead turtle, Manta Rays, and birds. Snorkel, swim and dive in this rich marine wonderland.

 

 







 

See the stunning sea turtles on Lady Elliot Island. Photo: Sean Scott Photography