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A TRAVEL GUIDE ON HOW TO GET TO SEE THE GREAT BARRIER REEF BEST

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the most impressive marine ecosystem in the World and seeing it with an air tour is like seeing a mini Planet Earth before your eyes

The Great Barrier Reef, with almost 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands and stretching about 2,600km with millions of fishes is the largest and most diverse of all coral reefs in the World. That’s why is Great Barrier Reef so worth visiting, the only reef that can can even be observed from space.

WHEN TO GO TO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is from June to October as temperatures will be around 30 degrees celsius and there will be very few rainy day, improving water clarity and providing better snorkeling and diving conditions.

A good alternative to go to the Great Barrier Reef is in Australian Springtime from October to December., even if it might be more difficult to predict rainy days and lower visibility.

HOW TO GET THERE

You can get to the Great Barrier Reef by flying in to Cairns, as the biggest airport in Northern Queensland, or to Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine from any of the biggest airports in Australia such as Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.

As an alternative you can also drive from Brisbane to Cairns for a few days to cover the 1.600km distance or actually stop at nearer Airlie Beach (1.200km distance from Brisbane) from where you can also do excursions to the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Whitsunday Coast, with some of he best beaches of Australia.

OPTIONS TO VIST THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

You can take a boat excursion tour to visit the Great Barrier Reef from 3 main harbors: Port Douglas, Cairns and Airlie Beach. The duration of an excursion tour from Port Douglas or Cairn to the Great Barrier Reef will be 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on which “island” or reef area you will go. A great alternative can be leaving from Airlie Beach, in a boat tour that will take 2h30 minutes to arrive to the Great Barrier Reef. The advantage from leaving from Airlie Beach is that the snorkeling and diving spots will be less crowded and most likely more beautiful as corals are in much better conditions in the outer reefs

You can also take an airplane tour to see the Great Barrier Reef from the air. Again either from Cairns or Airlie Beach, both are great places to start this wonderful tour. Leaving from Airlie Beach you can see another nature wonder that is the Whitsundays area, considered the best beaches in Australia and even in the World. This can ideally be done when you are on Airlie Beach.

MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO DO A PLANE TOUR OF GREAT BARRIER REEF

When deciding to visit the Great Barrier Reef, I took not only in consideration doing a snorkeling/ diving tour but also how to combine it with the famous Whitsundays. So a flight over Great Barrier Reef the Whitsunday islands and a lunch in a deserted island was for me a once in a lifetime experience, so I decided to depart from Airlie Beach to do this tour.

Departure is early in the morning at around 9am. At first you start seeing the mountains around Airlie Beach, followed by the main Whitehaven beach and the various Whitsunday Islands (see my post on them too) before you start seeing the vast Pacific Ocean for 15-20 minutes.

After that some 10 minutes flying, you then see the first reefs from a distance, looking almost a mini-planet earth picture, a stunning view that I could have ever imagined. What threw me off my feet was that all reefs seemed to have some kind of shapes, in special the Heart-shaped reef, just incredible!

On the way back I could also see how amazing were the reef was avoiding the Ocean to enter the reef, like a wall protecting the corals from being swallowed by the big waves. This takes like 15-20 minutes but it felt for me much longer. I was so mesmerized with this wonderful tour of the Great Barrier Reef that I can definitely it was worth the investment. and then I still had the pic-nic on a desert island, just making this trip even more unforgettable. Therefore, I can highly recommend to do it.

For more information about this tour, please contact me or just drop me a comment.

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My name is Renato Azambujo. I live currently in Hamburg, but was born and raised in sunny capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I also lived in Switzerland for some years, before settling in Germany for the last years.

I am huge passionate about travel, photographer and a global explorer, always looking to the next destination.

I have so far visited over 70 countries across the 5 continents, because I really love knowing about new places, interact with different cultures and get to know myself better after each journey.

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