The Great Barrier Reef
Comprising of 900 tropical islands, thousands of varieties of marine life, and visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef exists in a league of its own in terms of scale and magnificence. The world’s largest coral reef is located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and is named one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The Reef is not only one of Australia’s most breathtaking attractions, but also one of the planet’s most sought-after destinations. A stay in Cairns is not complete without visiting this unparalleled spectacle.
Tour operators offer a wide variety of day trips to the Great Barrier Reef which departs from the Cairns coast each day. Whether you wish to snorkel, dive, sail, or even see the Reef from the air, there will be a day trip tailored for you. The once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming through the exquisite coral gardens among a myriad of marine species, however, makes the diving tours particularly popular. Companies such as Seastar, Reef Quest and Great Adventures offer such an aquatic adventure.
Depart from Marlin Wharf on a luxurious catamaran complete with a bar, sundeck and freshwater showers, and enjoy morning tea on deck as the boat speeds through the turquoise surf out to the Reef. Most tours stop up to three times at renowned dive sites where you can choose to swim, snorkel or dive among a vividly iridescent world of coral and sea life, including turtles, anemones, stingrays and a host of tropical fish. Beginners can stick to snorkelling or attempt an introductory dive, whilst more competent divers can venture deeper and embark on certified scuba dives. Afternoon tea and a buffet lunch is provided in between dives to maintain your energy levels, and as the day draws to a close, relax on deck with a cocktail and soak in the oceanic paradise around you.
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