It’s one of the most talked about natural wonders of the world, home to golden sand covered islands, surrounded by tropical rainforests and bursting with wildlife.
The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is an underwater world as colourful, busy, weird, and wonderful as any of the earth’s great (above water) metropolis’, and right now it’s more accessible than ever.
To celebrate World Oceans Day on 7th June, the Great Barrier Reef will be coming to you for 12 unique and fascinating hours through #ReefLive, but more about that later (not that I want to give things away, but, if you can’t wait, see point 10 below).
In the mean time, as promised, here are 10 ways that you can explore the Great Barrier Reef – and yes, before you mention it, you’ll definitely want to do them all!
10 Ways to Explore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
Learn to Dive
Learning to dive feels like gaining VIP access into the most exclusive of clubs, and is your ticket to experience something you’ll never forget! Come face to face with a huge array of rainbow coloured fish, turtles, dolphins, sharks (the friendly kind) and who knows, you might even find Nemo!
You can spend 5 days off the sunny shores of Queensland and get your Pro dive PADI certificate for less than £500. With more than 2,900 coral reefs and thousands upon thousands of species of marine life waiting around each colourful corner, there’s no better place to learn to dive.
Snorkel your socks off
Snorkelling is a very different experience to diving – but no less enthralling. While diving may require training and practice, the great thing about a snorkelling trip is that once you’ve grabbed your cozzie and your mask, you’re ready to roll.
It’s the most calming and peaceful way to spy on life under the sea, and there’s no better place to snorkel anywhere in the world than the Great Barrier Reef. Don your goggles and get ready to explore, it’s literally just you and the reef, and there’s SO much to see!
Stay Above Water
If you’d rather stay dry, then it’s still possible to get your fix of life in the reef in the first person.
Jump aboard one of the many glass bottom boat trips, leaving from Cairns, Port Douglas and the Whitsundays, giving you the chance to peer deep into the nooks and crannies of the reef from the comfort of the deck, cold drink in hand.
Sail the Whitsundays
Imagine this; you and a group of your most fun travel buddies, set sail aboard a beer filled boat, in the glorious sunshine, cruising between the small islands of white sand that poke up above the turquoise water along the Great Barrier Reef.
You watch dolphins swim alongside you and you stop off in tropical lagoons to swim and snorkel with the residents of the reef.
Does that float your boat? Me too. Sail for up to 3 nights with our Whitsunday sailing adventures.
See the Reef From the Sky
The size of the Great Barrier Reef really has to be seen to believed – they don’t call it ‘great’ for nothing!
Take a scenic flight over the reef by helicopter or seaplane, to really comprehend and absorb the scale of it. Yes, It might cost a little more than an afternoon on a glass bottom boat, but this is the ultimate way to really appreciate the scale and landscape of the reef.
Do a dive intern course
Love diving? Love Australia? Love exploring the Great Barrier Reef? Then complete your dive master internship and you’ll become a fully qualified dive instructor with the relevant skills and qualifications needed to search for a job that allows you to make a living on the reef.
Work on a boat sailing around the Whitsundays
Another great way to earn a living on the Great Barrier Reef is to bag a job on a boat sailing the Whitsundays. You can improve your chances, and stand out from the crowd, by gaining experience before hand and learning to sail.
As far as working holidays go, this is a pretty epic option by anyone’s standards.
Visit Reef HQ
To be able to fully experience the reef it’s important to really understand it as a living breathing organism.
At Reef HQ in Townsville, Queensland, you can learn about the incredible and diverse array of marine wildlife that call the reef home and meet some of them in the centre’s huge aquarium.
You can also find out about conservation efforts happening to preserve what is one of the world’s most exciting and diverse eco systems.
Stay on an Island
Cast yourself away from reality and spend time enjoying a taste of paradise on one of the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Head to an island such as Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays or Green Island or Fitzroy Island off the coast of Cairns where you’ll wake up to an idyllic beach, and spend your days sipping cocktails or cold beers at beach-side bars and enjoy the sand between your toes.