Nine incredible ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef in tropical north Queensland


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If you’re looking for a way to leave the stresses of the year behind and immerse yourself in a tropical vacation this summer, there’s no better place to escape than the Great Barrier Reef. From first-time snorkelers to die-hard divers, everyone will find an experience to let off steam off the coast of Queensland’s tropical north.

You can meet green turtles and manta rays, marvel at an abundance of fascinating corals, and wave a little wave to Nemo in its natural habitat. With north winds bringing calmer seas and incredible water clarity, there is no better time to experience the magic of the reef than summer.

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Queensland Tourism and Events


If your idea of ​​a perfect day at sea is seeing beautiful reefs and getting an insightful connection to the ocean, put Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel on your itinerary. This local team offers a unique experience and invites you to step into the dream time of the Great Barrier Reef.

When visiting a number of reefs that are unique to the tropical north of Queensland, you will be accompanied by First Nations Sea Rangers who are passionate about the sea and who prioritize reef protection and sustainable tourism. With Dreamtime, you’ll spend the day snorkeling some of the best reefs in the world, learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island traditions, as well as the cultural connection to the area.

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Queensland Tourism and Events


An exclusive experience awaits you with this exuberant trip to Vlasoff Cay – a jewel in the crown of the Great Barrier Reef. This sandy bay with a 360 degree view of the world famous reef is also accessible by boat, but the luxury experience is from the air. But to see the sights from above, book a full-day helicopter flight with eco-certified reef enthusiasts Nautlius Aviation.

You’ll spend hours with the sand between your toes, snorkeling and indulging in a gourmet picnic basket as you dry off in the mild tropical air. The Cay is a popular destination, so take advantage of the summer months and beat the crowds.

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Tropical North Queensland Tourism


IIf you’ve been dreaming of tropical islands since seeing Leonardo Di Caprio in the 2000 film The beach, it is high time to make your dreams come true with the Mission Beach Water Taxi. In addition to visiting some of the islands in Family Islands National Park, you’ll also visit the Great Barrier Reef.

To experience these incredible islands in tropical north Queensland, hop aboard the Mission Beach Water Taxi’s three-island tour. You’ll spend the afternoon island hopping and learning about the history of the area before swimming on a secret beach in the afternoon. And if an afternoon on the islands isn’t enough, consider a luxurious stay on Bedarra Island or get even closer to nature with an overnight camp on Dunk Island. And if you’re wondering how to get back to the mainland the next day, the water taxi is by your side.

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Grab eight of your closest companions and jump aboard the Aroona for an absolutely luxurious reef experience. Whether you’re exploring the reef on a day trip or escaping the mainland for a seven-day soiree, Aroona Luxury Boat Charters is the experience of your dreams.

Would you like to enjoy a packed excursion of fishing and kite surfing, or a quieter pace of snorkeling and cocktails on the upper deck? Thankfully, Aroona offers a flexibility and an abundance of options synonymous with the area. And there’s no better way to watch the summer rain over the rainforest than from the deck towards Fitzroy Island.

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Tropical North Queensland Tourism


Green Island is the epitome of the rainforest and ocean combination that Tropical North Queensland is famous for. As the name suggests, it is the only bay on the Great Barrier Reef that has a rainforest and pristine sand. In addition, Ocean Free is the only tour operator in Cairns that offers a personalized reef and island tour.

Ocean Free offers a tour with an exclusive reef berth on the island. With a very personal approach, at Ocean Free you can decide how you want to spend your day. Snorkel straight from the boat, try your hand at an introductory dive, or spend the day exploring the island’s rainforest. Then, return aboard Ocean Free to relax and marvel at Green Island over a colorful lunch.

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A day tour on Frankland Islands Reef Cruises takes you to more places in one day than you could visit anywhere else in the world in a week. And the tour features the shortest open water crossing to the reef in Cairns – ideal for those prone to seasickness.

Start the day with a short bus ride from Cairns through the UNESCO-listed Rainforest Mountains to the Mulgrave River. Here the luxurious river boat will take you downstream and across the sea to your base on Normanby Island. Then you have the day to explore this remote national park island. You can snorkel right on the beach or explore the reef and marine life a little further away on a guided snorkel safari. And be sure to take a stroll around the island with the tour’s marine biologist, who will help you spot the diverse wildlife that thrives in the island’s rainforest and rock pools.

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Queensland Tourism and Events


If you are looking for childhood wonders and extensive marine knowledge, then the Cairns Aquarium is ideal. Home to more than 16,000 specimens and ten different ecosystems, the aquarium is a window into the flora and fauna that make up the Great Barrier Reef – and it’s just a stroll from the bustling Cairns Esplanade.

Get inspiration from daily ecosystem talks, animal presentations, live diver feeds, and ocean touch’n’talk shows. Or, if a day of underwater wonders makes your stomach growl, head to the aquarium’s Dundee’s Restaurant for a delicious meal on the Daintree Deck and watch the warm tropical rain while taking an afternoon shower.

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Tropical North Queensland Tourism


If you are a die-hard snorkeling fan, you can have a memorable and eco-friendly experience off the coast of Port Douglas aboard Calypso Reef Cruises. Relax on Calypso’s special snorkel ship, which features comfortable day beds and spacious decks, before putting on your gear and meeting some of the world’s most exquisite marine life.

The vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine life at Opal Reef are visible just meters from the surface of the water, making it accessible to most swimming skills. The hardest part will be counting how many giant clams, stingrays, green turtles, and clownfish you will see.

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Treat yourself to a multi-day diving excursion

This multi-day live subscription experience is the ideal ocean vacation for accredited open water divers. Spirit of Freedom offers three-, four-, and seven-day excursions that take you to Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs, and Osprey Reef – some of the most impressive diving destinations in the world.

Experience shark dives, sheer walls of soft corals, manta rays and bright, lush tropical reefs with a rich biodiversity, coupled with hotel-quality amenities and first-class meals on this lush retreat. And did we mention the boat’s three decks for you to relax on? They are perfect for an afternoon excursion before setting off on a twilight dive.

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Ready to dive deep into the reef? For more information and to learn more about a summer vacation in Tropical North Queensland, visit their website.

Above: Queensland Tourism and Events

Posted on November 03, 2021 by

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