The Great Barrier Reef is the crown jewel of Australian nature: a massive, sublime stretch of wondrous coral beds and vibrant marine life.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Life

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid diver or simply want to see nature in its most spectacular form, the Great Barrier Reef truly has something for everyone in terms of surreal tropical splendour!

Given that the reef is so long (a cheeky 2,700kms to be close), it’s hard to pinpoint just how far the reef is from one jumping point. But, for the sake of it, let’s go with one of the top launching destinations for the reef in Cairns.

Trips to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns can take anywhere from 45 minutes (to see the gorgeous Green and Fitzroy islands) to 70 minutes (to enjoy the natural glory of the mid reefs) and 90 minutes (to explore the lesser-travelled outer reefs).

So, as you can see, the Great Barrier Reef isn’t some far away destination that takes days on a catamaran just to get to – it’s just about right on the Cairns shoreline!

So, now that we’ve got travel times out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the awe-inspiring activities that take place in this legendary part of the world…

Diving & snorkelling

The Great Barrier Reef easily ranks among the best places to dive and snorkel in the world, and it’s very plain to see why. The reef is home to thousands of vibrant marine species as well as miles and miles of colourful coral beds. Divers from Cairns to Cape Town revel in the opportunity to head out to the mid and outer reefs, with the likes of Michaelmas Cay, Flynn Reef, The Cod Hole and Osprey Reef providing some of the extended stretch’s most spectacular sea life.

A scenic helicopter tour

Prefer being in the air to below the sea? Well, the Reef has you covered there, too, with glorious helicopter rides that take you above this glistening dreamworld without having to set foot in the water! Scenic helicopter tours depart on the regular, providing you ample opportunity to marvel at this natural wonder from a birds eye view.

Chill out on Green Island

It’s not for no reason that Green Island has been granted the title: it’s a lush, tropical wonderland complete with scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, beach chilling and canoeing all on the fun-filled itinerary!

Related article: Stinger season on the Great Barrier Reef

Explore the Great Barrier Reef Tours from Cairns

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