Off the coast of North Queensland lies a colourful coral reef so majestic it will make you question why Nemo ever left the sea anemone.

 

The Great Barrier Reef is, stretches over 2,600km in length and covers 344,400km2, making it the largest coral reef in the world. Home to 1,625 species of fish, 600 types of coral, 133 types of sharks and rays and 6 species of sea turtles. There is no shortage in snorkel sensations to look out for. 

There are plenty of spots all along the coast of North Queensland to experience the natural world wonder. With 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands there are more than enough spots to go for a snorkel and explore.

Townsville harbour

© Megan MacKinnon

Cities To Keep Your Sights On

Port Douglas, rated number three for Australian Traveller magazine’s ‘best towns in Australia list. This tropical town has the Daintree Rainforest, Coral Reef and Mossman Gorge all in a close perimeter.

Cairns, it may be the gateway to some of Australia’s most memorable wilderness experiences, however there are plenty of reasons to linger in this blissful Tropical North Queensland city.

Townsville, fall in love with this reefside city. A former mining town turned army town turned university town, and the unofficial capital of Tropical North Queensland.

Bundaberg, is the sweetest town you’ll find in Queensland, known for its sugar, rum and ginger beer. Make sure you check out this cute coastal community.

 

Sensational Sea Life

This remarkable reef is home to millions of fascinating creatures from the peculiar humphead wrasse to the always loveable clownfish. And there are loads of ways to see them from a safe distance – snorkelling tours, boat charters and marine discovery centres on the islands. Here are a few fabulous fish to keep an eye out for.

 

Turtle on Great Barrier Reef

© Tourism and Events Queensland

Marine turtles

6 of the world’s 7 endangered marine turtles can be spotted while visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Greens, Loggerheads and Hawksbills are regulars in North Queensland. While Flatbacks and Olive Ridley are known to live in the neighbourhood, they are little more elusive. Unfortunately, Leatherbacks have become extremely rare.

 

dugong great barrier reef

© Australian Marine Conservation Society

Dugong

A personal favourite animal to spot is the Dugong. These medium size mammals can reach up to 3.5 metres long and nearly weigh one ton. The unique mammal has a tail like a whale but is in fact closer related to an elephant.

 

Humphead wrasse swimming

© Tourism QLD

Humphead Wrasse

Humphead Wrasse is another peculiar creature that you might come across while on a reef tour. These reef fish can grow up to 2.3 metres long and weigh almost 200kg. You’ll most likely find them looking for hard shelled prey such crustaceans.

 

© Tourism QLD

Clownfish

Clownfish are also worth keeping your eyes peeled for, they tend to live in beautiful sea anemone scattered around the reef, although sea anemones are mostly poisonous only to their prey, some species are known to be highly toxic to humans. So keep your distance and refrain from touching the sea spaghetti!

 

Helipad on the Great Barrier Reef

© Tourism QLD

Tropical Tours


There are many tours on the coast of Queensland that will take you to look at the tremendous views that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. The adventurous can grab a snorkel and dive right into the world beneath the waves, while others can go on a glass bottomed boat and explore the reef while staying nice and dry.

Be sure to check out other spots throughout Queensland and read more about the adventures you can go on here.

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