Diving, snorkelling and exploring the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system, comprised of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 square miles).

This underwater botanical garden is one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. It is a living home to over 6,600 species of marine plant and animal species including 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 species of molluscs and 360 types of coral.

Underwater, the Great Barrier Reef is the seemingly endless variety of corals, displaying every conceivable colour, shape and form. The gorgeous and positively gaudy fish and other marine animals that live among the coral reefs afford brilliant displays of multicoloured movement. Giant clams and small shells, starfish and sea cucumbers, anemones, turtles, eels, rays, sponges – there is just so much to see on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef.

Port Douglas is the closest town and departure point to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, with more than a dozen tours departing daily to the outer reef and Low Isles inner reef areas. There is a Port Douglas diving or snorkelling tour to Port Douglas reef locations available to suit everyone, whether you are a certified or novice diver, snorkeller or non-swimmer, with several different reef destinations to choose from.

Experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the amazing Great Barrier Reef. It is sure to be a holiday highlight for every visitor and an experience many will only ever dream of.

Where to go

 Port Douglas tours to the Great Barrier Reef will get you there quicker and will take you to dive sites of the most pristine parts of the reef including Agincourt, Opal, St. Crispin, Ribbon and Tongue reefs. Outer Barrier Reef tours can be a full or half day adventure, they can stop at a pontoon or multiple sites and they can offer snorkelling, diving, or both. Some tours also offer ‘stay dry’ options including glass-bottomed boats and semi-submersibles so that all reef goers can enjoy nature’s playground.
Low Isles is a coral island located 15 km (8 nautical miles) off the coast of Port Douglas and is an ideal spot for an inner reef adventure, if you wish to travel only a short distance. Low Isles is a protected coral cay and with strict visitor restrictions, you will enjoy your island paradise with only a small number of other guests. There is an abundance of sea life and coral and is the home of a large population of turtles. Spot them while snorkelling, on a glass bottom boat tour, or from above while on a Stand Up Paddle boarding tour. You can explore Low Island and learn about the island’s history and natural environment. Swim in the lagoon bay and see the active lighthouse – you might even see Low Island’s sole resident caretaker.
Cape Tribulation is the village where two spectacular World Heritage sites meet, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.  From the shores of Cape Tribulation beach you can snorkel around inner reef corals or for a view from the top, try a kayak. The peaceful sounds of flippers and oars encourage turtles and dugongs to pop up beside you for the ultimate sealife experience. If you want to venture to the most northern snorkelling sites that day tours take you, from Cape Tribulation you can go on a half day reef tour that goes to the pristine Mackay and Undine Reef systems.  

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