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Great Barrier Reef Experiences

  • Written by Liz Inglis



A waterslide, luxury vessels and island time with the kids are among the exciting new Great Barrier Reef products in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef.  

Why jump into the Great Barrier Reef when you can slide into it at Sunlover's new Moore Reef pontoon. The 45-metre long structure boasts one of the region's largest reef sundecks and the Great Barrier Reef's first floating spaghetti jet waterslide.

Sunlover has also launched a second pontoon experience at Arlington Reef, one of the largest reef systems in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The mid-shelf reef has a 25km wave-breaking reef crest that provides a massive sheltered lagoon and a tight mosaic of smaller patch and platform reefs.

New diving and snorkelling sites are accessible on the Great Barrier Reef with the arrival of Passions III in Cairns. Passions of Paradise has unveiled its 25m reef vessel which is one of the fastest commercial sailing catamarans in Australia.

Deep Sea Divers Den has expanded from Cairns to Port Douglas where the luxury liveaboard catamaran, AquaQuest, will leave for the Great Barrier Reef. AquaQuest has guided and non-guided buddy dives as well as the opportunity to dive on enriched air nitrox allowing more time under the water.

Passengers travelling on Quicksilver's Outer Reef cruises can learn more about the Great Barrier Reef through an innovative Interpretive Hotspot onboard Quicksilver VIII and Quicksilver V. Use your smartphone or tablet to log on and find out more about the amazing marine life you have seen.

Lizard Island is opening its doors during the July and September school holidays for Family Time. Relax as your children participate in nature-based activities from snorkelling adventures on the Great Barrier Reef and pirate treasure hunts to walks with guides.

Fly between the Reef and the Rainforest on a Heli Tours North Queensland flight over the Great Barrier Reef Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas. The 40-minute scenic flight takes you to your Port Douglas accommodation.

Holiday Centre provides fast bookings for experiences on the Great Barrier Reef

Dive with sharks on a Mike Ball Dive liveaboard expedition to the Coral Sea. The four-night journeys travel 222km offshore to remote reefs where seamounts rise steeply from the sea floor attracting sharks and other pelagic fish.

Sail from Port Douglas to the Outer Great Barrier Reef with SV Aquarius and explore the coral gardens of Horseshoe Bay at Tongue Reef on a guided snorkel tour or a coral viewing boat. www.tropicaljourneys.com

Visit the Frankland Islands, a group of uninhabited tropical islands surrounded by coral reefs. Frankland Islands Cruise and Dive offers snorkelling, guided walks, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, Sea Doo (underwater sea scooter), helmet diving and an inflatable playground.

Visitors with limited time can explore the Outer Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas in just half a day with Calypso. Enjoy almost two hours of snorkelling at a reef site directly from the back of the vessel. www.tropicaljourneys.com

Sail to the Great Barrier Reef from Cape Tribulation aboard the new luxury catamaran Sailaway IV. Guests can step off the sandy beach of Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest and be at a pristine outer reef in an hour. See the sunset from Port Douglas with Sailaway VI in the evening or visit Low Isles for a full-day of sailing.

Celebrate your trip to the Great Barrier Reef with a photograph at the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef on the Cairns Esplanade from September. Designed by acclaimed Torres Strait Islander artist Brian Robinson as part of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef initiative, the iconic sculpture tells the Reef creation story of local Traditional Owners and will be installed in August. citizensgbr.org

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