We usually picture an amazing snorkeling experience whenever someone mentions the Great Barrier Reef. After all, what better way to see the thousands of individual reefs and the hundreds of beautiful isles, each with their own colorful display of coral formations? And how about the veritable display of fish and other sealife wonders marching before your very eyes? It’s the world’s largest living entity, so to speak.
But diving deep into the waters isn’t the only way to experience the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. There are definitely other ways to experience everything the world-famous natural wonder has to offer. Here are 5 more options:
Stay On A Wonderful Island
Go island hopping on the Great Barrier Reef, or pick out the most special ones that provide the best experience. For instance, you’ll find some prime spots just off the renowned Cairns islands that are great for snorkeling sessions and swimming activities without having to jostle with the rest of the tourists. You can even make arrangements to stay the night under the stars!
The Fitzroy Island is one of the few islands that can accommodate all that and more. The beachfront access will be your springboard for swimming and snorkeling. Take a leisurely stroll around the inviting rain forest bush walks if you love the feel of the land on your feet. Stay in any of the 99 rooms of the Fitzroy Island Resort and you can say that you’ve spent the night on the Great Barrier Reef!
Explore In A Glass-Bottom Boat Or Semi-Submersible
You can admire all the nautical sights, corals and the diverse number of fishes and aquatic life without ever getting your feet wet on the Great Barrier Reef. Check out the sea floor and all the undersea wonders by renting a semi-submersible or a glass-bottom boat. The submersibles themselves are a nice touch – the recessed seating and the submerged views can really immerse you and make you feel like you’re on a real submarine passing through the reef.
Reef boat outfitters are the best places to get into a boat tour. The semi-subs from Quiksilver are a notable experience; it zips through the sea formation and let you see coral gardens, technicolored fish and sea turtles. The Fitzroy Island also offers glass-bottom boat rides during nighttime for an enthralling experience.
Visit The Outer Reef Pontoons
Get ready for an all-in-one Great Barrier experience when you head on to the excellent pontoons via catamaran trips. The reef pontoons are permanently fastened via anchors and are amazing adventure islands by themselves. The harbor from Cairns will take you out to any of the following- Great Adventures, Sunlover Reef Cruises, Reef Magic Cruises and the Quicksilver Cruises, located a bit further north of Cairns. Here, you’ll see the Outer Great Barrier in all its glory and get to enjoy the ocean terrain set before you.
The largest pontoon adventure offering is through Quicksilver, with most of the outings providing unforgettable experiences on viewing the Agincourt Reef marine life and the surrounding coral gardens. There’s both wet and dry excursions and programs available- underwater observatory viewing, semi-sub boat tours, unlimited snorkeling sessions and an informative presentation via a qualified marine biologist. Buffet lunch is usually included in the package. Some other extra activities include helicopter flights, snorkeling tours, and scuba diving.
Dive In Via Scuba Doo Ride Or Helmet Dive
Get to see all the Great Barrier Reef without getting your feet wet. Is it possible? Why yes, with help from outer reef pontoon companies offering great excursions such as the Ocean Walker outing. It allows the visitors to walk through an underwater platform as fresh air is provided down the helmet dome. Green Island tourists can go for a similar tour with the Seawalker adventure, except they get to walk on the actual seafloor.
Ride the Scuba-Doo, which is an underwater scooter being offered on the Great Adventures. You won’t need to wear a breathing mouthpiece or mask. Just put your head into the dome and ride the undersea waves for a truly unforgettable time.
See The Great Barrier Reef From Above
Wonder at just how huge the Great Barrier Reef is from above via a helicopter tour, courtesy of GBR Helicopters. The chopper flies out of Port Douglas and Cairns and takes the passengers for a scenic view of the rain forest and the reef. You can also get the Cairns Seaplanes tour to soar over the reefs and cays, with options to land and enjoy a picnic on inviting beach islands or take a landing just right beside the Green Island.