Visiting the spectacular Great Barrier reef, one of the seven wonders of the world, is on top of everyone’s bucket list when travelling to Australia. Trickling along the coast for a whopping 2,300 kilometres, the reef covers around 348,000 square kilometres of the ocean floor. But as it is in the deep waters of Australia, there are limited options to actually get to the Reef.

Boat

By far the easiest and most popular way to get them to the reef is by boat. With countless tours offering a day or more out on the reef, travelling from Cairns and back. The boats cruise along the clear sapphire waters, stopping off at reefs for an hour before hopping to the next one reef spot. This allows you to see a wide range of marine life, with different reef spots home to different plant and animal varieties. If you are the independent traveller, you can hire a boat and set out on your own (that is if you have the proper license.)

Helicopter

Spend a day amongst the clouds with breathtaking scenic flights from Cairns or Port Douglas. Here you can have a bird’s eye view of the spectacular reef. Being so substantial and distinct, it is easy to see the reef from afar, as it is even visible in outer space! This is the only way to see certain reefs, including the heart reef.

How to see it

Snorkelling

Float on the water’s surface and marvel at the colourful coral reef covering the ocean’s floor. Snorkelling is the easiest, cheapest, and most popular activity to do when visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Simply grab some flippers and goggles and set out, with even flotation devices available for the less confident swimmer.

Scuba Diving

If you want to get a little deeper, try out a scuba diving experience. With a wide range of diving experiences, including beginners to certified, even if you have no experience diving you can still join in. This activity is perfect for those who would rather not waste time swimming to the top of the water for air every minute but prefer to cruise along the ocean’s floor and interact with the wildlife up close and personal.

Glass Bottom Boat

Not a fan of water? Even if you aren’t a swimmer you can still experience the reef. The Glass bottom boat is a small boat with a large glass window on the boat’s floor, giving you a perfect window view of the underwater world. Don’t miss a thing as you whizz through the water!

Explore Our Great Barrier Reef Tours