The Great Barrier Reef has an abundance of reefs and islands to visit, so where should you go?

Many will travel down under to see the renowned Great Barrier Reef in person. But most of the time, visitors won’t know where to start! Being the biggest living thing on earth, spanning 2,300 kilometres and covering roughly 348,000 square kilometres, it’s hard to know where to stop. But don’t despair as we are here to narrow things down for you.

We’ve taken some of the guess work out of choosing which islands to visit with our list of the best reef reef spots you can’t miss during your tropical holiday!

For the unsure swimmers: Saxon Reef

The Saxon Reef is flooded with unbelievable colour, with a perfect blend of blues, greens, pinks, and oranges. What makes this reef so unique, however, is its range of both deep and shallow areas, letting inexperience swimmers take a break from the endless paddling. Saxon Reef offers visitors the choice to swim around the deep ends, or simply watch the passing marine life swim past in the shallows. Saxon Reef is fantastic if you’re travelling in a group, providing an experience that caters to the skill level of everyone.

A snorkeler and diver’s paradise: Hastings Reef

Only a short boat ride from Cairns, Hastings reef is 10 square kilometres worth of underwater wonder. Here you can see every type of coral the reef has to offer. Marvel at fire, plate, pillar and brain corals in an assortment of colours. As it possesses an excellent mix of wall dives and shallow corals, you can snorkel and then scuba dive without having to jump reefs. What are wall dives you ask? Walls in the scuba world are essentially underwater cliff faces. Hastings Reef is famous for its many deep coral cliffs which can be explored when diving. With such an abundance of coral there are plenty of incredible animals to see. Keep an eye out for Marlin and Nemo, as clown fish are particularly common around this reef!

Where the reef meets the rainforest: Green Island

Green Island is the best coral cay within the Great Barrier Reef, being the only island in the entire area with a full-grown rainforest on top. This ancient area has been a hub for marine life for thousands of years and a home base for fish, birds, and mammals for generations. Here you can spend the day hopping into the shallow reef shores and drying off while trekking through the thick rainforest. Seeing both marine and land wildlife all in one day!

Where metal meets nature: Moreton Bay

Back in the 1960’s, fifteen ships were deliberately sunken Moreton bay’s shores, forming a safe waterfront for the local boats. Over the years the shops have become an iconic stable to Moreton Bay, with the marine life taking over. Take a snorkel around these massive ships, seeing the rusting metal blend together with swarms of wildlife. Now not just a barrier for the waterfront, but its own reef system, with smaller creatures using the interior of the ship as a safe haven and home.

Related article: Can you swim on the Great Barrier Reef?

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