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Great Barrier Reef, Australia Vacation Travel

More About Great Barrier Reef - Editor's Tips - Weather Maps & Dining

When to go?
Try to visit the Great Barrier Reef between May and October. Otherwise, during the summer, you will appreciate the pleasant climate (it is not hot like it is in the West). Note that the Reef receives its rain and humidity between November and December, as well as between March and April. January is your window for the clearest diving visibility. Lastly, arrive between August and October, and you stand a good chance of sighting humpback whales on Fraser Island.

Where to stay?
Dedicated reef tourists often stay on one of its nearby islands. Hamilton is popular and convenient, while Bedarra, Hayman and Lizard boast world-class resorts, and families opt for Daydream Island. Serious divers prefer live-aboards (2 to 10 day excursions that move scuba spots daily). In Queensland (two hours from The Reef), head to Cairn where hotels offer a good city base for a variety-packed trip. Alternatively, head north to Port Douglas, south to the beach resorts of the Gold Coast - or venture to a B&B in the nearby Australian countryside.

What to do?
Snorkel, dive, helicopter, sea plane or glass-bottom boat your way through the 1200 miles of this magical submarine world. Along the way, think of its beauty like delicate lace, and look but do not touch. With over 400 types of living coral, breathtaking starfish, sea anemones and turtles to visit with, you may never want to resurface! However, there are plenty of great area hikes. Nearby Queensland also offers plenty of Aussie charm - plus attractions like exotic wildlife parks, rainforests and botanical gardens, macadamia plantations and even a scenic railway.


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