21st January 2015
As a UNESCO World Heritage site and world famous natural attraction, the Great Barrier Reef draws thousands of tourists each year from across Australia and all over the world. An incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is high on the bucket list of many travellers. While the idea of idyllic days spent submerged in crystal waters, tropical fish and colourful corals is very romantic, there's still the practical side to consider to ensure you enjoy and make the most of your time on the Great Barrier Reef.
For everything you need to know about visiting the Great Barrier Reef, check out the visitors information section. However, these top tips will get you off to a good start if you don't know very much about visiting the reef. For example, getting to the Great Barrier Reef is easier than you might think considering it's located right out in the middle of the ocean. The main gateway to the Great Barrier Reef is Cairns, which offers both international and domestic airports however there is also five rail services each week into Cairns and Tropical North Queensland.
Just a couple of hours north of Cairns, the Daintree Rainforest is another popular natural attraction that is often combined with a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. The best time to visit both of these attractions in during the 'Green Season', a dramatic and wildly beautiful season brought to life during the summer months. The eagerly awaited months from December to February offer the tropical flora and fauna the majority of its annual rainfall, also known as 'liquid sunshine' around these parts. Although occasionally wet, it's this season which showcases the region at its most beautiful and the showers don't interfere with snorkelling or diving trips.
Of course snorkelling and diving is exactly what you'll want to do here, getting up close and personal with the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Although stinger season doesn't affect water activities on the Great Barrier Reef itself, it's important to keep in mind that stingers are also at their most active during Green Season. So if you are spending time at the beach, ensure you stick to the large swimming enclosures provided to protect against dangerous jellyfish.