As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of our Top 10 diving holidays destination. It covers 1,200 miles of ocean floor with varieties of fish, coral, and sharks. A great destination for both licensed and beginner divers, the Great Barrier Reef welcomes people of all ages.
The Great Barrier Reef has something for everyone
This particular underwater destination offers interesting underwater flora and fauna to intrigue even the most timid of swimmers. The reef is home to over 3,000 unique reef systems hosting everything from whales, sharks, dolphins, reef fish, and more! As if that weren’t enough, knowing that you have swam through the only living thing visible from space is a unique experience to cross off your bucket list. The reef varies in depths, and many outfitters offer both guided and unguided tours. Nonmatter what your age or skill level, the Great Barrier Reef has an underwater playground that’s perfect for you!
When to Visit
When planning a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s important to keep in mind that Australia’s climate is opposite of western countries. This means summer occurs from December to February in Australia, while winter occurs from June to August. That being said, many travelers shoot for trip during April or May to take advantage of the mild weather. If you are traveling during this time period, however, expect to pay high-season rates for most of your guided trips and hotel costs.
Where to Stay
Because Australia’s coast is such a large tourist destination, there are plenty of lodging accommodations for all types of budgets. The area around the Great Barrier Reef offers low-cost group housing options such as hostels and pristine 5-star hotels, making it easy for you to find a comfortable bed.
We highly recommend a 3 day and 2 night liveaboard experience; however we also will need a place to stay before and after it. Focusing in Cairns, there are plenty of options for all kind of budgets.
Along the Esplanade and surrounding streets at the city center we can find a lot of backpacker hostels like Caravella Backpackers, Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort Cairns or Cairns Waterfront Backpackers. Perfect for those trying to finish their trip on a tight budget, these hostels offers a dorm bed (shared room) for less than 20 US dollars or a single room for just 50 US dollars. These charming, centrally located places are also perfect for meeting other travelers!
For those who have a little more cash to spend, and would prefer having a true hotel room, one of the cheaper options just 5 minutes walk from the Esplanade is the Coral Tree Inn. There we can stay in our own air conditioned room with private balcony for less than 100 US dollar.
If you prefer traveling in Luxury, the Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa is the place to stay. This resort offers sophisticated rooms and ocean views. It is located only a short 25 minutes drive from Cairns, and hosts a full-service day spa with massages, heat treatments, and more. A room at the Pullman can run about 220 US dollar during the Australian winter, but can jump up close to 300 US dollar during the busy season from April to May.
For more hotel options in Cairns you can check here or use the search box.