DISCOVER the Great Barrier Reef


At a Glance

Home to diverse marine life of the most vivid colours, the Great Barrier Reef is over 2,000km long and offers the opportunity for great adventure, both in luxury and on a budget. Relax on luxurious tropical islands, snorkel with Manta Rays, turtles and even spot the odd whale ... a holiday on the reef is all about the unforgettable nature that surrounds you. What else is there to say about the largest living structure on Earth? Except, that, like so many places there is far more to miss than see and by choosing the right trip with the right people, a whole world of incredible experience is waiting. The Great Barrier Reef offers the chance of guided day trips, extended stays or even liveaboard cruises. It's a destination that you would want to consider visiting time and time again.



A trip to the Great Barrier Reef can be combined with travel to:

  • ● Fraser Island (Southern GBR)
  • ● Hervey Bay (Southern GBR)
  • ● Cairns (Northern GBR)
  • ● Port Douglas (Northern GBR)
  • ● Atherton Tablelands (Northern GBR)
  • ● Whitsundays

When to visit

The southern GBR is a year-round visitor location. Water clarity is better in winter, so places like Lady Elliot and Heron Island are really good ... water temps are slightly lower but the experience can be better in the water. If you're considering an island stay, first quarter of the year is highest risk for cyclones. The winter dry season is better as well, because visibility conditions are better and there is less risk of stingers, which are only really a problem in the nearshore islands, such as immediately off Cairns. The outer reef is pretty safe year-round.  Seasonality is important for some wildlife experiences. Turtles are year-round and in the south, juveniles can be more commonly seen in the winter (particularly with clearer water) but nesting is Oct - Feb, hatchlings usually about Dec - Mar/Apr. Minke Whales are winter (Jun/Jul) and Manta Rays e.g. at Lady Elliot, are year-round.     


The climate in the Great Barrier Reef is very different north to south. For most of the year, however, the wind is a relatively brisk southeast 20 knots. This is worth considering when looking at liveaboard options. December is the calmest month, on average. Northerly winds are more prevalent in the first quarter of the year when tropical cyclones are more common in the north. 

Southern Great Barrier Reef

Northern Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Cruises

Click through to find out more.


Live Interview playlist

Watch our interview with Amy Gash, family leaseholder of Lady Elliot Island and our webinar about travel to the Great Barrier Reef with Caroline Densley, Amy Gash and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef CEO, Andy Ridley. 


Meet our travel specialists and learn about the diversity of things you could do in the Great Barrier Reef.

Films about the people, nature and places 

A playlist of videos from our National Landscapes Nature Series, featuring the people, wildlife and places of the Great Barrier Reef.