Great Barrier Reef
Located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, the legendary Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system with over 1,600 miles of breathtakingly beautiful underwater worlds and abundant marine life. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the reef stretches along the Queensland coastline from Bundaberg (‘the Gateway to the Reef’) to beyond Cape York.
There are over 900 islands and cays scattered over the warm waters, between the expanses of coral, ranging from small sandy cays to large, rugged continental islands rising above the sea level. Fraser Island, just south of the reef, is the largest island and offers UNESCO protected lakes, rainforest, sandstone pinnacles, river valleys and a 74-mile stretch of powdery soft sand beach.
Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef are the Whitsunday Islands, famous for their fantastic sailing conditions, pristine beaches and beautiful scenery. The warm waters teem with sea life and the acres of coral reefs that protect the island are perfect for diving and snorkelling. From the ancient 8,000 year old caves of Hook Island to the native tropical woodland and world-class beaches of Whitehaven, a stop off at some of these islands will enrich the best of cruising experiences.
- Dive in and see some 400 different kinds of coral and 1500 species of tropical fish.
- The Airlie Beach Lagoon is a large, stinger-free swimming enclosure on the shorefront and offers safe swimming for children.
- Take a walk along the quiet Monkey Beach whilst watching the sun set over the horizon.
- Take in the views of the picture-postcard setting of Airlie Beach from the top deck of your yacht.
- The SS Yongola shipwreck that sank during a 1911 cyclone outside Townsville, Queensland. Undiscovered for more than half a century, at 110m (361’) it is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks and although now protected (meaning you can’t dive inside) you can still see the rudder, masts, engine, steam rooms, portholes and nameplate. Encrusted with bright soft and hard corals, the wreck is loved by hydroids, sea fans, barracuda, sharks, giant gropers, sea snakes, turtles and rays.