The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia is one of the premiere attractions in the island continent. There you will find diverse marine life. It is also a great place to go diving.
How to Get There
One of the ways is to take a day trip reef boat. These run along the Queensland coast. The nearer north you depart from, the longer the trip will be.
The ideal departure point is far north. Generally, it is best to leave in the early morning. Most of these services can be obtained at Gladstone, Mackay, Airlie Beach Cairns and Cape Tribulation coastal towns. You can also hire a yacht or independent boat.
What to See
There are many diving services in the area. Most of the tourists learn the basics at Port Douglas or Townsville, Cairns. If you don’t know how to dive, you can take a 2 day classroom and pool course. This will be followed by actual diving to the reef. There are also many three day liveboards in the area.
You can spend a couple of days and nights on the boat. Plus you can go snorkeling as well. If you are serious about diving, the best option is the 5 to 7 day liveboard. The southern reef at Townsville is the sight of the Yongala wreck, which sank in 1911. There are also many coral and fish there.
Based on research, the oldest skeleton deposits at the area go back 500,000 years. According to the GBRMPA, the oldest reef structures appeared 600,000 years ago. The present structure emerged 20,000 years ago. During that period, the sea level was 380 ft lower that the present time.
As sea levels climbed, the corals were able to grow taller than the coastal plain hills. The time came when the corals became higher than the hills. The age of the living reef is 8,000 years old.
The resort rates vary depending on length of stay, number of people with you, season etc. Generally, you can expect to spend $300 per day in one of these cottages. Sailing boat tour prices are around $380 to $400 per individual for 2 day liveboard. A three day liveboard starts at $540. This includes all needed equipment.
The best way to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is to go diving. Land based diving lessons cost at least $500. Courses with liveboard begin at $750.