Australia’s Great Barrier Reef — A Cruising Guide – – Cruise Traveller

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef — A Cruising Guide –

Turtle Bay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia – by Port Douglas & Daintree Tourism – Tourism Australia

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

By Ted Scull – see the full article at:

Planning a trip to Australia, a continent roughly the size of the United States, presents a daunting prospect. It’s just over 2,000 air miles from Sydney on the east coast to Perth on the west.

The Great Barrier Reef, the subject of this article, is no less than 1,250 miles long, though it is not one continuous coral wall but consists of 1,500 major and 1,000 minor separate living reefs.

Yes, climate change has taken a toll on some stretches, but large sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, are still intact and more than worthwhile for those interested in experiencing one of nature’s wonders.

Besides providing the home for over 1,500 species of fish, the reef forms the base for countless sand cays and hundreds of permanent uninhabited and habited islands that attract divers, snorkelers, fisherfolk, hikers, campers and those seeking plain or fancy resort life.

Where do you fit in?

An island holiday is a popular way to get to know one small part of the Barrier Reef, while a cruise of from a few days to a week gives the best overview of the many diverse attractions.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – image: Tourism Australia

Small Ship Cruises — Preferred

Some large cruise ships include the Great Barrier Reef in their seasonal South Pacific programs, and several small ship operators provide multiple-day cruises from Queensland ports with Cairns the most popular embarkation port.