There are many ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef, the world's longest reef system in the world. Home to around 10% of the world's fish species, this reef spans a massive 2,300km and features 2,900 individual reefs with 600 continental islands. Whether you're staying on an island along the reef system or you fancy a day trip from Cairns, this natural beauty deserves to be seen and marvelled at.
How to see the Great Barrier Reef
If you're travelling with a young family then day trips are the way to go with full or half-day trips to the outer reef departing daily from downtown Cairns. These tours can be organised before you travel or whilst you're staying in Cairns. The hotel you're staying at might be able to facilitate your booking. Some of the trips that are available include a First Nations tour with Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel.
If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous (and you don't have kids in tow), why not opt for an overnight 'sleep on the reef' trip? These trips run depending on demand and offer a good opportunity to experience the reef in all its natural glory.
Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
Once you get to the reef, snorkelling is ideal if you want to get the full reef experience and see the marine life it has to offer. The majority of the reef is calm and safe to snorkel in and your tour guide will ensure you're in a good spot to capture all of the reef's beauty. This also means that you don't have to be an exceptional swimmer to enjoy the sights. The natural swell and push of the water is enough to move you around without you having to do too much swimming.
There are a number of different reefs to visit and choosing which ones you want to go can be quite overwhelming (with that many options, who can blame you?) Your guide will be able to take you to the most popular reefs, generally the ones that offer spectacular views of the reef whilst also being close to facilities for your convenience.