The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction
It's one of the world's seven natural wonders. It's home to over 1,600 types of fish, 30 species of whale and dolphin, and 215 varieties of birds. And it's the planet's largest coral reef system. In fact, it's so big that astronauts have seen it from space. After dry land adventures along Queensland's East Coast, hit the water with professional marine biologists to explore this fascinating underwater world. Look out for clownfish peeking out of anemones, inquisitive Maori wrasse gliding below or turtles munching on seagrass.
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Highlights of the Great Barrier Reef
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Great Barrier Reef FAQs
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Most of our East Coast trips begin in Sydney, Cairns or Brisbane. Some of the most popular launching pads for the Great Barrier Reef are Airlie Beach, Townsville and Port Douglas. These destinations are all serviced by commercial airlines. It's also possible to drive to one of the towns near the Great Barrier Reef and access the wonders of the underwater world on a small group tour.
There are only two seasons along the reef – the dry season (winter) from May to October and the wet season (summer) from November to April. The temperatures are fairly consistent throughout the year with average highs of 30°C and lows of 21°C.
May through October is considered to be the best time to experience the reef as rainfall is low and water visibility is high. You may also see whales during their annual migration from the Antarctic.
If you're visiting between October and May, it's advisable to wear a stinger suit to protect yourself from possible jellyfish stings.
The Great Barrier Reef tends to be a casual place so you can leave your fancy clothes at home. Even if you're staying at a high-end resort, smart casual clothes are all you will need. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, even in winter, as the sun reflects off the water and white sand. Bring essentials such as basic medications with you won't find any shops when you're out exploring the reef.
In short, pretty much non-existent unless you're near one of the major tourist hubs such as Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays or on the mainland at a town like Airlie Beach.
Unless you're near one of the major tourist spots, it's unlikely you will be able to get a mobile phone signal.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. The abundance of sand in some parts of the Great Barrier Reef can make walking difficult for travellers who are less mobile on foot. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.