Australia's Great Barrier Reef is a favorite destination of local and international visitors. Since it extends some 2000 kilometers long north to south along the Queensland coast, visitors are sometimes perplexed as to how to get there. There are any number of access points by boat from the mainland, and some islands on the Reef may have landing strips for planes to come in.
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This is Australia's premier spot for divers and snorkelers and for people who just wish to laze away the days under a tropic sun and maybe do a spot of swimming, water skiing, or simply walking on some of the whitest sand beaches in the world. Visit the Great Barrier Reef on cruises from Queensland coastal towns or stay at any of the Great Barrier Reef holiday resorts.
Great Barrier Reef: Down Under Wonder
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One of the most accessible and popular islands on the Great Barrier Reef is Green Island, a 12-hectare coral cay set in a 710-hectare reef bed just about 30 kilometers from the far north Queensland city of Cairns.
Green Island: Coral Cay
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One of the more accessible resort islands on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton is nestled in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands.
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Heron Island is a coral cay along the Tropic of Capricorn some 72 kilometers east of the Queensland town of Gladstone. White sand beaches, clear blue waters, colorful reefs, interesting marine creatures are among its attractions.
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Hinchinbrook Island is a wilderness island popular for its eco-tourism activities. Go hiking on land and snorkeling in the water.
Hinchinbrook Island: Wilderness IslandContinue to 9 of 11 below.
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Bowen is the Queensland town close to Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday resort islands. Holiday in Bowen itself or cruise to the Whitsundays.
Bowen on the Whitsunday Coast
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Probably not as popular a jump-off point to the Reef but there are day tours and extended charters to take. Mackay lies between Cairns and Brisbane and a number of tropical islands lie just off the coast.
Mackay: Between Cairns and Brisbane
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Between Mackay and Cairns, you'll find the city of Townsville, the regional capital of north Queensland. It is, too, a jump-off point to the Great Barrier Reef.
Townsville: Between Mackay and Cairns