Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef means getting to experience one of the most famous reefs and the largest in the world. With so many snorkeling sites, so many marine species and such an array of colour; Great Barrier Reef snorkeling will not disappoint. You will glide over water which has an average of 40m (120ft) visibility with the most colourful corals and their inhabitants. Located off the coast of Queensland, Australia with tropical weather and warm water temperatures, it is possible to snorkel here all year round. Most snorkel spots are only accessible by boat, so have a look at our website if you are hoping for a liveaboard snorkel experience.
MARINE LIFE IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
If it is taken into consideration that this is the world largest coral reef, it definitely lives up to its reputation with the high amount of diversity of marine species. There are almost an uncountable number of reef fish including Clownfish, Angelfish, Batfish and Butterfly fish; which all brighten up the reef even more with their exquisite colours and adding to the already rainbow coloured corals. Nudibranchs and shrimp can also be spotted within these corals. Some of the larger spectacles which you might run into here are Reef sharks, Green and Loggerhead turtles, sea snakes, Cuttle fish and large Manta Rays. Between June and December Minke whales, dolphins and Humpback whales travel through the Great Barrier reef, so keep an eye out!
BEST SNORKEL SITES IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
There are an incredible amount of sites to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, but some of the absolute best for snorkeling tours are as follows:
OSPREY REEF is famous for its 40m+ visibility and almost guaranteed sightings of large numbers of sharks at North Horn, it is located in the Coral Sea.
RIBBON REEFS Lie to the north of Cairns. Isolated they are only reachable via a few liveaboards. They are a chain of ten individual reefs offering sheltered warm waters, and due to their remoteness are in pristine condition.
MILLN REEF is a spot perfect for snorkeling and diving, it consists of 3 large coral pillars.
FLYNN REEF Features arguably Australia's best coral garden, is a place where you can see the full array of hard and soft coral that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer, it’s as if you are snorkelling over a rainbow.
COD HOLE Spot the popular and large Potato Cod and Maori Wrasse.
LIZARD ISLAND is a national park on an island of the same name, situated to the very north of the Great Barrier Reef. It's a tropical paradise, ideal for unwinding after a few days of snorkelling.
BOUGAINVILLE REEF benefits from an exposed position on the outer reef, which does mean it can only be visited by liveaboard and when conditions permit. As a result it offers some of the most unspoilt and pristine diving and snorkeling in all of Australia, regularly frequented by Manta Rays and Turtles.
WHEN TO GO TO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
The Great Barrier Reef is open for snorkeling all year round as even in the winter the water temperatures only drop down to 24 C (75 F) which makes it still a pleasant snorkeling temperature; the winter in Australia runs from July to beginning September. In the summer the outside temperatures reach up to 38 C (100 F) and water temperatures reach 30 C (86 f) and the summer runs from December to February, these months also bring with them the best visibility.
HOW TO GET TO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
On the east side of Australia, the main port city is Cairns, which is located in the north-east and which also has its own international airport; Cairns Airport. Flights arrive here from destinations such as multiple cities in New Zealand, Asian destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and lastly from all other larger cities within Australia.
Cairns is a fantastic holiday destinations in its own right, with endless choices of resorts and activities and a beautiful climate. From Cairns, there is easy access to the stunning tropical Daintree rainforest and waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands.