The Great Barrier Reef

Diving, snorkeling, boating, or just visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is massive. It is the only living thing on Earth visible from the moon—at nearly 239,000 square miles, this sucker's bigger than California and Utah put together.

The reef teems with 4,000 species of clam and sea snail, 1,500 types of fish, and, of course, the more than 400 breeds of coral which support them all. Spend at least a day, possibly two, out here snorkeling and diving the reef.

The main gateway to the reef is the city of Cairns (prnounced "cans"). Day-long trips out to the Great Barrier Reef, including a naturalist guide to name all the pretty fishies and corals for you, are available for all skill-levels.

Whether you want to sit on a glass-bottomed boat, putter around in a mini-sub, snorkel, or dive into either an intro or advanced scuba session, you can easily find an outfitter to take you.

Most of the high profile operators in town charge roughly $100 for a day trip, with dives tacking on an extra $60 or so, but poke around enough and you can find excellent smaller outfits running similar (and perfectly safe and legit) programs for as little as $50 to $60, with dives an extra $30 to $50.

Great Barrier Reef tours

Here are some of the reef tours by local operators offered through our partners at

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.