The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction, it’s safe to say that it often surpasses most visitors’ expectations with its incredible size and diverse natural splendour. This protected marine ecosystem is 344,400 square kilometres of coral gardens, cays, islands and sandbars inhabited by a countless array of undersea life from diminutive sea horses to giant clams and whales.
Whilst many of the reef’s attractions are submerged, there are plenty more above sea level including the fabulous Whitsundays, a 74-island chain surrounded by sheltered waters ideal for sailing. Most visitors here fly directly into Hamilton Island, which is dotted with resorts, restaurants and shops. Most of the Whitsundays’ other properties occupy an entire island or cover a significant portion of it. To get different perspectives of the reef, stay at different resorts or island-hop via catamaran or sea plane.