Big thanks to Peter Deli for this amazing video of just why the Great Barrier Reef is spectacular. Many ships stop at nearby ports; Cairns, Port Douglas and Whitsundays (Airlie Beach) for the Great Barrier Reef as they cruise round Australia. The Arcadia passes it each year on its world cruise. It is a paradise of fabulous white sand beaches. Snorkelling is a treat and if you have an underwater camera this is the place to use it. It also has tropical forests though these don’t always appear on the available excursions because the beach, swimming and snorkelling seem to win hands down. You can take a great segway trip along the boardwalks. The boat trips offer the Whitsunday Islands and nearby Barrier Reef.
More than 20 islands make up the Whitsunday Islands and they are south of Townsville and off the coast of tropical North Queensland. Named by Captain Cook in 1770, many of the Whitsunday islands remain uninhabited. Whitsunday is the largest island, followed by Hook, but Hayman to the north and Hamilton to the south are the most developed. There will be many trips to choose from all the islands providing superb nature retreats. The choice of catamarans, sailing boats, yachts and fun boats weave their way between the islands – many offering snorkelling, diving and whale-watching trips. Ferries provide a lifeline and are a great way to island hop while soaking up the sun.