Both Airlie Beach and Cairns are considered gateway towns to the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout my travels on Australia’s East Coast, I had two opportunities to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. First, I went snorkeling from Airlie Beach with Ocean Rafting to the Whitsunday Islands which is located on the south part of the Great Barrier Reef. The second time I went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef was from Cairns with Ocean Free just North of Green Island which is located 26 miles from Cairns on the North part of the Great Barrier Reef. Both snorkeling opportunities were incredible experiences. The marine wildlife I encountered was out of this world.
I’ve snorkeled in almost every turquoise destination I have ever visited varying from Mexico, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, to Tobago, and beyond. Yet my favorite snorkeling experience was by far on the world’s largest coral reef system- The Great Barrier Reef. The ancient coral formations, rainbow coloured tropical fish, and other marine life was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Encountering Nemo and his friends was a once in a lifetime experience for me. I was laughing for joy through my snorkel, while swallowing mouthfuls of the salty sea water.
The coral reef formations just a few feet below the surface tower over the sea floor. The visibility of the reef is the best I’ve ever seen. Green Sea Turtles and Reef Sharks swim leisurely above the gigantic turquoise and purple coloured clams which are hundreds of years old. Giant Trevally swim nonchalantly past me and my GoPro while looking for its next victim. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef is more than an observatory experience, but rather an interactive one as if I’ve become part of the living organisms of the reef.
The best way for me to describe to you my experience is through pictures, because I don’t think words can ever truly describe what it is like to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. The one thing I know for sure is that it is a must see and it needs to be added to your bucket list. When will you be going?
Great Barrier Reef:
Pictures don’t even show exactly how beautiful it really was. My next goal is to see the pristine Ningaloo Reef on Australia’s Western Coast which I’ve heard is a secret treasure (shhhhh don’t tell anyone).