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Great Barrier Reef In The Whitsundays Region

Author – Nath J
Published Date 12 April 2024

Welcome to Whitsunday Reflections information page about the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays Region. I would like to thank the owners Paulette and Geoff for inviting me to write about the region so you can make the most of your holidays in the Whitsundays

Today, I’m thrilled to share my experiences and insights into one of the world’s natural wonders—the Great Barrier Reef.

My Connection to The Great Barrier Reef In The Whitsundays

Since moving to the Whitsundays in 2001, the Great Barrier Reef has always held a special place in my heart. It’s the world’s largest living structure and a testament to nature’s sheer size and splendour. Over the years, I have visited the reef more times than I can remember, both by boat and plane. During my boating visits, I discovered many different forms of marine life, including clownfish, parrotfish, angel fish, butterfly fish, green turtles, giant clams, humphead wrasse, spotted eagle rays, and so much more, plus mind-blowing amounts of coral formations. The scenic flights (which I take 4 times a year) blow my mind every time! The Great Barrier Reef truly is a wonder of the natural world! This also includes the famous Heart Reef ( yes, it’s shaped just like a love heart), which you see on all the scenic flights.

How the Great Barrier Reef Got Its Name

The term “Great Barrier Reef” was added to charts by the British navigator Matthew Flinders in the early 19th century. He was a British navigator and cartographer who led the first inshore circumnavigation of mainland Australia. Matthew was captivated by this massive natural barrier that protected the mainland of the northeast coast (Now called Queensland) from the open ocean but never touched the shore. 

Heart Reef In The Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Discovering the Reef while staying at Whitsunday Reflections

  1. Day Tour By Boat To The Outer Reef: Two options from Airlie Beach take you to the outer Great Barrier Reef for the day.
    My Favourite is Red Cat Adventures Outer Reef Snorkel Adventure. This tour snorkels at multiple locations at the world-famous Outer Great Barrier Reef with groups of no more than 40 for a personal experience. The best bit is that they go into the reef and snorkel pristine corals without artificial pontoons like other tours. This is a true Great Barrier Reef Adventure, the way it’s supposed to be.
    Cruise Whitsundays also offers a tour of the Great Barrier Reef, where you will go to Reefworld (a floating pontoon). They use a large ferry, taking over 300 guests per day. Tip! The coral is not as good here due to the sheer volume of humans daily.
  2. Scenic Flights: On a scenic flight, the reef unfolds beneath you in all its glory, and believe me, it’s a massive ecosystem that can only be truly appreciated by air from above. The view of Heart Reef, a spectacular composition of coral that forms a perfect heart, is exceptionally breathtaking and a favourite for romantic gestures. (Hint, boys!)
    FlyAus Charters has multiple flights a day from Airlie Beach, and every seat has a guaranteed window for the perfect view of the islands and reef.
  3. Reefsuites & Reefsleep: Imagine sleeping under the stars surrounded by the tranquil sea or waking up to a view of the underwater world right outside your window. Cruise Whitsundays provides this unique accommodation and includes transfers to the reef onboard their ferry.


  4. Discover the inner Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: There are plenty of choices for day tours to the Whitsunday Islands, which are located in the GBR Marine Park. The islands are filled with soft corals and stunning formations such as brain corals. Most of these tours also visit the famous Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. My recommendation for a Whitsundays Day Tour is ZigZag Whitsundays; this tour is owned by Nicole Rosser, a local marine biologist involved in protecting and surveying the Great Barrier Reef. This tour takes up to 30 people, and the online reviews are outstanding compared to larger companies that take hundreds of guests daily.
Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays with ZigZag

Preserving The Great Barrier Reef During Your Visit

As a passionate advocate for the Marine park I call home, I believe in the importance of conservation. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is pivotal in protecting this ecological wonder. Their efforts ensure the reef remains vibrant for future generations, and I encourage all visitors to adopt sustainable practices during their visits to our region. This includes choosing eco-friendly tours, not taking any souvenirs from the marine park, and not touching any of the corals.

Why Visit the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is more than just a destination; it’s an icon of natural beauty and biodiversity that most people will only visit once in their lifetime. Through Whitsunday Reflections Tour Desk, visitors gain access to this unparalleled marine environment, making every stay memorable. The reef is a haven for marine organisms and a place where humans can learn, reflect, and be inspired.

As you plan your visit to the Great Barrier Reef, consider staying with Paullete and Geoff at Whitsunday Reflections. They provide the perfect base to explore this magnificent natural attraction and ensure a comfortable and luxurious stay in Airlie Beach. Take it from me: I have been shown around all the luxury apartments at Whitsunday Reflections, which are stunning! 

Local Tip For Visiting The Great Barrier Reef In The Whitsundays – Book early to avoid disappointment as school holidays and busy periods can book five to seven days in advance, and always ask for the cancellation policy; most operators have a 24 hour before travel refund policy but some do not, simply ask for peace of mind.


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