The Great Barrier Reef is the oldest coral reef system in the world and is actually made up of 2,900 individual reefs spanning over 2,300 kilometres. It is located in the Coral Sea stretching from Torres Strait in the North to between Lady Elliot and Fraser Island in the south of Queensland.
The reef has been named one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is a world heritage listed site.
The best months to experience the Great Barrier Reef are between May – October when the weather is mild and visibility in the reef is good.
Parts of the reef when snorkeling are so close you can touch it, however it is not allowed because it damages the reef and takes years to grow back.
Departing Cairns from the Marlin Wharf, many dive companies are available to take you out to the reef, most tend to have a series of different reefs they will alternate between visiting. TUSA Dive was recommended to me by a friend and I couldn’t fault them. Unlike many of the other companies, TUSA Dive limit their capacity to 60 people to ensure you have added comfort and a more personal experience.
Photos are taken on board and on the reef by staff. A marine presentation is also provided daily which is quite educational. I learnt a couple of interesting facts;
The Great Barrier Reef prevents large waves forming in North Queensland and therefore is not an ideal surfing location.
A school of clown fish always have a hierarchy with a female at the top. When that female dies, a male will change sex to take its place.
A full lunch is provided on board along with a fruit break.
TUSA have access to 16 reefs and alternate between these for each tour depending on the conditions.
Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef was a major bucket list item for me and one which I was lucky enough to have recently ticked off. I cannot even describe how amazing it was, it truly is a different world down there, one that I encourage everyone to explore once in their lifetime!