Best Place To Stay To Visit Great Barrier Reef – Home to the largest coral reef system in the world, this impressive ecosystem is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.
It seems obvious why the Great Barrier Reef made the list. According to US News travel editor Erin Shields, the Great Barrier Reef was voted No. 1 because “it’s the vacation of a lifetime.” The Great Barrier Reef has more than 3,000 coral reefs and more than 600 islands. Spanning more than 344,400 square kilometers, the beautiful scenery is unobstructed.
Best Place To Stay To Visit Great Barrier Reef
One of the best ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef is on a private yacht. Yacht charters in the region are growing in popularity, and in addition to providing guests with the vacation of a lifetime; they will also help educate reef visitors on how we can help maintain the environment and ecosystem for future generations to enjoy. For information on chartering a luxury yacht in the Great Barrier Reef or anywhere in Australia please contact Northrop & Johnson’s Australian team at [email protected].
Just Opened: A New, Luxe Villa On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
U.S. News & World Report considered more than 250 destinations in compiling its 2016-2017 Best Places to Travel list, drawing on traveler opinions and expert analysis. The rest of the top 25 locations are as follows: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a 2300km strip of color and life, but the threats to the world’s largest living organism are now as well known as their beauty. Coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 led to the loss of so much coral that UNESCO considered adding the reef to its list of World Heritage in Danger two years ago.
Caring for a coral reef starts on a personal level, and there are ways to minimize the impact of your visit, which can be as simple as choosing your location. A whopping 85% of tourists see the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns or the Whitsundays, so head elsewhere on the Queensland coast and islands, and you’re much more likely to ensure the Great Barrier Reef is untouched by your visit.
In Townsville, 350 kilometers south of Cairns, you can hop aboard the city’s only reef boat operated by Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive. Two- and three-day dive and snorkel tours take you to lesser-known areas of the central reef, as well as
, arguably the best wreck diving in Australia. Adrenalin also offers day trips to the Magnet Reef coral gardens and gorges offshore Townsville. Further south, Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island resorts offer quiet coral formations and sustainable accommodation.
How To Have A Sustainable Visit To The Great Barrier Reef
Nestled on the southern tip of the reef, Lady Elliot Island is famous for its manta rays and turtles, but it brings the added bonus of a resort with impeccable ecological credentials. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is committed to using 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020, powered by over 400 solar panels and composting on site. It runs a Climate Change Trail, an hour-long walk that explains the possible effects of a warming planet on coral reefs.
The small reefs of Heron Island are famous for the nesting turtles from January to May, but there is also reef snorkeling directly off the beach and more than 20 dive sites across the island – Jacques Cousteau once referred to Heron Listed as one of his 10 favorite dive sites. There is a resort and a University of Queensland research station on the island, offering guests tours of the center and giving them the chance to take home reef knowledge as a souvenir.
On the other side of the reef, 250 kilometers north of Cairns, Lizard Island Resort is situated on an island that has been a national park since 1937. The resort shares the 1013-hectare island with the Coral Reef Research Station operated by the Australian Museum and also offers station tours for guests. Lizard Island sits on the Great Barrier Reef, so sustainable measures are crucial. In September 2018, the resort eliminated all plastic bottles and straws. It recycles about 60 percent of its waste, with the rest sent to the mainland by barge.
Before heading out to the reef, take a moment to learn more. In Cairns, Reef Teach runs an informational show three nights a week, ostensibly showing visitors the features and life they’ll see on their reef tour, but under the philosophy that “learning brings appreciation” – you know The more you do, the more you will appreciate and respect the reef.
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Townsville’s spectacular Reef HQ, the world’s largest live reef aquarium and the national education center for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) (and runs a turtle hospital), offers similar opportunities to explore the reef.
When you hit the water, the good news is that GBRMPA only issues licenses to tour operators with ecotourism certification, which means every reef excursion should be sensitive and sustainable. However, some operators have gone a step further.
Eye to Eye Marine Encounters are run by ex-commercial anglers and offer coral reef researchers and scientists space on each multi-day trip, with a portion of the cost of your trip going to fund research. Quicksilver, one of the reef’s largest tour operators, has its own Reef Life Search division, which claims to be the largest employer of marine biologists outside of an Australian government agency, and has kept a reef observation log since 1986.
To get involved with the Conservation Act during your visit, you can contribute to a number of citizen science projects. GBRMPA’s Eye on the Reef app allows you to share with the Marine Park Service any photos and videos you find noteworthy – protected species, signs of bleaching, injured wildlife, presence of harmful crown-of-thorns starfish – help it Build a dynamic picture of coral reef conditions.
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The University of Queensland’s long-running CoralWatch program provides you with coral health charts where you can match and record the color of various corals while snorkeling or diving and enter the results into the CoralWatch app or website. Other citizen science projects include Redmap and Project Manta, which also involve sharing images from your diving and snorkeling excursions to help build databases of less common species and manta rays in the area, respectively.
If you want to make a more hands-on contribution to the health of the reef, you can also join a cleanup. Campaigns such as Eco Barge Clean Seas welcome volunteers and since 2009 have removed nearly 200,000kg of marine litter from the coast and waters of the Whitsunday Islands. The Tangaroa Blue Foundation lists volunteer opportunities for marine debris cleanup across Australia, many centered around the Great Barrier Reef. Great Barrier Reef Luxury Island Resort – All Inclusive Experience the luxury and seclusion of Lizard Island Great Barrier Reef Resort, just a 60 minute scenic flight from Cairns (for an additional fee) – making this an idyllic private luxury retreat. Lizard Island boasts 24 stretches of powdery white sand, perfect for private beach picnics, snorkelling and fishing, and offers luxury accommodation, five-star cuisine and indulgent spa treatments.
Experience Lizard Island with the whole family during Family Time, June 24-July 10, 2022. During Family Time, families with children ages 6 and up can experience Lizard Island and enjoy one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. (Please contact us for more information)
Sunset Champagne – Complimentary daily champagne and canapés in your room each evening when you stay at The Pavilion or The Villa
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The understated elegance that Lizard Island is known for with these beach view rooms is located near stunning Anchor Cove. Equipped with LCD TVs, Apple docking stations and king-size beds (or twin beds), these rooms ensure a truly relaxing stay. (maximum 2 guests)
These spacious beach view rooms feature direct beach access and private balconies to soak up the natural beauty of the tropical surroundings. The suite has a separate bedroom with a luxurious king-size bed and a lounge area with a double sofa bed. (up to 4 guests*)
Seaview villas are located high above Sunset Cove with filtered ocean views and easy access to many secluded beaches. Villas feature private decks to enjoy the tropical surroundings.
Oceanview Plunge Pool Villas are located high in Sunset Cove with filtered ocean views and easy access to many secluded beaches with an added luxury private plunge pool with beach views.
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Beachfront suite located along Anchor Bay with a path leading directly to the beach and ocean views from the large balcony – with day bed! The spacious open plan blends the indoors and outdoors to enjoy the natural beauty of Lizard Island.
Set high above Sunset Cove with complete privacy – The Pavilion has total privacy and stunning views. Take in breathtaking views from your king-size bed, or admire your private plunge pool and wooden deck with sun loungers. Additional items –
Nestled secluded on a ridge, The Villa is a new class of accommodation on Lizard Island. Two-Bedroom Villa with Complete Privacy and Unobstructed Sea Views with Private Pool
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