Tourism and Events Queensland
Queensland
Great Barrier ReefThe significance of the Great Barrier Reef can’t be underestimated; the world’s largest coral reef system is home to thousands of marine life and coral species as well as some of the world’s best islands and beaches.
Said to be the world's largest living structure and the only one visible from outer space, the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. The Great Barrier Reef stretches over 2,000 kilometres and is home to tens of thousands of species of brilliantly coloured fish, coral and other marine life including whales, dolphins and turtles. If diving is your passion, then this is your paradise. The Great Barrier Reef is a divers Mecca, and the Whitsundays has companies catering for every skill level from student to novice to divemaster. If snorkelling is more your style, then the warm shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays provide some of the most colourful fish and coral formations anywhere in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. There are ample opportunities for beginner divers, inexperienced and experienced divers to experience the wonders of the underwater world in the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays is recognised as having some of the best fishing in Queensland. Charter vessels operating out of Shute Harbour, Airlie Beach and the resort islands offer a variety of trips to the rich waters of the outer Great Barrier Reef.
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Scuba dive The Pinnacles, Hook Island
Arguably the best dive site in the Whitsundays, with hard corals comparing favourably to those seen on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The best dive is off the western beach, adjacent to the Woodpile and swim east at a depth of seven to 15 metres. Large coral bommies dominate the terrain, reaching nearly to the surface. Acropora corals are everywhere and huge porite corals in the shape of boulders and massive towers can also be seen. Manta rays are very common in the cooler months, May to September, as are big Maori Wrasse. This dive is not for the faint-hearted as black and white tip reef sharks are frequently seen! In the shallow water, particularly off the western beach, the coral cover is nearly solid, mostly staghorn, with only a few sandy patches. Excellent snorkelling just off the western beach too. Diving depth is three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically three to 15 metres.
Underwater Marine Sculptures
Follow the Ngaro Underwater Marine Sculpture Trail… The Whitsunday Reef Recovery and Public Art Project involve collaboration between government, industry, scientists, artists, indigenous and community for the design and installation of underwater marine art and coral reef restoration. One of the major objectives of this project is to provide new tourism experiences which will further enhance the visitor experience and education. With the art pieces having a marine wildlife theme, they believe they will provoke conversation and deeper consideration of the marine environment, indigenous culture, coral reef restoration and sustainability. They hope that you enjoy the ‘Ngaro underwater marine sculpture trail’ and will share your unique experience with friends, family and social media and together they will take positive actions for a healthier Great Barrier Reef. The Tourism Recovery Fund (TRF) is an AUD7million initiative, jointly funded through the Australian and Queensland Governments, to help the tourism sector recover following the devastating impact of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie to the Whitsunday region in March 2017. The objective of the TRF is to facilitate recovery, rebuild and/or create new tourism experiences and infrastructure that will drive demand, improve quality, and increase tourism expenditure, with flow-on economic benefits across the tourism supply chain.
Great Barrier Reef Drive
The Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation is along spectacular coastline hugging two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest. From Cairns, you head north across the Barron River to the Cairns Northern Beaches including Trinity Beach, Palm Cove and Ellis Beach. The drive then winds along the edge of the Coral Sea past unspoiled tropical beaches to Port Douglas, the ideal place to cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. Intimate, relaxed Port Douglas is the gateway to the Daintree, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. To the north is beautiful Mossman Gorge where you can discover the culture of the Kuku Yalanji people before driving through sugar cane fields to the township of Daintree. Take a crocodile spotting tour, fish for barramundi or marvel at the incredible birdlife. Cross the Daintree River on the cable ferry for a leisurely drive through ancient rainforest, pausing at lookouts for a glimpse of the Coral Sea as you wind your way past pretty beaches to Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the reef. Turn your journey into a 4WD rainforest adventure, follow a food trail, or learn more about the Aboriginal people of the rainforest.
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