The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park provides a pristine and abundant marine conservation area for thousands of species of marine life. Stretching 2300 kilometres this natural wonder is so vast that it can be seen from space.
For visitors to the Great Barrier Reef, the range of aquatic experiences offered by the reef are unrivaled.
From diving the coral shelves and lagoons of the outer reefs, to deep-sea sports fishing and snorkeling the fringing reefs of the Whitsunday islands, berthing at Abell Point Marina provides access to this and much more.
Within the vast expanse of the Great Barrier Reef are a range of ecological habitats, species and marine communities.
Whilst known primarily for the diverse range of coral reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef also provides home to a huge array of plants and animals.
Home to over 600 hard and soft corals, which in turn provides habitat for over 1500 species of fish, 100 types of jellyfish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays and over 30 species of whale and dolphin, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most complex natural ecosystems in the world.
One thing is for certain when experiencing the Great Barrier Reef, no two experiences will be the same.
The Whitsunday Islands themselves are surrounded by fringing reefs, providing some great snorkeling opportunities, but for those wanting a real Great Barrier Reef diving experience, the below itinerary takes in some of the best locations the reef has to offer in this region.
Spend your days diving the famous Stepping Stones, which are unique in that you will find 18 or more flat-topped coral pinnacles lined up in a row along the south-west face of the reef. Little Fairey Inlet is a great spot for snorkeling as well as diving along the wall of the inlet. After a long day underwater, sit on the back deck and enjoy the clarity in the night sky as the milky way is clearly visible most evenings without cloud.
For those diving fanatics looking for some incredible dive sites, head to Hardy Reef. Hardy Reef is home to the Whitsunday icon Heart Reef, which is aptly named after the natural shape this reef has taken. Best seen from the air, another great reason to helicopter or seaplane over this section of the reef.
At certain tides the natural ‘waterfall’ can be experienced at Hardy Reef when the water is emptying from the reef and this is quite a formidable sigh