Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called “coral bleaching”; a sign of mass coral death has been accelerating around the world and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater (Netflix/Chasing Coral).
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world – and one of the most accessible.
The largest coral reef in the world is made up of 2,500 separate reefs, interconnected, that extend over an area of over 2,900 km, from the northern end of Australia‘s continental shelf to Bundaberg in the south. The barrier is comprised of numerous layers of polyps – small marine invertebrates that reproduce very quickly and secrete limestone. Large colonies of polyps are connected horizontally, forming a thin film over their hard skeletons, uniting them and eventually, after several hundred years, creating reefs.
Lady Elliot Island – Central Queensland, Australia
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Lady Musgrave Island – Southern Great Barrier Reef
YouTube video by Australian Sunset Safaris
With a length of only 1 km; this is the most famous barrier reef and coralier and the number one place in terms of diving. The Barrier is very accessible with coral reef at the end of beach.
Marine life is abundant with all kinds of corals. Located near the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern Great Barrier Reef, 80 kilometres north-east of Gladstone, Queensland; it’s of easy access from Gladstone by plane or by fast catamaran.
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The island is 15 kilometres from the coast off Yeppoon along the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland. The island is the largest of the eighteen islands in the Keppel Group and was party central for young Australians visiting the “Great Keppel Holiday Village” which used the selling slogan “Great Keppel Shipwrecked”, “Get wrecked on Great Keppel Island” tagline and showed off the famous “Keppel Sandwich” (a shirtless guy lying in the sand with a shirtless woman on top of him, another shirtless guy on top of her and another woman on top).
The land here is dry, but there are some excellent white sand beaches, hiking long trails, views from shore and plenty of social activities. Access by plane or boat from Rockhampton to Rosslyn.
Great Keppel Island – Capricorn Coast, Queensland
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Whitsunday Group Middle Reef
At the southern end of the archipelago, Lindeman Island is one of seven developed islands in the Whitsundays; the existing resort (Club Med) closed after suffering considerable damage from Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
The development and expansion of the resort is to include a 6-star Spa Resort, a 5-star Beach Resort, a 5-star Eco Resort, and a Tourist Villa Precinct and village centre.
The project will also provide restaurants, bars, an eco-tourism centre, conference centre, airport, and supporting amenities.
The proposed project will hopefully start mid-2019 and is to be completed by 2022.
It is the closest island in the Whitsunday group to the mainland of Australia (at only 1 kilometre from the coastline) featuring stunning palm fringed white sandy beaches and a unspoiled rainforests. A boat transfer to the island from Shute Harbour on the mainland takes about 20 minutes.
Long Island has two different resorts, both within a very short distance by car from the port of Shute.
- Club Crocodile is a resort for all ages and is especially loved by young people.
- Palm Bay Hideaway is ideal for a holiday in nature. It has beautiful beaches, clear waters and reefs, and provides isolation.
Long Island – Queensland | image credit: By S. Newrick [CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons]
the largest in the group with the most aggressive resort “sold”. It has a high hotel, a floating boat port, an airport with direct flights to
the main cities and a complete sports complex. With a street reminiscent of the Great Southern, once described as “Disneyland Daiquiri” Hamilton Island is a real scene.
A big island with many hills. especially loved by families; diving, swimming, sailing, golf, fishing and shopping. access from Shute port or from Hamilton Island.
South Molle Island – Queensland | CLOSED
Daydream Island – Queensland | Rebuilding after Cyclone Debbie
An exclusive five stars resort, situated in a coral lagoon, close to the outside of the barrier and beloved of Australians who come here on their honeymoon. Beautiful beaches and fishing are complemented by facilities offered by the resort. In Hayman, you will find the most exclusivist restaurants, and the services are excellent. This is certainly not a resort for sports outfits.A
Whitsunday Island Popular Hotel Selection
The Northern Part of the Barrier
Is part of Palm Group from Townsville, is very close to the outer part of the reef. On the beach, there are beautiful shells visible from afar. The Orpheus Island Resort is a modern getaway gem hidden among the island trees, offering accommodation and entertainment and accessible from within Townsville.
Mission Beach/Dunk Island Hotel Finder Map
The northernmost of the resorts (accommodations by the Lizard Island Resorts), during the season being the fishing boats home. Lizard as well as the southern end Heron Island allows the access to the barrier, directly from the beach. It is also the starting point for diving site known worldwide, Cod Hole.
Green Island is coral cay 27 km offshore from Cairns and located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage Area. A small coralier reef with a good underwater observatory and very suitable for daily hikers.
Green Island – Queensland, Australia