Australia is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, with the ‘Land Down Under’ commonly associated with high temperatures, lots of sunshine, beautiful beaches, lovely scenery, and friendly people. It’s a great place to spend some time on vacation, with cities like Sydney and Melbourne having so much to offer and unique natural landmarks like Uluru also providing unparalleled experiences to travelers of all ages. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.A Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef
3.Attend Hamilton Island Race Week
4.Play a Game of Golf
5.Head to Catseye Beach
6.Or Try Whitehaven Beach
9 Best Things to Do on Hamilton Island, Australia
- Overview, Photo: Shannon Bambling/stock.adobe.com
- A Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef, Photo: Marco Brivio/stock.adobe.com
- Attend Hamilton Island Race Week, Photo: Jackson Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Play a Game of Golf, Photo: somchai/stock.adobe.com
- Head to Catseye Beach, Photo: Darren/stock.adobe.com
- Or Try Whitehaven Beach, Photo: autau/stock.adobe.com
- Go Fishing, Photo: adogslifephoto/stock.adobe.com
- Relax, Photo: Prostock-studio/stock.adobe.com
- Family Activities, Photo: diy13/stock.adobe.com
- Hiking, Photo: Mariangela/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: lkpro/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is filled with more than 100 islands and a nearly unlimited amount of different experiences. It is considered one of the top wonders of the world and is located near Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world (so large that it can be seen from outer space).
It has been used by Aboriginal Australians for over 40,000 years but was officially discovered in 1768. One of the diving areas just off Heron Island (named the Heron Bommie) was named as one of Jacques Cousteau top spots in the entire world.
Obviously, the biggest draw at the Great Barrier Reef is actually diving the reef itself. It is highly recommended that anyone diving at the Great Barrier Reef is either a certified snorkeler or Scuba diver or takes a class at any one of the nearby places prior to diving. The reef is world renowned for the variety of different locations to dive - from areas perfect for first time divers (like the protected, calm shallow waters around many of the islands) to areas meant for more experienced divers (deeper areas on some of the outer reefs). The diving sites are all reached most easily by boat (which takes anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes).
Another way to see the reef is by the air. Skydiving is available at Airlie Beach, Cairns, and Mission Beach. Guests will leave out of a local airport after undergoing training and signing a waiver and can choose from a variety of heights to jump from - 6000, 8000, or 14,000 feet. Obviously the higher the jump starts; the longer guests will be free falling for. Skydiving is available for people over the age of 14 and in good health. Tandem jumps are also available for less experienced skydivers.
For visitors who want to enjoy a calmer tour of the Great Barrier Reef, they should check out the Glass Bottom Boat tours. These specialty tours allow passengers to enjoy the beauty of the reef without having to even touch the water. Some of the boat tours are staffed with knowledgeable tour guides to provide guests with detailed information about the various types of marine and coral life that calls the reef home. There are multiple areas where the boat tours will depart from, but the most popular is Green Island (where the original glass bottom boat was created). Some of the tours will stop for optional snorkeling or scuba diving, while others offer night tours with ultraviolet lights.
One of the most unique experiences at the reef is the Scuba Doo rentals. The Scuba Doo is a one of a kind underwater scooter that even guests without any swimming or diving experience can rent. Guests will be submerged for about twenty minutes, controlling their path with a steering wheel and a few push buttons that allow them to see the reef without even getting wet. Renters must be at least 12 years old and in good health to use a Scuba Doo.
While visiting the Great Barrier Reef, make sure to check out some of the other Adventure Activities offered in the area. There is bungee jumping, rafting, coral sea kayaking, horse riding, rental all-terrain vehicles (or ATVs), and more.
There are many special events offered on and around the Great Barrier Reef.
The Hamilton Island Endurance Series is offered three times a year - May, June, and November. The route is 21 kilometers and can be challenging as it features both uphill as well as downhill sections and extremely distracting views.
Also, in November is the Heron Island Great Barrier Reef Swim, a swimming race on the southern portion of the reef. This race is unique in that it includes free ocean swimming instead of traditional lane lap swimming.
In Airlie Beach in September, there is Race Week for sailing enthusiasts. Besides the sail boat races, there is also other non-stop entertainment that is family friendly, so everyone can enjoy it (even those without their own sailboats).
October is home to the Palm Cove Reef Feast, a food and dining-based event held in Tropical North Queensland. This four-day foodie festival allows local chefs to flex their culinary muscles using the freshest, local seafood and produce.
Dining and Shopping
The main restaurant types around the Great Barrier Reef are street foods, seafood, fast food, and cafes. Make sure to check out the number one coffee shop in Cairns, Cruze Coffee, or the top-rated restaurant in the entire area, Lotus Leaf Asian Salads. There are also many shops in the area, both local (like The Henderson Gallery and Funstuff by Lynda) and larger corporate areas (like Direct Factory Outlets and the Brisbane Arcade).
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