Great Barrier Reef  Whitsundays - Australia

Stretching more than 2000km along the Queensland coastline and covering 35 million hectares, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef. It is home to an abundance of marine wildlife - including more than 1500 brilliantly coloured species of tropical fish, 4000 species of molluscs, 400 species of sponge and 300 species of hard corals. Rated as an area of outstanding universal value means this site receives World Heritage status.

Extensive seagrass beds provide a home for the dugong, a mammal species internationally listed as endangered. The reef also contains nesting grounds of world significance for the endangered green and loggerhead turtles. It is also a breeding area for humpback whales that migrate from the Antarctic to the reef to give birth to their young in the warm waters.

The great Barrier Reef’s islands and cays support bird species by the hundred, including reef herons, ospreys, frigate birds and sea eagles. The reef is also of cultural importance, containing many archaeological sites of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. Some notable examples include Lizard and Hinchinbrook Islands with their spectacular galleries of rock paintings.

The Great Barrier Reef region deserves more than a day trip and a number of island resorts are located between the reef itself and the mainland.

Heron Island

Heron Island, offers a diversity of experiences including family friendly adventures, great diving and relaxing beach holidays combined with comfortable resort surroundings.

Heron Island is located on a true coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Being an ecological resort, you will be fascinated by your natural surroundings and marvel at life on the reef. Underwater, you can explore a living garden of coral and may come across turtles, manta rays, colourful fish and other magnificent marine life.

Heron Island lies on the Tropic of Capricorn, 72 kilometres NE off the coast from Gladstone.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, delivers personalised service, exquisite food and a host of activities in distinctly unique and intimate settings on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lizard Island Located right on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, fringed with coral reefs and 24 powdery white beaches. Lizard Island is an idyllic retreat offering sensational diving, snorkelling right off the beach, inner and outer reef fishing, gourmet beach picnics and indulgent spa treatments. Featuring 40 elegant villas, Lizard Island is reserved for a fortunate few.

Lizard Island is located 240km north of Cairns and 27km off the coast of North Queensland.