Some of Australia’s most spectacular rain forests can be found in the Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. Made up of huge coral reefs, the reef can be seen from space by the naked eye.
Here are some of the most spectacular places to see the reef in action:
The Hinchinbrook Island Reef: Hinchinbrook Island is unique, as it has no coral at all. Not only is it unharmed by humans, but deep below the coral bed lies faults in the reef bed that is home to plenty of colourful marine life.
The Inland Reef: This is best seen from a boat, and usually best seen in full moon nights. The brilliant green iridescent waters can be seen well beyond the western side of the island. Out to sea, beyond the reef, is the Inland Rivers, home to dolphins, sharks, barracuda and other big game.
The Outer Barrier Reef: This stretches for hundreds of kilometres down the coast of Queensland, heading out past Rockhampton. One of the most popular places to see the reef starts in the waters off Rockhampton. Don’t try this one when it’s full moon night, you’ll be lucky to see a green flash!
The Shipwreck Coast: There are a number of shipwrecks along this coast, many of them large. Sandwich island is the largest of these and is the best spot to see if its waters are calm.
The Green flash: When conditions are good, this mighty green flash can be seen all along the coastline from Gladstone to Brisbane. The beastly tides can also be responsible for giving this desert its name.
Trim Creek: This is located north of the town of Maroochydore. Just a short stroll from the beach, here you can wander through the bushland, toilets and limestone caves.
Maroochydore: The hub of Australia’s biodiversity, where you can walk right into the rainforest and see the wildlife at its best.
Fraser Island: Its name says it all. This island is the star attraction of the area. World-famous Fraser Island has a World Heritage-listed rainforest, superb beaches and rugged terrain. Visited by thousands of tourists a year, it is the ideal spot to see the big five in their natural habitat.
Toowong: Toowong is a beautiful coastal town, and is a great base for you to see the rest of the coast. Great fishing here for your snorkelling needs. Can beaches can be accessed through Wellesley Island and Mooloolaba.
Wettyville: Because of its fantastic restaurant and yummy shops, it has become, along with Darwin and Fraser Island, part of the big city experience.
Townsville: ToEnglass and home to the plushest port in Queensland, plus numerous coral reefs and marine life.
Mooloolaba: The main tourist towns here is Mooloolaba and Coom in the North, and Brighton Beach and Tiwi Beach in the South. The island is home to numerous resorts and hotels.
Noosa: The main cities of the island are Noosa and Toowoomba. Located on the South Coast, it is the hub of the North Coast. Noosa is located on the coast, with numerous shops and restaurants, plus museums and art galleries. Toowoomba is the hub of the South Coast, with excellent accommodations and many fine beaches.
Gold Coast: The Gold Coast is known for its amazing beaches, theme parks, nightlife, huge diverse ranges of medical and wellness clinics and hospitals, luxury hotels and resorts, world-class golf and beaches. Well-known throughout the world for its Surfers Paradise beach and in years past, the islands of the coast, especially in the Noosa and Busselton areas, were also very attractive destinations for tourists. However, the Swifty Islands have now taken the main throne, with almost double the number of travellers visiting each year.
The beautiful island of Fraser is just a short cruise away from the South Coast.
The main carriers operating throughout the Fraser are Star Alliance, First Choice, Goldworks, Clydesdale and Premier Travel.
In terms of the mode of transport, cruise boats and ferries are the two main ways to get around:
Gathered buses, 16-seater vans and cars, called Jumbos, are mostly used, with the occasional big mort truck, late at night.
For those not so fond of these vehicles, ground transport is also available. Baggage boats, usually run by a company called Quetzal, can be chartered for quite a reasonable amount of money.