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3/12/2017 12:00:00 AM    450     Kelly Dunning

You’ve probably heard about the Great Barrier Reef - the world’s largest coral formation. It is composed of over 2,900 individual reef and You can read about the incredible array of underwater species that live in this stunning natural wonder, but nothing compares to the thrill of seeing it with your own eyes.

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Kelly Dunning

On a recent trip to Cairns I was able to get up close and personal with the Great Barrier Reef myself. It was a fantastic travel day, filled with sunshine, saltwater and colourful fish. If you plan on making this trip while you are in Australia, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.


Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.


What You Should Bring

When you book a snorkeling trip on the reef, you will not need to bring a wetsuit, snorkeling equipment or fins as this will be supplied by the boat. You will simply need to wear your swimsuit and bring your towel. There will be some downtime when you are travelling out to the reef, so you might want to bring something to read or some music to listen to.

Australia, Great Barrier Reef Sunbath

Australia-Great Barrier Reef sun bath.


I would also recommend bringing some seasickness tablets, as the water can be choppy on the way out to the reef. Also, if you have an underwater camera or a GoPro you should bring this along so that you can take photos of the fish. Don’t forget the sunscreen either - Australia is right under a hole in the ozone layer and the UV rays are very strong.


Australia, Great Barrier Reef Diving

Australia-Great Barrier Reef Diving.


More Helpful Tips

  • The best time of the year to go is between May and October, as the weather will be moderate, there will be lower rainfall and the ocean temperatures will be warmer.
  • If you travel between November and May, it is recommended that you wear a stinger suit to protect yourself from box jellyfish and stingrays. Your tour operator will offer you one.
  • Make sure that you follow the Responsible Reef Practices as outlined by the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority so that you can protect this precious ecosystem.
  • If you are not a strong swimmer and don’t feel comfortable snorkeling you can enjoy the reef in many other ways including glass bottom boat rides, sailing, island day trips and much more.

About The Author

Kelly Dunning

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance travel writer. She lives a nomadic lifestyle with no fixed address - working from the road for the last 6 years with her partner Lee, a web-designer from England. They have traveled to over 45 countries and they offer travel tips, stories and inspiration on
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