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- 1 Night Cairns
- 1 Night Ribbon Reef
- 1 Night Coral Sea Islands
- 1 Night Flinders Reefs
- 1 Night Hinchinbrook Island
- 1 Night Magnetic Island
- 3 Nights At Sea
- 1 Night Outer Reef
- 1 Night Lady Elliot Islands
- 1 Night Fraser Island
- 1 Night Cruising the Coast of Australia
- 2 Nights Sydney
Uncover the underwater wonders of Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef on this immersive journey. Discover a vast paradise of islands teeming with untouched wilderness and secret underwater worlds of colorful marine life and dancing corals.
Day by day itinerary
Lizard Island and Ribbon Reef, Great Barrier Reef
Regarded as a sacred place by the Dingaal Aboriginal people, pristine Lizard Island is nestled on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. The granite island, graced with powdery white beaches and fringing reefs, is perfect for hiking, swimming and snorkeling. Within its grasslands, acacia woodlands and mangroves can be found its most famous resident, the yellow-spotted monitor. Its waters are a kaleidoscope of marine life, including coral gardens of colorful tropical fish and giant clams.
Aptly named, this “ribbon” of ten individual coral reefs is strung along the continental shelf, constituting approximately 125 miles of the Great Barrier Reef. Within its warm, gentle currents are fluorescent shades of life, blanketed by turquoise waters and forming some of the best diving locales in the world. Caves, coves, canyons and curious creatures from the docile potato cod to the flame-red scorpion fish await underwater explorers and recreational snorkelers in this isolated haven.
Coral Sea Islands
Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland
Headland with rocky outcrops, sand dunes, Hinchinbrook NP. Dense mangrove communities along shoreline, 31 species of mangrove, extensive offshore beds of sea grass, perfect food for Dugongs (manatee-like). Islands interior sport cloud mountains supporting fragile heath vegetation, rainforest and eucalypt forest. Birds: Beach-stone Curlew.
Magnetic Island, Queensland
Part of a submerged coastal mountain, Magnetic Island sits off the coast of northeastern Queensland, Australia, in Halifax Bay, an inlet of the Coral Sea. It was originally named Magnetical by British navigator James Cook, who believed the compass on his ship was affected by the island. Home to beautiful beaches and a spectacular national park, this mountainous island of rocky granite headlands and towering pines features an abundance of wildlife, including koalas, rock wallabies and brushtail possums.
Coral Sea Expedition Stops
Palm-fringed, powdery beaches, forested hills and the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea are the hallmarks of the Percy Isles, nestled within Australia’s Northumberland Islands off the tropical coast of Queensland. The largest of the three islands in the group, Middle Island, is a national park boasting nearly 600 species of flora and fauna. A quirky A-frame hut on one of the beaches houses memorabilia from yachts that have visited. The serene island is perfect for beach strolls and water sports.
Outer Reef Expedition Stops
Lady Elliot Islands, Queensland
Set within Australia’s Capricornia Cays National Park, Lady Musgrave is a 35-acre coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Sitting at the southern tip of a large protected blue lagoon, this jewel of an island is a hot spot for reef walking, snorkeling, diving, and bird watching. Underwater spectacles include schools of pelagic fish, sea snakes, manta rays, and reef sharks. Its forested landscape attracts a host of seabirds, including white-capped noddy terns. Equally impressive is the nearby Lady Elliot Island, a key habitat for green and loggerhead sea turtles.
Fraser Island, Queensland
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island faces sparkling Hervey Bay, a whale watcher’s paradise of sheltered waters that often serve as a calf nursery for humpback whales. Fraser Island itself is home to stunning tropical rainforests, lakes and beaches where nature lovers can marvel at the incredible array of wildlife, including dingoes, wallabies, sugar gliders, sand monitors, and over 350 species of birds.
Cruising the Coast of Australia
Sydney, New South Wales
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