7 of the Best Things to Do at the Great Barrier Reef

7 of the Best Things to Do at the Great Barrier Reef: Your Great Barrier Reef Travel Guide


Wondering what to do at the Great Barrier Reef? Wings have put together the ultimate Great Barrier Reef travel guide for all of the best activities on Queensland's coastline.


The world’s largest reef ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef attracts thousands of visitors every day. And it’s not hard to see why - one of the great wonders of the world, the UNESCO heritage site of the Great Barrier Reef stretches over 344,400 square kilometres of extraordinary marine life and breathtaking natural beauty.

Comprising 600 islands and almost 2,900 individual reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, teeming with natural beauty and wonder. As the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef is an iconic scuba diving destination, drawing in marine enthusiasts all over the world. However, beyond the reef itself, the Great Barrier Reef is an extraordinary travel destination for every type of holidaymaker.


The 7 Best Things to Do at the Great Barrier Reef


Wondering what activities can you do at the Great Barrier Reef? We’ve got you covered. Whether you want to experience the Great Barrier Reef by water, land or above, there is something for everyone in this beautiful part of the world. The Great Barrier Reef is teeming with adventure, activities and leisure for every type of traveller.

If you’ve been pondering how to do the Great Barrier Reef and what to do once you’ve landed in Queensland, use this Great Barrier Reef travel guide to tick off all of the best sites and activities across one of the great wonders of the world.


1. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef


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Snorkelling should be at the very top of your list of things to do at the Great Barrier Reef. The 2,300-kilometre reef is the largest in the world and is home to diverse marine life and an abundance of stunning underwater scenery. Snorkelling allows anyone to explore the reef and experience the marine life situated around the reefs, without the inconveniences of full scuba diving equipment and practices.

The only requirements of snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef is the ability to swim and have a reasonable level of fitness, as the activity of snorkelling can be strenuous. If you’re wondering “what can you do at the Great Barrier Reef?”, the most popular and common answer from locals is going to be a snorkelling tour of the Great Barrier Reef. And it’s not hard to see why!


2. Visit Whitehaven Beach


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If you’re visiting the Whitsundays and wondering “How to do the Great Barrier Reef?”, your answer lies in a visit to Whitehaven Beach. Now known as the Best Beach in Australia, Whitehaven Beach is one of the most incredible travel destinations in the world. Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, visiting Whitehaven Beach is epitomised by sinking your toes into the whitest silica sands and marvelling at swirls of turquoise blue waterways.

Various tours and sailing adventures will make a pitstop in Whitehaven Beach – the iconic enclave is a favourite location in the Great Barrier Reef. However, the beach is rarely overcrowded, and the expansive island is perfect for a day of land-exploration. For a truly magical insight of the beach, hike up to the top of Hill Inlet to marvel at the spectacular surrounds of Whitehaven and the Great Barrier Reef.


3. ReefSleep Experience


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ReefSleep is a two-day, one-night experience within the Great Barrier Reef. An incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to sleep under the unspoiled skies and above the crystal-clear waters the Great Barrier Reef, the ReefSleep pontoon is located in the heart of the iconic marine park.

The ultimate unplugged experience in the Great Barrier Reef, the ReefSleep tour provides travellers with the unprecedented opportunity to get to know a spectacular stretch of reef, throughout the daytime and overnight. Out on the moored pontoon on Hardy Reef, guests enjoy a private evening watching the reef come to life as the sun sets and the stars light up the sky. Unlike any other experience in the world, the ReefSleep tour is easily one of the best things to do at the Great Barrier Reef.


4. Scenic Flight Over the Great Barrier Reef


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One spectacular way to see the whole of the Great Barrier Reef is to take a scenic flight over the world-recognised coral reef system. Whether it be by helicopter, seaplane or aeroplane, a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef is an experience that you’ll remember and treasure forever.

For those who want to do more than spend days in the water snorkelling and diving, figuring out what activities can you do at the Great Barrier Reef can seem a challenge. However, there are so many opportunities for adventure, by land, sea and above. We recommend starting with a scenic flight to really get an understanding of the magnitude of the reef’s beauty. From above, you’ll be able to see the iconic heart reef, Whitehaven Beach and Whitsunday Islands, as well as the spectacular rainbow of coral, reef and marine life. Wings operate and provide scenic flights to travellers throughout the year, from Airlie Beach.


5. Go Scuba Diving


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If you’re going to go scuba diving anywhere in the world, make it the Great Barrier Reef. You can learn to scuba dive and get your scuba diving license while exploring the underwater sanctuary that is the Great Barrier Reef. Where snorkelling is great for getting a chance to view below the surface, scuba diving allows you to go further and really explore the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is well-known for being one of the most beautiful and incredible spots to go scuba diving. Diving enthusiasts from all over the world flock to the Great Barrier Reef every year to explore the underwater sanctuary that is teeming is exotic marine life and coral reefs. Wherever your journey in the Great Barrier Reef begins, there are plenty of scuba diving tours to choose from in Airlie Beach, Cairns, the Whitsundays and surrounding areas.


6. Hire A Private Charter


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Looking for the best things to do in the Great Barrier Reef that don’t involve hordes of other tourists? Why not hire a private charter for your luxurious and sophisticated holiday in the Great Barrier Reef! With Wings Whitsundays Australia, we have a wide range of vessels to choose from, for groups of holidaymakers to hire their own private charters and experience the Great Barrier Reef any way they wish.

Taking a private charter throughout the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate way to experience the natural wonder of the world in luxury. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family, sun-soaked trip or want to celebrate a milestone in style, hiring a private charter in the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. Uncover private islands, swim in secluded beaches and explore the underwater paradise saturated with incredible marine life.


7. Book A Tour with Wings Whitsunday Adventures


If you’re really not sure what to do at the Great Barrier Reef, kickstart your holiday with Wings Whitsundays Adventures. Queensland’s leading tour provider, Wings operate a wide variety of tours in the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday region.

Our Great Barrier Reef tours are available every day. Our friendly and experienced tour guides will take you to the best areas of the Great Barrier Reef, depending on the type of experience you’re after, the local weather, tides and marine conditions. Our best tip for how to do the Great Barrier Reef? Rely on a local’s knowledge of the land – Book with Wings.

Our tour guides are all locals from Airlie Beach and adore taking holidaymakers out to experience the paradise that is the Great Barrier Reef. From snorkelling experiences to day trips, overnight cruises and private guided tours, we’ll make sure that you’re provided with the holiday of a lifetime. Explore the Great Barrier Reef like never before, with a tour from Wings Whitsundays Australia.