Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef. A World Heritage area, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem. The awe-inspiring region has an abundance of marine life, ancient cultural connections and offers spectacular scenic views above and below the water. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a multiple use area offering a variety of activities.
We invite everyone to enjoy the region in an environmentally and reef-friendly way that maintains the area’s ecological, cultural and heritage values. All users are responsible for the environment around them and their actions in it.
Everyone can visit the Marine Park throughout the year and there are activities for all interests, ranging from fishing, to amazing snorkelling, diving and sailing experiences.
Both locals and visitors go to the Marine Park on their own boats or independently travel to beaches and islands. It is important to take the time to read about the rules and Responsible Reef Practices before you visit.
Visiting the Marine Park with a permitted tourism operator is a great way to experience the Reef and ensure you are following best practice. Consider choosing a high standard tourism operator who makes it a priority to care for the Reef.
- Here are some tourist activities to enjoy:
- Aircraft or helicopter tours — go on a flight of a lifetime. Some tours also fly to pontoons and larger vessels or even land on the water.
- Bareboats (self-sail) — control your own destiny and self-sail a bareboat! Bareboats are un-crewed vessels more than six metres, motorised, or with sail.
- Beach hire — prefer island beaches? Look for beach hire equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards.
- Cruise ships — thousands of passengers are experiencing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef on cruise ships.
- Day tours — most tourists visit on a day tour — whether it be on large high speed catamarans to outer reef pontoons, or smaller sailing and cruising vessels.
- Diving and fishing charters — if you like to be in amongst the environment you can choose a diving or fishing adventure.
- Long range roving tours — long range rovers offer customised charter. Groups are small and the trips can cover long distances and provide you with the experience you want.
- Motorised water sports — for fun and adrenalin based activities you can parasail or jet ski. Tours and hire are available at island resorts and popular beach towns along the coast.
- Passenger ferries — Passenger ferries are generally available to access tropical islands.
- Superyachts — Explore the Reef in style! Find out all you need to know about superyachts.
- Whale watching and swimming with whales — view these magnificent creatures on their winter journey to the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Know the rules for the popular areas and specific locations you visit and remember to make sure you conduct your activities responsibly.
For those conducting a permitted activity (for example, a tourism operator or a researcher) you will find relevant information under Access and use by location. Also refer to your permit and relevant legislation for more information on what is required when you access and operate in the Marine Park.
If you are visiting with a superyacht, check out more information on superyachts to help with planning your trip.