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Here's Everything You Need To Know About Visiting The Great Barrier Reef

It's the same size of Japan, so there's a lot to know.

So, you want to see the Great Barrier Reef, hey?

The reef is home to over 1,500 species of fish, 215 types of birds, 30 species of whales and dolphins, and one of the world's most important dugong populations.

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There are a lot of towns and hubs that have access to the reef, so the best way to start planning your trip is to pick a section.

Tourism & Events Queensland / Via queensland.com

The very bottom of the Great Barrier Reef starts four-hours drive north of Brisbane. It's referred to as the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Just above it is Mackay and the Whitsundays, then the Townsville region, followed by the Cairns area, and finally the tip, which is fondly referred to as the "wild north".

Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, and Bundaberg all have decent regional airports with plenty of flights from major cities.

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No matter which area of the reef you choose, there's plenty to do. On Raine Island, you can dive with world’s largest green turtle population.

While you're there, swim with friendly minke whales

If you're in Cairns, there are lots of ways to see the outer reef.

And if you do visit Green Island, try going underwater without getting your hair wet.

Near Townsville, you can see one of the world’s most spectacular wreck dive sites.

Or, you can go on a self-guided snorkelling tour on Magnetic Island.

If you head towards the Whitsunday islands, see if you can tick off all 74 of them.

And if you want to sleep on the reef, the water surrounding the Whitsundays is the place to do it.

On the Southern Great Barrier Reef, you can rent a whole island.

And plan to be there when the turtles hatch at Mon Repos near Bundaberg.

No matter where you are, try and visit any nearby tropical islands.

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There are heaps of ways to explore the reef, regardless of where you go. Naturally, snorkelling is one of the top options.

Scuba diving is another popular option.

As are day tours on a boat.

A more unique option is an underwater bike, also known as a Scuba Doo.

Or you can take things to the next level and jump in a submarine.

Great Barrier Reef Submarines / Via Facebook: 248079981911105

You can actually join a little yellow submarine adventure. Leave the sandy beaches of Fitzroy Island behind and stare out the fish-eye windows at schools of fish and the occasional turtle.

Departure town: Cairns.

Helicopters and sea planes are also fancy af options.

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The reef is a delicate ecosystem that has just undergone a coral bleaching crisis.

And always take your rubbish home with you.

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