The Great Barrier Reef is a mind-blowing natural wonder situated along the northeastern coast of Australia and stretching over 2000 km. It is one of the richest ecosystems on the planet, composed of more than 2900 individual reefs as well as 900 islands that are scattered from the Tropic of Capricorn to the fringes of Papua New Guinea. This marine wonderland would be a fantastic choice to visit as it features a multitude of places for reef adventure. You can dive, explore by sailboat, or simply wander around the coastline of a coral-fringed island.
Cairns, Port Douglas, and Townsville are the main hopping-off points for the Great Barrier Reef that can be reached via Hamilton Island. The cost of regular return economy flights to Hamilton Island starts from around $1,000.
Food and Accommodation Costs
The food at the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding islands is relatively expensive. If you are on a budget trip, the best cost-saving tip is to prepare your own meals if you can get access to a kitchen. Restaurants are not a cheap option, and you can easily save a lot of money by stocking up on groceries and making your own food. The average cost of buying one meal is about $30, while the average price of a pizza is about $5. However, seafood at the islands and nearby coastal regions is delicious. Although there are various fishing areas, it would be better if you visit a seafood restaurant. Reef fish can also be found in fish and chip shops. A regular bottle of mineral water costs around $3, while a bottle of wine can be bought for $5.69. Day trips to the Great Barrier Reef sell alcohol on board, and the islands have at least one bar that is usually located at the center of island life.
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Accommodation costs at the islands range from $150 per night to $2,000 per night, depending on the facilities provided and the location of the hotel. For instance, the Silky Oaks Lodge at Daintree offers double rooms starting from $380.
The activities you perform depend on your budget, length of stay, and the area of the reef you are visiting. Four main destinations are surrounding the Great Barrier Reef – Townsville, Port Douglas, Cairns, and Hamilton – and provide plenty of options for marine adventures such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and yachting.
Snorkeling is one of the several activities that you must not miss on your visit to the Great Barrier Reef. It is also the best way to view the incredible underwater. There are two primary snorkeling packages, one for beginners and the other one for experienced snorkelers.
The beginner tour takes thirty to forty minutes, and the tourists are introduced to the marine environment. It is ideal for families who desire to have an educational experience. The cost of the tour is about $60 for an adult and $30 for a child, including the cost of the equipment.
The advanced snorkeling tour has a duration of forty-five to sixty minutes or more. It focuses more on exploring the marine life, and there are marine biologists to teach duck diving to passengers. This tour is priced at $78 for an adult and $48 for a child, including the cost of the equipment.
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Day trips via boat leave from island resorts and many places along the coast. They usually stop at two to three different sites, which give the tourists at least three hours to explore underwater. A full-day boat excursion to the reef costs around $200 and includes lunch and snacks.
Scuba diving is another opportunity for adventure at the Great Barrier Reef. The beginners’ scuba diving trip includes an instructor who teaches a few basic diving skills while taking a maximum of four divers at a time. This trip lasts for approximately half an hour and costs $166 per adult and child individually, including the expense of the equipment.
For certified divers, there is an advanced scuba tour that allows them to explore an underwater world teeming with the exotic marine life. All equipment is provided to the divers, including the prescription masks as well as wetsuits. The cost of one dive is $118, while the cost of two dives is $168. Certified divers will be expected to show their internationally recognized SCUBA certification card.
Should the average working Joe visit The Great Barrier Reef?
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The Barrier Reef is a great place to visit especially with your family. It`s a place where you can mix relaxation with fun activities and have a vacation you will never forget. Remember to be prepared and plan way in advance, because the Barrier Reef is a pricey place. Have everything planned and don’t count on luck. Thinking that you’d find a plane ticket or accommodation on spot might end up ruining your trip.