Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Updated: May 2, 2021

Bucket List Item: Great Barrier Reef

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef was on my mother’s bucket list for so long. Before she passed, she took us to Belize to do the reef there in its place. The flight was shorter and more doable.

I like to think mom was smiling down on us as we explored the coral at the Great Barrier Reef! She was obsessed with coral and wanted to see the reef before it was destroyed by climate change.

(Family trip to Belize, December 2017)

We had only a few days in Cairns, but we had to make it happen. Raz had a tiny window of opportunity, and we took it! This blog will include lots of details about snorkeling, the Great Barrier Reef, and what you can expect on a snorkel trip from Cairns, Queensland.

About the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on earth. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and an endangered UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More than half of the Great Barrier Reef (which stretches for more than 1,400 miles) is already dead or badly damaged, and, likely, it will never recover. The injury is mostly because of a rise in sea temperatures, which has killed much of the coral.

(Photos Courtesy InDepth)

The Reef is a unique ecosystem, home to thousands of marine life species, including fish, whales, dolphins, and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle. It is also the largest living structure on the planet, so big, it is visible from space. There are over 1,625+ different kinds of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, 30 species of whales and dolphins, and so much plant life!

We saw tons of living creatures and treasured the beautiful coral that lit up the seafloor. The vast amount of underwater life makes snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef unforgettable. Don’t miss this if you’re ever in the area!

Choosing a Tour Company

In most of the towns that line the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll find tour companies happy and willing to take you out to sea. You can do day or night tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, or even take a helicopter tour from up above.