If you’re planning a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, just off the coast of Queensland, then you’ll want to take the time to visit a few of the many incredible desert islands to be found just off the coast.These offer an altogether different experience to the one you’ll find in mainland Australia – and can serve as a staging ground for your excursions elsewhere in the reef during your stay.Let’s take a look at some of the more famous islands in the region.
This island can be found five-hundred kilometres north of Brisbane.It’s set into the middle of a twenty-four-hectare patch of coral reef, and is so-named because of the abundance of herons which live on the island.The island is a world heritage listed national park, where all of the local wildlife is protected.You’ll be able to view them up-close at one of more than twenty dive-sites, more than half of which are just fifteen minutes from the beach.
Haggerstone is a private island which visitors share with just a small number of other guests.The guesthouse can be found nestled amongst a complex of gardens, orchards and dams, along with buildings made entirely from locally-sourced tropical timber.Around the island, you’ll find legions of fish, and a variety of tropical birds.You’ll be able to fish and snorkel while you’re on the island, or simply soak in the miles of pristine white beach.
This particular resort is ideally suited to couples looking for a romantic getaway.It offers fewer rooms than many of the other resorts on this list, and affords spectacular views to those paying a visit.If you’re looking for peace and solitude, and you’d like to avoid the prospect of day-trippers swanning in and ruining the atmosphere, this is probably the place for you.There’s even a sea-spa set amidst the tropical gardens to make relaxing especially easy.
Lizard Island, like Heron Island, is named after one of the animals that can be found here.It was named by Captain James Cook after he discovered goanna lizards literally everywhere.You’ll be able to snorkel just off the island’s powdery-white beaches, or swim in the island’s famous blue lagoon.If you’re looking for a view, then you might also venture to the top of Cook’s Look, where you’ll be able to take in the prolific bird life.
This island is the northernmost of the Whitsunday group, and is covered in wild eucalyptus and hoop pine.It’s not as large as some of the other islands in the region, but it boasts a wealth of stunning scenery to take in, with particularly striking views coming from the south.It’s close enough to the mainland that you can easily access it via yacht – but if you’d like to stay on the island and sip cocktails beneath the shade of a palm tree, that’s also perfectly acceptable.The island’s hotel is five-star rated and cost $300 million to build – and so you can expect to pay a premium for a stay in this part of the world.If you’re sufficiently well-financed, however, the expense is more than worth it.
This island is fringed with reef and packed with attractions.It’s accessible only by a private boat from nearby Dunk Island, and is this restricted only to a select few visitors.If you’re looking for romantic spot to hide away from the world, then this island offers just the right environment.You’ll be able to enjoy life’s finer things while reclining in front of a postcard-worthy view of a tropical paradise – which, after all, is what most visitors to this part of the world area looking for.
Pro Tips For Visiting These Great Barrier Reef Destinations
Before you visit any of these islands, there are a few things you may want to know about booking a trip to the Great Barrier Reef:
- Accommodation on these islands can book up fast. Make sure to book a room several months in advance so that you’re not left disappointed.
- Similarly, when it comes to tours and boat trips, it’s best to book early. Don’t wait until you’re there to book tours as you could miss out on seeing some of these islands.
- Plan to go scuba diving? Make sure you’ve got a PADI license. A PADI dive course could be worth looking into first.
- You don’t need a license to go snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. If you don’t want to get wet, there are also other ways of seeing the reef including glass-bottomed boats and submarines.
Moving to Australia
If you choose to take a break to the great barrier reef, and decide that you’d like to come back for more, then why not make the switch permanent and emigrate to Australia?You’ll need to first navigate the country’s notoriously unforgiving points-based migration system – but getting into the country isn’t as difficult as you might first suppose.There are many different jobs in Australia for UK citizens, and once you’ve secured on you’ll find it considerably easier to obtain residency rights.
Once you’re an Australian resident, particularly if you’re based in Queensland, you’ll be able to pay a visit to the great barrier reef at your leisure.You might not be able to live on a desert island, but you’ll at least be able to take in the sea-life!