Air Tours#7 in Best Things To Do in Great Barrier Reef
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After getting a fish-eye view of the reef, experience a bird's perspective of unique sights like Heart Reef and Hook Reef with an air tour. According to recent travelers, soaring above the chain of islands and rainforests is a must-do experience. And with the area's plethora of carriers and tour packages available, there are plenty of high-flying adventures to choose from.
Tour operators available around the Great Barrier Reef include GBR Helicopters, Air Whitsunday, GSL Aviation and Hamilton Island Air. GBR Helicopters offers scenic flights from Cairns and Port Douglas, but if you're based farther south near Airlie Beach, you can book a flight with Air Whitsunday or GSL Aviation for trips to the Whitsunday Islands. And for those staying on Hamilton Island, there's Hamilton Island Air, which features tours that depart from the island's Great Barrier Reef Airport.
Tour lengths and prices vary by company but can range from 10-minute scenic flights to half-day excursions with island stopovers and boat cruises. Tours generally cost between 119 and 699 Australian dollars (or $88 to $519) per person. Before booking your air expedition, consult with your hotel's concierge – they may offer their own packages at a reduced price.
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#1 Diving and Snorkeling
Many visitors say the Great Barrier Reef is best seen through a scuba mask, but it's no small feat to traverse the area's dive spots. When choosing which regions to explore, consider your skill level, the amount of travel involved and the trip length in that area. Two of the most popular diving and snorkeling locales are listed below:
Hosting a kaleidoscope of fish, sea turtles and humpback whales, Cairns' reefs are teeming with wildlife. Known locally as the Outer Barrier Reef, these reefs are ideal for first-time divers and families because of the one- to three-hour travel times from Cairns' Reef Fleet Terminal. Popular spots by Cairns include Michaelmas Cay, Moore Reef, Green Island and Hastings Reef. Ocean Free, Seastar Cruises and Tusa Dive all offer a variety of half- to full-day cruises; diving and snorkeling cruise packages start at 205 Australian dollars ($152) per adult and AU$120 ($89) for each child.
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