The Great Barrier Reef. It’s hard not to use superlatives when talking about the largest living structure on Earth. Astronauts report that they can see the reef from space, stretching in all its aquamarine glory for 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) along the northern Queensland coast.
Although often thought of as one structure, the reef actually includes a staggering 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands and 900 coral cays, too many for just one visit to the Great Barrier Reef.
When to visit
If you’re diving the southern reaches of the reef from Yeppoon to Bundaberg, expect air temperatures in winter and spring (June to November) to range from 50 to 81 F (10 to 27 C) and from 68 to 82 F (20 to 28 C) from December through May. Water temperatures can range from 66 to 79 F (19 to 26 C) depending on when you dive.
Make it happen
As a diver, planning a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a must. There are daily flights from the West Coast of the U.S. to both Brisbane and Sydney, from whence you can catch a connecting flight to Cairns, Townsville, Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast), Hamilton Island, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone or Bundaberg. The best place to start for information about visiting the Great Barrier Reef is on the official Queensland tourism site.