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Need suggestions for Great Barrier Reef

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Hi all,

My family will be in Australia in January, 2016. We plan to stay 5-6 days in the Great Barrier Reef area before heading to New Zealand. I have read the Fordors travel book and searched a few websites but I still do not know where we should stay as the area is so huge. I would appreciate some people could give me some advices.

(1) January is wet season with lot of rain. Is water clear in January and we are still good to see the coral?

(2) Where should we visit? Should we stay in one island? If so, is Hamilton a good choice? Or we should visit one island plus one mainland destination? We like beaches better than rainforests though we could spend a day in a eco-tour.

(3) Which islands you would recommend? We prefer middle to high end accommodations but we do not like to splurge too much in hotels.

Thank you!
John

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