Snorkeling and Diving
Camira. The purple catamaran Camira offers day cruises to Whitehaven Beach that include a big barbecue lunch, time to swim and sunbathe, and a stop to snorkel off Hook Island on the way back. The fare (A$189 per person) includes lunch, snorkeling gear and tuition, and all beverages including alcoholic drinks. Pick-ups from Daydream Island Jetty, Daydream Island, QLD, 4802. 07/4948–8477 Discovery Desk, Daydream Is.; 07/4946–4662 Cruise Whitsundays. www.daydreamisland.com.
Cruise Whitsundays. This operator runs day-long snorkel and dive cruises to Knuckle Reef Lagoon along the balmy, translucent waters of the outer Great Barrier Reef (A$225). They include a big buffet lunch, snorkeling gear and guidance, and plenty of time to take advantage of the excellent facilities, from massages and reef talks to semisubmersible boat rides and Queensland's largest underwater viewing chamber. Keen to get your feet wet? Take a guided or self-guided snorkeling tour in the sheltered lagoon, or go scuba diving for an extra fee to see several marine species, including large pelagic fish (A$119 for the first scuba dive [beginnner], A$99 [certified]; A$59 second dive, gear included). Pickups from Daydream Island Resort Jetty, Daydream Island, QLD, 4802. 07/4948–8477 Discovery Desk, Daydream Is.; 07/4946–4662 Cruise Whitsundays. www.daydreamisland.com.
Ocean Rafting. Long-established Ocean Rafting has access permits to visit protected areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, exclusive direct access to iconic Hill Inlet beach, and top snorkeling sites off uninhabited Hook and Border islands, where you can snorkel in spectacular subtropical environs. The "rafts"—11-meter-long former rescue crafts with undercover seating, powered by 500-horsepower engines, and crewed by a skipper and eco-guide—carry a maximum 28 people, so you're never snorkeling in a crowd. Choose from two tours: the Northern Exposure, with more time to snorkel, and the Southern Lights, with more beach time (A$151 per person). Daydream Island Jetty, Daydream Island, QLD, 4802. 07/4948–8477 Discovery Desk, Daydream Is.; 07/4946–6848 Ocean Rafting. www.oceanrafting.com.au.