GBR which island?

Old Jan 4th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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GBR which island?

I am in the initial planning phases for a trip to Australia in October 2004. I will only have a few days to explore the Great Barrier Reef. While I occasionally scuba dive, I would not call myself an enthusiast. I am looking for a good island that has easy access to both snorkeling and diving. Since I live in Florida, I am more interested in a unique Australian/GBR experience rather than a pretty beach with palm trees. My initial research seems to show Heron and Lizard Islands most closely fit the bill. Any comments? Other island recommendations?
Kev1561 is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2004, 11:12 AM
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I think if I were to return to the GBR, I might try Lady Elliot Island. I was recently on a cruise through Vanuatu and New Caledonia and on board was a marine biologist from Australia. She was a guest lecturer and has done extensive diving and snorkeling on the GBR and her favorite is Lady Elliot. As to the two you mentioned, Lizard would be my first pick.
Louise is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Do some research on Hinchinbrook Island which is out from Cardwell some 100 mls south of Cairns, it is a huge island with many different conditions on it. Alternatively look at some of the islands in the Whitsunday Group because there are 70 + of them and you can get to most of them even though most are uninhabited. That way you can see a cross section of islands.
I lived in Bundaberg for 18 years and whilst Lady Elliot Island is nice for a days outing ( there is not much else near Bundaberg to go to and Lady Elliot is off the coast of Bundaberg ) and some snorkling and fishing it does not come close to a Great Barrier Reef Island. It is not even classified as part of the GBR which ends at Heron. There are some especially interesting things for a marine biologist there though and that is an attraction for those people. However a GBR experience it is NOT. Lizard is expensive but wonderful or you could perhaps think about a small boat cruise from Cairns, for three days, to Townsville which calls in at different coral cays, islands etc where you can explore, snorkle or do whatever you wish.
Old Jan 4th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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Or do a "liveaboard" on one of the dive boats which also caters to snorkellers - Spirit of Freedom which is owned by Tusa Dive in Cairns goes near Lizard Island to some of the best dive sites - Cod Hole, ribbon reefs, etc. Pro-Dive and Nimrod are good, too.
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Old Jan 4th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Go to Lizard, you won't be disappointed; excellent diving and superb snorkeling right off the resort beach - blue starfish, harlequin tusk fish, moorish idols, clown fish, green sea turtles, 20-25 feet from shore. It's true.. It's the only resort that is ACTUALLY ON the GBR. Can't recommend it enough.
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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I agree with Silver, you CANNOT beat Lizard Island! I am sure the other islands in the Great Barrier Reef are nice, but they are not IN the Reef. The food is wonderful (and I live in New York) and the staff is incredible. If you have any interest in spa treatments, I highly recommend you book them PRIOR to arriving. The early and late appointments (who wants to have a massage at 2 p.m. when you could be diving?) seemed to book early. Because I was 25 y.o. (and gay) when I visited in 2002, I felt a little uncomfortable with SO MANY newlyweds, but I got over it when I slept with a member of the staff. : ) Regardless of where you head in the Reef, you're bound to have a wonderful time! Enjoy!
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