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10 Great Barrier Reef Experiences To Add To Your Bucket List

If you have a travel bucket list, I can bet my bottom dollar that The Great Barrier Reef makes an appearance! And why wouldn't it? This largest living organism in the world is an intricate maze of colourful corals, unique marine life and bright white coral cays. But did you know that you could count the stars of the Southern Night sky afloat the Great Barrier Reef or space walk with turtles underwater?

Get your notepad at the ready, these Great Barrier Reef Experiences will literally make your heart leap out of your chest Looney Toons style.

Here's the ten Great Barrier Reef Experiences that you need to add to your bucket list...

1.Wake Up On The Great Barrier Reef

sunrise over great barrier reef on sunlover reef cruises moore reef pontoon sunlover by starlight best great barrier reef experiences
Photo @photographybyronbay

If you live by the mantra 'start your day on the right foot', why not start your day with your feet on one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Wake up to the gentle glow of the sunrise reflecting over the coral sea afloat our Moore Reef pontoon. Dive into this natural wonder and swim with turtles Maori wrasse and fish, all before breakfast!

Sunlover By Starlight takes the Great Barrier Reef overnight experience to the next level! Spend two days and one night on our Moore Reef Pontoon and wake up on one of the most unique ecosystems in the world!

2.Swim With A Manta Ray

manta ray on cairns great barrier reef at sunlover reef cruises arlington reef

Manta rays are known as 'the angels of the sea ' for a reason! Snorkel or dive with these gentle giants underwater and watch them peacefully glide before your very eyes! With an average wingspan of 25ft, it's no surprise that manta rays are a must-see for rookie snorkellers and experienced divers alike.

Watch these megafauna fly underwater and get ready for your jaw to drop! Just make sure you keep your snorkel in. These beauties have been spotted recently at both our Moore Reef and Arlington Reef pontoons.

3.Soar High Over The World's Largest Living Organism

scenic flight over outer great barrier reef cairns sunlover reef cruises
Photo @dianetempleton

You've not seen the Great Barrier Reef until you've seen it from above! Whilst an underwater experience allows you to experience the stunning detail of the reef, a birdseye view reminds you just how small you are in comparison to it!

Make like a tropical bird and fly high over the Outer Barrier Reef on a scenic flight with Nautilus Aviation over Moore Reef.

4.Find A Private Spot On Australia's Number One Beach

sunlover reef cruises fitzroy island day tour nudey beach
Photo @_sarahlatham

Paradise:  ̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶d̶e̶a̶l̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶i̶d̶y̶l̶l̶i̶c̶ ̶p̶l̶a̶c̶e̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶t̶e̶. Nudey Beach.

Sensitive souls, before you hit the exit button I'll let you in on a little secret: Nudey Beach isn't actually a nudist beach. As a matter of fact, it was recently voted the best beach in Australia.

Head out with Sunlover for a Fitzroy Island day trip and take a short stroll to this island gem.

Get ready for turquoise oceans, white coral sand and tumbling boulders, all without a bare bum in sight!

5.Make Friends With A Turtle

girl swimming with turtle on great barrier reef sunlover reef cruises moore reef
Photo @courtystelt

It doesn't get much better than chilling with a turtle underwater! These curious creatures may be shy at first, but if you manage to keep your cool when you see one, they may stick around for a while!

We have plenty of green sea turtles swimming around our Moore Reef and Arlington Reef pontoons. Our resident Moore Reef green turtle Linda (photographed above) loves posing for photographs with our snorkellers.

6.Count The Stars From The Middle Of The Ocean

southern star night sky off cairns great barrier reef pontoon on sunlover reef cruises sunlover by starlight
Photo @mycolourfulworld

The phrases 'star' and 'reef' may immediately make you think of starfish, however there's a whole different type of star to admire on The Great Barrier Reef! Gaze at the stunning Southern Night sky free from light pollution directly from the ocean.

Float over Reef, look up and see if you can spot the Southern Cross. Then fall asleep to the lullaby of lapping water under the twinkling stars in your deluxe swag. Only on our Sunlover by Starlight experience.

7.Dive With Giant Clams

scuba diving with giant clams at arlington reef sunlover reef cruises

Contrary to what Hollywood makes you believe, giant clams don't find humans particularly tasty. However, they are kind of awesome to see underwater! Try a Great Barrier Reef scuba dive from our Arlington Reef pontoon and get ready to see an abundance of these babies!

8.Spot A Breaching Whale

breaching whale on sunlover reef cruises great barrier reef tour

Nothing says 'wow' like a whale breaching out of the ocean! These magnificent mammals can be spotted on the Cairns Great Barrier Reef between July and September, which is the migratory season.

Humpback whales are often spotted out at Moore Reef and surrounding areas and lucky tourists have been blessed to see humpback whales directly off our pontoon!

9.Space Walk Underwater

seawalker helmet diving with wally the maori wrasse on sunlover reef cruises cairns great barrier reef

Neil Armstrong: Eat your heart out! Put your dreams of going into space out of your head and instead don a space helmet and head into the big blue! 

Seawalker Helmet Diving feels like walking on the moon, but underwater! Walk along our designated Seawalker platform and be surrounded by marine life including yellowtail fusiliers, trevally and our friendly resident Maori Wrasse Wally.

10.Join A School of Giants

Photo @scottruzzene

If you find yourself nostalgic for your time at school, join a bigger and even better kind of school. Puns aside, there's nothing quite like swimming alongside a school of large fish on The Great Barrier Reef.

Humphead parrotfish, as photographed on our Moore Reef day trip above, are the largest species of parrot fish and can grow up to 1.3m in length.

Ready for your Great Barrier Reef Adventure? See our range of incredible Cairns Great Barrier Reef tours.