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Qantas gets you there...
There's never been a better time to head Down Under with great deals on Qantas, you'd be crazy not to visit "the Lucky Country." Come and experience "The Spirit of Australia" with Qantas. more...
First Class in Qantas is a fantastic experience with the new sleeper seat which is an armchair, recliner, or 6'6" (198cm) bed. It
easily adjusts at the touch of electronic controls so you can really stretch out with effortless ease. You may recline completely with
maximum privacy, or share a quiet retreat in one of three side-by-side Sleeper Seats.
Business Class: read all about this class in the main article...
Economy Class is not a bad deal either given that higher levels of in-flight comfort have also enhanced economy Class
travel on Qantas on international flights. New seats have an ergonomic design, including built in lumber support and adjustable "wings"
in the headrests for a restful flight.
Qantas gets you around with the Boomerang Pass
Qantas offer the Boomerang Pass for affordable and flexible domestic travel in Australia.
The Boomerang Pass discounts regular fares within Australia anywhere between 14-50%. The Pass is only available to USA and Canada citizens,
as well as other countries outside of the South Pacific. It must also be purchased before the traveler comes to the South Pacific.
The Pass is a zone pass. Travelers buy coupons that can be used for a variety of flights within a zone and between zones. People may buy a minimum of two coupons, but have a maximum of 10. One flight coupon costs between US$160 and US$240, depending on if you're flying within a zone or between zones.
There are three zones that make up Australia, and they follow the State Lines. The East Zone is made of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. The Central Zone is Northern Territory and South Australia. The Western Zone is Western Australia. Flights within a zone are usually the same price, so a flight from Sydney to Melbourne, and Sydney to Cairns are the same price - $190. Perth to Broome would be about $190. Sydney to Perth would be about $240, because it's between zones.
Please note that not all Qantas city pairs are available for Boomerang fares.
the first Boomerang flight must be confirmed before a traveler arrives in Australia. The rest can be confirmed while there (as long as their
coupons were purchased before coming down). This lets travelers change their dates freely, for example you have a Cairns to Ayers Rock reservation, but can postpone it a couple days if you happen to really like Cairns. Also, if a person purchases more than the minimum of 2 passes, they can get a full refund on the additional passes as long as they have used the minimum of two after they've returned from their trip.
For more information, please call Qantas at 800-227-4500.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is the lead agency for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area issues. The Authority is the principal adviser to the Commonwealth Government on the care and development of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. More
What is reefHQ? Reef HQ is the largest living coral reef aquarium in the world. Reef HQ is a miniature version of the Great Barrier Reef and is the Reef Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Reef HQ was originally known as the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium. As a major
feature of the Great Barrier Reef Wonderland, it was a Bicentennial Commemorative Project and opened in Townsville on 24 June 1987. Re-launched on 18 August 1999, Reef HQ is still the largest living coral reef aquarium in the world. More
The Sunshine State
complete travelers guide to Queensland, Australia's Sunshine State. 3000 pages of Queensland holiday options including accommodation,
tour, hire product, destination information, travel tales, events, travel tips and much, much more...
Hamilton Island offers its guests a very extensive range of things to do. These include of course scuba diving, Great Barrier Reef cruises, water-skiing, windsurfing catamaran & yacht sailing, tennis, gymnasium, game fishing, nature walks, Whale watching (mid July to September), scenic flights, safari tours or simply just relaxing. Find out more about this luxurious island. More...
When you tire of diving we have something else for you! Australia proudly introduces the fourth train in the Orient-Express Trains & Cruises group - the Great South Pacific Express. Now for the first time, the ultimate in luxury train journeys can be experienced in Australia. Travel from Cairns to Sydney. More
Island Resorts of Queensland
The islands of the Great Barrier Reef region of Tropical North Queensland are Australias crown jewels, with a choice of accommodation and activities for all budgets ranging from remote and secluded luxury lodges and elegantly sophisticated resorts, through to family oriented island getaways. More
The Great Barrier Reef
World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef as scuba diver's paradise. You could dive on the world's largest marine park every day for the rest of your life and still not see it all. Queensland's warm subtropical climate is perfect for diving all year round and the water is clearer than crystal. Discover a Garden of Eden below the waves, a magical world filled with diverse species of marine life. There's a whole new undersea world waiting, where you can enjoy peak diving experiences.
offers some of the best wall diving in the world, with sheer walls of coral that disappear into the blue void of ocean down to the sea bed
hundreds and sometimes thousands of meters below. You can arrange to have a marine ecologist or reef guide accompany your dive to explain
the rich and complex life forms of the reef. Or take a step back into history, diving among the hundreds of wrecks dotted along the reef and
coast, most of which are teeming with bright corals and hundreds of fish. Fifteen hundred species of fish make their home on the reef. It's
not uncommon to find yourself swimming alongside Sea Snakes, Sharks, Manta Rays and Turtles.The Great Barrier Reef stretches along most of the Queensland coastline covering several regions:
Northern Queensland Region
Stretching from Cairns to Cape York at the northern tip of mainland Australia, the northern region of the Reef offers a fantastic range
of diving holidays in the cleanest waters of the world with visibility often exceeding 100 meters. Theres spectacular marine life, isolated
atolls, amazing drop offs, exciting shark feeding stations and intact shipwrecks. Many of the most exotic dive sites are close to Cairns.
Popular reefs include Thetford Reef which has sand cays, walls and coral gardens and small caves in 20 to 30 meters of water, and Norman Reef, the site of a large fully-roofed pontoon that serves as a base for visits to nearby smaller reefs. Shipwreck buffs must include a dive on the RMS Quetta wreck which sunk in the Torres Strait in 1890 and lies on her side in good conditions off the
tip of Cape York.
The section of the Great Barrier Reef covering Mission Beach, Townsville and Bowen offers some great diving experiences along the outer edge
of the Reef. This is a region where the serious diver should look to make use of the many excellent charter boats and take extended trips.
Most of the reefs in this region boast terrific photo and video opportunities.
Bowl Reef has many large and varied Gorgonian fans, caves, drop-offs,
fish feeding and good night diving. John Brewer Reef is good for shallow reef diving and some shark feeding. The coral reefs off the coast of Bowen are littered with shipwrecks including the famous Gothenburg which sank with great loss of life and a cargo of gold in 1854.
The Whitsunday Region
The most popular scuba diving locations around the Whitsunday Islands are located at the northern end of Hook Island which is sheltered from
the southerly weather. There are many day trips and extended cruises departing from Shute Harbour at Airlie Beach and from the island resorts
such as the marina in Hamilton island. Bait Reef and its famous Stepping Stones in the northeast of the region
is the closest reef to the mainland. This reef is famous for its diversity of great dive experiences and locations. Another popular dive site is
Black Reef, a fantasy land for scuba diving exploration.
The Mackay Region
The most popular dive site of the Mackay Region is Credlin Reef which has at least ten excellent sites along the permanently moored giant
pontoon for both beginner and advanced divers.
There are so many options to dive the Great Barrier Reef and so many locations that to try and describe them all here would be impossible.
Dive Global focused on the Whitsunday Region and took day trips with H2O Sportz and Fantasea Cruises, both located on beautiful Hamilton Island. Hamilton Island is in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands and houses the main airport. It is also the only island in this group with a wide variety of hotels, apartments, bungalows and houses to rent to suit most tastes and budgets as well as offering an endless array of activities. Surrounded by idyllic coral fringed beaches, Hamilton Island provides the perfect backdrop for the ultimate tropical Great Barrier Reef holiday for divers and non-divers alike.
Diving is offered in Bait Reef Marine Park in the Great Barrier Reef, a two hour boat trip away. Bait Reef is one of the best known and most spectacular locations on the Great Barrier Reef. The reef provides an "oasis" for all sorts of tropical marine life, with turtles and manta rays common sights. Coral gardens, underwater canyons, swim throughs and dramatic walls provide a range of terrain to explore. The reef is an ideal location for both scuba divers and snorkelers.
H2O Sportz offers daily departures from their dive shop at Hamilton
Island Marina at 9:30 am, returning at 5:00 pm. The boat ride takes about 2 hours each way and you'll spend around 4 hours at your reef
location, which allows plenty of time for lots of snorkeling and/or 2 leisurely dives. A delicious buffet lunch is served on board and the
crew is excellent! On bad weather days, H2O sportz offers half day diving/snorkeling trips to the closer reefs around the Whitsunday islands to avoid the rough open seas which can swell to three meters of more. Have a look at the dive sites of Bait Reef for more specific dive sites information. Snorkelers can explore the shallow gardens on top of the reef, confident in the hands of their snorkel guide. Beginner divers, are escorted by the instructors around the reef formations at around 10 meters (30 feet). The more experienced divers can investigate the canyons and walls at "Stepping Stones". Contact H2O Sportz for more information.
Another option is the large, air-conditioned and high speed trip out with the Fantasea 2000 Catamaran of Fantasea Cruises who will drop you off at their permanent pontoon "Reefworld".
As an accredited PADI facility, they offer both certified and introductory diving at Reefworld, a permanently moored adventure platform on the
Great Barrier Reef.
Reefworld is positioned on the outer edge of Hardy Reef, which is a 'patch reef' on the Great Barrier Reef and all dives are conducted along the 70 m reef wall. A special feature of Reefworld is the Moon Pool, a suspended dive cage in waist deep water, located underneath Reefworld. The Moon Pool is an ideal safe area for introductory divers to practice their skills before venturing out in to deeper waters and an excellent entry/exit point for certified divers.
The pontoon offers a semi submarine tour from which you can get a good glimpse of the reef. There is also a large sundeck, an enclosed snorkeling area, picnic tables and a souvenir shop. Reefworld offers scenic helicopter tours over the reef and if you wish to overnight, enjoy Reefsleep - the ultimate sleepover on the Great Barrier Reef. Reefworld is also
a research location of the Australian Marine Science Institute.
No better airline to fly Down Under then Australian Qantas.
The carrier has an extensive schedule to and from major cities around the world.
Qantas also operates daily flights to Hamilton Island and Cairns from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Dive Global experienced the comforts of Qantas Business Class. We enjoyed the new Dreamtime seats which adjusts five ways electronically for maximum comfort using touch controls. Business class offers more space than ever so you can feel more comfortable while working, or really stretch
out and just relax while enjoying nonstop entertainment on the individual TV screen.
The food was divine as Qantas in-flight cuisine is excellent. In 1998, Qantas changed high altitude dining forever. They introduced a new style of
First and Business Class cuisine created by award-winning Australian chef and restaurateur, Neil Perry. Think of "the Wolfgang Puck
of Australia", and you'll get a sense of Neil's talents for creating meals on the ground. Yum!
Qantas allows for 2 x 32 kg (70 pound) bags per person and 1 x 5 kg (11 pound) carry-on. Surcharges may apply to surplus. To find out more about flight times, services and booking information, go to the Qantas
ranging from a daytime maximum of 25-27°C to an overnight minimum of 17-20°C in Queensland. As the region is totally tropical (being
16° south of the equator) summer is generally much warmer and subject to high seasonal rainfall from December to April. Heavy intermittent
downpours followed by long periods of sunshine are the most characteristic aspect of the weather at this time of year. Daily maximums are 30-34°C with 20-24°C overnight.
You have to take the good with the bad, and during the summer months North Queensland is affected by cyclone activity. If you intend visiting
during this period, it is probably best that you familiarize yourself with the necessary cyclone precautions and emergency procedures. Prevailing
southeasterly winds blow for 9 months of the year, limiting diving time in the far North to a few short months, from late August to January.
Generally the winds die down in October.
Diving & Snorkeling Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Lonely Planet |
Great Barrier Reef (Wonders of the World) by Martin J. Gutnik, Natalie Browne-Gutnik | Buy
The Great Barrier Reef: A Living Laboratory (Discovery) by Rebecca
L. Johnson | Buy
Great Barrier Reef Diving Guide, Roberto Rinaldi | Buy
Coral Seas, Roger Steene |
Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, John E. Randall, Gerald
Allen & Roger C. Steen |
The Australian Scuba Diver Illustrated
Sea Stars of Australasia, Neville Coleman
The Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef, Neville Coleman | Buy
Diving Australia, Neville Coleman & Nigel Marsch
Discover Underwater Australia, various authors
The Barrier Reefs, A. Mojetta
The Great Barrier Reef Dive Guide, Roberto Rinaldi (Photographer)
Lonely Planet Australia :: Online
More about diving in Australia...
Great Barrier Reef Visitors Bureau
Port Douglas Visitors Bureau