Author(s): Lee Mylne
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the only living structure on Earth visible from the moon; at 348,700 square kilometers (238,899 square miles), it's bigger than the United Kingdom. It stretches over 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and is home to some 1,500 kinds of fish, 400 species of corals, 4,000 kinds of clams and snails, and who knows how many sponges, worms, starfish, and sea urchins. In short, the Great Barrier Reef is the Eighth Wonder of the World. "Frommer's Portable Australia's Great Barrier Reef" gives you the lowdown on some of the best sites to snorkel and dive this magnificent piece of nature and tips on how to make the most of your experience. We tell you about the top dive and snorkel sites, as well as some remote beauties that are rarely explored by travelers. We walk you through everything from how to choose a gateway to the Reef to how to pick a dive course. We recommend the best boats for exploring the Reef, from day-trip vessels to dedicated live-aboard dive boats. We tell you about some of the wonderful creatures you will see (and the few scary ones to avoid!).
List of Maps.1 Introducing Australia's Great Barrier Reef.Back to School: Reef Teach.1 The Regions in Brief: Choosing a Gateway to the Reef.2 Which Great Barrier Reef Resort Is Right for You?.3 Picking a Boat: Day-Trip or Live-Aboard, Big or Small?.4 Tips for Divers & Snorkelers.5 Diving & Snorkeling Safety.Ouch! Reef Safety Warnings.2 Planning Your Trip: The Basics.1 Visitor Information.Useful Websites.2 Entry Requirements & Customs.3 Money.The Australian Dollar, the U.S. Dollar & the British Pound.What Things Cost in Cairns.4 When to Go.5 Health & Insurance.6 Tips for Travelers with Special Needs.7 Booking a Package or Escorted Tour.8 Flying to Australia.9 Getting Around Queensland.Fast Facts: Australia.3 Cairns.1 Essentials.Staying Connected.2 Diving & Snorkeling the Reef.3 Exploring the Islands.4 Other Things to See & Do In & Around Cairns.5 Where to Stay.6 Where to Dine.7 Cairns After Dark.4 Port Douglas, Daintree National Park & the Cape Tribulation Area.1 Essentials.2 Diving & Snorkeling the Reef.3 Exploring the Rainforest & Other Things to See & Do.4 Where to Stay.5 Where to Dine.5 The North Coast: Mission Beach, Townsville & the Islands.1 Mission Beach: The Cassowary Coast.2 Townsville & Magnetic Island.3 Orpheus Island.6 The Whitsunday Coast & Islands.1 Whitsunday Essentials.2 Diving & Snorkeling the Reef.Nighttime on the Reef.3 Exploring the Islands.4 Airlie Beach: Gateway to the Whitsundays.5 The Whitsunday Island Resorts.7 The Central Queensland Coast & the Southern Reef Islands.1 Rockhampton: Gateway to Great Keppel Island.2 Great Keppel Island.3 Gladstone: Gateway to Heron Island.4 Heron Island: Coral, More Coral, Turtles & Whales.5 Bundaberg: Gateway to Lady Elliot Island.Up Close & Personal with a Turtle.6 Lady Elliot Island.8 Fraser Island & The Sunshine Coast.1 Fraser Island: Eco-Adventures & Four-Wheel-Drive Fun.2 The Sunshine Coast.Index.General Index.Accommodations Index.Restaurant Index.