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Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Toronto, Ontario
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Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

It will be my first trip to Australia and the GBR this October. Can anyone offer ideas on which islands to stay on for the best snorkeling from the beach and reef walking?

I am thinking about Heron and Wilson Islands. Any other suggestions? Thanks

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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1. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Hi,

You do have a few - all have excellent beach / reef experiences. I guess it comes down to your budget as all are expensive apart from Lady Elliott. The only one I've not done is Lizard Island. However; all the others I've sailed around & all are beautiful. It really comes down to what you want ?

ie.. romantic / isolation/ no kids / ?

Lady Elliott Island

Heron Island

Wilson Island

Lizard Island

South Pole
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2. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

please read this re reef walking:

…qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/activities_in_…

Toronto, Ontario
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3. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Thanks for your reply, Ellemay. It will be just me and my husband, middle age, and no kids. My husband can't swim, so I figure the water at Wilson Island should be shallow enough for him. How about Heron Island?

Toronto, Ontario
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4. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Thanks lien for the reef walking link, it is extremely helpful! I like guided reef walks, so Heron sounds good.

Moreton Island...
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5. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

I'd suggest Heron Island, some of the best snorkelling straight from the beach. It's such a beautfiul island, sure you won't be disappointed.

Reef walking is something I've never done, and don't want to damage the fragile corals.

In fact I was surprised to read that link, I thought that was banned years ago.

enjoy your holiday LTB

Airlie Beach...
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6. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

I can't believe that link, I thought reefwalking was banned, it is certainly heavily discouraged here in The Whitsundays. Devestating to reef and can be very painful to walker.

Some companies here have stopped issuing fins to prevent damage from clumsy swimmers.

I hubby can't swim, don a life jacket, float around nice and slowly and watch the reef come to life

Toronto, Ontario
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168 posts
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7. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Thank you lifetraveller and big_blue26159. I usually travel with an inflatable snorkeling vest and I will make sure my husband wears one too. As for the reef walks, I saw on the internet that the reef walks on Heron and Wilson are guided, so that probably will not damage the coral.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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8. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Heron Island is perfect ... for all

Wilson island - children 12 years and under are not catered for on Wilson Island & only just 12 guests stay at one time so its very exclusive.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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9. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Wilson is clamping so be prepared for an outdoor bathroom remote from your luxury tent and also hasgroup dining. if weather goes perashaped you will be self entertaining.

if weather is perfect you have paradise

October can be school holidays and Heron is kiddy central so if this bothers you then check dates carefully. A quick search fro Australian school holiday dates will give you most info. Note they QLD holidays have most impact and then NSW, avoiding the overlap week is crucial

Of al Lizard is the pick for an accom/snokel experience but has $ to match and will not offer reef walks, they do guided snorkels/ glass kayaks which are far more environmentally friendly , also no u12s (unless someone fibs!)

Edited: 01 April 2012, 10:47
Toronto, Ontario
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168 posts
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10. Re: Best island to stay on for snorkeling from beach & reef walk

Thanks all for the info. I have now booked 3 nights on Wilson+3 nights on Heron! I am SO excited! Unfortunately I will spend Saturday on Wilson Island, and will miss the seafood buffet that I have read about on Heron Island. Just wonder if the buffet is really that great? I love seafood !