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Diving in the Great Barrier Reef vs Whitsundays

London, United...
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Diving in the Great Barrier Reef vs Whitsundays


I have a 4 week trip to South island of New Zealand and the East Coast of Australia from beg Nov 2013 - Dec 2013. As always there is never enough time and too much to see. I will be in Sydney and was thinking to take a flight up to Cairns to do a day's worth of diving in the GBR. After that I'll be going to the Whitsundays and thereafter to Fraser Island, Bryon Bay and back home to London via Brisbane airport.

I've been told I can dive from the Whitsundays too along the south of the reef which would ofcourse save me a lot of time getting up to Cairns etc. However I've also been told that diving from Cairns is totally different to diving in the Whitsundays and is far better as well. Time is tight and I am quite happy to be doing one day's diving in the GBR and am happy to go up to Cairns for this. I dont want to regret having been all the way to Australia and to not have visited it. However I'd just like to know that it is worth it rather than doing it in the Whitsundays.

Could someone please let me know asap what they think as I need to finalise internal flights and my itinerary asap, tomorrow I hope!

Many thanks,


Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: Diving in the Great Barrier Reef vs Whitsundays

Hi. I have dived the Whitsundays. I dont have a diver cert or anything just did one on a day trip to the outter reef and had a turn (Loved it!). It was fine. I also did a day trip snorkling the Whisundays and you stop at Whitehaven beach. I recommend probably doing Whitsundays only because its a younger crowd - heaps of backpackers and night time scene - Cairns is possibly the same not sure. If you do fly to Whitsundays its probably Proseipine Airport (which you will need to book a shuttle or something as it is about 1/2 hour -45 min from Airlie Beach.) I wouldn't suggest flying into Hamilton Island. When we were looking getting a boat to the main land (where Airlie is) was expensive.

if you decide to go on the day trip to the outter reef choose rather than the other one (Can't remember the name of the other one) http://www.cruisewhitsundays.com/ is great. Newer boat and nice facilities. Also Ocean Rafting: do the northern exposure one - better viewing. www.oceanrafting.com.au/northern-exposure/

Hope that helps I haven't done Cairns but make sure you don't go to Green Island i think it is the further out you go the better more untouched.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Diving in the Great Barrier Reef vs Whitsundays

Dived a lot in north qld and diving off cairns is better than the whitsundays IMO. It will probably be quicker to fly to cairns and go diving. Remember, DAN recommends no flying for 12 hours after diving... So you may need 2 maybe 3 days up north for a days diving.

3. Re: Diving in the Great Barrier Reef vs Whitsundays

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