The Southern Great Barrier Reef

Relaxed Charm and Serenity

An often overlooked section of the Queensland coastline, the Southern Great Barrier Reef region is home to some of Australia’s best-kept holiday secrets. This dynamic area basks in a sub-tropical climate with islands, waterways and beaches right on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef.

Unlike the tropical, white-sand beaches of the Whitsundays, the Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands are known more as wildlife havens, and feature stunning marine national parks.

For lovers of diving, fishing and untouched natural beauty, Heron, Wilson and Lady Elliot islands are superb choices, providing some of the world’s best diving, as well as breeding grounds for turtles, birds and whales, allowing you to enjoy a luxury stay in natural solitude surrounded by nature.

Bundaberg, a town made famous for sugar cane and the eponymous local rum distillery, is also the departure point for a number of Southern Great Barrier Reef islands, and also boasts its own beach destinations: Bargara and Mon Repos, great for snorkelling or diving.

Gladstone sits on a beautiful harbour and is a good access point to Heron Island. North-east of Rockhampton (the region’s largest city) is Yeppoon, a pleasant township offering village-style appeal, a wide range of restaurants and accommodation, as well as a world-class golf resort.

Insiders' Tips

  1. Transfer with a View: Helicopter transfers are available from Gladstone to Heron Island, and offer stunning 360-degree views of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
  2. Watch for turtle hatchlings: Mon Repos Beach on the Bundaberg coastline is an environmental park, where turtle nesting occurs between November and February. Hatchlings can also be seen on the islands, emerging from their sandy nests between January and March.

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