Ideally one would spend a week or two marvelling in all 2,900 reefs that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. But, having driven up from Brisbane, and a flight waiting for us at Cairns, my sister and I had to squeeze in as much as possible in just two days. With work and university around the corner we didn’t know if we would ever travel to Australia together again and so vowed to make the most of this paradise no matter what the cost (the phrase YOLO comes to mind.)
We stayed in Airlie Beach, a popular gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and nearby reefs. As we were saving our money for the attractions, and it was just the two of us in the car, we paid $29 (£14.50) for a parking space at Seabreeze Caravan Park. This allowed us to access the bathrooms, laundry services, kitchens and Wi-Fi while we slept in the car with the seats reclined back. Bungalows were $150 per night so this setup suited us, and our bank accounts just fine.
Earlier on in our road trip we came to the conclusion that the best way to see the main attractions in such a limited amount of time was through various day trip activities. Yes these can be pricey but everything is taken care of for you, even food and transport. Thinking ahead of our tight schedule pre-booked our activity tours which were a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef and a day trip throughout the Whitsunday Islands. It was after lunch when we arrived, so from the moment we turned the engine off it was time for our scenic flight.
This was probably the highlight of all my travels thus far as nothing can beat the view of the Great Barrier Reef from above. A scenic flight is definitely the best way to experience it. Check out this quick video of our time at the Great Barrier Reef.
Have a look at all your day trip options and prices here on Reef Free.
What do you think of day trips: hassle free or too expensive? let me know in the comments below.