1. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Don’t miss the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from space. It stretches almost 1,243 miles (2,000 kilometres) along the Queensland coast, from Cape York to Bundaberg. Discover the diving havens of Heron and Lizard Islands. Or stay in the Whitsundays and take a sea-plane to spectacular Heart Reef. Base yourself in Cairns or Port Douglas and visit the reef gardens of Green and Fitzroy Islands. Travel further to Agincourt Reef, on the edge of the continental shelf. Kick through coral canyons filled with turtles, sea stars and crabs at Lady Musgrave Island and Fitzroy Lagoon near Gladstone. Explore the SS Yongala shipwreck from Townsville and the Llewellyn shipwreck from Mackay.
2. Ningaloo, Western Australia
Join the tropical-coloured party at Ningaloo Marine Park, the world’s largest fringing reef. Its home to 200 species of hard coral, 50 soft coral and over 500 species of fish. Snorkel or shallow dive with brightly adorned fish in the Bundegi Bombies reef sanctuary. Get up close to sci-fi sponges, gorgonians and sea whips at the entrance to the Exmouth Gulf. Mingle with turtles, manta rays, dolphins, dugongs, batfish, angelfish and clownfish, among others, at Lighthouse Bay. Discover spectacular reef diving and a glamorous underwater crowd at the Murion Islands. Between April and June you can even hang out with the whale shark, the world’s largest fish.