Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Guide to the Southern Great Barrier Reef
- Getting to the Southern Great Barrier Reef
- Best time to visit
Majestic manta rays, islands teeming with turtles, lush rainforest and beautiful surf breaks; there’s a reason why we say the ‘great’ starts here.
The Southern Great Barrier Reef is a mecca for mesmerising marine life. It’s here, at the start of the world’s largest coral reef system, where chilled-out turtles, majestic manta rays and friendly humpbacks rule the waters – and you’re invited to join them. Above the water, you can kick back on an uninhabited island, enjoy a little rum fun in Bundaberg or say g’day to the locals while riding the east coast’s most northerly surf. Further inland, swap your blue hues for vivid green rainforest where glistening gorges and ancient caves comprise the Capricorn Coast.
The southern region of the Great Barrier Reef starts at Bundaberg (known as the gateway to the region) and travels north along Australia's magical eastern coastline.
This region services domestic flights from Sydney Airport (SYD) and Brisbane Airport (BNE) to:
- Bundaberg Regional Airport (BDB), located 6km (3.7mi) from Bundaberg
- Rockhampton Airport (ROK), located 4km (2mi) from the town
- Each airport offers transfers, taxis, and car hire options
The Southern Great Barrier Reef delivers unforgettable experiences all year round. Aussie locals love to escape the winter cold by visiting this region. So during the high season and school holidays, visit the surrounding islands to avoid the crowds.
- High season: Winter (June to August)
- Low season: Summer (December to February)
- Don’t miss: The Milbi Festival (October)