Book a day trip to Reefworld and get whisked out there by high-speed catamaran, which takes less time to get out to the reef. In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving, you can tour the reef without getting wet from inside spacious semi-submersibles that include commentary. The facilities also feature a large, seated underwater viewing chamber, complete with soft nautical music; a secure diving area; a large sundeck with lounges and views; and a tailor-made viewing area on deck to see the massive Queensland Groper living beneath the platform. There are also activities for children.
Things to know before you go
*Because Hardy Reef is a platform reef, it's not subject to choppy conditions and can be snorkeled pretty much year round. *Fresh water showers and change rooms are available on board. *Guided snorkeling tours, introductory and certified diving sessions, and scenic helicopter flights are available for an additional cost. *Wetsuits, flotation devices, and snorkelling equipment are provided. *Reefworld is not wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
Reefworld is located about 40 nautical miles from the mainland. Catamarans that take you out to Reefworld leave from Port of Airlie (near Airlie Beach), going via Hamilton Island, and from Hamilton Island direct. Most hotels are within walking distance of Port of Airlie or you can grab a taxi to the port. Ferries also leave in the morning and return in the late afternoon.
When to get there
The water temperatures around the Whitsundays and Barrier Reef remain at about 77℉ (25℃) most of the year, and because Hardy Reef doesn’t typically experience choppy conditions, you can snorkel here year round. Keep in mind, from October to May, jellyfish are prevalent near the mainland, islands, and sometimes by the reef, so it’s recommend you wear a stinger suit.