SNORKEL A GREAT REEF
You know the… Great Barrier Reef, Australia
It’s every diver’s dream destination, and that’s the problem. Around 7% of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is set aside for tourism, but recent bleaching events have created a stampede; visitors numbers peaked at 2.68m last year.
But what about… Ningaloo Reef, Australia
With the first direct flights from the UK to Australia’s west coast hub Perth having taken off in March, it won’t be long before Ningaloo Reef is uttered in the same breath as its more famous eastern cousin. Stretching 260km between Exmouth and Carnarvon, you can swim with turtles and manta rays in Coral Bay – where the reef is just metres from the shore – or head into open water to drift beside whale sharks (Mar–jul) and humpbacks (Jun–nov).
Some 500 species of tropical fish flit these clear seas, too, with Gnaraloo Bay or the snorkel trails of Ningaloo Marine Park a kaleidoscope of flashing colour, while kayaking trips head out to rarely seen coral gardens. Finish with bush walks and boat trips into the creek of the rugged Cape Range NP. ⊳