See the majesty of the Great Barrier Reef – from the air

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A number of operators offer scenic flights over the world’s largest living structure.

Scuba diving is without doubt the best way to get up close and personal with the Great Barrier Reef. But it’s not the only worthy perspective of Australia’s greatest natural wonder.

Going sub-marine allows you to see the coral and marine life in great detail sure, but from there you don’t get any sense of the 1,500 mile-long reef’s great scale. For that, you need to get in the air.

A number of operators offer scenic flights over the world’s largest living structure. The vast majority departs from Cairns by seaplane. Of those, some are simply scenic 60-mile long loops to and from the mainland. Others actually stop off along the way in places such as Green Island and various cays.

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But for our money, nothing competes with a low-flying helicopter tour. Sadly out of the price range for many (including us!), the Skysafari Australia-operated flights out of Lizard Island may just be the best.

Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Lizard Island. Photo courtesy of www.lizardisland.com.au

Taking off from one of the 20 most expensive hotels in the world (Lizard Island Resort), the helicopter flies between 500 ft to 1500 ft above sea level – close enough for glimpses of water, land, and air-going wildlife such as sharks, manta rays, turtles, whales, crocodiles, wallabies and sea eagles along the way.

The Great Barrier Reef from the air
The Great Barrier Reef from the air. Photo by Sarah_Ackerman

Open only to guests of the luxury resort, a 20-minute flights costs AUS $200 (£133). A 40-minute trip costs AUS $400 (£266), while a 60-minute flight costs AUS $600 (£400). At ten Aussie dollars a minute the experience may not be cheap, but we suspect it’s still worth it.

Want to see what a flight from the Hinterland to Lizard Island might be like?

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Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Lizard Island Resort supplied the featured image)

See the majesty of the Great Barrier Reef – from the air was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.