Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Yacht Charter Guide

One of the wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a highlight for any yacht enthusiast. With thousands of reefs, over 900 islands and endless anchorages, there are options here for everyone. Whether you prefer snorkelling in shallow, warm water, diving incredible wrecks and underwater caves, or getting some R&R in a luxury resort on a private island in the South Pacific, you will find it in the GBR. A luxury private charter is the ideal way to experience the Reef – as well as escaping the commercial day-trip areas for quieter Ribbon Reefs and island resorts, while spending nights at anchor your yacht will bob amongst bioluminescent plankton. Dive and snorkel amongst a kaleidoscope of marine life, partake in some game fishing, and enjoy BBQ dinners under an incredible night sky from the deck of your yacht.

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Best Time To Visit: The area is best in the southern winter. From June to October warm temperatures and little rain mean diving conditions are excellent.

Key Cruising Areas: There are endless options around the thousands of reefs and uninhabited islands. Escape the well-known dive spots and explore the quieter Ribbon Reefs. Further south the Whitsundays offer spectacular cruising grounds.

Don’t Miss: The GBR is a heaven for divers. For a unique experience try a night dive at Challenger Bay. One of the best dive spots, the mystery of the ocean at night offers a thrilling opportunity to experience nocturnal creatures and even watch fish sleeping.

Best Spots for Wining and Dining: While Cairns and Port Douglas offer many dining options, the best way to dine in the Great Barrier Reef is at a luxury resort on one of the islands. Spend a day on the exclusive Lizard Island, where you will be greeted by the resident monitor lizards and treated to a world of luxury on the resort. Dine in the Salt Water Restaurant for local produce expertly prepared.

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Best Local Dish: Book at table at Plantation at Lagoons 1770 resort for top class seafood and grass-fed meats at the hands of multi-award-winning chef Ross Howell. Try the seared scallops – simple, local, expertly prepared.

Local Culture: The history and art of the people in Queensland stretches back tens of thousands of years. To get a real feel of the spirit of Australia visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in the evening for cultural performances and traditional food to the haunting tune of a digeridoo by the fire.

Best Beach:  Along with many fantastic onshore beaches, the plethora of islands offer endless choice. For a luxurious yet rustic experience sail to Fraser Island where you will be greeted by lush green forests dotted with beautiful villas, edged by white sand and floating in azure waters. The lagoon is teeming with marine life, and the beach is nothing short of idyllic.

IYC recommends: Stop in Palm Cove, south of Port Douglas. Spend a morning fishing off the jetty then head into the resort for an afternoon relaxing in the infinity pool with palm tree-framed views out to sea. While you relax your onboard chef will use your morning’s catch to prepare a BBQ dinner – eating between stars above and dark water below, swirled with glowing threads of bioluminescence is a truly magical experience.

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