When David Attenborough calls a place 'the most exciting natural history experience' of his life, it must be pretty magical, and the Great Barrier Reef most certainly is. Stretching 1,429 miles along the coast of Queensland (that's London to John O'Groats and back again), the Great Barrier Reef is a truly mindboggling natural wonder. And sitting pretty in the middle of the reef you'll also find the Whitsundays,
a collection of 74 powder-white rimmed tropical islands. Start with the obvious and go diving or snorkelling for the day, because the reef is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, over 3,000 species of molluscs, six of the world's seven marine turtle species, 30 species of whales and dolphins and one of the world's healthiest dugong populations. If you're looking to combine sand and seafaring with some luxury, the Whitsundays are one of our favourite destinations. Enjoy fantastic diving and walks on pure silicon white sand (Whitehaven Beach, we're looking at you) alongside private yacht charters, helicopter rides and seriously beautiful accommodation. Basically it's pretty hard to go wrong here.
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Non-water babies shouldn't be fooled into thinking the reef isn't for them. In fact, there are a surprising number of ways to enjoy the beauty of the corals and the contrasting colours of the sea, shore and sky without ever getting your toes wet. Some of our favourites include taking a yacht out to sunbathe and watch the sunset; flying over the reef in a light aircraft; enjoying a massage perched over the ocean off Hamilton Island; and horse riding along Cape Tribulation beach.