A little piece of paradise just a 30 minute ferry ride from Townsville. This is as close as the Great Barrier Reef gets to the mainland. It’s one of the my favorite places in Australia.
Hop on a SeaLink ferry! It only takes 20 minutes and they have up to 18 departures a day. Learn from our mistakes and bring some cash as the buses on the island are cash only.
We stayed at the Xbase backpackers, but before you think “ugh hostels” have a look at this place. You get the typical dorms, even camp sites, but they also offer private cabins right on the water. Wake up to a beautiful sunrise just right outside your door. The beachside bar is also the perfect place to unwind after a long day exploring the island.
There is snorkelling all over the island. In fact, straight out from Nelly bay where the hostel is located is one of several snorkel trails. It is marked by buoys on the surface and is a great place to start your day.
Another beautiful spot for snorkelling is Florence bay. It is filled with colorful corals and tropical fish, and if you get lucky you might spot one of the juvenile blacktip reef sharks that hang around this area.