Great Barrier Reef, Queensland: where to dive, snorkel and stay

As David Attenborough’s new three-part reef documentary begins, here’s our guide to exploring the world’s largest living structure and its Australian coast, from scuba diving trips to rainforest excursions – plus the best places to stay

The Unesco world heritage-listed natural wonder is a ribbon of blinding blues and greens, a constellation of islands and reefs, running parallel with the Queensland shoreline from the tip of Cape York in the north 1,600 miles south to Bundaberg. At the reef’s southernmost end are Lady Elliot and Heron islands, two stars of David Attenborough’s new three-hour documentary (screening at 9pm on 30 December, BBC1); heading north, Airlie Beach, Townsville and Cairns are popular starting points for reef explorations.

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