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Best place to stay for direct access from beach to reef?

Anchorage
posts: 8
Best place to stay for direct access from beach to reef?

Any ideas on where the best places for snorkeling the reef right from the beach are? Does the reef ever come right up to the beach in the North on the mainland or is it only on islands where the reef comes right up to the shore line (or at least within swimming distance)? So far I'm leaning towards Heron and Wilson. The only other options I came across were Lizard and Orpheus (but they seem too expensive) or Lady Elliot (but the accommodations seem questionable). Can anybody give me their input or maybe suggest other spots that I may not have heard about yet? It'll be me and my husband (late twenties / early thirties) for a week to ten days sometime mid-October to mid-November. We'd like to try to keep the budget around $500 per day for the two of us. Thanks much!!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
posts: 27,372
reviews: 615
1. Re: Best place to stay for direct access from beach to reef?

Lady Elliott / Heron Island / & Wilson Island have direct access to the reef.

Cairns / Port Douglas & The Whitesundays you have to take a boat to the reef.

Go for Heron it has better accomodation than Lady Elliott & would suit your budget.

Queensland
posts: 39
reviews: 15
2. Re: Best place to stay for direct access from beach to reef?

Heron island would be ideal however being November it is their bird season so it may be quite noisy.. Accommodation isn't flash but when I have been it was clean.. I love heron island as there is so much to do.. Breakfast, lunch & dinner is included in the accommodation package and I think that the transfers are as well. There is lots to do and prices are reasonable.. I would try do a small grocery shop and get some snack foods and even alcohol, soft drink this will save alot of $. You are not allowed to take your own alcohol to the bar or restaurant area.. Any questions feel free to ask

3. Re: Best place to stay for direct access from beach to reef?

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