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Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

...or should we head to Cairns. I posted on the Townsville site bc we'd planned on just heading up that far, but it seems there are not many dive/snorkel tours to hop onto from there and most of the companies seem to be out of Cairns. True?

New South Wales...
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for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
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1. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

Hi Quabba

Rockhampton and Bundaberg are both great places to access the southern end of the reef and also provide tranfer points for Lady Elliot, Lady Musgrave and the Keppel Islands.

You could try Capricorn Reef http://www.capricornreefdiving.com/ out of Rockhampton

or Lady Musgrave trips out of 1770

see; http://www.lmcruises.com.au/

There are reef tours available all the way up the Queensland coast it's just that Cairns has the marketing deal (particularly for the OS market) absolutely down pat! You can also take tours from Airlie Beach and Mackay. Definitely no need to go as far as Cairns.

Winnipeg, Manitoba
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2. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

That is so helpful! Thanks!

Ross, Australia
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3. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

Hello and Welcome,

As someone who works in Rockhampton and lives on the coast nearby in Yeppoon, I personally would recommend that you would be better off planning a diving trip in the Whitsundays Islands area. The towns of Airlie Beach and nearby Shute Harbour are ideally set up for any water and tourist pursuits, much more so than Rockhampton which is at least 35km's from the coast.

If travelling by car, the Whitsunday region is approximately four hours drive north from Rockhampton. It is more tropical than this area with the added bonus of many beautiful islands to explore. There are also many and varied boat tours around the islands and to the outer Barrier Reef. Not sure of any particular websites, but if you search for Whitsundays Tourism you'll get plenty of results and can go from there.

Good luck and hope you enjoy your holiday.

Winnipeg, Manitoba
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4. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

THanks for the info. I'm really having trouble deciding how far north I have to travel to get to a good base from which to explore the reef, keeping in mind I'll have to catch a flight back to Sydney to get my return flight home. I was waffling between:

A) drive up as far as Cairns, but people have told me I'm crazy to do that as it is too far.

B) fly to Cairns from Brisbane after driving to Fraser Island and back to Brisbane.

C) Drive up to Townsville, but I could not find any good scuba/snorkelling tours/companies. Just Adrenaline Divers in which I have no confidence.

I just seem to be getting more confused. Every time I think I have the answer, I get more options to consider and start all over.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

there are some very good dive sites on the southern end of the reef and some spectacular snorkelling to be had out of Bundaberg or Gladstone with Lady Elliot,Wilson and Lady Musgrave Islands.

In saying that these places are fairly remote, hardly developed and very light on tourists. If thats your thing then go :-)

Most tourists however, base themselves in either the Whitsunday Islands/Airlie Beach or Cairns/Port Douglas - there are a lot of options from these very tourist oriented towns and not just diving.

Buderim, Australia
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6. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

Short answer - No.

Head to Cairns and preferably Port Douglas (1 hr away) where the outer reef is closest.

See link below for reef trip tips.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255070-i737-k1441…

Ross, Australia
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7. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

Hello again,

If you decide on the Whitsunday Islands option, you can fly into/out of the Proserpine Airport which is a 30-40 minute drive from Airlie Beach. To/from Sydney would require a stop-over in Brisbane.

Both Qantas and Virgin Blue service Prosperine. You can compare flights using Webjet at:

tsa.webjet.com.au/webjettsa/home.aspx…

I know what you mean about being confused - sometimes there are too many options. We experienced this when planning an up-coming holiday to Greece, but once we finally decided where we wanted to go we were able to make our bookings without any second thoughts.

Happy planning,

Diane

Winnipeg, Manitoba
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8. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

Okay, I think I've made up my mind- thank goodness for you guys and Trip Advisor! After driving from Sydney to Brisbane over 7 days we are heading to Hervey Bay to explore Fraser Island, then on to Rockhampton, then on to Airlie Beach to explore the Whitsundays then flying to Sydney from Townsville to catch our flight home. Thanks everyone!

9. Re: Is Rockhampton a good base for snorkelling/diving the GBR?

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