Atlantic princess anchored at the great barrier reef

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef on a Superyacht: A guide to the must-visit spots

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef on a Superyacht: A guide to the must-visit spots

Needing that ultimate getaway to unwind and truly relax? A little bit of vitamin sea by exploring the Great Barrier Reef on a superyacht just might be what the doctor orders! But where to begin? With the Great Barrier Reef right off our doorstep, stretching over 348,000 square kilometers, it can be hard to choose which part to explore.

With access to ports from Port Douglas to Bundaberg, there are many places to choose from, but do you really want to join the masses on overcrowded boats? The best way to truly unwind and see the most phenomenal parts of the Great Barrier Reef is to charter your own vessel, whether it is for a single day, overnight or an extended stay, Atlantic Princess can whisk you away from the stress and grind and return you to port in a state of bliss.

The Best Spots to Visit The Great Barrier Reef in a Single Day

Low Isles 

Just 15km off the coast of Port Douglas, you will find the Low Isles, a stunning destination that is easily accessible within . The Low Isles is composed of two small islands – Low Island and Woody Island, surrounded by crystal clear waters full of coral gardens. The waters around the isles are fairly shallow, providing the perfect combination for spotting a variety of tropical fish darting in and out of the beautifully coloured corals, and snorkelling!

The Low Isles are also home to a historic lighthouse and research station, providing a glimpse into the area’s rich history and ongoing conservation efforts. With its pristine beaches and abundant marine life, the Low Isles are a must-visit destination for any Great Barrier Reef adventurer.

While the Low Isles is a popular Great Barrier Reef destination from Port Douglas, there are many local tour operators visiting the island, so if you add this destination to your travel plan, consider an early departure on your yacht to avoid the crowds.

The perfect anchorage for your Superyacht: Snapper Island

A little further north of Port Douglas lies Snapper Island, a hidden gem that is less visited and is a treasure trove for wildlife. This stunning island hosts several different ecosystems, with vine forests on one side, and sclerophyll forests on the other side, providing a home for a large range of woodland birds, with seabirds commonly found amongst the coastal vegetation and mangroves growing along the shores. And did we mention the coral? The whole island is surrounded by fringing coral reefs, playing home to many tropical fish, perfect for a spot of snorkelling. The sheltered side of the island is the perfect spot to park the superyacht, drop anchor and whip out the stand-up paddleboards, or if you are keen to explore a bit more, jump in the sea kayaks and go for a paddle around the island! Snapper Island offers a different adventure for everyone, from Bushwalks, to beautiful beaches, or water activities. And the best bit – no crowds.

Want to Sleep on The Reef?

If you fancy watching the sun go down, there is nothing that compares to watching the sunset over the Great Barrier Reef. Just imagine yourself sitting on the deck of your superyacht in the dwindling light, feeling cool breezes brush your face and the only sound you hear is the gentle lapping of waves on the bottom of the boat. If there is peace in the world, this is where it is! But it doesn’t stop there. Come nightfall, all you need to do is look up and see the endless stars stretching across the sky. A few days of this, and you will forget all your troubles! But the question is – where to drop anchor?

Watch the sun set over the Reef at Hope Islands

A little further north on our journey, just south of Cooktown lays the Hope Islands, a traditional hunting ground of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. While East Hope Island is a forested sand cay, West Hope Island is a low wooded island, with a large mass of mangroves, both separated by a channel in between. This little gem provides a great anchorage for those travelling to and from Lizard Island, and a beautiful spot to watch the sunset over the Great Barrier Reef.

Filled with wildlife, the island is a breeding ground for imperial-pigeons, Australian pelicans, Eastern Reef Herons, Ospreys, White-breasted sea-eagles and so much more. If you are an avid bird watcher, or just have an avid appreciation for the seabirds calling the Great Barrier Reef home, this is the perfect spot! But if water activities are your main calling, there is plenty of opportunity to snorkel the adjacent reefs surrounding the island.

The most northern destination of the Great Barrier Reef: Lizard Island

There’s not a soul in this world that doesn’t dream about visiting Lizard Island, it’s the dream of all dreams. Not only will you find stunning beaches, but 24 stunning beaches! Avoiding crowds and finding your slice of paradise is easy here! Located only 92km north of Cooktown, Lizard Island hosts the most northern Resort in the Great Barrier Reef. But if avoiding crowds are still your goal, there is no need to worry, as the Lizard Island Group is made up of 6 islands – Lizard Island itself, and three smaller islands: Palfrey, South and Osprey, as well as Seabird Islets and Eagle Island. There is certainly a multitude of hidden gems these islands offer. But if you want to stick to the main island, Lizard Island has plenty to offer. If you are a history buff, explore Watson’s Beach to Mrs Watson’s cottage, and top it off with a short hike up to the lookout over Watson’s Bay. Just want to relax on the beach? Take a trip down to Hibiscus Beach, walk along the shore, or take a dip in the azure waters. After a bit of an adventure? Whip out the sea kayaks or stand-up paddleboards and explore the waters around Osprey Island. The options are endless, and you will find that an overnight trip falls short. You definitely want to plan to anchor here for a few days to make the most of your trip.

It’s not just the Islands that should be on your must-visit list, there are many different reef sites scattered along the way, each offering a unique landscape, an array of brightly coloured fish and a stunning amount of coral to explore. So, whether you only have a day to get away, or a few nights set aside to explore, take a journey on Atlantic Princess to the far stretches of the Great Barrier Reef, and create some memories that will last a lifetime.