TRIP SUMMARY
Discover Australia’s great natural wonder with Mark Fitz’s Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Trip. Life doesn’t get much better than this! Mark is an Olympus photographer, travel writer and local Great Barrier Reef expert, passionate about showing you his favourite tropical islands and locations not many people get to visit.


Fly to the secluded Lady Elliot Island for a glamping experience, cruise around the Southern Great Barrier Reef on a luxury catamaran, go on a spectacular helicopter ride to picnic on Broomfield Cay, relax in your own Wilderness Retreat, cruise the Whitsundays, stay at Australia’s first underwater hotel, discover stunning Magnetic Island and visit the totally uninhabited Frankland Islands.
From: $12,998 AUD
From
Mark
I'm excited to be teaming up with the Airguides team to offer this trip that has been designed by me to some of my favourite Queensland destinations. I've fallen in love with these places over the years and have now put together an itinerary so that you too can experience these incredible world heritage listed locations, luxury island getaways and unforgettable underwater encounters on the Great Barrier Reef!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1
Day 1: Brisbane to Bundaberg
Collect your car at the vehicle depot in Brisbane and make your way to Bundaberg. This energetic Queensland country town, just minutes from the coast, has plenty to offer. Bundaberg’s most iconic places? The Bundaberg Rum Distillery, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Hinkler Hall of Aviation.
Activities
INCLUDED
Pick up your car
Collect your rental car in Brisbane and make your way to Bundaberg. We've made sure you travel comfortably in a Toyota Camry (or similar) automatic, equipped with air conditioning, 4 doors and unlimited free mileage. Comes with a full tank of fuel.
OPTIONAL
Vanderlust campervan
Prefer to do your Great Barrier Reef Trip in an epic van? A Vanderlust campervan comes equipped with a Weber bbq, gas hot water shower, an innerspring mattress, a pretty bad as$ solar system, fridge and freezer, rooftop platform, fresh linen and towels, surfboard storage, a Nutri Bullet (!) and camping table and chairs. Probably the prettiest van you've ever come across. this gives you the freedom to find amazing camp spots along the way. Contact our team for more information!
OPTIONAL
Extra night in Brisbane
Have more time? Stay an extra night to explore all of the Brisbane goodness. Speak to our friendly team for recommendations. We have a range of fun activities and accommodation options available!
Day 2
Day 2: Bundaberg to Lady Elliot Island
Fly out of Bundaberg for an overnight stay on Lady Elliot Island, the most remote Great Barrier Reef island! Lady Elliot Island is located within a highly protected ‘Green Zone’ and is home to manta rays, turtles, spectacular marine life and coral reef. Also get excited for a glamping experience at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort!
Activities
INCLUDED
Flight Bundaberg - Lady Elliot Island
Your scenic flight from Bundaberg to Lady Elliot Island takes approximately 30 minutes and will be one of the highlights of your Lady Elliot Island experience! Hop aboard a small aircraft chartered from Seair Pacific, the experienced aircraft operator of the resort since 1996 and the only one who can take you there. Lady Elliot Island is the only coral cay Island with an airstrip on the Great Barrier Reef.
INCLUDED
Glamping at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Stay at the stunning Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort. Immerse yourself in an exclusive and spacious glamping tent set amongst the natural flora, whilst enjoying views of the spectacular lagoon. With a queen bed, a private bathroom and secluded balcony, your tent is cooled with a mini-fridge and tea & coffee making facilities.
Day 3
Day 3: Lady Elliot Island to Bundaberg
Fly back to Bundaberg and explore this vibrant river town for the day. Stroll along the river, relax at the botanical gardens or discover the local shops and cafes. Perhaps you feel like a rum tour at the iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery or dive into history and visit the Hinkler Hall of Aviation?
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Flight Lady Elliot Island - Bundaberg
Your scenic flight back to Bundaberg takes approximately 30 minutes and once again, you get the enjoy a birds-eye view of Lady Elliot Island! Hop aboard a small aircraft chartered from Seair Pacific, the experienced aircraft operator of the resort since 1996. Lady Elliot Island is the only coral cay Island with an airstrip on the Great Barrier Reef.
Day 4
Day 4: Bundaberg to Lady Musgrave Island
Get ready for another day of tropical paradise! Depart Bundaberg with Lady Musgrave Experience for a day trip to Lady Musgrave, the jewel of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Activities
INCLUDED
Lady Musgrave Island Day Tour
Experience the Southern Great Barrier Reef on-board the luxury catamaran Reef Empress. Cruise to Lady Musgrave Island and enjoy morning tea, as you make your way to the pristine Lady Musgrave Reef lagoon for snorkeling, glass bottom boat tours, fish feeding and guided island walk. Including a gourmet buffet lunch and afternoon tea.
INCLUDED
Sleep in a Treetops Safari Tent
Another day, another luxurious glamping experience! Not only will you sleep under canvas and listen to the waves, but you'll also have access to your own ensuite, kitchen facilities & air-conditioning. Camping in style!
Day 5
Day 5: Agnes Water to Gladstone
Wake up in Agnes Water Beach, check out the surf and make your way to Gladstone. Gladstone is a real gem for nature lovers. There are options to dive, swim, snorkel, surf, hike or float about in a boat.
Activities
Do
FREE OPTION
Explore the Gladstone Region
Spend a day exploring the natural wonders of the Gladstone Region. Learn to surf at Agnes Water, the northern-most surf beach in Queensland, try beach fishing at Farmers Point and watch the sun slide in and out of the sea at the Town of Seventeen Seventy. Surrounded on three sides by the Coral Sea, it's one of the few places on the east coast of Australia where you can see the sun rise and set over water.
Day 6
Day 6: Gladstone to Heron Island
Catch the ferry to your next tropical destination, Heron Island! You will spend a few nights here, as this magical island deserves all your attention. A paradise for marine lovers, you get to experience nature at its very best.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Gladstone - Heron Island
Aboard The Heron Islander to get to your next island destination. At 34 metres, The Heron Islander is specifically designed to provide a comfortable and spacious transfer from the Queensland mainland to Heron Island. She comfortably seats 170 and has a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h).
INCLUDED
Stay at Heron Island Resort
At Heron Island, you are not simply a hotel guest, you are a guest of nature – sleeping, playing and exploring a protected sanctuary overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Your room is located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Your ground-level room is appointed with an en-suite with shower, and a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
OPTIONAL
Glamping on Wilson Island
Wilson Island is an adult-only private hideaway, owned by Heron Island. With only nine permanent Reef Safari Tents, Wilson Island can host a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, allowing for a feeling of private seclusion during your stay. Speak to our team to add this experience to your trip!
Day 7
Day 7: Heron Island
Wake up in paradise and hop on a helicopter flight (James Bond style!) to have your own private picnic at Broomfield Cay. This heli-picnic tour is guaranteed to make memories for life.
Activities
INCLUDED
Broomfield Cay heli-picnic
To picnic on Broomfield cay is one of those bucket list moments. Go on a spectacular helicopter ride and then it's just you, a beach umbrella, a delicious hamper with local goodies and a cheeky bottle of wine. Life doesn't get much better than this.
INCLUDED
Stay at Heron Island Resort
At Heron Island, you are not simply a hotel guest, you are a guest of nature – sleeping, playing and exploring a protected sanctuary overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Your room is located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Your ground-level room is appointed with an en-suite with shower, and a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
OPTIONAL
Glamping on Wilson Island
Wilson Island is an adult-only private hideaway, owned by Heron Island. With only nine permanent Reef Safari Tents, Wilson Island can host a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, allowing for a feeling of private seclusion during your stay. Speak to our team to add this experience to your trip!
Day 8
Day 8: Heron Island
Today, you have the option to do a photography workshop with the storyteller of this trip! Mark is one of the best known Great Barrier Reef photographers. He's spent years taking photos of some of the most iconic and lesser known locations on the reef. Let Mark show you all his favourite photography locations and share his skills in capturing life both above and below the ocean.
Activities
OPTIONAL
Photography workshop with Mark Fitz (July, Aug, Sept & Oct)
Get the chance to learn photography from one of the best and meet the creator of your trip, Mark Fitz! Spend a day with Mark to find the best photography locations on Heron Island, above and below the water. The spectacular island shots you will create are yours to take home and to cherish forever.
INCLUDED
Stay at Heron Island Resort
At Heron Island, you are not simply a hotel guest, you are a guest of nature – sleeping, playing and exploring a protected sanctuary overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. Your room is located close to North Beach and set amongst Heron Island’s ancient Pisonia Forest, which comes alive with hundreds of thousands of seabirds during nesting season from October through March. Your ground-level room is appointed with an en-suite with shower, and a delightful timber deck and outdoor area.
OPTIONAL
Glamping on Wilson Island
Wilson Island is an adult-only private hideaway, owned by Heron Island. With only nine permanent Reef Safari Tents, Wilson Island can host a maximum of 18 guests at any one time, allowing for a feeling of private seclusion during your stay. Speak to our team to add this experience to your trip!
Day 9
Day 9: Heron Island to Yeppoon
Take the ferry from Heron Island back to Gladstone and make your way to Yeppoon. It’s about a 2 hour drive. Yeppoon is a charming coastal town with beach chic boutiques, street art and surf stores. It’s also the gateway to Great Keppel Island and other wonders of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Heron Island - Gladstone
Aboard The Heron Islander to make your way back to Gladstone. At 34 metres, The Heron Islander is specifically designed to provide a comfortable and spacious transfer from Heron Island to the Queensland mainland. She comfortably seats 170 and has a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h).
Day 10
Day 10: Yeppoon to Great Keppel Island
Stay overnight on the magnificent Great Keppel Island! A barefoot paradise, you get to experience another beautiful slice of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Discover the island’s many bushwalking tracks, native animals and perhaps, you feel like going on a guided kayak adventure to visit Leekes creek.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Rosslyn Bay - Great Keppel Island
Aboard your ferry for a scenic journey to Great Keppel Island. This ferry service is proudly owned and operated by the local Allen family since 1999.
OPTIONAL
Guided Kayak tour up Leekes creek
Feeling adventurous? Choose to do a guided kayak tours to either Leekes creek with a bushwalk to the heritage listed Homestead or to Monkey Beach, including a snorkel on the reef and a guided bush walk to an Aboriginal shell midden!
INCLUDED
Stay at Great Keppel Island Hideaway
Spend the night on Great Keppel Island in your ensuite garden room including air-conditioning, tea/coffee facilities and a small bar fridge. A short stroll to the Bar and Bistro, where your meals will be freshly made for you, you can truly relax during your GKI tropical island holiday!
Day 11
Day 11: Great Keppel Island to Yeppoon
Take the ferry back to Yeppoon and visit the lush rainforests of Byfield National Park, a circle of green. Relax in your rainforest cabin, take a dip in the freshwater creeks and explore the artisan local crafts at Nob Creek Pottery.
Activities
INCLUDED
Ferry Great Keppel Island - Rosslyn Bay
Aboard your ferry for a scenic journey back to Rosslyn Bay. This ferry service is proudly owned and operated by the local Allen family since 1999.
INCLUDED
Stay at Rainforest Ranch
Spend the night in your own Byfield Wilderness Retreat! Relax in a beautifully appointed self contained spacious cabin that allows undisturbed privacy as well as easy access to the property.
Day 12
Day 12: Yeppoon to Airlie Beach
Drive from Yeppoon to Airlie Beach, the vibrant and laidback hub of the Whitsundays. A coastal drive of nearly 6 hours, there are beautiful spots and towns to stop along the way.
Activities
Day 13
Day 13: Airlie Beach
Today, you will go on a day cruise to experience all the wonders of the magnificent Whitehaven Beach area. Walk to Whitehaven Beach Lookout, have a gourmet burger on the beach, enjoy beach games and top off your day with all-inclusive drinks and charcuterie board on your return. Then, sleep in your own reefsuite at Australia's first underwater hotel!
Activities
INCLUDED
Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet Chill & Grill
Spend the whole day experiencing all the wonders of the magnificent Whitehaven Beach area. Indulge in the ultimate experience of Whitehaven Beach; from the northern end exploring the spectacular Hill Inlet, to the southern – swimming, hiking, sunbathing, soaking up the sun. No other day cruise offered allows you so much time to explore the wonders of Whitehaven beach!
INCLUDED
Stay in a reefsuite, Australia’s first underwater accommodation
Moored offshore at Hardy Reef, 40 nautical miles from Airlie Beach, Reefworld is the setting for your spectacular overnight Reefsuite experience. Your room features premium bedding, glass-walled en suite and floor-to-ceiling views of the spectacular underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. All meals and beverages (beer and wine) included, with a spectacular dining experience under the stars!
Day 14
Day 14: Airlie Beach to Townsville
Make your way to the gateway to Queensland’s far north, Townsville. Stroll along The Strand, hang out in the city or hike up to the top of Castle Hill for an unbelievable sunset.
Activities
Day 15
Day 15: Townsville to Great Barrier Reef
Enjoy a full day snorkel trip to the Great Barrier Reef and learn about the reef ecosystem. Including morning and afternoon tea, a tropical lunch and a custom-built vessel with sundeck, this will be a day out to remember! Scuba dive options are available.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Day trip to Keeper Reef
Experience the Central Section of the Great Barrier Reef for yourself on board a custom-built day vessel. The Central Section of the Great Barrier Reef is a little further off the Queensland Coast than other sections and as a result, has some of the best sites of the whole Great Barrier Reef! The tour includes morning and afternoon tea, a tropical lunch and iced water, cordial, tea and coffee throughout the day.
Day 16
Day 16: Townsville to Magnetic Island
Take a ferry from Townsville to the golden beaches of Magnetic Island. Explore the local gems of this island on a discovery tour for a perfect day out. This tour is brought to you by a local family who have called Magnetic Island home for over 35 years!
Activities
INCLUDED
Return ferry Magnetic Island
Let a short 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville take you to the unspoiled Magnetic Island landscapes. This ferry will take you back to Townsville as well.
INCLUDED
Magnetic Island Discovery Tour
An opportunity to experience beautiful Magnetic Island from a local family ​who have called this island their home for over 35 years. They will show you places you won't find on your own! This 5-hour tour includes visiting the secluded bays and beaches of Magnetic Island, snorkelling fringing reefs, a spot of fun fishing, delicious morning tea somewhere special on the day, meet some local "marine & wildlife friends" and water activities for all ages!
Day 17
Day 17: Townsville to Cairns
Drive to the tropical city of Cairns. Cairns is not only a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, but also to the charming town of Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest rainforest in the world.
Activities
Day 18
Day 18: Cairns to Frankland Islands
End your Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Trip on a bang. Experience an exclusive day tour to Frankland Islands, a cluster of pristine National Park islands, surrounded by vibrant fringing reefs home to turtles, octopus and lots of colourful marine life.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Frankland Islands Reef Cruise
Experience the Frankland Islands with the only commercial operator allowed to visit the totally uninhabited islands. Start your day with a rainforest river cruise, followed by the shortest open water crossing of any of the Cairns day tour boats, to put you right on the Great Barrier Reef. You have up to 4.5 hours to explore and enjoy this natural paradise, above and below the water. A guided snorkel tour and snorkelling equipment is included, as is a tropical buffet lunch and morning and afternoon tea.
Day 19
Day 19: Cairns
Wake up in Cairns and enjoy your last day in Queensland’s tropical north. If you can’t get enough of the Great Barrier Reef, you have the option to extend your trip!
Activities
Do
OPTIONAL
Extra night in Cairns
Have more time? Stay an extra night to explore all of the Cairns goodness. Speak to our friendly team for recommendations. We have a range of fun activities and accommodation options available!
STORYTELLER

Mark Fitz

About Mark
STORYTELLER

About Mark

Mark Fitz, the Great Barrier Reef Guru, is a travel photographer and writer whose love for the outdoors is contagious. His genius ability to capture Northern Queensland and the wildlife that live there is a tribute to his thirst for discovery. Mark’s exceptional knowledge of Down Under’s Sunshine State and vision for inspiring travellers near and far, is what landed him the storyteller title. He is the reigning champ of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, taking out the prize for his notoriously hilarious shot of Terry the Turtle flipping the bird. If there’s one thing Mark knows, it’s how to create extraordinary trips, where, by dropping his name in the underwater world you will be a welcomed guest.

FAQ's

The Airguides Way

Responsible travel is our passion
Responsible travel is at the core of everything we do
We focus on those destinations 'less travelled' in Oceania
We work with local and Indigenous tourism operators where possible
Designed by storytellers
We search the world to find the most inspiring travel storytellers
Our trips are designed by photographers, filmmakers and chefs
Authentic and exclusive, you won't find our packages anywhere else
Luxury meets adventure
Peace of mind travel — we take care of everything for you
We handpick all experiences to make sure you get the very best
Our trips include premium accommodation, unforgettable experiences and transport you can trust
2Peace of mind travel
From the planning stage to the trip, our team is here 24/7 whenever you need us
We take care of all logistics, so you can focus on the fun
Travel at your own pace with the comfort of knowing we have got your back
Trips of a lifetime
We personalise the trip to match your wildest travel dreams
Balancing detailed itineraries with the freedom to truly discover destinations
Our promise? A once in a lifetime adventure
Responsible travel is at the core of everything we do
We focus on those destinations 'less travelled' in Oceania
We work with local and Indigenous tourism operators where possible
We search the world to find the most inspiring travel storytellers
Our trips are designed by photographers, filmmakers and chefs
Authentic and exclusive, you won't find our packages anywhere else
Peace of mind travel — we take care of everything for you
We handpick all experiences to make sure you get the very best
Our trips include premium accommodation, unforgettable experiences and transport you can trust
From the planning stage to the trip, our team is here 24/7 whenever you need us
We take care of all logistics, so you can focus on the fun
Travel at your own pace with the comfort of knowing we have got your back
We personalise the trip to match your wildest travel dreams
Balancing detailed itineraries with the freedom to truly discover destinations
Our promise? A once in a lifetime adventure

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