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Great Barrier Reef Islands

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area

Stretching more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coastline and covering 35 million hectares, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef. It is home to an abundance of marine wildlife - including more than 1,500 brilliantly coloured species of tropical fish, 4000 species of molluscs, 400 species of sponge and 300 species of hard corals.

The Great Barrier Reef's islands and cays support bird species by the hundred, including reef herons, ospreys, frigate birds and sea eagles. The reef is also of cultural importance, containing many archaeological sites of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. Some notable examples include Lizard and Hinchinbrook Islands with their spectacular galleries of rock paintings.

The many diving and snorkelling opportunities provide visitors with the best way of getting close to the Great Barrier Reef's many wonders. Tourism operators offer professional accredited dive courses, introductory reef dives and for the experienced, extended dive charters incorporating night dives or guided ecology dives. If delving into the deep blue is not for you - there are semi-submersible craft, glass bottom boats and a variety of land-based reef attractions.

Great Barrier Reef
Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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Miami

Miami, Gold Coast Area
For 69 years, this relaxed Gold Coast suburb was home to Miami Ice, an iconic ice factory built from two recycled army huts which were demolished in 2013. Even Australian singer John Farnham used this venue to film his Two Strong Hearts film clip.

Broadbeach

Broadbeach, Gold Coast Area
Boy has bustling Broadbeach come a long way baby. Once the little brother to big sister Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach or "Broadie" to locals, is all grown up, and how. You could start in the surf, with its beautiful beaches, framed by lazy parks home to weekend markets and weekday yoga classes.

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast Area
Adjacent to its fashionable neighbours Broadbeach and Miami lies the Gold Coast's coastal town of Mermaid Beach, called so after the cutter HMS Mermaid. This relaxed stretch of golden coastline is popular with swimmers and surfers looking to escape the flocks of people.

Broadbeach Waters

Broadbeach Waters, Gold Coast Area
Picture perfect Broadbeach is centred around Kurrawa Beach and likened to the Gold Coast's metropole - mixing Aussie beach culture with high-end apartments, shopping and dining. Take advantage of the rolling swell and patrolled coastline only a stone's throw away and stretch surfed-out muscles at a yoga class in nearby parklands or a day spa.

Mermaid Waters

Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast Area
Boasting waterways with names such as Rumrunner Lake and Lake Wonderland, it's easy to see the appeal of Mermaid Waters, a canal community which sits at the elbow of Mermaid Beach. Australian surveyor John Oxley first came to the area in 1823 and gave it its name after the cutter ship Mermaid on which he travelled.
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