Move over Maldives, there’s another destination with impressive underwater accommodations: Australia. And there’s no time like the present to plan a visit to Australia, as the country just reopened to vaccinated travelers on Feb. 21, 2022.
Located 40 nautical miles from Airlie Beach on Australia’s northeastern coast, the Reefsuites are the country’s first underwater accommodation, inviting travelers to spend the night with views of the iconic Great Barrier Reef. These suites, on board Cruise Whitsundays’ Reefworld pontoon boat, feature floor-to-ceiling windows for ample opportunities to watch the marine life swim by, as well as luxurious beds (either one king-sized bed or two twins) so guests can sleep beneath the waves.
Reefsuite guests checking in for the underwater experience will start their day with a cruise through the idyllic Whitsunday Islands before making their way to Hardy Reef, where the Reefworld vessel is moored. As an all-inclusive vacation package, visitors will enjoy a hearty lunch followed by an afternoon of snorkeling, diving, and swimming. For an additional cost, travelers can book a scenic helicopter flight to see the perfectly shaped Heart Reef.
Only a handful of overnight guests enjoy exclusive access to Reefworld; while day trippers may cruise the scenic islands onboard during the day, the boat is only open to select guests in the evening. As the sun sets over the Coral Sea, Reefsuite guests are treated to refreshing drinks before dinner is served in a stunning, starlit setting on the pontoon’s upper deck.
After a full day, it’s time for guests to enjoy a different view of the Great Barrier Reef from the comfort of their underwater accommodations. Views of the marine life will lull guests to sleep and greet them again the following morning. They’ll have breakfast on board one last time, enjoy a quiet morning on the boat, then head back to shore.
Rates for the Reefsuite experience start at $899.
In addition to the Reefsuites experience, the Reefworld vessel also offers Reefsleep, an all-inclusive package that allows guests to sleep under the stars on the top deck of the boat.
For more information about Reefsuites and Reefworld, visit the Cruise Whitsundays’ website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.