The 2023 Great Barrier Reef Festival is nearly here!

The 2023 Great Barrier Reef Festival is nearly here!

The biggest annual celebration of the Great Barrier Reef and the unique coastal lifestyle of The Whitsundays is nearly here for 2023 with this year’s edition aiming to spotlight whales.

The Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Festival will be held at Airlie Beach from 3 – 6 August 2023, with a raft of free and ticketed family-friendly events scheduled across the four days.

This year’s Festival theme is especially significant as The Whitsundays has been named a Candidate Whale Heritage Site by the World Cetacean Alliance.

Many of the Festival events will centre on Humpback Whales, as thousands of humpbacks make their annual migration to The Whitsundays.

A balance of fun and education will be struck across the long weekend of celebrations. From environment-based learning workshops and interactive eco-education platforms to carnival-style attractions, art, food, live music, fireworks and more, the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Festival is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

An immersive key education piece of the 2023 event is a full-day cruise to Hardy Reef with Cruise Whitsundays hosted by 10 Master Reef Guides on Saturday, 5 August.  

Balancing these critical and fun educational pieces are family fun-focused events of fireworks on the foreshore, carnival rides, the Recyclable Regatta and the iconic Rotary Street Parade.

“Cruise Whitsundays takes our role of reef custodians very seriously and are ecstatic to host our award-winning Great Barrier Reef Experience alongside the largest cohort of Master Reef Guides for the Festival this year,” manager – sales and marketing, Cruise Whitsundays, Renee Branton-Brown, said. 

“The Master Reef Guide Experience allows us the opportunity to showcase Hardy Reef in all its glory. With a plethora of marine life and an abundance of coral species, this immersive day tour will be a festival highlight.

“Reef education is imperative for everyone to understand the important role we all play in protecting this natural wonder, which is why we are exceptionally proud to be the naming sponsor of the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Festival,” said Ms Branton-Brown.

The committee behind the Great Barrier Reef Festival has nurtured the event from ‘(fire)cracker night’ established by local tourism business owner, David Hutchins in the 90s, to the full four-day showcase it is now.

“We are so excited to be bringing another action-packed Reef Festival to take over Airlie Beach again this year,” chair, Great Barrier Reef Festival, Margie Murphy, said. 

“This is a truly inclusive event, and we encourage the whole community to get involved.”

Cruise Whitsundays. (Supplied)

“The Whitsundays is the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, and this event is when the whole community gets together to celebrate that,” CEO, Tourism Whitsundays, Rick Hamilton, said. 

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the compelling reasons people are choosing The Whitsundays as their holiday destination, with 40% of reef visitation being in The Whitsundays. As an area, we have Master Reef Guides on almost every marine tour experience, giving that large portion of reef visitors unparalleled education on reef health, protection and history.

“Bringing the celebration of the Great Barrier Reef to the mainland creates a connection and excitement in locals and visitors alike. It’s amazing how deep the connections to this Festival are in The Whitsundays and how it has grown in the last 21 years,” Mr Hamilton said.

 

Latest News

  • Conferences

Crikey! Celebrity’s Robert Irwin confirmed as speaker for World Travel & Tourism Council

Environmentalist and newly minted TV personality (I’m a Celebrity) Australia Zoo’s Robert Irwin has been confirmed for World Travel & Tourism Council, the world’s biggest tourism summit in Perth (Boorloo) this October. The WTTC Global Summit is taking place from 8-10 October at Crown Perth under the theme “Ancient Land: New Perspectives” to showcase Western […]

  • Cruise

Kimberley Coast Experience with three nights in Broome

Cruise Traveller offers an exclusive offer that takes travellers  to the magnificent Kimberly Coast, and includes a three-night stay in Broome with French luxury cruise ship operator, Ponant. Head to the remote and rugged Kimberley, with its thundering waterfalls, towering gorges, sacred rock art, and abundant wildlife aboard a small but luxurious ship. The experience […]

  • Hotels
  • Luxury

Dior returns to The Beverly Hills Hotel for a summer exclusive

The legendary ‘Pink Palace’, The Beverly Hills Hotel, once again partners with Dior and offers the exclusive Dior Spa Residency and Dioriviera pop-up boutique to guests. The Beverly Hills Hotel general manager, John Scanlon, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Dior again to create an alluring experience that is as stylish as it is […]

  • Hotels
  • Luxury

Celebrate Sofitel Sydney’s 60th anniversary with a Diamond Experience Competition

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour celebrates six remarkable decades of delivering luxurious services worldwide by launching its Diamond Experience, promising an unparalleled and elegant stay. Located next to the dynamic International Convention Centre, the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour offers sophisticated settings at each of its 590 luxurious rooms, including 35 lavish suites. The various accommodation options […]

  • Hotels

Hoiana Resort and Golf launches Vibrant Summer Vibes Campaign

Vietnam’s premier luxury entertainment resort, Hoiana Resort and Golf, launches its Vibrant Summer Vibes Campaign which offers unforgettable activities with four 5-star hotels, golf and 24-hour entertainment. Hoiana Resort and Golf is a haven of local hospitality, world-class service, and magnificent accommodations. They boast of over 1,000 rooms, more than 20 luxury restaurants and bars, […]