A chance to explore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on a day trip is a dream, but being able to sleep out there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Trust me, Reeflsleep Whitsundays is a unique experience that you don’t want to miss when visiting this stunning region in Queensland.

5 Reasons why you need to Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef

5 Reasons why you need to Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef

Why ReefSleep Whitsundays should be top of your Bucket-List!

But first – What is Reefsleep Whitsundays?

A unique opportunity to spend one night, or two days on one of the world’s largest coral reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef.

Over 76 km from the mainland is Reefworld, a luxury pontoon situated on Hardy Reef.

The gorgeous turquoise water is all around you, and the reef is teeming with spectacular fish and marine life. Reefsleep Experience offers you the opportunity to spend a night out here. 

A Water Wonderland

Reefworld is your base for snorkelling, scuba-diving, semi-sub trips along the reef, and an oasis for soaking up the sun in a stunning location. You’ll take a ferry to the reef with others who have booked only a day trip to the reef.

Enjoy a buffet lunch and water activities for the day, then the day-trippers leave to head back to the mainland.

If you book the Reefsleep experience, you get to stay overnight. 

reefsleep great barrier reef

The Reefsleep is an amazing opportunity to spend the night on the Reefworld

Get Ready to be Impressed

For those that have booked the Reefsleep experience, this is when the 5-star treatment really kicks in!

Get ready for some ‘rockstar’ treatment. You’ll be thoroughly looked after at Reefworld. An onboard chef is there dishing up the most divine meals and your hosts are on hand to offer their service whenever you need it.

All you need to do is fill your days with as many water activities and relaxing vibes as you can handle.

You get your own luxury sea swag too. It’s like a lavish tent that is decked out with lights, USB ports, and comfy linens and bedding.

This is your own personal cocoon where you can go and chill here at any time and it happens to be located with million-dollar views.

Let’s get back to why you need to do the Reefsleep Whitsundays Experience on the Great Barrier Reef at least once in your lifetime.

1) You’ll feel like a VIP – 5 – Star Service on Board

reeflsleep food

Your Reefsleep comes with 5-star service and food.

As I mentioned earlier, the staff were outstanding. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be treated like a VIP.

The entire Reefsleep Whitsundays experience is very well organised. There is clear communication about mealtimes (you don’t want to miss any of them), water activities, and what time the sun will rise/set.

This handy information is posted on the wall so you can refer to it later on too.

2) The Food is Exceptional

reefsleep food

Ok, I’ll be honest. A big drawcard for my interest to join Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef was the food journey I’d be taken on.

And boy, what a culinary degustation I was treated to during the two days onboard.

We indulged in some wonderfully fresh seafood including seared scallops with chorizo and passionfruit pearls (yes, super fancy) freshly shucked oysters with lychee and lemon, the biggest prawns I’ve ever tasted, and a grilled barramundi dish that I will never forget.

food reefsleep

5 Reasons why you need to Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef – the food!

Aside from the generous and delicious lineup of food, both the Reefsleep and Reefsuite experiences include all beer and wine onboard.

The Reefsuite Experience is the option to sleep in one of two underwater hotel rooms instead. It’s super luxurious down below and you’ve got an entire live aquarium to watch as your television.

Sip on a glass of chilled sparkling wine and enjoy fancy canapés while watching the sunset over the horizon. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Well, that’s what I thought until we moved downstairs dining room to enjoy dinner and dessert served by our French chef.

You guessed it, more amazing food.

food on reefsleep experience

Whether you’re a food lover like me or you’re just happy to eat anything, the foodie part of this entire experience will keep you super satisfied and smiling until the very end.

It is such good value for money!

3) Sleep in a Luxury Swag under a Million Stars

reefsleep experience

5 Reasons why you need to Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef – The million-dollar view!

After a day spent exploring the reef and wining and dining with new friends over sunset canapés, dinner and wine – you get to retire for the evening in your very own luxury sea swag.

The staff even turn down your bed whilst you are off enjoying yourself, it’s almost like magic.

We returned for the evening to crawl into our space made up of white linens and comfortable pillows and bedding. Leave the top open for a while, lie down and look up to marvel at the extraordinary spatter of stars sprinkled across the sky.

The early morning sunrise will be one of the most unique you’ve ever seen.

4) You get the Entire Reef to yourself

snorkelling on reefsleep

Snorkelling on the Reefsleep

There’s something kinda special about this place. Aside from the fact that you’re surrounded by turquoise blues in every direction, you’ll have the entire reef to yourself once the day-trippers depart at 3 pm on the first day until the ferry returns at 11 am the following day.

Take your snorkel and fins and get out there!

Maybe you’ll meet Maggie, the resident Maori Wrasse fish (pictured below). She’s very friendly and is always happy to pose for a photo.

Maggie reefsleep whitsundays

Tip: The best time to explore the reef is right after breakfast on Day 2.

You’ve got about three hours to get up close and personal with the underwater world before the ferry arrives with new day-trippers – so enjoy the solitude.

5) A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience that you’ll remember forever

This is by far one of the best experiences I’ve done in Australia.

It’s up there with our 14 Day Road Trip from Brisbane to Cairns, and camping in the beautiful Karijini National Park in WA.

I’m definitely someone that will choose to invest in experiences rather than material things in life, and this was an experience I won’t soon forget.


Want your own Reefsleep or Reefsuite Experience?

If this is something that you’re interested in doing too, then you can check details for Reefsleep here.

For those of you who enjoy a little more luxury, maybe Reefsuite, (staying in the underwater hotel room) is more your style? You can check the details for Reefsuite here.

reefsleep sunset

Your Reefsleep set up


Get Connected in Australia with eSIM!

airolo digital esim travel resourcesGet connected the easy way when you’re travelling in Oz – and buy an eSIM.

An eSIM works like an app: Buy it, download it, and get connected within minutes!

It’s easy, affordable, and convenient. Keep your original mobile phone number too!

Read more about how an eSIMs works or click below to view which eSIM data plan you need for your Aussie adventure. Use our referral code: RACHEL5045 to get $3 off your first purchase!

Buy an eSIM for Australia!

Practical Information about Travel in Australia

You might also enjoy reading our 9 Best Tips for the Big Lap Of Australia and the complete guide to Great Keppel Island – Everything you need to know. 

We recommend that you visit Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast if you head back to the coast. Check out the 15 Best Things To Do in Yeppoon and don’t forget about the food. We’ve got you covered with the best places to eat in Yeppoon.

We’re all about the food too! Don’t miss these 12 best cheap eats in Cairns.

If you’re visiting Australia on vacation, these 12 classic Australian foods you must try while you’re here and see if you can visit these iconic 30 Best Big Things in Australia.

For more travel inspiration for Australia, go to the AUSTRALIA Page on our website.

Find all of our best travel tips, advice, and things we use and recommend to travel the world on our Travel Resources Page.



✈️ Flights: Aviasales & CheapOair are the best websites to book cheap flights.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.comAgoda, and Hotellook are the top platforms to search for fantastic hotels and accommodation options at the best price.

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🚌 Transportation: To book trains, Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we use Omio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.

🚘 Car Rental: DiscoverCars, & Europcar are reliable platforms to book rental cars.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures or Expat Explore offers the best group adventures around the world. Use our promo code VERYHUNGRYNOMADS at checkout to receive 5% off your Expat Explore Trip!

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🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range (we love this Stack’d Carry-On Spinner Suitcase).

🛄 What to Pack: To help you get started on packing, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

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💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE is the best online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. It’s so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code VHN20 for a 20% discount on ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only – Read Terms & Conditions) OR use promo code VHN15 for a 15% discount on ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo account users – Read Terms & Conditions)

✅ Check out our Travel Resources Page for more Useful Tips to Save you Money!