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Discover the Reef : XOXO Package Find out More

The world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 2,900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and thousands of animal species. While you might not get to see them all, discovering the unique Great Barrier Reef animals is always a memorable adventure while staying with us at Orpheus Island. Here are just some of Great Barrier Reef inhabitants you’re likely to meet.

Discover The Animals Of The Great Barrier Reef

Whale Watching Great Barrier Reef



During the winter months (June to September), humpback whales roam the waters surrounding Orpheus Island. These majestic creatures are a sight not to be missed when on the Great Barrier Reef. At Orpheus Island Lodge, we offer Great Barrier Reef cruises that allow the chance to spot whales, including humpback whales and northern minke whales, if luck is on your side.



The only herbivorous mammal in Australia, dugongs are a rare and incredible sight of the Great Barrier Reef. Your best bet is joining one of our Hinchinbrook Island excursions from Orpheus Island. If you’re lucky, you might spot a dugong feeding on shallow seagrass. These elephants of the sea can be as long as three metres and weigh up to 400 kilograms.

Sea Turtles


Seeing sea turtles in the reefs and waters around Orpheus Island is one of our favourite Great Barrier Reef activities while staying at this luxurious island resort. These majestic creatures glide through the water and aren’t shy when it comes to swimming with snorkellers or scuba divers.

Reef Fish


The Great Barrier Reef is teeming with vibrant fish, from the beautiful angelfish and fluorescent-blue damselfish to giant groupers and uncanny parrotfish. Swim close to the coral and anemone for a chance to spot clownfish and surgeonfish. You can also get up close to the imposing barracudas or encounter wrasse, which are easily identified with the large hump on their foreheads.

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Manta Rays


Manta rays can be sighted in the waters around Orpheus Island from July to early November. Like whale sharks, manta rays are filter feeders and have a large toothless mouth which they use like a sieve to scoop up plankton and krill. Their wingspans measure several metres, enabling them to swim at rapid speeds, occasionally leaping out of the water and landing with a slap.Unlike stingrays, manta rays do not have a sharp barb, making them very safe to swim, snorkel or dive with.

Sea Snakes


You can see around 15 species of sea snakes while snorkelling or scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. They’re generally docile and only attack creatures small enough to eat. One of the most common is the yellow-bellied sea snake, but you can also spot the olive sea snake and the black and white banded sea krait.



Whether you’re on land or in the water, staying at our Great Barrier Reef accommodation offers incredible birdwatching. There are around 59 species that call Orpheus home with the orange-footed scrubfowl, yellow-bellied sunbirds, friar birds, ospreys, kites, reef herons and egrets being some of our favourites.

Incredible Experiences with Great Barrier Reef Animals

The Great Barrier Reef accommodation on Orpheus Island provides the perfect setting for discovering the magnificent animals of the reef. From cruises and snorkelling excursions, to scuba diving and stand-up paddle boarding, we provide a variety of ways to see these creatures. Book your next Great Barrier Reef adventure at Orpheus Island Lodge and lose yourself to the magic of the reef.


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