As the gateway town to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland's Gladstone is a favourite with visitors who love the life aquatic. It's a cinch to visit the natural wonder of the reef from Gladstone, with fewer crowds and direct access from the shore enhancing the unforgettable experience. Most visitors rate this as the highlight of their cruise, whether they swim, snorkel or scuba dive.
Daytrips from Gladstone to Heron Island and Lady Musgrave Island give a tantalising taste of what makes Queensland's tropical islands so special, with castaway fantasies served up with plenty of gourmet food and wine.
If you're staying close to port, a range of dining and entertainment options is on offer around the foreshore precinct.
--By Kristie Kellahan, Cruise Critic contributor