Great Barrier Reef, Cairns
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef and home to an amazing diversity of animal life. There are a large number of tour operators that depart from Cairns depending on what you want to do. Cairns is the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the outer barrier reef from Cairns is only a comfortable 90 minute boat ride or a 30 minute helicopter flight. If you want to see a tropical island then Green Island is only a 45 minute boat ride and Fitzroy Island is not much farther and then you have beautiful Frankland Island just south of Cairns
We took a trip aboard the Falla while in Cairns last week and are so glad we did. It was great to have a reef experience that felt rustic and relaxing as apposed to an over-crouded frustration. We booked through bookme and got a great deal, but even at normal rate it would be a good price.
Falla is a historic Pearl Lugger built in 1956, and rebuilt in 2004. The boat has been through it's fair share of ups and downs and it's passionate Captain, Doug, tells a great story of the history of the boat.
We set sail around 9am and headed for the Coral Gardens where we anchored with only one other boat and went snorkeling. Then had some lunch and headed for Upolu Cay where we went for another snorkel and hung out on the sandy cay in the sun.
We arrived back at Marlin Marina at 5pm. The trip home was very relaxing, a highlight being when the engine was shut off and we sailed our way back in. That was something very special!
Hello and welcome to VT,there are many tours to the reef that will get you back into Cairns aprox 5pm and will give you plenty of time to stroll around the boardwalk to your ship which will be moored at the Cairns Terminal 10 minutes walk at the max.Marlin Wharf is in Trinity Inlet at the boardwalk too so no problems and it is a flat stroll.
Apartfrom Silverfish there is also Seastar firstname.lastname@example.org www.seastarcruises.com.au the fare also includes lunch and snorkle gear.
Sunlover cruises---www.sunlover.com.au cost $180 per person including lunch and a free coral veiwing from a glass semi sub bottom boat and returns to the wharf at 5.30pm giving you plenty of time to stroll to your ship.
These are a couple for your consideration,please don't hesitate to contact me if you need to know more.
Like other people, I go to Cairns for visit the Great Barrier Reef. I went there since February 2011. I brought 1 day tour to the outer GBR. Tour Price is included snorkeling, 1 dive or intro dive, and 10 min on helicopter. Cover all I need in 1 day (only 1 day is need coz plan was changed since flight to Cairns delay for 3 days)
I enjoy all day with this trip. Cruise name ‘Osprey V’ is clean, comfortable, and also have nice and friendly staff team. If you see my pictures you will see how happy I am.
You can't go to Cairns without going to the Great Barrier Reef. I have been to the reef on 3 different vessels, but nothing compares to the live-onboard vessel called Reef Encounter. Try their night dive if you are into diving.
As a member of YHA, I got a discount with Reef Magic - I could either choose a free guided diving tour or a guided snorkelling tour. Of course I chose the former! I was so excited about diving at the Reef. When I boarded the cruise, I had to fill in a form declaring my health conditions. Everyth' went fine until the diving coach found out that I was going to board on a flight within 24 hours! Due to the pressure balancing in the lungs and the ears, it's a safety requirement that customers going to fly/flewed within 24hours should not go diving!!! WHAT A PITY! That's a real pity as before filling in a form, I was in a conversation with a nice coach (he looked very lovely like a teddy bear!) and he reassured me that "You'll be alright with me in the water"! OK, my diving dream was broken. Lucky enough, the staff offered me the opportunity to join an ecological snorkelling tour with a marine-biologist. Haha, I together with 2 other girls joined him snorkelled around for 30 minutes. He randomly picked up one sea creature and asked us what's that. To his surprise, I was the only one who knew the answer. Thanks to my high school biology lesson. And that creature was a sea cucumber! Do you know what's that?
Not many tour operators have their own pontoons at the Reef and "Reef Magic" is one of those. The pontoon is like another ship but is anchored somewhere at the Reef. It's the area where you change your swimsuit, enjoy your buffet lunch, jump into the water and get into the coral viewing boats. Due to its larger mass than the boat, I felt it less vibrating and thus could enjoy my lunch more comfortably. Also, I felt it less stressful and a bit easier to get into the water via the side of the pontoon. The area we snorkelled was solely occupied by Reef Magic, I didn't feel the crowds (as some friends told me which might happen) in the water. Reef Magic was a bit cheaper than the other operators with pontoons.
One more important point, the staff of Reef Magic was pretty young and friendly. I had fun on the boat.
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, The Great Barrier Reef has to be seen if you are going to Cairns. Book a charter, get on a big boat or go in a submarine, but get there.
Once you have done it, cross it off of the list of things to do in your lifetime.
We gathered a group of 22 people and chartered a crewed Sailboat for the day. The bonus to this is that our group was the only passengers. Besides, it is pretty amazing to travel out to the reef in a sailboat!
This boat was our choice to see the reef and we were not disapointed. They take about 30 people out on this boat and that was about the size we wanted. Big enough to have a bar and toilet facilities, but small enough that you didn't feel you were on a cattle barge either. The staff was friendly and attentive. Your safety was their upmost concern and they also wanted to make sure you got your money's worth out of your trip. They stopped at Michealmas Cay and their own coral head for bird watching and reef snorkleing and diving. While we were in the water, they kept a sharp outlook for anyone in trouble. Nobody on this trip even got sick so we did all right. They feed you a barbecue lunch and they have a bar you can buy water, soft drinks and beer at. At the end of the day they put up the sail but still motor in. If the weather is fine and the currents aren't running too strong, and they were not during our trip, I can't think of a more perfect day trip to the reef. At the end of the day each crew member shook your hand getting off the boat. It's touches like that that make me want to recomend them.
Tour package with Quicksilver group. I highly recommend them -- their bus picks you up from your hotel for about $15 additional, if you are in the Cairns area (probably not so much if you are in Pt. Douglas). Catamaran takes you out to a far outer reef area, so you get the benefit of not being amongst more spoiled area. Morning tea is served before the catamaran leaves (you can have coffee or tea, along with cookies). The catamaran goes out to a huge station where a very nice buffet lunch is served for about 2 hours. Also served afternoon tea just before the catamaran set sale for land -- crackers and cheese with the tea this time.
I was there during stinger season, so stinger suits were pushed and recommended. They weren't "rented", but a "cleaning fee" of $5 is required, which is quite reasonable.
I had brought a waterproof camera, but they rented digital cameras for $66, with a capacity of about 250 pictures, and you got the card out of the camera -- kinda wish I had done that.
Fresh water showers are available on the platform, but not many. Just a few changing rooms. I made the most of my time in the water, but was very lucky in my time jumping in the shower and changing room. They are not kidding when the talk about heading back to shore.
They have feeding times at one of the platforms, and I swear there are fish that are pets -- is quite something to see. One fish was GY-NORMOUS, but couldn't get a picture of him.
There are tables all about the platform to set your belongings out on, but no place "secure", although it did not seem to be a major problem.
Cost per person was U.S. $148 for everything (stinger suit the $5 additional).
When most decide to come to Cairns they are usually looking to go out to the Great Barrier Reef and visit the Rainforest.
There are a number of Outer Reef trips available. I always reccommend the Quicksilver Outer Reef trip.
I think this trip covers all areas for the tourist/traveller. It is a great day out and has many options for you to try.
I have probably done this trip with the Quickie, at least 20 times. Yes, I know, it is a lot of trips but I have had the pleasure of knowing people that work for this company and well, how can I pass up a great day:)
I do not get any maony or trips for reccommending this comapny, I just think it is the best and I haven't had anyone come back to me and tell me they didn't enjoy.
It is very professional company.
The day out starts with you being collected from your accommodation in the morning, if you are staying in Cairns or Northern Beaches , the bus will collect you. If you are at Port Douglas, they will also collect you or you can make your own way to the Port Douglas Marina.
Once you are on the bus heading along the Cook highway to Port Douglas your driver will give you a little talk about what you are seeing and what you will experience during the day.
Handy Hint......sit on the right side of the bus, this is best view along the highway!!!:)
Once you are at Port you will board the boat, then you can get yourself a cuppa tea, biscuit and decide if you are going to sit inside or up on the deck.
Then off you go!!!! heading off to the reef.
There is a large Pontoon in the middle of nowhere, here you will pull up along side the pontoon and off you get to play. The pontoon has tables where you can leave your towels etc.
You then can go and get your snookle and flippers, then slowly walk down the steps into the ocean.
There is a rope surrounding the area where you snookle, so you can hang on to this if needed
TO BE CONTINUED
We hired a car and headed north looking for "Where the rainforest meets the reef". It is a great drive with piles of places to stop along the way if you choose to..just spot a sign that interests you and follow it! Keep a sharp eye out for Cassowary's! (photo 2 explains).
Of course you have to see one the seven wonders of the world when to opportunity arrives. You can take boat rides every morning from the habour.
It's possible to either snorkle or dive, diving is prefered, since you can get closer to the reef sharks when diving. Don't worry they aren't dangerous, they're not bigger than you are.
This is the name of a company that arranges trips to the outer reef. You travel out there on a huge catamaran and moor against a floating platform. I suffer very badly from sea sickness and actually coped very well with this experience, as both the boat and the platform don't pitch and yaw too much! When you arrive at the platform, there is a buffet restaurant (food included in the trip), places to sit and of course, equipment to borrow and places to snorkle or dive. For the less adventurous, there is an underwater viewing platform and 2 small submarines which make regular trips throughout the day. The submarine trips are, however, a bit more of a challenge if you suffer from motion sickness!
I recommend you take layers of clothing, and a seperate bag to put your wet clothes in.
The main reason for most people to visit Cairns is to go out to the Great Barrier Reef. There's a big choice of operators offering all kinds of trips. It's not really cheap, expect to pay around 100 AU$ for a snorkelling trip. When booking a trip, make sure the quoted price does include the reef tax and fuel levy.
If you want to learn scuba diving, quite a few schools are based here and offer all kinds of courses.
How can you come to Cairns and not see the reef? There are many tour options available. I went with Quicksilver cruise to the Low Isles and couldn't have been happier with the choice. The boat moors just off-shore of a private island and gives you several hours to snorkel, swim, sunbathe, etc. Lunch and all snorkeling equipment is provided. They also run a smaller glass-bottomed boat with a marine biologist on-board. As an inexperienced snorkeler, this allowed me to see some of the aquatic life that I may otherwise not have seen (including a large sea turtle!) I also took my turn at snorkeling and saw beautiful species of fish and coral. The ride back to shore was almost as fun as the snorkeling - the sails came up and we flew across the water while a guitarist played on deck (including "Down Under", which just felt so appropriate).