Great Barrier Reef, Cairns
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 email@example.com 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.
Address: The Great Barrier Reef
Directions: Tours depart from the pier at the Marlin Jetty & marina (Trinity Inlet) or leave from Palm Cove or Port Douglas.
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!
Address: Cairns Harbour
Directions: Lots of charters around, your choice as to how you do it.
check out the website, and you will see pictures of where we were!
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
I almost forgot to mention that you should definitely either rent an underwater camera or bring one with you to the reef. It would be a real shame to come home without any pictures of the beautiful underwater scenery. And if you're not a diver, don't worry. Neary everyone on our boat (including myself) simply snorkeled around the area. The water is shallow enough that you can see almost everything without strapping on an air tank and diving all the way down. In fact, you can reach the bottom in a lot of places simply by taking a deep breath.
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).
The Great Barrier Reef offers some of the most spectacular diving in the world and to miss it would be a true shame. I can only describe the experience as being one in which I felt like I was actually inside a tank of exotic fish. Numerous companies offer dives, but I strongly recommend that you certify before you go. You get treated with more respect, you dive first, you're not nannied. Just as a diver, I don't think this is a good place to learn. The salt, the waves, the hustle, the time, the number of students, all this contributes to a rushed and incomplete training package that won't get you killed, but will lessen your enjoyment. If I were to recommend one thing above all, certify before you go!
The Quicksilver boat docks at a floating platform anchored near the ege of the Outer Great Barrier Reef. From there you can see where the reef ends and the vast open expanse of the Pacific Ocean begins. Just beyond the reef, where you can see all the breakers crashing against the coral, is the greatest concentration of great white sharks in the entire world. Fortunately for us, the reef keeps most of those nasty fellows out.
This almost goes without saying, that you must see the reef, any way you can (or several ways)
There are many ways - snorkelling on a dive trip as we did, diving, glass bottomed boat tours, semi submersible boats, underwater viewing platforms, aquarium viewing.....
Our outer Barrier Reef snorkelling day out (4 hours out and back and 3 on the reef) was one of the very best things of our Queensland holiday.
You can sign up for one of many daily cruises to the Great Barrier Reef for a day of snorkelling and scuba diving. The water is so clear and the clarity so god, that it feels like you're snorkelling in a pool. The colurful reefs are not very deep, so you can see the reef life clearly from the surface. Of course, if you prefer a closer encounter, you can opt for scuba diving.
My 2nd reef outing was with CDC Cairns Dive Centre on board the "Sun-kiss". This is a much larger operation that the "Noah's Ark Too", so the group is larger and certainly less personal.
The "Sun-kiss" is a much larger and newer boat though it did little to withstand the 25 knots wind toying with the boat that day. The winds were rocking the boat from one side to another out in the open sea and quite a number of folks were turning blue. The team of enthuiastic young minders were pretty strict, refusing to let anyone stand up. The good thing about a more powerful machine is that we reached the calmer waters of Moore Reef a lot more faster (at about 1.5-2 hours).
Same safety wetsuits and safety vests requirements. (I guess that was the standard) No buffet lunch but cups of hot tea/coffee instead. (Then again, it is a torture snorkeling with a full stomach!)
I got to snorkel at different parts of Moore Reef..but in slightly deeper waters. The corals are more colourful here as well.
Again, emphasis was placed on the divers...then again, they paid more (grin)
Like the "Noah's Ark Too", the boat leaves from Marlin Jetty at about 8.30-9.00am and you'll be back in Cairns at around 5-5.30pm.
Was charged A$70 for the 1-day session (circa June 2003).
Address: 121 Abbott Street, PO Box 2401, Cairns, QLD 4870
Phone: 61-7-40510294 Fax: 61-7-40517531
I went in a smaller group with "Noah's Ark Too" on my 1st trip to the Reef.
The setup was smaller but it also meant that the group was cosier too. There were about 20 of us on the boat and we quickly mingled in the 2-2.5 hours journey out to the reef. The boat departed at about 8.30am from Berth A10 Marlin Marina and returned at about 4.30-5.00pm.
The boat was indeed much smaller than many of its competitors. It was almost like David against Goliath. But a smaller craft also meant that it could reach shallower waters that the other competitors could not. The main areas for diving/snorkeling were around Michaelmas Cay and Moore Reef. The boat would park itself in waters at about 6m deep and the group would then separate into the snorkers and the divers. One of the operators would lead the divers. (Free lessons can be obtained on board should you choose to dive for the first time) The snorkers were not ignored; the operators insisting that you carry float buoys even though you may be a good swimmer.
The fishes around the shallow waters of Michaelmas Cay (the island is off limit to visitors as it is a marine bird sanctuary) seemed to recognise the boat. Having had our buffet lunch (included in the package), the folks were throwing scraps into the water and this drew all the fishes very close to the boat. My first jump into the Great Barrier Reef was into a swarm of fishes on a feeding frenzy. The scraps were attracting not just the small players, but also, literally the big fishes - giant size garoupas and triggerfishes. It was just amazing to have scraps of food around you (which was kinda yucky) and having a galaxy of fishes dancing around you.
The corals were by so far, the best and most beautiful I have seen. I guess having little traffic coming thisaway had meant that the reef had been subjected to lesser stress. Despite the waters being a little cloudy, pink, red, green and yellow were everywhere.
I was charged about A$70 for the day trip with an additional A$5 for the wet suit, circa Jun 2003.
Address: Noah's Ark Cruises, PO Box 1499, Cairns Qld 4870
The main reason for most people to visit Cairns is to go out to the Great Barrier Reef. There's a big choice of operators offering all kinds of trips. It's not really cheap, expect to pay around 100 AU$ 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.
Irishman Paddy Colwell has successfully identified a niche in the market to combine Irish eccentricism with some education about the Great Barrier Reef.
There are daily evening shows about the reef where Paddy does his best to be eccentric but he has done this so many times it looks like quite an effort now. All the same, it is quite informative and entertaining.
He also takes divers out on a Naturalist Dive Course. It is expensive for a day's diving but supposedly he is a very good guide. I booked to go but the dive was cancelled as there weren't enough people.
Address: 14 Spence Street Cairns, Queensland 4870
Phone: +61 (0)7 4031 7794
Website: http://www.reefteach.com.auRelated to:
Lets face it the main reason to go to Cairns is to go to the Reef. Day trips are fully available in Cairns and the prices are really competitive. The cheap trips are probably just as fun but with more people. The boats have hidden extras such as they take under water photos and sell them to you but you dont have to buy. Expect to pay from $70 for snorkelling or $100 for 2 dives
Address: photos available at my travelogue
Directions: There is a map of the reef system in my travelogue under Australia from Reef to Rainforest. There is also info about 3 boat trips, the prices and a comparison of what you get.Related to:
Take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef - one of the natural wonders of the world. We took a boat ride out to Green Island on the reef where we spent the day enjoying the water and the sun as well as observing the reef creatures through the underwater observatory and the glass-bottomed boat tour. Photo of Green Island dock as our boat approached.
Address: Northeast Coast of Australia