Great Barrier Reef

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131 travelers at this place:

  • Day27

    We woke up early and walked down to Airlie Port to board our boat out onto the Great Barrier Reef. The reefsleep guests (people spending the night on the reef) had their own tables reserved, and we spent some time filling in forms and getting our itinerary from a guide. During the beautiful 3 hour boat journey to the reef there were lots of presentations by the photography team (telling us how to order both the above water and underwater photos they would be taking through the day) and the diving team (giving us a demonstration on how to dive...) which we ended up booking straight away.

    Once we got to the reef, all the day guests and us scrambled onto the huge pontoon sat on the edge of the reef and we quickly put on our stinger suits and flippers and went for a snorkel. The reef was incredible, so many fish we couldn't count, and so many different types of coral.

    After morning tea and a buffet lunch, we were feeling sufficiently like we wouldn't float any more, and headed to the diving team for our dive. They set us up with weight belts, oxygen tanks and all the gear, and explained that we would go down into the moon pool (!) and practice kneeling underwater and breathing. Because it was an introductory dive, our guide explained she would be holding our hands, taught us some hand signals, and how to clear our ears every 1/2meter we went down. They also taught us how to inflate our life jackets if we ever found ourselves on our own or anything.

    The sensation of breathing underwater is absolutely bizarre, and concentrating on your breathing that much just feels weird. After a few minutes we ended up getting used to the feeling, and she grabbed both our hands and led us under the ledge out of the moon pool. After 5 minutes or so she asked if we were okay to let go of our hands, and we swam along side her, staring around in awe of all the coral and fish we were seeing. It was surprisingly hard to control whether we were sinking or floating, and more than once she ended up pulling us up or down to keep us at the right depth.

    We came back up absolutely buzzing, it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. She congratulated us on being quick to stop panicking, and spoke to us while we took off our tanks about how she'd ended up moving from London to Aus to become a scuba diving instructor.

    We snorkeled again until we had to get out to wave the 158 day passengers off on the boat back to the mainland, and the 14 of us reefsleep passengers had the pontoon to ourselves! We met the team who would be there over night, and quickly found a turtle nibbling at the seaweed growing on the edge of the pontoon. When the boat had safely got away we went snorkeling again with the turtle, who was completely unphased by us being there.

    We had to stop snorkeling by 5pm because it started to get dark, and the staff could no longer be on look out and rescue because they had jobs to do to prepare dinner. The staff always have one person out on look out and if the helicopter (that was doing trips all day) sees a shark on the reef (a scary one, not a reef shark) then they radio to the staff and they get in tenders and scare away the shark. They also have huge fish (about 2-3m long) living around the pontoon which are very territorial and gang up on any shark that comes into their territory. (or that's what they tell us to make us feel better, still slightly scary swimming over the 50m depth around the pontoon to the reef).

    The sunset was absolutely beautiful, we all had showers and had our antipasti platter and drinks while watching the sunset over the sea. The moon was very nearly full and the tides were quite big, the reef was really out the water. One of the boat guys took us on a trip up to where rivers run through the sea when the tide gets that low: a phenomenon that only happens every 6 months or so for one night. They seemed to think that a tide drop from 3.2m to 1m was big, I told them they hadn't seen Guernsey tides.

    Dinner was served, huge fillet steaks and a butter bay bug (some big shrimpy thing). Dessert was lovely; chocolate cake and lemon tart. One of the staff them took us down into the underwater observatory and helped us identify coral, sea snakes, crabs, and all kinds of fish floating past the windows.

    We headed up to our swag quite early, it had a clear panel where we could see the stars while lying on the comfy mattress, although it did get warm without any ac.
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  • Day28

    What a day! We woke up to the light from the sunrise coming through the fly sheet on our swag. It was about 0445, so we pulled up a chair and sat on our pontoon, looking over the reef, drowsily saying hi to our fellow reefsleepers who'd also woken up to catch it. We watched the sky turn from deep red through to blue as the sun that we had watched set the night before, rose to announce another day in Australia. While the sun was rising over the reef we happened to see a reef shark swimming along the edge of the reef! A very rare sight that close to the pontoon! It was such an experience, and we got another hours happy sleep before breakfast.

    We packed up the swags and headed for a breakfast of toast, bacon and eggs, yoghurt (yo-gurd), and fruit. Delicious! After our breakfast a turtle decided to join us by the edge of the pontoon. We then chilled out and read in the morning sun, feeling the wind slowly pick up before our morning activity; a surprise snorkel safari! The staff were kind enough to try and make time to take us out, although I'm sure they enjoyed the trip just as much as we did. They took us on a boat to the other side of the reef to experience something different. There were less fish on this side of the reef, but a much greater variety of coral which Katie the guide was very excited about. As everyone else got left behind in the strong current, we followed Katie along listening to her describing various aspects of the coral, how if you see blue tips it's good as that's growing coral, however if it's all blue it means it's stressed and is on the brink of bleaching (for example). It was very interesting stuff, and the more we slowed the more we saw. It was hard work swimming against the tide, a large one as it was the full moon, and we were almost glad to reach the pontoon for a break. Before long we were back in the water though, for a last swim before the day trippers arrived.

    The day followed similarly to the previous one. We snorkelled, daring to go deeper and swimming with a great variety of fish and turtles. We dived, and had Flic the same dive instructor as the day before. This was great as she let us off the leash early on, and we had a brilliant dive searching for baby lion fish, puffa fish, and swimming with Maggie who is about 1.5m long (insert her fish type when I remember). It was fantastic and got us hooked on diving, so much so that Izzi made contacts and got info about coming back and working on the reef to get diving qualifications! We had a lunch and one last snorkel (with turtles!!) and then it was time to say a sad goodbye to our little pontoon. We sat on the boat and watched the pontoon grow ever smaller, thinking back over the past couple of days dreamily as we made our way back to Airlee Beach.

    That evening we went for some pizza and banana/oreo milkshake, and returned to the hostel, shattered after a couple of the best couple of days of our lives.
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  • Day339

    Um 12.30 Uhr wollten wir heute das Reef verlassen. Bis dahin gab es noch drei Tauchgänge bei wolkenverhangenem☁️ Himmel und ziemlichen Wellengang🌊. Nichts für Schön- Wetter-Schnorchler.😏🙄....und so machte ich es mir bis zu unserer Abfahrt mit einem Buch gemütlich.😊📖
    Pünktlich um 15.30 Uhr legten wir im Hafen von Cairns an. Auch auf der Rückfahrt hatten wir wieder ordentlichen Seegang und so war ich gar nicht so sehr böse, wieder festen Boden unter den Füßen zu haben. 😊🚶‍♀️
    Was mich brennend interessierte,....war das Great Barrier Reef nun Marc's bestes Tauchgebiet...🤔🤔 Er meinte, alle Tauchspots wären unterschiedlich, aber das Tauchen in Thailand, Ägypten und zum Teil auch Indonesien waren noch beeindruckender für ihn. Nichtsdestotrotz war das Tauchen am Great Barrier Reef für Marc auch sehr schön.😊😊😊
    Da wir morgen nun unseren Roadtrip starten wollen, war heute Waschtag bei uns, bevor wir uns noch einmal zum Abschied mit den anderen vom Boot im Bayrischen Wirtshaus trafen.🍻🍺
    Cairns hat uns als Stadt mit 160.000 Einwohnern von der Größe, von der schönen Lage am Meer🏞,Gebirge und Regenwald, vom Stil mit den Bauten und von der entspannten Atmosphäre super gefallen.😊😊👍
    Scheinbar ging es nicht nur uns so, denn Cairns ist nach Sydney, Melbourne und Brisbane die viert beliebteste Stadt bei ausländischen Touristen....und es wird viel deutsch in dieser Stadt gesprochen.🤔🤔😊
    Nun sind wir aber auf das was kommt gespannt. 🤔😊😊😊
    Nachdem wir heute Abend noch unsere elektronische Einreisegenehmigung für die USA beantragt hatten, schauten wir uns die Karte von der Ostküste an und haben nun ein Ziel für Morgen....Mission Beach....140 Kilometer südlich von Cairns.🚙
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  • Day348

    Bevor es heute zu unserem Segelabenteuer auf die Getaway⛵ ging, nutzten wir die Zeit🕝 um unsere Weiterfahrt nach Fraser Island zu planen🚐🚙 und noch einen Flug von Barbados nach Tobago🛫 zu buchen. Normalerweise wollten wir auch unseren Sprung von San Francisco nach Costa Rica endlich mal in Papier und Tüten bringen, aber den Flug, den wir uns auf Momondo vorgestern schon mal ausgesucht hatten, gab es nicht mehr und die Preise waren insgesamt auch zwischenzeitlich gestiegen....💶💵🙄😏🤔, weswegen wir gar keine Lust mehr auf's Buchen hatten.😖
    ....und uns lieber auf das Einchecken um 14.30 Uhr auf dem Catamaran freuten.😊😀💃🕺 Seitdem wir die Catamaran Segelboote in der schönen Inselwelt von Tonga/Vava'u gesehen haben, konnten wir uns gut vorstellen so etwas auch einmal zu machen.⛵⚓😊😍...und so schnell haben wir uns völlig ungeplant unseren Wunsch erfüllt.😊😊😊
    Mit uns checkte ein Schweizer Pärchen Anfang 60 vom Zürich See, ein österreichisches Honey Moon👰🤵 Juristen-Pärchen Anfang 30 aus Wien, die an der ungarischen Grenze im Burgenland aufgewachsen sind und ein junges Anfang 30-er Pärchen aus Sydney, die relativ gut die deutsche Sprache verstanden, ein.😊😊😊...Sprachbarrieren waren eher kein Problem.😊😊😊....und auch sonst fanden wir alle sehr schnell einen Draht zueinander.😊😊😊
    https://sailing-whitsundays.com/whitsundays/whitsunday-getaway
    Gleich nach der Ausfahrt machten wir es uns auf dem vorderen Netz bequem, bis die Segel gesetzt wurden.⛵⚓
    Bei herrlichstem Sonnenschein☀️☀️☀️, ruhiger, türkisfarbener See, leichtem Wind 🌬, guter Sicht, zwischendurch leckeren Häppchen😋....,so lässt sich das Leben wunderbar aushalten.😍😍😍😎👍😊😀😉....und nachts gab es als Zugabe noch einen grandiosen Sternenhimmel.✨🌠🌟⭐🌛
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  • Day24

    Am heutigen Tag habe ich eine Schifftour zum Great Barrier Reef mit 2 Schnorchelgängen gemacht. Davon abgesehen, dass ich allein schon von Schiffen sehr begeistert bin, war das Great Barrier Reef einfach nur unbeschreiblich schön!! Blaue, gelbe und rote Korallen, bunteste Fische in allen Farben und Formen. Nach jedem Meter gabs wieder ganz andere Korallenriffstrukturen und Fische. Es ist wirklich einer der schönsten Orte der Welt!
    Morgen kann ich vllt einige Unterwasserfotos posten, sollte es mit dem Zuschicken von Fotos klappen; dann könnt ihr alle an der beeindruckenden Unterwasserwelt teilhaben :)
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  • Day93

    Why did I come to Port Douglas? To get a reef trip 😎
    I could wait until I'm further south but Tropical Cyclone Debbie caused a lot of damage down there, so today was the day.

    I went for a full day trip with Wavelength to the outer reef - that's 90 mins each way and 3 snorkels. The great thing that's different about Wavelength is they have marine biologists on board who give a couple of entertaining and informative talks during the day. Just fab!

    I'll do even more pics when I have more power and better internet, whenever that is!
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  • Day11

    Looking back years ago from now, I would never have thought I would do the things I've done today.

    Fear is a funny thing, holding you back from real living.

    Monday I saw the rainforest at his best. For 7.5 K I actually flew over the Barron Gorge National Park. Just metres above the foliage of skyhigh ancient trees, looking straight down into the depts of the rainforest. Feeling free from fear and being able to really submit to this adventure, I think is the best thing this day has brought me.

    The same feeling came over me yesterday when I was off sailing the Great Barrier Reef. For I didn't bring my tablets for seasickness, I already heard some horrible stories and just forced my breakfast... I could feel my stomache turning just now.
    When we came on to the boat our funny host did an introduction, spreading seasicknesspills for, as he said; the backpackers like the free stuff :)... I decided not to take one.

    We sailed to the outer Reef and went snorkeling on two magnificent sights. I've never really had much up with fish. I just cant be bothered staring at fish or go to an aquarium. And to be honest I never really liked the idea of fish touching me. 😝. You can imagine I never really thought snorkeling was for me.

    Boy, was I wrong! I had seen some coral before but when I finally got used to breathing throw the tube and the fact that I was floating in this deep ocean, I found this reef as one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
    Sadly, I wasn't able to take pictures so you would have to believe me on my word. Like you probably heard before the variety and colors of the fish and the coral, and even swimming within two metres of a shark, I can't descripe, only one word came to me then: majestic.

    While waving on the sundeck, overlooking the wide ocean, the sun sprakling on the waves, I sincerly loved it, like I never thought I could.

    ✌️

    ...

    Morgen volgt de toeristische versie met wat foto's 😝.
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  • Day25

    YEAHH 😁😁😁 ich war am Great Barrier Reef tauchen 😁😁😁 war eine sehr coole Erfahrung! 👌👌👌 beim ersten Tauchgang nicht ganz so bunt und so viele Fische wie erwartet, beim zweiten Tauchen schon besser 😁😁😁 knapp 500 Fotos mit der Unterwasserkamera sind entstanden, bin gespannt ob das Eine oder Andere Bild gelungen ist... 😎Read more

  • Day82

    Heute haben wir von airlie beach eine Bootstour zu den Whitsunday Inseln gemacht:)
    Insgesamt standen drei Stops auf dem Plan. Erster Stop war Bali Hai, hier durften wir ein bisschen schnorcheln und noch einmal das Great Barrier Reef bewundern. Der zweite Stop war dann auch das Highlight - der Whitehaven Beach 😍 nach einer kleinen Wanderung zu einem Lookout mit atemberaubender Sicht, ging es dann natürlich ins Wasser zum Baden 😁
    Den Abschluss bildete der Besuch auf Daydream Island. Hier gab es Wallabys zum Anschauen und mehrere Pools zum entspannen:)
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  • Day26

    Finding Nemo

    November 5

    Today I scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef. I actually did 3 dives on 3 different parts of the reef. The reef is about 90 minute boat ride from Port Douglas.
    The first stop was at a place called Chapel. The coral on the Great Barrier Reef was amazing, the best I have ever seen. The fish were abundant and hundreds of different kinds. It is neat to be down 35 feet and look up and see tons of fish swimming above your head.
    The second spot we dove was called Nursery. At one of the places there they have a mountain tower of coral. Our guides told us it is one of the best spots in the world to dive. As we were swimming around the mountain of coral we saw a lot of big fish including barracudas. I was pretty excited to see how many big barracudas there were. Also on our second dive I saw a Great Barrier Reef Giant Clam. As we swam closer to it , it slammed it sides together and caught its prey inside. Wow what a sight.
    Our third spot was at a place called Helms Deep. The little fish were so abundant including clown fish. ( Nemo). While were were making our way along the coral , our guide gave us the full stop signal. He pointed up and over and right above us was a Napoleon Fish. It was huge. We estimate it to be 150kg. Our guide told us afterward it is the King of the Reef in the Food Chain. It is very rare to see and he was quite excited to see it ( see picture). About 2 minutes later I gave the signal for potential trouble, as I had spotted a shark. I saw a White Tip Reef Shark about 10 feet in length. I was happy to get the all ok signal from the guide that we had nothing to worry about.
    The fish and coral are so colourful and you can see really well under water.
    In total I did 3-45 minute dives and I was exhausted for the 90 minute trip back to town.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Great Barrier Reef, Bol'shoy Bar'yernyy Rif, The Great Barrier Reef, The Great Barrier Reefs

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