Our Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

We did the Great Barrier Reef outer reef tour in Cairns. The 1st destination was Fitzroy Island where you had approximately 2 hrs to explore. Not enough time really since there were a lot of people about. Make sure you bring insect repellant as there are quite a few biting insects at the island. Snorkelling from the shore was ok, although it was nothing extraordinary.

After that it’s off to the outer reef (Moore Reef) and their pontoon. As others have noted, it is quite small for the number of passengers on the cruise. The so called underwater viewing area was a disappointment – I have seen better in the aquariums in Melbourne or Perth . They have not got around to cleaning the windows so it was very difficult to see anything through it. My wife said the same thing about their glass bottom boat tour which I didn’t get to do because we just simply ran out of time.

If there’s anything that you should do, it’s the Scuba-doo, especially if you’ve done a scuba dive before. It’s the best way to experience the reef. We even saw a turtle and one of the guides handed us a sea cucumber which my son loved. It’s a little expensive but I think it’s worth it.

After the scuba-doo, I went for a dive. It was probobly because it was the wet season but the visibility wasn’t as good as I’d expected . Maybe it’s different when you do a specialist dive trip but with this sort of cruise, you don’t get too many choices. Corals were more of the gray and brown shades. Fish, while there were many, were nothing special. Then to top if off, my diveguide just swum around in circles, not even going out of his way to show the wonders of the reef.

By the time the dive was finished, I had just about enough time to eat and change (if my wife had not set aside lunch for me, there was none left) – therefore, I missed the semi-sub ride. If it wasn’t for the scuba-doo, this would have been a very ordinary tour.

I would do a smaller cruise next time. There are heaps of other options to experience the reef.

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