Blogs from Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef December 1st 2017

To day we drove to Port Douglas to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef with Calypso. Free tea, coffee and really good lunch. Heather was our dive leader. Pete did 3 dives, 18, 16 and 14 metres. Alex did 2 dives 18 and 16 metres and a snorkel dive. We met 2 guys on the trip. Father, lives in Camberly and his mum lives in March and his other son is a Maj in the RLC. His younger son just finished his Aussie paramedic training and got a job in Melbourne starting at $86k up to $110k in 5 yrs. fantastic day. Had a cold beer before a walk round the shops. Steak and prawns on the bbq for dinner... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef June 23rd 2016

For our final full day in Cairns we had another tour booked, this time to Michaelmas Cay, a sand cay on the outer Great Barrier Reef. Michaelmas Cay has one of the biggest colonies of nesting sea birds in the southern hemisphere and has colonies of several different species of sea birds. The cruise to visit the cay did of course leave from near The Esplanade which meant that despite the fact that it was another fairly early departure, I could have a bit of time to look at The Esplanade. Rather than a beach or anything like that, the Cairns coastline has an extensive area of tidal mudflats and mangroves and a line of trees behind including some large figs which is an excellent place for birds. Although it is winter and not the ideal ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef January 12th 2016

The phone beeps and wakes me, it's only 4am and I suspect the message is from home. Half asleep I open the message, Sophie has died. Sophie was just 12 years old and is my nieces daughter's best friend. Instantly tears prick my eyes at the sheer sadness of a life taken so young. Then the compassion for Phobe who has lost her best friend, Chrissy and Cheryl who will be trying to console her, Sophie's family who will be in so much pain and the scale of the impact makes me cry. ... read more
Allergic reaction to mosquito bite
Ready for the off
The fish are beautiful

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef October 28th 2015

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the wonders of the world, the top of many people's bucket list, one of Australia's biggest tourist attractions and something we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to do. We were excited to go and see what all the fuss was about. We compared options and discovered they were different degrees of expensive for similar experiences. We chose one and booked online, paying $400 for both of us. We were very excited at the prospect of diving on the reef, even though it never featured on our must-do lists. We arrived at the Cairns Reef Terminal just on time and were directed onto our boat, the Osprey V. The brochure made it sound like a huge, luxurious cruise ship. We were disappointed by how small it was and ... read more
The Osprey V
Diving Group

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef March 30th 2015

Took a lovely catamaran called Quicksilver to the GBR today. Boat actually was silver colored, up close it looked like burnished aircraft aluminum. Really could have used a bunch of bosun'mates giving it a good polish thought. Salt water does a number on it. Anyway, the 17 of us joined approximately 200 others for an hour and a half ride to a permanently anchored pontoon. Once there I joined several of my traveling partners on a semi-submersible ride to check out the reef. Did the same thing in at Grand Cayman with Carol Lantz a few years ago. Beautiful colored corals in oranges, reds, blues, and purples. Took a bunch of photos but unfortunately underwater colors do not translate well on film shot through glass. Saw a sea turtle, giant clam and a bunch of fish. ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef March 22nd 2015

Today was Great Barrier Reef day. We were collected at 0820 and transported to Port Douglas Marina and shown to our boat. Well our replacement boat as the one we had booked had gone technical, water pump or something. So seven of us boarded this massive catamaran capable of taking well over one hundred. We were greeted by the captain a delightful young lady called Alicia, and the crew Joe another delightful young english lady and Mal a delightful young english man. After tea and muffins we set sail. We were surprised how rough the sea was on the way out to the reef but once in the lee of Low Island, itself only about ten foot above high tide, all was quiet. We donned our lycra swimsuits (photos being kept under close guard) and collected ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef March 22nd 2015

Hello Everyone, The Great Barrier Reef is calling!! We woke up early to walk down to the pier for 8am, where we boarded the Silver Swift boat to take us to the outer reef (Flynn Reef), where we were to stop at three different dive and snorkel sites. Neil and I were separated as soon as we boarded as they had sections for divers, snorkelers, and introductory divers. Neil was doing an introductory dive, which involves diving in small groups with an instructor to depths less than 10 meters, without having ever needed to have dived before. Needless to say he was very excited about it. As the boat started the 1hour 30-minute journey out to sea we had health ad fitness forms to fill in, and to basically sign away any company responsibility if something ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef January 8th 2015

We were all very sad to leave our lovely apartment on Hamilton Island, especially having to give back the golf buggy which we had become rather attached to. The ferry crossing to Airlie Beach was pretty uneventful apart from Stuart's prized Cloudy Bay cap blowing off. Those who know Stuart will be aware this happens on a fairly regular basis! Picked up our hire car (another Toyota, Nick!) and headed for Townsville which was about a 4 hour drive. Stayed one night in Townsville and after a quick massage for Rebecca (a lot more normal than the last one in Hong Kong) we were off again the following morning heading for Cairns which was about a 5 hour drive. Our first morning in Cairns concentrated on finding a café for breakfast. This nearly caused the first ... read more
Time to catch the train
Happy New Year!

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef October 29th 2014

Today was my first Cairns excursion and I was heading to sea and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. I'd checked where the meeting point was and how long it would take to get there with the hostel reception last night and I had all my stuff prepared so that I wouldn't disturb my roomies when I left (I wish others were as considerate!) It turns out that I needed a kitchen pack (cutlery and crockery etc) which I didn't know about until after reception closed the night before so I was going to borrow the stuff from my roomies and put it back before they got up, however the kitchen doesn't open until 7.30am so my plan A didn't work. Plan B McDonald's lol. I was up early so had plenty of time to walk down ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Great Barrier Reef June 17th 2014

So, we had a day trip out to the Barrier Reef, which was truly amazing. The boat trip out there was calm, and 1,1/2 hours later we all found ourselves donning wetsuits, masks, snorkels and fins, and then jumping into 26 degree water. The fish and coral were at our fingertips, and the colours have to be seen to be believed. We had to pinch ourselves to make sure we were really experiencing it! Lunch was served, with a spread of fresh seafood, sushi, curries, and everything in-between. After lunch we enjoyed a glass-bottomed boat trip, and then a semi-submersible boat trip. You could say we made the most of our day! We learned a lot during the day too, and left with amazing memories (and some pretty cool photos) of a lifetime. Sunday saw us ... read more

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