Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Eclipse 2012 - Day 2 - The Great Barrier Reef

Boy it gets bright early here!  This is what happens when you have no daylight savings...

I went out to see what was making those bird calls this morning and spotted 2 birds which aren't that common to see in my part of Australia - noisy friarbird and a spotted catbird.

That was pretty cool.  Then we set off to the Marina Mirage for our Quicksilver tour to the Great Barrier Reef.

Quicksilver runs trips to the outer reef (they have their own platform there for activities) and has won multiple awards in Queensland and Australian tourism - also it has large comfortable boats, which means that we'd have a smoother ride to the reef /fingers crossed.

Image courtesy of Quicksilver cruises
The kids were excited to see the boat.  Unfortunately, it was a slightly choppy sea, so we had lots of people getting seasick (including Uncle S, and I felt a bit queasy too - reminder to self, don't try to read when feeling seasick), and one of the engines was not working so the trip to the outer reef took 30 minutes longer than scheduled.

Once we got there, the hard part is choosing what to do!  You can snorkel, scuba dive, do a helmet dive (which is like those old fashioned divers where you wear a fishbowl on your head and they fill it with air), or go on the glass bottomed boat.  We took the kids on the glass bottomed boat and they really enjoyed that.

There is also an underwater viewing area on the platform.

And you can take a helicopter ride around the reef as well for a bird's eye view.  I was tempted!

Hubby went snorkelling and managed to convince E to go with him.  She only got as far as getting her feet wet though!   One of the things I thought was interesting was that they encouraged everyone to wear lycra suits to minimise sunscreen use - I guess sunscreen would pollute the water, so that was a fabulous idea.

Lunch was a buffet on the boat and then we headed back to Port Douglas, where we experienced MORE choppy seas, but less seasickness (maybe we were used to it by then).

We came home and had some Thai takeaway and then went to look at the Port Douglas markets which were on every night until the eclipse (normally they are on Sunday).  There are heaps of handicrafts stalls at the normal markets, but these all day ones seem to have mostly food and a few local stalls, as well as some rides and some live entertainment.

Tomorrow, the Daintree!


  1. Sounds like y'all enjoyed it enough to consider a return visit someday. Those second time trips can be even better because the kids know what to expect and are more capable with another couple years under their belt.

    You got me looking up your bird finds to discover that South Asian catbirds aren't even closely related to the catbird in my backyard!

  2. Oh! I wonder what American catbirds are like! I'm going to go look that up Kall.