Day 74 – The ‘GREAT’ Barrier Reef

Today was AWESOME!!

After the snorkeling at Chalkie Beach in the Whitsundays had been such a disappointment I was concerned that the same might happen at the Great Barrier Reef.

Thankfully, I didn’t need to be concerned, the snorkeling was truly amazing!

Everything you have ever read, every photo you have ever seen, documentary or movie you have watched it’s exactly like that but better – seriously!

I headed to the Reef fleet terminal, checked in and boarded the boat.

View of the boat as the sun was rising this morning.

Thankfully the overcast and humid weather of the last couple of days had cleared and it looked like it could be a great sunny day.

The boat left Cairns and after a 80 minute cruise we stopped at Hastings Reef.  Tooled up, everyone that was either snorkeling or diving was able to get in the ocean from the back of the boat.  I think it’s the first time I’ve snorkeled off a boat, previously I’ve been able to walk in from a beach.

Here’s the view of the Great Barrier Reef from the back of the boat.

The snorkeling really was fabulous.  The water was turquoise in colour, clear as can be and there were loads of fishies and some great coral to be seen.

After a while I got out of the water and went to dry out on the front of the boat.  The sun was beating down and it’s probably the first time I’ve got my pasty British legs out in the heat.  It really was lovely just soaking up the sun as the boat bobbed up and down in the water.

After a tasty barbecue lunch, the boat headed towards Norman Reef.  The coral and views of the fish were even more fantastic here.

View of the Great Barrier Reef from the helicopter at Norman Reef.

I’d booked a helicopter flight as part of the trip and did that from Norman Reef.  The views were phenomenal.  I was able to see the reef in totality and it really gave a great perspective as to the enormity and magnitude of this wonder.

View of Norman Reef, boat and heli landing pad from the air

Not very excited!!

Then the boat headed back towards Cairns, with some live entertainment, a glass of wine and a nibble or two of cheese, it really topped off a fantastic day!

Number of kms today = 14

Total number of kms in Aus = 5269

Total Cumulative kms to date (NZ &  Aus) = 10,533


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