For over 18 months I have been helping visitors to Cairns book and organise their holidays by working in an Information Centre. ...

Friday, 17 March 2017


I was getting cold sweats and itchy flipper feet. It had been too long between visits, I yearned, I pined to immerse myself in the deep blue. My stinger suit hung up in my closet for far too long. It was time to dust it off and head out to the Great Barrier Reef!

It is Wet Season here in the tropics of North Queensland, Australia. It rains on most days, the ocean is the temperature of a warm bath which is filled with venomous jellyfish and there can be a potential cyclone on our doorstep. Great conditions for a snorkel out on the reef (said no one ever).


Thankfully we had stunning conditions forecast, calm seas and blinding sun. Last year was a fairly dry wet season and this season was shaping up to be the same. Not great news for the reef (as it is going through yet another bleaching phase) but good for me to scratch that itch and yearning for a reef day. Time to dust off that stinger suit!

After checking in with the lovely staff at the Reef Magic desk inside the Reef Fleet Terminal (Cairns CBD) we boarded the fast cat for the 90 minute journey out to Moore Reef. The usual things take place on the trip out there. Safety briefings, snorkel briefings, dive briefings and Seabob briefings. Seabob?!? What's that I hear you say? All shall be revealed down the track.

After the final brief on arrival to the activity platform at Moore Reef we were greeted by pristine calm waters and were ready to rumble. 
A collage of Reef Magic's platform.

We disembarked the vessel and staked a claim on a table and got ready for our guided adventure snorkel straight away. We were to head out of the usual swimming area with our Marine Biologist Eric for the hour Snorkel Safari to the outer reef wall. Finally... after a few months my separation anxiety from the reef was over and we were once again frolicking in the sea. This was an epic guided snorkel, one of the best I had been on. 

We started off with not the best visibility but this is because of the current. There were so many fish in that section! Eric says it's just at that time every morning and in another half hour the fish will be gone. We were shown a diverse range of fish species included a Grey Whaler shark.

Moving along the coral colours only intensified. This made for some amazing photos however it was with great sadness as this means the corals are bleaching due to our Northern waters being too warm. This event is not only at this particular reef site but all over the reef accessible from Cairns and Port Douglas. There was still an abundance of sea life however and Eric was so informative, he really knew all his fishy stuff! I highly recommend this great value option for those who love a good swim and snorkel away from the crowds.

After an hour in the water (and some tired little legs) we made our way back to the platform for the buffet lunch. Hot & cold dishes, fresh prawns and salad. There was even sushi. Yummo!

With our bellies full we disregarded the "wait half an hour before swimming" rule... (who ever made that up... really!) and jumped in the water to explore the site inside the swimming area. Word of warning, the entry point  for snorkelling get's a little congested after lunch time, it seems everyone else had the same idea as us. Eventually we were in the water again. Peering through loads of legs and feeling like your in a game of dodge ball I did manage to  successfully watch and photograph the fish feeding and capture Wally, the Maori Wrasse who was out to play.

Exploring, the fish feeding and Wally the superstar. All taken on my hired camera from Calypso.

Next up was something I wish I had a Go Pro for. Those who know me know I am always cash poor... so hopefully one day my dream comes true. I had hired an Olympus TG-4 from>>>>>> http://calypsoproductions.com.au/cairns-underwater-camera-hire/ which took fabulous underwater photo's with fast shutter speed to catch all those darting fish. It wasn't suitable for our next adventure however. It was time for.....


Broom broom! A Seabob is a lightweight luxury sea toy that runs on water propulsion. It was simple to use with 2 speeds and a toggle in the right handle you gently squeezed to GO. If on the higher speed, you can do tricks, back flips and barrel rolls under water. I did attempt a back flip but failed. I ended up too deep with my ears popping and had to let go of my vehicle. Thankfully no one saw this. Always keeping it classy.

So grab your Go Pro (or hire one from Calypso) and get amongst the reef in a whole new way. So much fun! Great for those adrenalin junkies out there.
How graceful you should look using your Seabob. Unlike me! Photo from Seabob-Ibiza website.

So it was nearing that time of day and our departure was imminent. Time flies when you're having fun as they say. But it wasn't all over yet...oh no. Not by a long shot. It was... 

time to.....

We were truely blessed on this day and had the opportunity to fly back to Cairns via helicopter. For a little extra you can include a scenic flight in your day or fly to or from the activity platform skipping the 90minute boat cruise. Fly with GBR Helicopters in style!
Some of the beauty from the air. Photos from my iPhone.

What an action packed fun-filled day! There is something for everyone on Reef Magic's activity platform, whether you swim or not. Aside from the activities we did, there is also an underwater observatory and semi-submersible boat tour. You can also take a certified or introductory scuba dive or even a helmet walk. If you want to give snorkelling a go but are a little nervous and not so confident, you can join a Coral Gardens guided snorkel. One thing is for sure, never a dull moment and loads to do.

Want to know more? How about checking out my little fun movie on my youtube channel???

Thanks again to Calypso Camera hire (located at the Reef Fleet Terminal) and GBR helicopters. Of course, the BIG thanks goes to Reef Magic who looked after us so well from start to finish. 

WANT TO BOOK THIS TOUR??? HEAD TO REEF INFO HERE>>> http://www.reefinfo.com.au


Visit time:
Whole day trip

09:00am  to 5:00pm-5:15pm (Check in from 8am Reef Fleet Terminal)

Suitable for: 
  • Not so good swimmers to good swimmers
  • Non-swimmers & elderly
  • Those who don't speak much English (announcements in multiple languages)
  • Those members in a family group seeking adventure when others don't
Fitness level (out of 5):
  •  💪 💪  
Time of year:
  • All year round (Stinger season is from October through to April)
  • Lycra suits provided  

  • $210/Adult levy SNORKEL
  • $105/Child SNORKEL
  • $525/Family SNORKEL
  • $125/Adult for first Introductory Scuba Dive or Helmet Dive on top of snorkel price
  • $45/Adult Adventure Snorkel Safari

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