When we started looking at trips to the Great Barrier Reef there were so many different trips being offered, with so many different companies, that it became quite tough to narrow it down to one.
We saw lots of signs with cheap trips being offered, some as low as $79pp, but after talking to a travel agent she said you will often find yourself on a boat with 100 people which can ruin your once in a lifetime experience. Instead we opted for a more expensive trip, but there were only around 30 people on our boat. One thing which is great about reef tours is that they try not to overlap with other tours, so you don’t have hundreds of people swimming around you ruining the experience. We went with island diver and this particular tour takes you to Briggs Reef and Sudbury Cay.
Our boat departed shortly after 9am and took around 2 hours to reach the reef. Everyone was given safety briefings on board relating to either snorkelling or diving. We were snorkelling as I am unable to dive. Our guide was very passionate and enthusiastic and told us about what we could expect to see on the reef.
Each person had to wear a very fetching sting suit and flippers as there were some jellyfish floating around in the waters. After we had donned our snorkelling gear, we jumped off into the deep blue to see what the Great Barrier Reef had to offer. The coral was quite deep at some points, so we didn’t get to explore those, but there were some shallower sections which we got to explore and enjoy. We saw lots of fish in vivid colours, coral reefs and sea enenemies. It’s was an amazing experience although quite scary that you were in the middle of the sea, not knowing what you might see next!
After a delicious lunch we were debating whether or not to get back into the water, until one snorkelled shouted out that there was a turtle! We quickly donned our snorkelling gear again and we were soon back in the water swimming out towards the turtle. I was really pleased to have seen one of these, and it was amazing to see him swimming around, eating jellyfish and munching on the reef.
After our second snorkel session we headed out to Sudbury cay, which is literally like a deserted island in the middle of the sea. It didn’t seem too far away from the boat, but the swim was really tough as the current was making it difficult to swim straight. We swam over some more coral before reaching the island, I saw lots of royal blue coloured starfish and a puffafish. After 30 minutes on the island we had another tough swim back to the boat before we headed back to cairns.
Another thing on my bucket list on our trips has been ticked off and what an amazing experience it was.