12 Jan 2011

Holidays in Cairns Day III ... The Great Barrier Reef

27 Dec 2010

Day III: The Great Barrier Reef

One of Australia's most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world's largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. This reef supports a wide diversity of life, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.

The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups' cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating AU$ 1 billion per year.

Port Douglas is a spectacular one hour drive north of Cairns along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Home to some of Tropical North Queensland’s most exclusive resorts, award winning restaurants, beautiful galleries and boutique shopping. The most popular time of year to visit Port Douglas is between June and October.

Port Douglas is well known for its style and sophistication and the reef cruise vessels at the Marina Mirage offer no less. Visitors can choose from stunning sailboats or luxury yachts, to the ultimate in high tech marine on the wave piercing catamarans operated by Quicksilver.

Port Douglas is in a great location for easily accessing the Daintree National Park area. Mossman Gorge is one of the most visited spots in the Wet Tropics, located just a 20 minute drive north of Port Douglas. Croc Spotting at the Daintree River is a popular activity and the beautiful Cape Tribulation area is not to be missed. The Cape Tribulation ferry crossing is an experience in itself!

Quick Silver, Outer Great Berrier Reef Cruises
"Quicksilver Cruises takes you to the renowned Agincourt Reef at the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Here, special reefs known as ‘ribbons’ run parallel to the Continental Shelf.

Cruising daily from Port Douglas and Cairns in Tropical North Queensland.

Included by the day:
* Morning and afternoon teas on board.
* Reef presentation by marine biologist.
* Hot and cold tropical smorgasbord lunch.
* All snorkelling equipment provided.
* Return Wavepiercer cruise from Port Douglas
* Qualified snorkelling safety officers on hand
* Underwater observatory fish & coral viewing
* Coral viewing by semi-submersible vessels
* Fish feeding [conducted by crew]

What to Bring:
* Your camera.
* Swimming costume and beach towel.
* Hat, sunscreen and shirt for sun protection.
* Cash for drinks at the bar.
* Credit cards for shopping and optional tours.
* Underwater cameras available for purchase.

Tour Price $199/Adult

Spacious Floating Platform
The biggest and most spacious platform on the Great Barrier Reef
Platform Designed to provide the best experience for both swimmers and non-swimmers to enjoy a day of discovery on the reef

Floating like an island in a Coral Sea, our spacious and modern, dual level platform provides the ultimate in facilities for reef viewing and relaxation in all weather and wind conditions.

Situated on the very edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Agincourt Reef provides a sheltered anchorage for the Quicksilver vessel and the perfect spot for passengers to snorkel, dive, and view the spectacular coral formations and exotic marine life from the semi-submersible vessels."


Pretty Amazing!
It was incredibly spectacular down in the water.
Raining heavily before we arrived in Cairns and the cruises had cancelled the day tour before us.
Probably not the best time to visit Cairns as the water is not crystal clear due to the rain season.
Still it was a wonderful experience.


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