A Travellerspoint blog

Good grief, it’s the Reef

Whales, turtles, coral and colour


We had a pretty early start this morning although most of our dorm was up before us leaving for various trips or further travels. We grabbed some toast from the hostel before waiting for our pickup to get us to the boat. Once aboard we had to sign a waiver saying that we knew we could die; a positive thought in the morning for Alex, a quick way to get rid of Rach! We loaded up on a second breakfast of bacon and egg sarnies and fruit before heading off to the first dive site. This was brilliant until Rach’s seasickness kicked in and meant that she spent a lot of the hour journey to the reef wishing she could throw herself overboard.

Luckily to distract her from her misery the boat was given an escort of humpback whales and dolphins! The pod of three whales, including a calf, followed the boat for at least twenty minutes and it was an amazing experience. They were truly majestic as they slowly appeared above the surface before slipping down once more with a flick of the tail. They even did a couple of rolls and waved their fins at us. They were so close that we could've reached out and touched them had the boat had a viewing platform off the back.


Because of those pesky whales we arrived slightly behind schedule at the first reef we were due to visit that day. We had booked to do an introductory dive, Alex’s first ever, and so after a brief safety talk we were kitted out and dumped out the back of the boat. Our group of four was taken down by a leader who went through all the procedures as we went to the reef floor. For those who have never done it, as Alex can attest, it is one of the strangest feelings having to put so much thought into breathing, but amazing too.


Alex was then allowed to swim off whereas Rach was stuck being pulled along as she kept drifting toward the surface due to some incorrect weights. In terms of coral the reef was not as beautifully coloured as we had thought but the fish were plentiful both in number and the astonishing array of colours that they came in. We had a great time and got to swim with a green sea turtle and put our hands in a giant clam and before we knew it, it was time to return the surface. We loved it so much that we headed back out with our flippers and snorkel to view the reef from above until the boat left.

The boat crew laid on a sumptuous feast for lunch, or at least it appeared that way to our hungry eyes. We had barely finished shovelling down our second plate each when we reached our second dive point. Due to being poor we decided not to do a second scuba dive, instead opting to snorkel. As it was low tide by this point it barely mattered and the reef could once again be seen in all its glory. The fish were even more colourful and varied and we got to swim between looming reef walls. It was like entering another world.


All too soon it was time to head home. It was an absolutely brilliant day and both of us would do it again in a heartbeat.

Rex’s rules of the road

  • When booking tours always have a look around and see what’s best and what discounts can be gotten where.
  • If there is any fear you’ll get seasick take a tablet before you go, especially if it’s a windy day.
  • Do scuba diving, it is completely worth it, although if it’s not your thing snorkelling is still an incredible way to see the reef up close, even better at low tide.
  • Reef Experience offered a great package and although we can offer no comparisons, they treated us really well, the group was small and the dives and the cooking superb. You can see Rach's review of it here.

Posted by rexontheroad 20:42 Archived in Australia

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