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Things to do in Queensland » Blogs » The Great Barrier Reef Part 2: Snorkeling

  • The Great Barrier Reef Part 2: Snorkeling

    Posted by EDrury46 January 17, 2013 - 289 views - 0 comments - 0 likes



    Continuing from last week's post, I thought I'd have a look about snorkelling this week.


    Although it took me a little bit of time to get used to it (I don't like masks in general), snorkelling was one of the most fun activities I took part in during my time in Australia, and it was a wonderful way to see 'under the sea'.

    In fact, I learnt to enjoy snorkelling so much that I went on several snorkelling trips during my stay. I set off on snorkelling day/morning and afternoon trips from areas such as Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas and Cairns Harbour, and went on boats out to either special 'snorkelling islands' or to areas known to be safe and good for snorkelling parties. One such island was Green Island (got to from Cairns Harbour).


    There were different types of snorkelling trips too, believe it or not! Some were more orientated towards younger family parties, and would be more of a reef-area but with ropes around a set boundary to provide extra orientation safety. However, one trip I went on involved a morning's snorkel of the reef around where the boat anchored, before lunch and then an afternoon's session snorkelling-on-the-move! This was a particularly cool experience. The party I was with would swim along the edge of a reef with the main boat following slowly behind (to spot any hazards, if any). My tour company fondly named this trip 'Nemo's Drop' - yes, after the Disney/Pixar movie, since we really were swimming along what can only be described as the coral-reef version of 'World's End'. The reef suddenly stopped, and all that led from it was open blue sea with a sea bed goodness knows how far below!



    It was such a great experience though to be swimming in two completely different under-water environment at the same time, and the sea-life was just as varied as it had been amongst the main reefs themselves. Different fish species were still to be seen weaving in and out of the sea anemones and some of the more confident snorkelers amongst our group (namely the guides) free dived to get closer pictures of some of the wildlife nestled into the side of the drop.


    The more family-friendly trips, such as swimming around a boat or mid-water platform allowed for those on the platform to alert snorkelers as to any particular wildlife they saw. In my case, a call was made to announce the arrival of two green sea turtles on the other side of the boat to where I was. I really liked this way of letting people know what was around that they might not have otherwise seen from their locations. I eagerly swam round to the turtles' location and free dived in order to get my photo. Of course with free diving I was careful to note where other people were around me and to not get too close to the turtles, but it still meant I could see them a little closer up!


    Snorkelling is a lot of fun, and perfect for all types of people, whether with a family (young or more mature) or even just as a fun solo trip.


    Next week I think I'll have a look at diving... proper diving that is!