theonlywayismelbourne

Blogging from Down Under

An Awesome Aussie Adventure – Port Douglas – Great Barrier Reef

Our last full day in Port Douglas we wanted to go out on a high so we booked a boat tour out into the pristine waters over towards the Great Barrier Reef. Well we couldn’t go all that way and not go there could we!

There are a huge number of tours available that all try to offer something different, from speed boat trips to the Reef, to leisurely cruises and catamarans. Some heading to the Inner Reef, some to the Outer Reef and yet more, to the continental shelf.

The other tours are great if you are on your own but as many go right to the edge of the continental shelf there is nowhere really to go if you are not diving or snorkelling. Not the best with a 3 yr old and 6 month old.
Whilst we would have loved *loved* to do that , 2 kids means some changes to itinerary have to be made. When we get a UK babysitter next time husb and I will head up and do it.

imageThe one we eventually chose was ideal for our needs. We booked with www.quicksilver-cruises.com.  and took the ‘WaveDancer’ boat over to the Low Isles about 15km out from Port Douglas. This was a great family friendly trip, and in fact was the only one that was actually recommended for families. The journey over to the uninhabited Low Isles took only about an hour or so in a lovely large air-conditioned boat, making it very doable with kids.

imageThe Low Isles were beautiful, there was nothing there at all besides a lighthouse and lots of marine life (oh and all the tourists). The boat moored off the island and we were taken to it  by the glass bottomed shuttle boat.
We left the pram and most of our baby paraphernalia on the main boat and set ourselves up on the island.
Then it was back to the boat for a gorgeous buffet lunch.

There was a marine biologist onboard who conducted guided snorkelling tours to see turtles as well as guided walks of the island.

The glass bottomed boat was great to see the marine life while keeping your feet dry and it was ideal for the Bear being able to spot the fishees nice and clearly.

imageThe snorkelling was amazing, apparently, we were told that it is better to snorkel rather than dive because the coral is more vibrant closer to the surface as there is more sunlight and oxygen. Which was good for me as I don’t have my PADI licence and didn’t fancy trying to get it while we were there.

Spot the snorkelling husb

Spot the snorkelling husb

We spent a full day on the island, hopping between the beach and the main boat and I would recommend the trip if you have young kids.image

Flo-Bear coped like a trooper with the heat and was happy to have a little paddle and  cool down on the shore with me while the Bear played in the shallows while husb went off to do the guided snorkel tour.image

I’m really pleased that we are able to give the Bears these amazing opportunities and experiences. I know Flo-Bear is not going to remember it but the Bear is getting to the age were he will start to recall these things now and I love that he is getting the chance to do all of this amazing stuff.

It was a fabulous day and a great way to end our Awesome Aussie Adventure.

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