Possibly my favorite experience, this cruise had it all. Snorkelling, diving, great food, drinks, and even a chance to use their helmet walker. The Full Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise and Snorkel will not disappoint.
The day started early around 9:30 as I stepped on the boat along with hundreds of other reef-goers. The crew and photography team welcomed me with warm smiles as I climbed my way onto the big cruiser. After a safety briefing we were free to do as we pleased until we arrived at the reef about an hour or so later. It was at this point the waves started getting rough. I have never been one to get sea sick, but the constant up and down motion and swaying of the boat had my head slung on the table and feeling nauseous. Luckily, bags are provided and sea sickness pills are available to all for free (I recommend trying these out).
On arrival, we docked at a pontoon. This was great for people like me, because I got to stand on some sturdy ground to get a break from the boats rocking. It was also at this point that lunch was served. If food is important to you, you are in luck. This buffet had everything and plenty of it; curry, chicken, beef, prawns, salads, fruit and more. Feel free to load up on as much or as little as you want, either way you’ll be happy.
After lunch, it was time for scuba diving for my first time. I was really nervous at the time. I was suited up and made my way to the diving area under the dock. This was a great first place to learn – their beginner’s spot was very quiet and perfect for practicing the basics before diving deep. I had a hard time learning to breathe properly at first and found myself diving and coming back up a few times. Luckily, my instructor was extremely patient and encouraged me to keep going. I went down one last time without having to come back up until the end of my instruction. Under the water was magnificent – we even got our pictures taken by a professional and were allowed to purchase some photos of ourselves underwater with their huge fish.
After the diving, I tried my hand at snorkelling. All the equipment was provided, including life jackets so I was able to dive in at any time I felt like it. This was a very relaxed experience, however, I could not see nearly as much as I could while diving. For this reason, if you can, I highly recommend scuba diving – this is how the reef was meant to be experienced.
Later we departed, we enjoyed a well deserved cup of tea and biscuits. The way back wasn’t as rough (thanks to the ginger pills) and we even had some visitors. We spotted a few whales on our way back which was the perfect end to a great day.
I left the boat, thanked the crew, and knew I had an unforgettable first day at the reef.
By GoDo team member and snorkelling adict, Andrew