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The Tour Specialists Tour News

Feb 03
2009

Outer Barrier Reef with Quicksilver


Posted on February 3, 2009 by

Last Friday I traveled out with Quicksilver to the Outer Barrier Reef and had the most fantastic time.  On waking on Friday morning the weather was looking rather bleak and I was thinking oh no what have I done this is going to be terrible.  But dragging my heels to get ready, by the time I got to Palm Cove the weather was getting better by the minute. 

I met up with my two travel mates for the day Saachi and Hugh at the Villa Paradiso in Palm Cove to travel by the Quicksilver Coach to Port Douglas.  This is an amazing scenic drive with quirky commentary along the way which had us in fits of laughter along the way up to Port Douglas.

On arrival in Port Douglas we checked into the Quicksilver office to obtain our boarding passes, and then off to the boat we went.  The Quicksilver is the largest vessel that travels out to the reef and once on board we were very impressed.  There are plenty of outside seats for the sun bunnies but a word of warning hold on to your hats and sunnies if you do opt to sit outside as it is very windy with the speed of the boat.  We sat inside as living in Far North Queensland we see enough sun plus I did not want Saachi and Hugh’s parents angry at me for getting them sunburnt!

Once on board it was time for refreshments I had a wake up coffee and some biscuits whilst the kids had a soft drink!  It was then off to the Outer Barrier Reef – Agincourt Ribbon Reef.  On the way out you are given information as what to expect from the day and a timetable as to the running of the day….with this in hand we worked out our day and decided to do the semi submarine first … hoping to avoid the numbers later on in the day.  The semi-submarine tour was great and especially good for those who do not want to go in the water but still see the reef.  The tour went for around 25 minutes by this time we were itching to get in the water. We thought it best to have lunch first while we were still dry so off to the buffet we went.  Lunch was a tropical smorgasbord and features a vegetarian curry, beef in honey and soy for hot dishes with rice, prawns, a few different types of salads, chicken, cold meats and a selection of cut fruits. The lunch was a great variety that easily caters for all types of diets!  After lunch we had a quick walk through the underwater observatory we then grabbed the stingers suits and fins and set off to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.

The pontoon set up is great for people who are not really experienced in the water as they have roped off sections which you can just pull yourself along or if you are just plain lazy this also works!

You have just over three hours on the reef and there is plenty to do you can opt to just snorkel, do the semi –submersible tour, walk through the underwater observatory or take one of the optional extras which are at additional prices such as Scuba diving or a Scenic Helicopter flight, guided snorkel tour or the Oceanwalker Helmet experience which looked fantastic. This takes place on a reef platform and a big Helmet is placed on your head which air is pumped though so you don’t even get your hair wet.  The people looked like there were walking on the moon being lead down to the platform they are then passed sea cucumbers and various other marine life while the fish are going crazy around them!  It looked really cool and next time I would love to try this,  it is well worth booking in advance because I did notice on board they were fully booked for this activity!

The snorkeling was really good and the kids loved the fish feeding,  Saachi and Hughes favorite was the Hammerhead Maori Wrasse called Jed.  Saachi did a bit of research into this amazing fish and here is what she found out:

The Maori Wrasse is also known as the Humpheaded or Napoleon Wrasse. They can grow so big that they are one of the largest reef fishes in the world and are the largest member of the Wrasse Family Labridae.

The mature adults have thick lips (great for kissing!) and a prominent hump on their forehead. Young Maori Wrasse can be identified by their pale greenish colour and two black lines running behind their eye. 

Maori Wrasse lives a very long time some are known to live for 30 years and take 5-7 years to reach sexual maturity.  The Adult female is pretty cool as she is able to change sex, when a dominant male dies. 

The adult Maori Wrasse likes to hang out alone during the day roaming the reef and returning to caves and ledges to rest at night.

The Maori Wrasse is very friendly and coming up and saying hello to people!

Thanks Saachi for your information.  Well it was soon time to go and off we went to travel back to Port Douglas on the way back they display the photo which were taken from by the professional photographer throughout the day.   A great souvenir!
Well we were all a bit tired on the way back so we settled into to view the photos then watch so lovely footage on the reef.  On arrival back at Port Douglas we were again welcome by our lovely coach driver for our shuttle back to Palm Cove.

What a fantastic day we had!!

By: Tammy – Tour Desk Consultant at The Tour Specialists Palm Cove

For more about this tour please visit The Tour Specialists

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