Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Sep 22, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, September 19, 2011

After settling into our hostel in Port Douglas the first evening, the next day on Tuesday we went on a one day Great Barrier Reef Trip. The boat was called Silversonic and was lovely and new. It was a diving boat so had all the diving equipment on board as well. There was quite a lot of people on board, apparently the boat can hold up to 60 people. Straight away we sailed to the first of three locations where we would snorkel or dive on the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs on the outer barrier reef, one of the most premium great barrier reef locations!!

The first location was called Wreck Bay because there is a shipwreck there. I was only going to snorkel but I got geared up and headed off to explore. The visibility was amazing, it was so clear you could see everything. You could see all the way to the bottom and I could see all the divers below me as well. I explored all the reef in the shallows, saw so many different types of fish, some so colourful, like metallic purple, some multicoloured, some big and some really long thin weird looking fish. It was really diverse. The coral as well was much more colourful, definitely different from what I have seen before. What is so unique is that it just grows there on its own, with no islands or anything near by. I really enjoyed the snorkelling and then returned to the boat before cruising to the next location.

When we arrived at the next location, first of all we had some lunch. There was so much food, a lot of seafood! Then we went snorkelling again. At this location, there was shallow coral on one side, and then deeper water on the other side with a pinnacle which is like a mountain of coral and there were lots of skools of fish around it. Again you could see all the way down to the bottom which was unbelievable!  Really amazing sight. There were skools of smaller fish and then bigger fish further down.

The third and final site was called the Nursery because of all the juvenile fish there. Here, again there was shallow coral on one side and an impressive pinnacle on the other. This pinnacle was much deeper than the previous site and I thought it was the most impressive. We did a snorkel tour here with one of the crew members who pointed out alot of things. He showed us a big orange sea cucumber, big horn like shell, a big sea clam on the bottom which closed up when he touched it. Exploring the pinnacle was by far the best thing. Even though it was so much deeper you could still see all the way to the bottom as the visibility was just so clear! There were so many fish around it, such a good view looking down from the top of the coral, with the fish next to it and the sea below it. When we got back onto the boat I saw a turtle swim past as well. I enjoyed it so much.

The next day was my final full day in Australia. We spent the day exploring Port Douglas. We cycled down to the coast opposite the main street with all the shops and restaurants on which was very picturesque with all the mountains around it. We then had lunch and cycled down to the beach. The beach is 4 miles long and is a very nice beach, different because of all the mountains in the background with the jungle on top of them, and palm trees with coconuts along the beach. We walked up to a lookout which again had a good overview of the beach down below. We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in the pool as it was so hot before returning to Cairns for the last evening before flying home the next day.

I have loved my travels and had so many new experiences and was ready to come home by the end of the east coast. It was the perfect amount of time and I wouldn't change my travelling experience at all!! I am proud of myself and looking forward to the next chapter of my life!
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