Day 15 (September 24, 2015)   Great Barrier Reef: Outer reef


   We’ve got a tour for this day with Reef Magic to enjoy snorkeling in the outer reef.

   They have a floating platform and a long list of activities to do in an entire day there all around the sea life: snorkeling, diving, bottom glassed boats, etc…

Great Barrier Reef satellite view


   We can take our breakfast at hotel this time as we’re picked up at 8:10 AM. We’re delivered to the ferry terminal and join the line for Reef Magic check in desk. Boat leaves at 9 AM full of families.

Check in areaCairns Harbor

   During the one and a half hours the ride takes we’re constantly offered the additional pay activities they have: scuba diving, helicopter rides, guided snorkeling sessions out of the boundaries, underwater walks with a helmet…

Reef Magic platform
Reef Magic platform

  When we reach the floating platform we can see how the tables are taken very quickly. We take a part of one and get our snorkels and fins. I get a neoprene suit by 6$ as a burn prevention and go to the water immediately.

Reef Magic platformReef Magic's platform and boat

   There is just a small limited area for snorkeling on a beautiful reef. The only way of snorkeling out of there is by paying a guided tour. As I’ve been this fast I could enjoy the reef quite alone and leave when it started to get crowded.

Snorkeling area accessSnorkeling area

   Then we board what they call a “semi-submersible” tour, which allows us to be 30 minutes sited 1 meter below waterline, with windows in every side, in the bottom of a small boat.

Reef Magic's semi-submersible
Inside Reef Magic's semi-submersibleInside Reef Magic's semi-submersible

   This is one of the three ways they have to enjoy the views of the reef without getting wet. The other two are the glass bottom boat and the underwater observatory in one of the sides of the platform with views to a part of the snorkeling area, which allows taking pictures of a partner while diving.

Snorkeling in Reef MagicUnderwater walks with Reef Magic

   The lunch is being set around 11:30 AM and, at 12 PM, we’re in the line for the buffet, which is opened until 1:30 PM. Then I go to the water again for another snorkeling session taking advantage of the most of people is lunching.

Reef Magic's reefReef Magic's reef
Reef Magic's reefGiant clam
   I leave the water on time to board to the last tour in the glass bottom boat at 2 PM. This tour is better than the one in the semi-submersible as this can be over the reef, while the other only can explore the walls as it is deeper.

Reef Magic's bottom glass boatReef Magic's bottom glass boat

Reef view from Reef Magic's bottom glass boatReef view from Reef Magic's bottom glass boat

   Once back to the platform, they’re taking the equipment back, so we deliver the suit, snorkels and fins and take a place in the boat for the return trip. We leave at 3:30 PM to reach Cairns at 5 PM, where the van is waiting to take us back to the hotel.

Reef Magic platformReef Magic's helicopter

   When comparing the experiences from yesterday and today I easily take yesterday’s: a lot of reef to explore, a lot of hours snorkeling and, therefore, more fauna and flora sights. But today’s tour seems more appropriate for child, elderly people and any person unable to swim or dive. We’ve seen old persons enjoying the underwater landscapes of the Great Barrier Reef without having to get wet at all.

   For today we have already thought about shopping in the supermarket and cook our dinner in the big kitchen we found out yesterday in the hotel.