Saturday, August 10, 2013

Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef by Margot Justes



 

On the second full day in Cairns, we booked a tour to Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. According to the brochure, Green Island is a beautiful 6000 year old coral cay located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

It’s a 45 minute boat ride to Green Island from Cairns. The boat ride to Green Island was peaceful, even a whale paid us a visit, checked us out and went on his merry way.

The ride from Green Island to the Barrier Reef was exhilarating. Let’s just say it was a choppy ride-really, really choppy, knuckle white choppy. Even the crew had to hold on. I like speed boats, but that day my knuckles really were white. I was on the top deck, and couldn’t have moved if I wanted to, and believe  me I didn’t. I clung to the railing with both hands, and didn’t let go.

Green Island was beautiful. Lush with vegetation, unspoiled and protected. There is one resort with a swimming pool, it was a bit chilly, and only the birds swam. There were a couple of gift shops, a restaurant, and a cafĂ©, all part of the resort. After a walk about, I stopped for a cup of coffee-not a surprise-the setting was beautiful, right in the center of the entrance to the resort. Who could resist?  If you were not a guest, you couldn’t get to the resort property, but access was available to the restaurant, gift shop, scuba and snorkeling gear.

Green Island is isolated, but there are plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Peaceful and serene, and cut off from the rest of the world, it’s a perfect place to commune with nature.

After Green Island, it was on to the Great Barrier Reef. The boat docked along a pontoon, and we spent the rest of the day there. While the crew cooked our lunch, it was time to scuba dive, snorkel, a helicopter ride, or a ride in a semi submersible to view the reef. I tried snorkeling once, but the water tastes terrible. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to drink the water.

I did go in the semi submersible, twice, because it was so incredible. I have never seen anything like the reef before, the vitality and variety of the life below was astounding. There are a few pictures, but they are cloudy, shooting through a thick pane of murky glass is not the best way to get great pictures. But I found Nemo. I really did.

More next week.

Cheers,
Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
www.mjustes.com

4 comments:

Debra St. John said...

Wow, how fabulous to have so many choices for exploring the reef.

I've been snorkeling a few times in the Caribbean, and I always spend half the time getting used to the equipment again. It can be really tricky.

I think I'm most jealous that you saw a whale...how cool!

Morgan Mandel said...

Keep sending those great pictures and descriptions of places I've never been to, Margot.

Morgan Mandel
http://www.morganmandel.com

Deb Larson said...

You need to contact a travel magazine! Your stories are wonderful. Pictures - fantastic!!
DL

Margot Justes said...

Debra,
Once was enough for me.
Morgan,
Happy to hear you enjoy the posts, love writing them.
Deb,
I'd love to write for travel magazines.
Margot
www.mjustes.com