4.  The Great Barrier Reef

Not having ever been out onto the Great Barrier Reef before, our day out with Quicksilver Cruises couldn’t come soon enough!

We were picked up at our hotel first up by luxury coach which took us to Port Douglas to meet our catamaran.

TTNQ-Quicksilver-Boat

Soon after boarding we were on our way and had a 90 minute trip ahead of us to the Outer Reef where we were going to be spending our day.

The boat had four decks, a galley selling snacks and drinks, loads of inside and outside seating and a sundeck.  Ticket price includes morning tea, a buffet lunch and afternoon tea so we were really looked after all day.

We opted for the top deck to enjoy the fresh air blowing through our hair and soaking up the gorgeous sunshine (cliche I know … however we reminded ourselves we were truly in heaven as it was hailing back in Adelaide that day!)

Soon enough we arrived at the Outer Reef as the boat pulled up to moor alongside the large pontoon.  This was to be our floating home away from home for the day and the perfect place to snorkel, dive and explore the gorgeous reef around us for the day.

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It didn’t take too long for the boys to get into their lycra suits (optional but protective for sun and stingers (precautionary) and they were ready! They provided all the life jackets, pool noodles, flippers, snorkels, masks and everything else you could need – all you need to bring s your bathers and a towel!

TTNQ-Quicksilver-Boys-SnorkellingPlus, don’t fear that you’ll be unsafe! There are trained life savers watching over the entire snorkelling area constantly PLUS it’s a roped off area so there’s no risk of you ending up in the middle of nowhere – you’re all safe and protected thanks to the fab team at Quicksilver Cruises.

If you don’t want to get in the water, don’t despair! You can stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of the Quicksilver semi-submersible sub.  Sit just one metre underwater and experience a diver’s view of the reef as you glide slowly through the reef lagoons and colourful coral gardens in air conditioned comfort.

TTNQ-Semi-Submersible-Quicksilver

You can also watch the fish feed and all of the activity in the water directly from an underwater viewing platform on the Quicksilver pontoon. Especially popular with young kids and those who don’t want to enter the water, there’s no way you’ll miss out on all the action! TTNQ-Underwater-Observation-Quicksilver

I had put my name down for an introductory scuba dive as it’s been on my bucket list since forever and I was thrilled for the chance to get up close and discover the magic of what lies beneath the surface!

We had a very comprehensive briefing/training session on the boat on the way across to the island (a great way to kill 45 minutes travel time!) and so by the time we donned our wetsuits we were up to speed on the theory – now it was time to put it all into practice!

Before I knew it my dive time had arrived! I was nervous and excited all in one and ready to explore the magical world underneath!

TTNQ-Great-Barrier-Reef-Quicksilver-Scuba-DiveWhat I will say I have done  a lot of fun things in my life (bungee jumping, skydiving, parasailing,jet boating, white water rafting etc) however OH MY GOODNESS, IT’S ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING THINGS I’VE EVER DONE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! 

TTNQ-Great-Barrier-Reef-Quicksilver-Scuba-DiveAll up the dive went for about 40 minutes (or so) and without saying too much, I’ll let the below video do the talking. Enjoy your sneak peek of life under the surface on the Great Barrier Reef, oh and I’m the one with the green flippers! 😉

As if that wasn’t amazing enough, next up we took part in an 10 minute Great Barrier Reef helictoper flight with GBR Helicopters. Master 4 had never been in a helicopter before (although Master 6 had!) so let’s just say there was a lot of energy and anticipation in the air! A quick snap before we jumped onboard and we were off!

TTNQ-Great-Barrier-Reef-GBR-Helicopers

The views from the helicopter were simply stunning! Huge expanses of coral, and as we flew down lower, we could see the detail (and even the turtles) – truly incredible!

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Do you think they liked it? 😉

TTNQ-Great-Barrier-Reef-GBR-Helicopers-4Before long it was time to board the Catamaran and head back for the mainland. Wow what an incredible day … so full of amazing wonder and a whole lot of firsts!!

The boys had a blast, and quite honestly, so did we!

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Author

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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