GBR from Port Douglas in July
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Apr 29, 2013 7:47 AM Last Post By: bazzaaustralia
Apr 24, 2013 1:00 PM
GBR from Port Douglas in JulyHi
Honeymoon coming up....Nz for 2 weeks and 0z for just over 2weeks.
My question is, we will be staying in cairns for 3 nights and port Douglas for 2 nights. I cannot swim but the other half does so we want to see the Gbr, I have seen quicksilver does a glass bottom boat and you can go diving, snorkelling, etc. is this the best trip to do? We are thinking of booking before we go. We are not great on boats either so hope we don't eat sea sick.
Would be grateful of advice re the best trip and who to book through.
Thanks in advance
Apr 24, 2013 2:15 PM
Apr 24, 2013 2:19 PM
Apr 24, 2013 4:51 PM
Apr 24, 2013 5:00 PM
4There are two broad options from Cairns or Port Douglas. Go to the outer reef which is a fair way off the coast and typically a full day trip on a large high speed catamaran such as Quick Silver (I’ve done this from the Whitsunday islands). Alternatively you can go to one of the inner coral cays (islands) typically on a smaller slower boat (I did this from Cairns to, from memory, the Michaelmas Cay) Different experiences but on both trips there was good snorkeling over coral.
My wife’s not much of a swimmer and on the trip to the outer reef (where you snorkel off a pontoon) they gave her a wet suit that gives you a fair bit of extra flotation.
For the non swimmer the coral cay experience is probably better as we were in water you could stand up in.
Have a look at the following website for some ideas –
Regarding rough water and sea sickness it is really a matter of luck on the day with the sea conditions – probably just a part of the experience??!! Try taking some sea sickness tablets – they seem to work for my wife.
So I’d suggest that as soon as you get to Cairns see a local travel agent and talk through the options with them. At that stage they will have affair idea of the weather conditions and that might influence you choice as well.
Apr 25, 2013 2:24 AM
Apr 25, 2013 8:53 PM
6To my way of thinking the only way the seas in the GBR get rough if there is a really bad storm with really high typhoon like winds, if you drive beside the ocean in the area you will see that the beaches have hardly any waves at all, and it does seem to me that the seas in the area are very calm.
We have been out to the GBR a couple of times from Cairns, and i did not see anybody being sick, and i am genuinely surprised that people do get sea-sick going out to the reef.
Apr 25, 2013 10:46 PM
7I just googled about getting sea sick going out to the GBR, and it appears some people do, it comes as a bit of a surprise to me as i have always though of myself as a really bad sailor and as i didn't get sick at all i thought it a bit of a doddle.
It seems there are worse sailors out there than me!
Apr 27, 2013 6:44 AM
Apr 27, 2013 4:16 PM
9An option from Port Douglas that might suit both of you is going to the Low Isles - it is fringing coral reef, not outer reef, but your husband can snorkel there. And I think it would be the best option for you - you can do a walk around the island, check out the rock platform (often there is a guided marine biologist walk) and just sit and relax on the island, rather then be stuck on a boat the whole time at the outer reef. And Quicksilver still does glass bottomed boat tours from the island.
Apr 28, 2013 4:33 AM
Apr 28, 2013 8:29 AM
Apr 28, 2013 4:39 PM
Apr 28, 2013 6:15 PM
Apr 28, 2013 9:06 PM
Like you, I can't swim either and I booked online with Quicksilver. They depart from Port Douglas and will for a fee, pick you up from Cairns. It was just a short walk from my accommodation in Port Douglas to the Marina. I chose the Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise to Agincourt Reef. GBR photos
You have 3.5 hours on the reef, they have a semi-sub which was fun plus an underwater viewing platform and underwater observatory. The pontoon has a Post Office box too. You can also dangle your feet (or stand) in the area where the fish feeding is done. The water is wonderfully warm. I found the time passed fairly quickly and would recommend this for anyone who can't swim.
I also went to the Low Isles on the Shaolin (a traditional Chinese junk) which was a great trip, but you won't actually see the reef. If you have only time for one, then I would choose Quicksilver and go to the GBR. See here about the Low Isles trip.
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.