The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
The sheer beauty of a natural wonder of the world!
Posted on May 10, 2015 by Melanie Blight
Ok, so I have been working in Far North Queensland tourism for a little over 7 years and lived within Cairns and its many attractive surrounds for over 18 years. Thank you to my much loved job and my admiration for the Great Barrier Reef I have had the privilege to explore the reef and its pretty islands by boat on frequent occasions. Let me just say, nothing could prepare me for my next Great Barrier adventure that I was about to embark on.
This time I decided to visit the Great Barrier Reef a little bit differently than my usual means of transport, I decided to take a scenic helicopter reef flight with Great Barrier Reef Helicopters. Sitting by an open window holding my brand new Nikon SLR camera I began to feel a rush of excitement as we became air born over my home city of Cairns. As the morning sun glistened across the marina, we were presented with an aerial view of all the sail boats and the green mangroves which are home to the saltwater crocodile. As we left the mainland it was not long before reef formations began to appear below us. At this point I thought ‘whoa, this is what the Great Barrier Reef looks like from above!’ – I was wrong!
It was not until we reached Green Island, an ancient coral cay, that I become honestly breathless; I am telling you I was virtually speechless when the pilot asked what I thought of the scenery. The rich aqua colours and varied coral formations were nothing less than spectacular. The white sands and the rainforest on Green Island stood out in the morning glow of light. The only problem I faced was that I wanted to leap out of the helicopter and immerse myself in and amongst these magnificent coral beds and their extensive marine life. Michael our pilot flew over the white sands of Michaelmas cay, which is home to an array of migrating birds and other special wildlife species.
We then headed to Upolu Cay and my jaw dropped when the pilot decided to treat us by landing on this stunning little piece of paradise. The warm sun sparkled on the aqua blue waters and white sand, birds and rich blue coral surrounded us. As we were descending I spotted a Green Sea turtle feeding off some soft coral parallel to the sandy beach. Once we had landed I had to verbally restrain myself and my fellow passenger from jumping out and diving in the crystal clear waters. It was at this point I felt as though I could cry! I was overwhelmed with not only the sheer beauty of this magnificent wonderland but ashamed that I had lived here and worked with reef tours for so long and had not completely understood how absolutely spectacular the reef and its many sand cays truly are. The helicopter flights enable you to see the reef and all that it is made up of from a bird’s eye view. It is by far my favourite way of enhancing a Great Barrier Reef experience.
This is not just a treat but a must do and a once in a life time experience that I believe no visitor to Cairns should miss out on. With endless reef and rainforest flights on offer, many of which that land out at the Great Barrier Reef including snorkelling,under water activities and lunch, this is a must for all!
A tip would be the longer scenic flight that you can do, the better, as I simply did not want this 30 minute flight to end. A brilliant option would be to enhance your experience with a solitary sand cay adventure for you and your partner.
For further information or to make a booking, please contact The Tour Specialists
Written and experienced by Maddy – A Cairns Holiday Specialists Tour Specialist
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