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Jan 01

Ocean Safaris- Funkiest Reef Trip from Cape Tribulation!

Posted on January 1, 2018 by

Our ride for the day… this is going to be fun!

Want to walk on the wild side? Slow and cruisy is not your style but still want to see the best of the Great Barrier Reef?

Ocean Safaris reef tour from Cape Tribulation in Tropical North Queensland is just perfect for the adventurous and for the young at heart!

Scenic Drive North

Recently I had a great opportunity to try a Great Barrier Reef trip from Cape Tribulation courtesy of Ocean Safaris who offer amazing half day snorkelling trips. As we did not intend to stay overnight in Cape Tribulation, we started our drive from Cairns at 5:00am for an 8:00am check in. Better be safe than sorry! The road to the wild North is a very scenic drive and we wanted to to leave some time to stop at several lookouts along the way!  After stopping at the  Mossman Café for a double shot espresso I felt much more awake and couldn’t wait to be swimming with turtles.

Just Like Seals

After few more kilometres of driving and a Daintree River ferry crossing, we finally arrived to Cape Tribulations Turtle Rock Café where we were given our snorkelling equipment and stinger suits. It’s a pretty funny sight when all 25 passengers are crossing the main road like ducks in a row wearing their black body hugging stinger suits. I am also hearing comments that we look more like seals than ducks…

Wading Through Water

We then headed towards Cape Tribulation Beach where our speedboat was supposed to be picking us up. Getting out of the jungle I was a little bit anxious as our boat was nowhere to be seen. Our snorkelling guide Sara assured us the boat would come, we just needed to walk couple of hundred meters south along the beach where the weather conditions were more favourable for the pick up.

Eagerly waiting for our speedboat pick up

It didn’t take long for our super-fast ride to arrived and she certainly arrived in style.. speeding through waves and making playful “doughnuts” on the way to the beach. Now we just had to trust our guide and skipper that we would not get eaten while wading through the shallow water towards the boat as Cape Tribulation is notorious for these large pre-historical predators.

White Knuckles for Everyone!

Once on-board we were told to hold on tight and for a good reason; to reach the outer barrier reef within 25 minutes  we reached some serious speed meaning white knuckles for everyone. It felt just like an extra-long amusement ride, even the music was loud and upbeat just like on a rollercoaster.

Ready for our white knuckle ride

Swimming With 10 Sea Turtles

Once our Disney ride was finished we jumped in the water just off Mackay reef. There were gorgeous sand cays and crystal clear tropical water everywhere I looked! The water was teeming with marine life, I spotted at least 10 sea turtles, a stingray and barracudas within the first 15 minutes of getting into water. It is a tropical paradise.

Break from snorkeling on a sand cay

Besides Mackay reef, we also visited Undine reef which offers equally spectacular marine life and corals. Barracudas were a novelty on this site and although they looked menacing, they seemed to mind their own business and didn’t mind us splashing around them.

Looks like fishermen have been here…

Way Back Home – Sideways

On the way back I was half expecting the whole “white knuckle thing” again but the skipper took it to another level with pirouettes and speeding sideways towards the shores. Even though our ride back home was a little bit unconventional, we felt safe the whole time and were happy to experience something totally different. As we were back from the reef by 12:00pm, there was plenty of time to explore the Daintree rainforest, try Jungle Surfing or take a horse ride on Cape Tribulation Beach.

You won’t escape the compulsory photo with the Ocean Safari’s mascot…

Me and my new best friend


Could not ask for a more perfect day in the tropics! If you have the time I highly recommend staying overnight, there are plenty of accommodation places in Cape Tribulation or nearby to choose from.

Book your tour in advance to avoid disappointment, this is a very popular tour – 1300 761 612 – more info here, have fun!

Author: Helen Clark – Tour Specialist

PS: Selfie on this half day trip to the Great Barrier Reef from Cape Tribulation is a MUST…

Selfie time

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