The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Pontoon
Posted on February 10, 2010 by admin
The Quicksilver group of companies offers a wide range of snorkel and dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef. This full day pontoon option is an excellent way to see one of the most pristine areas of the reef – the Agincourt Ribbon
Reefs. This particular region is located along the continental shelf and provides an ideal environment for many species of coral and marine life to call home.
Our day started with a 7:55am pick up from our accommodation in Cairns. The full size air conditioned coach was easily recognizable with the Quicksilver logo decorating the sides of the bus. Our driver provided a running commentary and history lesson about Cairns and surrounds on our northbound journey. We even saw a whole field of wallabies grazing in the grass for their breakfast! The hour long trip up to the coast from Palm Cove to Port Douglas is toted as one of the most scenic drives in the world, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
We arrived at the quaint Marina Mirage in Port Douglas at approximately 9:15am and headed over to reception to check in with the efficient staff. After showing our boarding passes, we were welcomed aboard with tea, coffee or chilled cordial and some bikkies. Soon enough it was 10:00am and we were on course for the Outer Barrier Reef!
The travel time out to the pontoon located at Agincourt #3 took approximately one hour and thirty minutes. Along the way we saw the Low Isles and other various sandy coral cays that were visible at the low tide.
Upon our arrival at the pontoon, lunch was served almost immediately. It was a delicious buffet style meal that included salads, vegetarian curries, chicken, beef, and fruit. There was definitely something for everyone! At the same time as lunch was being served, the first semi submersible boat ride of the day was departing from the back of the pontoon, to be continued every 30 minutes for the duration of our time at the reef. We enjoyed our meal and then climbed aboard the semi submersible for our 30 minute underwater tour. The views were incredible, with the glass windows providing a 360 degree view of the ocean surrounding us. We saw so many different varieties of coral; it seemed every minute the scenery floating past us was changing! There were also heaps of sea turtles and reef fish playing in the current of the boat.
Once we were back on the pontoon, we were so excited by what we had seen on the semi-submersible submarine that we grabbed our snorkelling gear, threw on our sun suits and jumped into the water. There was just so much to see! All the different hard and soft corals, along with the contrasts of bright coral and deep blue ocean provided well over an hour of swimming and snorkelling. We saw turtles, parrot fish, giant clams, and more bommies than you can count.
All too soon we were called back to the pontoon by the watchful crew. We had time to have a quick freshwater shower and change in the facilities located on the deck of the pontoon. We boarded the boat where tea, coffee, cordial and yummy cheese and crackers were waiting for us.
On our homeward journey, the crew had a continuous slideshow playing with all of the photos they had taken throughout the day which were available for purchase as well. It was a great way to enjoy some of those once in a lifetime moments again. We arrived back at the marina at approximately 4:40pm where we hopped aboard our coach and relaxed for our return journey back to Cairns.
Quicksilver pontoon is a wonderful way to see the Great Barrier Reef whether it is your first time out or your fourth. This was a day to remember on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef!
For more information about this tour, please visit The Tour Specialists
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