Barrier Reef Australia Blog


Not Too Keen On The Great Barrier Reef – Says Who?

Saachi James-Mason on July 1st, 2019

On Sunday the 5th May I was talked into going onboard Sunlover Great Barrier Reef Cruises to see their new multi-level pontoon and waterslide out on Moore Reef just off Cairns in Queensland Australia with my scuba mad partner.

I am not much of a beach babe or a really keen scuba diver or snorkeler, although I have done it in a few places around the world like the Maldives, Majorca, Thailand and on quite a few other occasions on the Great Barrier Reef.

My porcelain skin would rather have a Bondi Sands tan on it any day as I am not a fan of the heat either, which is crazy when you think of the holiday destinations I mention above.

What can I say, I love the beauty of the tropics, just not the heat!

You really have to have a good reason to get this babe in a bikini and suiting up to jump in the ocean to watch fish that I can see in an air-conditioned aquarium!

Okay Take Me to See Your Flash New Pontoon and Waterslide

 We were staying out in beautiful Palm Cove which is north of Cairns and had to drive into Cairns city to meet the boat at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal for check in.

We were given the option of a coach pick up but we decided to drive as we thought we would like to spend the afternoon in Cairns having a few sunset drinks in the groovy bars and a nice dinner in a waterfront restaurant.

 We arrived at the boat terminal at about 9:30, this was a great time to go to the reef as it gave us time to have breakfast before we got on the boat, so we were fueled for the big day ahead.

It was a smooth check in, and we got a great spot up the top of the boat so we could see all the beautiful scenery as we left the Cairns Harbour and headed out to the Great Barrier Reef pontoon.

 It was a bit of a rough day out at sea, but the crew made sure everyone was okay and were offering sea sickness tablets to everyone who felt a bit ill.

We stopped at Fitzroy Island to pick up/drop off other passengers, this was a great photo opportunity as the water was so clear, and it was also great for those who felt a little seasick as it gave them some reprieve from the boats motion on the sea.

The reef boat is a huge catamaran which makes it quite stable but the seas were a bit bumpy with the passing Tropical low that had been hanging around.

Our stop at Fitzroy Island was short and sweet and after a quick head count and other official procedures we were off on our journey to the outer Great Barrier Reef pontoon at Moore Reef.

Once we arrived on the two storey floating pontoon, it was an exit from the boat and into the water, my partner went scuba diving first up and I relaxed on a deck chair at the top of the pontoon.

Was There Anything Exciting To Do on The Reef Trip?

As I said earlier I am not much of a mermaid but my partner is a rescue diver so he went off on an underwater adventure with a dive master and another rescue diver.

He was gone for over an hour so I had to amuse myself so I wandered about the big pontoon and did some people watching just for fun.

Oh my, the things you see!

I was watching the families enjoy the new waterslide that allows you to go to the top level of the floating pontoon and take the slippery dippery slide into the water and they were having a ball.

This is certainly a good choice of Cairns reef tour for families for sure!

Other folks who were not really proficient snorkelers were getting some lessons on how to snorkel, whilst others were doing as I was doing just taking in the ambience and beauty of our surroundings.

It’ Lunchtime Folks

After scuba diving for over an hour my partner was quite hungry and the buffet had been set up on the boat so we jumped in the queue and then enjoyed an amazing lunch with fresh prawns and an array of other foods.

Tip: If you are vegetarian pre-order the Vegan lunch.

If you are not entering the water after lunch then you can purchase alcoholic drinks from the bar and just relax in the sunshine and watch it all happen around you.

We couldn’t wait to get back into the water after lunch, so we chucked on our masks and fins and went snorkeling.

The Sunlover team have sectioned off a part of the coral reef for everyone to snorkel in, there were so many fish and so much marine life.

I really did not have great expectations with all the talk about the Great Barrier Reef being dead but I was very surprised to see that this section of the reef had brilliant intact corals that did not seem to have been affected by the global warming, nor did the amount of marine life seem perturbed.

We really did enjoy our snorkel time and had fun when we spotted a sea turtle and followed him around.

They were calling out for the last few glass bottom boat tours, so we jumped on board, it was another one of the many way’s to see the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet.

For people who aren’t really interested about getting in the water if they are non-swimmers but still want to see the Great Barrier Reef, the Sunlover reef trip is a great option, they have so many options like the glass bottom boat and semi-submersible submarine tour, the marine touch tank presentation, the fish feeding presentation, the underwater observatory, the sun deck and for the really young kids the enclosed ocean pool.

 And for those who don’t want to get their hair wet but still want to go under the water to see the coral and marine life there is Seawalker, an underwater helmet diving experience.

You can even catch a helicopter out to meet the boat or you can take scenic flights from the pontoon over the Great Barrier Reef.

For a girly girl that was not really keen to spend a day on the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, I sure came back from day out with a few good stories to tell and experiences to remember!

We had such a great day on Sunlover, I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to go to see the Great Barrier Reef as it suits folks of all ages.

Our relaxing trip back watching the sunset was the perfect end to the day, each of us with a drink in hand.

Cheers to that!

Thank you so much for a great day Sunlover we simply loved your Great Barrier Reef tour.  

Saachi James-Mason

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