How many different species of fish can you spot in this weeks’ Great Barrier Reef video (below)?!
The largest living structure in the entire world is the Great Barrier Reef made up of 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands with over 1500 different species of fish and I wanted to give you a cute little snip it of my time at the Great Barrier Reef!
When We Went:
Accidentally during Cyclone season apparently! It was still worth it even though the cyclone may have scared away some of the bigger animals, there was lots of little ones to be seen and some bigger fish!
What We Did:
Snorkeled out hearts out of course! We snorkeled for almost 3 hours in total only stopping for lunch!
Where We Ate:
On board the ship and docking station! The ship itself had a full buffet with various food dishes, specializing in sea food, asian food and a few american dishes as well. You could either eat on the ship or outside on the docking station, we opted for the docking station as you can see in the video!
How We Got Around:
The ship left the port in Cairns and drove us about an hour and a half out onto the ocean. There is an option once we have docked at the station to take a glass bottom boat out onto the ocean, but we were perfectly content being fully submerged in the water!
Things to know before you go:
Pro Tip #1 – Wear waterproof/water resistant sunscreen and water safe sunscreen (Don’t forget to reapply and the sunscreen can come off in the water and damage the reef so make sure you get a good kind!) Just because you are in the water doesn’t mean you won’t get burnt!
Pro Tip #2 – Do not touch the Reef! This disturbs the aquatic environment and can even kill it!
The Full Story:
The Great Barrier Reef, of course, is one of the most popular reasons to visit Cairns. The GBR is an hour and a half from Cairns so we decided on a day trip with Sunlover tours that we booked through Groupon (haven’t signed up for Groupon before? Click here and SAVE, it is wonderful and I use it for many of my excursions! I tend to call the company first to ensure they have spots for when I need it before purchasing anything). Sunlover also offers half day trips if you are pinched for time or are a little weary of the ocean. It was mentioned to us a few times to check out Townsville instead of Cairns for the GBR, we debated this as we heard it is a gorgeous less touristic destination, however, we decided on Cairns simply because we were flying and it was less expensive. If you are touring the coast by car, I suggest making the stop in Townsville and let me know how it goes in the comments below! Though most people visit Cairns for a day or two, we wanted to check out all that Cairns had to offer! Check out my post What’s in Cairns Australia? for more on visiting the city!
Once we arrived in Cairns, we hopped on our tour with Sunlover tours and they drove us about an hour and a half out on the ocean where we came to a docking station. They offered going on a glass bottom boat, scuba diving and an ocean walk for those who are a little bit more scared to get fully submerged in the water. We couldn’t wait to get in the water and hopped in straight away! We wanted to see one of the most amazing structures that lives and breathes fishes! I had no idea what to expect or what I was going to see, but all I knew is I wanted to see it before all of the coral has diminished! (Over two thirds of the coral on the great barrier reef is dead!) I was astounded by all the fish that there were in the ocean, blue ones, purples ones, green ones, long noses, shiny scales that looked like lights! A jelly fish happened to wander into the area and to ensure it didn’t sting anyone, the lifeguard picked it up and we got to touch it, fyi it feels like if you took a bowl of jello and wrapped it in saran wrap. Most of the time was spent in the water, almost three hours in the ocean swimming around. It never got boring for me, not for one second. The sea critters (mostly fish) swam right up to us as if to say “hello, welcome to our home!” Around lunch time the tour had an extravagant buffet lunch for us and we quickly gobbled that down to get back into the ocean to see more fishes!
As you may know, animals can sense things just as much as people can and since many of the sea creatures may have known the Cyclone was coming they got out of there as fast as possible, so we didn’t see too many large critters, but we had a blast swimming with the schools of fish and discovering all of the different shapes, sizes and colours of fish there are even within one species of fish! So if you are contemplating, should I go to the Great Barrier Reef after a big storm? My answer is absolutely still go!