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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Want To Snorkel The Great Barrier Reef Without The Hassle? Try These Cairns Reef Tours

You can't go to Cairns without exploring the pristine natural beauty of the famous Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef isn't just the world's largest coral reef system (spanning 2,600 kilometres over an area larger than the Philippines) it's also one of the most diverse. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO heritage site and one of CNN’s seven wonders of the world. But taking it all in can be an overwhelming feat. Where to start? What to see? Many marine biologists have dedicated their entire lives to exploring and studying the reef. As a tourist, it can be difficult to find and access the best spots, let alone get the gear and training necessary to see them at their finest. Don't despair: there's a huge range of accredited eco tourism companies that have a terrific reputation for helping tourists explore it safely, easily and conveniently – all while preserving the integrity of the local ecosystem. Let's look at just a few of the many tour options that will have you exploring the Great Barrier Reef in no time.

Poseidon Port Douglas Snorkelling Cruises Get You Up Close to Nature

For years, Poseidon has been taking visitors to three jaw-dropping sites along the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs, which are located in the Outer Barrier Reef. Those new to snorkelling will benefit from the introductory pre-tour courses, which go over equipment use and basic snorkelling techniques. The reel fun starts when participants plunge into the crystal-clear waters off the back of the Poseidon tour boat to explore the reef system with a dedicated marine biologist and snorkel crew. Poseidon is known for keeping tour groups small and intimate for the best safety, instruction, independence and unparalleled views of beautiful coral pinnacles and other stunning marine life.

Catch a Catamaran to Michaelmas Cay with Ocean Spirit Cruises

Want something a little different? The Ocean Spirit I with Ocean Spirit Cruises is a huge, beautiful sailing catamaran that takes visitors to the otherworldly bird-nesting rookery of Michaelmas Cay. The delicate ecosystem is considered the largest rookery in the southern hemisphere. From there, you have up to four hours to explore the surrounding reef via dedicated snorkelling tours and guided tours in smaller semi-submersible vessels. The tour includes a presentation by a marine biologist, snorkelling demonstration and tuition, a seafood banquet lunch prepared by on-board chefs, and special flotation vests for kids and beginners. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can also choose to take an introductory dive during the same expedition.

Divulge in Luxurious Exploration with Ocean Freedom Upolu Cay Tours

The full five hours of relaxed snorkelling exploration around the Upolu Reef and Cay - famous for a rare combination of hard and soft corals, sea turtles, a diverse array of reef fish, fans and giant clams - is the pinnacle of this extravagant tour. The sandy Cay is a great place to relax in between excursions below the surface of the bright turquoise waters. On the way to the Upolu Cay and back via the classy Ocean Freedom vessel, you'll be offered morning tea and coffee with Danish pastries, a self-serve buffet lunch including fresh salads, chicken and smoked salmon, tropical fruit salads and cake platters. You'll also get to experience the famous Ocean Freedom Glass Bottom boat tour upon arrival, for a different perspective of the incredible ecosystem below.
The spectacular reefs outside of Cairns are surprisingly accessible once you realize how many experienced, reputable tour services are available. What's more, you don't need to be a pro diver to see the reefs; even casual swimmers can plan snorkelling trips around the reef. The only hard part is deciding which of the many Cairns reef tours to do first!

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