snorkelling on the GBR or Green Island Cairns

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:32
ThreadID: 70085 Views:2331 Replies:11 FollowUps:0
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Gday explorers
A friend wants to do some snorkelling on the great Barrier reef early next month... it has been a priority of hers for some time...but she is worried she will get sea sick if she takes a boat ride out to the outer reef for the day, and is considering forgoing the trip out to be safe rather than sorry, and instead do some snorkelling around Green Island. i have never been there to coment either way, your feedback on whether the day trip out is that bad for those who suffer sea sickness, and/or other places close to Cairns that are a possibility for seeing the best the reef has to offer would all be appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:41

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:41
The wave piercer Cats hardly move in a swell anyway so you would need to be pretty tender to get sick on one of them.

Tell her to get some motion sickness pills from a chemist and take them two hours before boarding.

Or get a few tokes and walk out LOL

AnswerID: 371504

Reply By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:48

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:48
If worried, take a sea-sick tablet before going but don't let that stop you (that would be a real shame). Leave from Airlie Beach and jump on a FantaSea tour.
AnswerID: 371505

Reply By: kend88 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:17

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:17
Green Island is still a fair distance and when we went two years ago, there were some who were sea sick. From memory it was at least an hour each way on one of the big boats. A few people were making enquiries about the cost of a helicopter ride back rather than having to endure the trip back.
Green Island has glass bottom boats and a submarine for those who are not really into snorkelling. The snorkelling there was pretty basic, reasonably shallow water off the beach, nothing compared to say, the reefs around Vanuatu, which is the only other coral I have snorkelled.
If she wants some serious snorkelling, suggest she goes to the outer reef. Don't know how much further it is, but if you are going to be sea sick anyway, an extra half an hour or so to the outer reef would be worthwhile.

AnswerID: 371518

Reply By: Member - Tony & Julie (FNQ) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:21

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:21
Do the trip and take the tablets - they work and they will never regret the experience. Diving on the reef is an all time favorite. Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 371520

Reply By: bgreeni - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:31

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 16:31
As stated above, getting to Green Island can be rough, and when you get there the reef is totally degraded from decades of visitors.

Far better to take a day trip to one of the platforms anchored on the reef. The cats that service these are fast and provide a reasonable ride. It can however be rough whatever boat you are on. Strong wind warnings are a fact of life for a lot of the year along the NQ coast.

There is not really anywhere close to the shore in NQ that provides a good reef experience. For most of its length the GBR is a long way of the coast.

Some of the closer islands, an example is Magnetic Is, or even around the shoreline at Bowen have some reasonable reef if you know where to go and the weather has been OK so as not to stir things up too much - ask a local operator.
AnswerID: 371525

Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:06

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:06
my suggestion would be to go up to Port Douglas and go out from there its a shorter trip. The smaller boats stop at 3 reefs the larger ones only make one stop.
We have done both the small boat is our pick.
My partner gets very seasick but was ok on these trips with seasick tablets
AnswerID: 371531

Reply By: D200Dug- Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:04

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:04
WARNING WARNING WARNING ! Glass bottom boats and sea sick people do not mix ! Looking down hunched over watching swaying reefs and fish is not good for people feeling crook.

Find a good GP and see if you can get some Stemitil tablets. TRY THEM BEFORE THE TRIP they can cause side effects you do not want on a boat.

If not ask a chemist and also take some sugared Ginger to eat and ginger beer to drink, Ginger settles some of the nausea.

The upside a seasick person is great for attracting more fish to the area ! :-)
AnswerID: 371539

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:38

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 18:38
As a snorkelling experience, the GBR is pretty sad. Once it was about the best in the world, now it is a lesson to dive sites all over the world as to why they need to protect their reefs. Our media keeps pushing the line that we can still protect it, but this reminds me of the town Council in "Jaws" who were anxious to ignore stories about a shark in case it discouraged tourists..
Rumour has it that there are still good spots but that those in the know are keeping quiet about them.
AnswerID: 371546

Reply By: Tadooch - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 22:15

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 22:15
I've been out on days when most on board including crew have been sick. Ginger helps. Tablets and the drink. Stand at the back, feet apart, eyes to the horizon, deep breaths. Hold the rail but don't hold too strong against the roll.
Tell her to soldier on...and wear a stinger suit when suggested.
AnswerID: 371590

Reply By: Dave&Di - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 06:52

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 06:52
Hi Andrew,
all the above reply's are correct, my advice is this, if you have a bit of time up your sleeve don't go to the outer barrier reef when a strong wind warning is on, pick a calm day. this is the time of year when the southerly trade winds blow. This means less calm days. A good point to remember is if the trip out is a bit rough when you reach the reef you get in the shelter of the reef and it calms down quite a lot.
Take some form of sea sick tablets 2 to 3 hours before boarding and every 4 hours there after, whether you need them or not.
I have worked out of Cairns and Townsville on day trip boats and extended cruises and belive me if its blowing 30 knots it wont be pleasant out there. if you can pick a calm day the trip will be magic. As stated above the boats now travel around 25 to 30 knots and ride pretty smooth.
If you can pick a calm day then the time spent at the reef will be an amazing experience and well worth the effort.
I think the outer barrier reefs are a lot better than the reefs close in shore.
If you have the chance to go and the weather is good take it.

AnswerID: 371607

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 07:55

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 07:55

I've done both the Outer Reef from Port Douglas and Green Island from Cairns and as said about the weather.

We had a rough trip to the outer reef once and there were a few crook people. In the wave cutters you are sitting around for a fair while not doing much as well.

I found Green Island had more to offer for the day tripper but its very touristy and busy.

Another alternative is to get a chopper flight out to the pontoon on the outer reef. Cost a fair bit more I suspect.
AnswerID: 371611

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