I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: coeliacfamily.blogspot.com.au
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Published January 17th 2021
Adventure on the reef for all ages and experience levels
If you are looking for a great day checking out the Great Barrier Reef while on holiday in Cairns, look no further than Reef Magic Cruises. With a wide range of options to explore the reef, you will be sure to see beautiful fish and coral on your trip.
The fast Cats take you on a relatively smooth trip out to the Reef
Departing the Cairns Marina, the fast Catamaran heads out to their dedicated Marine World Activity Pontoon. If you're not the best sailor, staff are handy and helpful to try to make your ride comfortable. During the trip out, you are given information regarding the pontoon and marine life you might see as well as the option to purchase activities in addition to the included snorkeling and semi-submersible and glass-bottomed boats. Not being certified scuba divers ourselves, we took up the option of SNUBA, which was a fantastic way to view the reef.
Ready for action - the included wetsuit will keep you warm while you snorkel
On arrival at the pontoon, you are able to don the included wetsuits if you so choose, and pick up your complimentary snorkel, mask and flippers. Personal flotation devices are also available for less confident swimmers. This is a great way to get your first view of the reef, and if you have a waterproof camera you should get a few good shots.
Try getting some reef shots with your camera - this was taken with an iPhone in a protective pouch
Other options onboard for those who don't wish to get wet include the glass-bottomed boat and semi-submersible. From these crafts, you can view the reef in comfort, while crew members give a running commentary of what marine life you are viewing.
View from the Submersible - photo credit Reef Magic Tours
For those who are a little more adventurous, you may have taken up the optional extras. On offer is Scuba Diving for Certified Divers ($79) where the equipment is provided and you will be taken on a professional tour taking you to a variety of drifts, walls, channels, drop-offs, small caves and ledges - weather and experience level dependent.
For non-certified divers, an introductory dive is available from $129 including all of your equipment, and 20 - 30 minutes of diving in the protected pool area. Most of the dive is spent at around 4 - 5 metres, but you will venture down to 12 metres.
Our family enjoying our SNUBA dive. Photo courtesy of Reef Magic Cruises
An easy option if you don't feel like diving on your own, is SNUBA. Using weights and a scuba breather attached to tanks floating on the water, you can head down beneath the surface as far as the hose will allow. This is a great option which will get you under the water quickly to check out the coral and fish. The dive is with an instructor who will point out the sights and guide you safely through the reef down to a maximum depth of three metres. The cost of a SNUBA exploration of the reef is $109.
The included lunch is a smorgasbord of seafood, salad, hot food and desserts, and tea, coffee and drinks are available throughout the day. A day trip out to the reef is $239 for adults and $119 for children 4 to 14. Infants are free. There is also a family pricing available of $597 for two adults and two children. Check in is from 8am and the boat departs at 9am. You will reach the reef platform at 10:30 and spend 5 hours there, arriving back in Cairns at 5pm. There are showers and changing rooms available onboard. To discover more about Reef Magic Cruises, visit their website or call 0740311588.