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snorkeling

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snorkeling

Hi we are a family of 4 with our sons aged 18 and 21.

we are planning on visiting australia in June (june13-24).

we enjoy snorkeling.

we researched that Cairns has the Barrier Reef, but we just found out that it is a 2 hour boat ride to get to the reef. we were hoping to do more snorkeling just off beaches. It seems this is not possible in Cairns. where can we do this type of snorkeling and still have the water that is warm.

look forward to your reply.

thank you,

maria

Melbourne
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1. Re: snorkeling

The reef is about 2 hours of the mainland for its entire length, it's not close to the coast. You could however stay on one of the islands in the reef, then you can snorkel right of the beach.

Also Cairns itself has no beaches, it's situated on tidal mudflats. You need to go further North to Palm Cove and Port Douglas for sandy beaches.

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2. Re: snorkeling

thank you for your prompt reply!

I am slowly learning about cairns and getting around the coral reef, cairns....

we are from Montreal and our sons are extatic about snorkeling at the coral reef.

as we are researching we realize it is about $200 per person to go out with an excursion. we definetly plan to do this, but just one time since it gets pricey for a family to go out multiple times. we were hoping to stay at a modest priced resort ($200per night?) and be able to snorkel off the beach every day. I am sure we wont see as much if we take the excursion but still see something. do you have an island that you would recommend. as I read the reviews ther are always conflicting thoughts... green island is great, then others say differently.... so any help in getting my thoughts straight would be greatly appreciated.

Maria

cairns
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3. Re: snorkeling

HI

Why not try Green Island you could stay there also snorkel as well. There are gbr trips from there. I like Green Island to stay it is so wonderful when the tourist go home in the afternoon . You could then have some time on land to see the rest of our great Far North Queensland.

Regards mosiewigs

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4. Re: snorkeling

thanks, would I be able to do some snorkeling on our own? or is it only through the tour operators that take us far out.

The boys would love to go in the afternoon just off the shore and snorkel, but is that feasible and safe ... along with seeing underwater life?

thanks,

m

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5. Re: snorkeling

what islands on the reef do you recommend? so we can snorkel just off the beach?

thanks,

maria

Melbourne
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1,520 posts
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6. Re: snorkeling

If you stay in Palm Cove or Port Douglas on the mainland (about 1 hour north of Cairns) you can snorkel off the beach, you just won't see coral. There will still be fish and though. But the amazing thing about the reef is obviously the coral, and the colours and vibrancy that come with it. The "best" part of the reef is the outer reef, which is the outer edge where it meets the open ocean. The coral is more vibrant. These are the tours that take 2 hours to get there. There are no islands here, you are on a pontoon platform and you snorkel of that.

The islands are in the inner reef, where the coral is still lovely but not as lovely as the outer reef. These only take about an hour to reach from the mainland, and some have resorts you can stay at. As for which is best I couldn't say as I've never stayed at the accommodation, but I have snorkeled of Green Island and it was nice.

The Cairns area has a lot more to offer than just the reef though, like the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, Hartleys Crocodile Farm etc. staying on one of the islands is great if you want to snorkel the reef every day, but makes it harder to do all other other stuff the region has to offer.

7. Re: snorkeling

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