My husband and I spent 10 days in Tropical North Queensland and this was one of the highlights! Although I don't care for Cairns one bit, staying in a hotel there, just for this day trip, is worth it. We had a rental car, so we drove ourselves to the their office in the morning. If you don't have a rental car, they will come pick you up from wherever you are staying. One woman in our group was flying in that morning and her flight was delayed, so they pushed out the trip an extra 45 minutes and waited for her. I was OK with this, because I know I would have appreciated it if I was her! And because we got a late start, we returned later, as not to cut into any of our time on the island.
Getting a birds eye view of the reef and the Daintree rainforest is spectacular. If you plan on taking photographs, sit on the side of the plane that doesn't have the sun shining in through the window. I took many beautiful photos that have a glare from the window, so that was disappointing.
Our pilot was in his early 30's I believe (I forgot his name), and he was great! He was our pilot, our tour guide and our cook. Very friendly and relaxed. He encourage my husband and I to go ahead of the group during the hike to the Blue Lagoon at a faster pace if we wished. I'm glad we did because we got to see a reef shark right on the waters edge! He also encouraged us to go and wander and not worry about holding up the group when they left for the snorkeling beach on the other side of the island. When we got back to the plane, he was waiting for us and had already sent everyone else to the other beach. I appreciated the flexibility to allow everyone to do as they wished.
The lunch provided was very good, and the snorkeling couldn't be better! So easily accessible and no shortage of sea life! We did a bit of snorkeling in the Whitsundays and although that was pretty good, it was packed with people and the fish were no where near as large as these. If you aren't going to scuba dive the reef, you should snorkel on Lizard Island for sure!
Our timing was perfect, as it is after the busy season and before the rainy season. Couldn't have been happier!
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