Posted by: travelrat | June 22, 2011

Out to the Barrier Reef

Cairns: 19th August, 2010.

It was drizzling slightly when the taxi arrived to take us to the Reef Fleet Terminal, in Cairns. But, don’t worry, said the helpful, cheery staff at Reef Magic Cruises. It’s not raining underwater! Actually, it did clear up considerably, later, and gave us an experience which will remain near the top of our ‘Top Ten’ for ever.

First, they issued us with a sticker with our names on them, for they pursue a rigorous policy of ‘counting them out, and counting them all back’, to ensure nobody gets left behind.

Reef Magic Cruises ( proudly state that they are completely locally owned, and have exclusive access to the Marineworld reef platform. They have the admirable policy of restricting passenger numbers to well below what the boat and the platform are capable of carrying, so they are never overcrowded.

The boat which took us out to the platform, Reef Magic II, was a stylish, modern catamaran, capable of up to 27 knots. On the 90 minutes trip out, they showed us DVD of the things we expected to see.

The ‘Marineworld’ platform is permanently anchored on the reef, and they usually allow their guests to spend about five hours here, during which you can, if you wish, just laze in the sun. But, if you did that, you’d miss the wonders below.

Scuba diving and snorkelling go on all the time, catering for various levels of expertise; all necessary equipment can be borrowed or hired.

Even if you prefer not to get wet, there’s something for you. Marineworld has an underwater viewing chamber, which you can visit anytime, as often as you like. Or, there are two boats; one glass-bottomed; one semi-submersible … but, more about those later.

Reef Magic Cruises has been awarded Advanced Eco Accreditation, the highest level of accreditation bestowed by Ecotourism Australia. They were also the winning Queensland entry in Tourism Australia’s “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign… and, considering the number of things there are to see and do in Queensland, that’s quite an achievement



  1. Hi Keith,
    What a fantastic looking boat, sounds like you all got looked after on the cruise. So many things to do and see, what a great way to see the reef.

  2. I love the Barrier Reef but haven’t been there for ages. Reading your posts always makes me want to travel. You have made me realise how many beautiful places there are to see in Australia.

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