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“A terrible family adventure” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Daytripper

Reef Daytripper
12-30 Little Street, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
+61 7 4036 0566
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sail to the picturesque Upolu Reef on our charming catamaran for a relaxing yet fun filled sailing trip. Avoid the crowds and experience the Great Barrier Reef the way nature intended. With a maximum of 20 people we offer a friendly personalised experience.
Frankfurt, Germany
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A terrible family adventure”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Despite spending quite some time researching the options I seem to have chosen the wrong trip. We had planned a special visit to Cairns as part of our Australian holiday just so my children could see the Great Barrier Reef. The extra flights and other expenses adding a few thousand dollars to our holiday, but it was a disaster…

1. The team on-board the catamaran were really nice and helpful. Couldn’t ask for a nicer crew.
2. The food looked really good. (Too sick to try it though.)

1. One of the reasons we chose this trip was because it catered for a small group of people. However a small group of people means small boat, and hence lots of bobbing about on the sea. It’s not the first time me or my partner have been to the Great Barrier Reef so I thought I knew what to expect but I was wrong. The sea was rough and both myself and my partner were seasick to the extent that we couldn’t do very much but feel very ill the whole day. “You should have seen it yesterday” they said “it was much worse”, that didn’t really make us feel any better. Several of the other guests were also ill but I am not sure of the extent as I tend not to socialise much when I’m ill. This is despite taking sickness tablets beforehand – we wish we had taken more. This also meant that our children missed out on the Great Barrier Reef too. I felt so sorry for them but was too ill to be able to change things. I did manage one short trip with my son but this lasted for 5 minutes and we saw virtually nothing because of the conditions…

2. Beware that if you go out snorkelling on a high tide then the coral is going to be that much further away, and if the sea is choppy then the water quality is going to be cloudy. Hence in the only time I managed to get in the water all I saw was a murky grey piece of coral several feet down. It was hopeless and the waves were so high that we couldn’t stay out for very long as my son was understandably scared under these conditions despite the crew helping all they could.

3. Because the boat is small, it was also very slow. They said it would take 2 hours to get to the reef but it took 2.5 hours. They said it would take 1.5 hours going back as they would put the sail up but it still took 2.5 hours nevertheless. So that’s 5 hours of rough sailing while bigger less wobbly boats glided past us. Taking 5 hours of the day out just for travelling means less time on the reef than the other faster boats for snorkelling.

Well what did I expect? Well to be honest I can only review our experience and we had a terrible one. There was no attempt to warn people of the possible conditions and precautions that should be considered. If we had been warned then at least we would have had the chance of taking an appropriate dose of sickness tablets. With hindsight we should have chosen a company with a bigger boat. Sorry about the one star guys I known you did your best once the trip started, but I wish I could have just thrown all the money in the toilet without getting on that boat…

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great day out on the reef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

So glad we found the Reef Daytripper; it's a smaller boat with a really great crew, very friendly, knowledgeable and fun. Being on the smaller boat is also nice as we all had room to spread out a bit and enjoy the ride to and from the reef. Would recommend this option if your able to get on with them.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“great day on the reef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

It was great being on a smaller boat for the day - much more relaxed and casual than the bigger boats. Crew was super friendly, fun and knowledgeable. Good lunch, plus wine & cheese for the ride home!

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
“Good times at Upolu Reef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

We had a really smooth ride our to the reef which was in very good shape. The crew were very relaxed and polite to everyone. The food onboard was really good and we were spoiled with wine, fresh fruit and tasty cheese on the way back to port. I can't say enough about this outfit, small groups, personal service and a sense of humour to boot.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Great experience out on the reef”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

The staff in this boat is great, super friendly and very knowledgable. There were only 15 passengers on the trip, so made it a more personal experience. The trip out took 2 1/2 hours since it was raining to start though, and there was nothing to do on the trip out. We did an introductory dive on the reef and Derek was a great teacher, guiding us novices through the process. The lunch food was decent and the cheese plate on the way back was a nice finish to the day. Would totally recommend this boat for the price ($210 trip + dive) and service.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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