We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Reef Encounter, Australia” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Experience Day Tours

Reef Experience Day Tours
100 Abbott St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Improve this listing
Ranked #20 of 120 Activities in Cairns
Type: Tours
More attraction details
Attraction Details
Owner description: One Great Day at One Great price includes : city bus transfers, 2 spectacular Outer Barrier Reef locations, breakfast, wetsuit hire, 6 hours at the Reef, Marine Biologist Reef presentation, lunch, glass bottom boat, reef levies, afternoon tea your choice of an introductory dive or a certified dive. For people who can’t swim or aren’t confident in the water our friendly crew will take them on a guided snorkelProudly locally family owned and operated.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Reef Encounter, Australia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2007

I went diving for 3 days on the Reef Encounter. It was my first trip to Australia, my first liveaboard, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The staff on the Reef Encounter was organized, professional, and dedicated to quality service. The food was outstanding. The weather was rough--very windy--but this did not deter intrepid divers. I had read tons of magazines on diving in SE Asia, but this exceeded anything I had expected. The richness of color in the fish, and the diversity in the corals, were fabulous. I'm an amateur photographer, and it took me a few days to settle down. I'm trying to figure out how to go back, since this started off as a business trip and my company paid for the flight.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

822 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Totally satisfied”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2007

A marvellous experience on board the Reef Encounter. It may not be the
most modern vessel, but after all, the goal is to see the Barrier Reef, not lounge in a cabin watching TV. That said, it is very comfortable and stable in the sea, the staterooms are great, and the meals were delicious. But the best of it all - aside from the Reef, of course - is that the crew and the 'hosties' are FABULOUS. Honestly
helpful, always ready to assist and please, and maintaining the highest standard of safety with so many divers in the water. Well done, we'll be back for another cruise!

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Reef Magic Tour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2007

I am a non-swimmer who is married to a swimmer, so I was trying to find a tour company that would be able to suit both our needs. I didn't want to sit around all day on a small boat while waiting for the snorkelers to come in, and my husband didn't want to be surrounded by 300 other people out in the water, so we decided Reef Magic (whose limit is 180 people) would be a good compromise.

The boat ride out was relatively smooth (only 5-10 knots) but we took travel sickness pills anyway just in case and we came out with no problems. I did see two other people who arrived really sick, and by the time they realized they should have taken pills it was too late. Reef Magic sold the pills at their counter, but didn't really announce it, and I've read other reviews of other boat lines that give them for free, so that is a downside. There were only about 60 people on our boat, which was perfect because it meant we weren't fighting with each other for suits, lawn chairs, food, etc. I'm not sure if I would have liked our experience as much if there were 180 people on board; the pontoon was large but not that large. I took the semi-sub while my husband went on a snorkeling safari ($35 for 50 min) - the semi sub trip was a bit short but interesting, and my husband said the safari was worth the money. I asked different travel agents about the Marine World area and they have told me it is one of the nicer parts of the reef.

The lunch buffet was a bit eclectic (veggie lasagna, curry chicken, salami, nori rolls?) but was decent enough. I liked that they provided free tea/coffee/juice in the morning and afternoon. At the beginning of the trip, the diving, snorkeling, and helicopter people go around trying to sell their services but they were not pushy at all. I think most people on the boat didn't pay for anything outside the $165 ticket price, and still had a great time. I was really worried that they would be pushy or that all the good stuff would be extra and it wasn't.

All in all, I think it was a good tour for the money - the people there were very nice and helpful, and the day passed by quickly. I'd recommend this tour for those who don't want the huge crowds, but at the same time want more than just snorkeling/diving off a small boat.

Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“compass cruise to great barrier reef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2007

This was one of if not the best trip I have ever taken as it covered all bases. I took this trip with my 4 year old daughter we were both encouraged to snorkel for a number of hours at the reef, the captain of the vessell entertained my daughter( who is a chatterbox0 for hours, teaching her about the boats, sea etc and even letting her steer. All the staff were very friendly and made the safety talks very interesting ans funny. The day was very relaxing for me and the staff assisted me in the water with my daughter so i got to dive a little myself. The food was tasty and ample. Finally this trip was extremely economical and I just wonder how compass give such an experience with a high number of experienced staff. They even provided free sunscreen and sickness tablets for people who forget!! I would expect to pay double the price for such a trip and cant wait to come back again and bring my family. I encourage anyone considerien a similiar boat trip to use compass.... they are the cheapest... and most definately the best. cheers compass!

Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“My trip of a lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

I recently travelled on a 3 Day / 2 Night overnight reef trip onboard the Reef Encounter in Cairns.

The rooms onboard this overnight dive and snorkel vessel were large and very well presented with private ensuites. The food was great and as good as you get in any restaurant. The crew were very helpful and couldnt do enough to ensure that my time onboard was the greatest.

It surprised me to discover how large the vessel was. Complete with onboard Spa!

The diving locations were fantastic and I will never forget the experience of swimming with turtles.

All in all, I cant wait to visit the Great Barrier Reef onboard the Reef Encounter once again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Reef Experience Day Tours also viewed


Been to Reef Experience Day Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Reef Experience Day Tours, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.