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.

Snorkeling

Denver
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Snorkeling

Anyone know if you can snorkel off the beach at Green Island? If so, is it good?

Cheers!

Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
3,855 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Snorkeling

>>>Anyone know if you can snorkel off the beach at Green Island?<<<

I have been to Port Douglas, but I have never been to Green Island. I understand you can snorkel from its beach.

>>>If so, is it good?<<<

I have seen extensive discussions of this on another travel discussion board. Apparently the ecosystem has been degraded by overuse. Green Island reportedly has been subjected to a mass-marketing operation. The reports I have seen have been negative to say the least.

Another thing to watch out for, or so I'm told, is a glowing report from someone who went there years ago. The people who have been familiar with the island over a period of time confirm that it once was wonderful. If you want to be confident of a review of the island, you need to be sure that you're hearing from a person who has been there recently.

It also may be a good idea to ensure you're getting a report from someone who has seen more of the GBR than just Green Island. Even in its deteriorated state, it may look great to someone who doesn't realise that more pristine environments are available.

Hope that helps.

Denver
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Snorkeling

Okay, so maybe Green Island is not the best choice? Does anyone have a recommendation for an island priced similar to Green Island that has good snorkeling right off the beach and isn't too commerical (i.e. Hamilton) and doesn't have a lot of day trippers?

Thanks for the replies!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
Level Contributor
19,073 posts
188 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Snorkeling

Perhaps try Heron Island, it has good reports. Put up a post for replies. I've not stayed there..most of the islands that have snorkelling off the beach suffer from the same problem as Green Island.

We stay on Hayman, very pricey, snorkel off the island either with speedboat drop or 40 min walk.

Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
3,855 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Snorkeling

In addition to Heron Island, which Guruswife mentioned, I've heard good things about Lady Elliot Island. Lizard Island is reported to be amongst the best (but super expensive).

The thing is, few islands are really that cheap. The prices of accommodations do vary, as some islands, like Hayman, have luxury accommodation on them, and other islands have more moderate accommodation. But, regardless of the accommodation rate, there's also the expense of transferring from the mainland to the island.

Green Island is affordable because it's closer to the mainland than most, and the tours take hundreds of visitors there.

I visited the GBR in a boat that took off from the mainland (Port Douglas in my case). I'm not sure why you have your heart set on snorkeling from a beach. Whichever way you visit the GBR, a plane or a boat is going to be involved. Oh yes, I guess the exception is Cape Tribulation, some distance north of the Daintree River. That's the most northerly point of the GBR where it meets land.

Hope you find something you like.

Denver
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Snorkeling

I've looked at Hayman and Heron as well. I'm nervous about Hayman because of some saying it is run down and I'm nervous about Heron because of the influx of birds. Our travel to Australia will be last week of August, first week of September and I'm not sure if the birds will be an issue then?

Thanks again for your posts!

Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
3,855 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Snorkeling

As I understand it, birds are not an issue at Heron Island in the southern hemisphere winter. The people who have reported having issues with them have referred to the southern hemisphere summer.

Buderim, Australia
Level Contributor
1,089 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Snorkeling

Heron or Lady Elliot are ideal for snorkelling from the beach (it is still some distance to the good stuff and they have boats to drop you a little further out and away and to the various reefs around the island. The birds on Heron make a bit of noise and crap a lot but are hardly anything to worry about. August/ Sept should be okay.

Denver
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Snorkeling

Thanks Lockie!

Wiltshire, England
5 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Snorkeling

We have recently returned (2 weeks ago) from our travels 'down under' which included a 5 night stay on Heron Island - it was truely an amazing experience!

Having read as many reviews as I could find prior to our trip, I didn't know what to expect? after all everyones opinions & experiences are different.

What I can tell you is that it really did look just like the photos on the Voyages website, the weather was terrific which helped I'm sure. I was quite stunned!!

There is a variety of accommodation & prices to suit most budgets. We were perfectly happy with our family turtle room, especially given the amount of time we spent in it. We liked the fact that there were no daytrippers to Heron Island so it was never too busy. Food was great, and plenty of it!!

Snorkelling was fantastic - 3 hours either side of high tide is great straight from the beach and what you'll see is stunning. Our daughters learnt to snorkel here and loved it!

The reef walk is quite special too, the staff on the island are fantastic, so knowledgable and friendly (if you've got kids going, the Junior Rangers is a MUST)

The snorkel boat goes out twice a day to the outer reef for more spectacular snorkelling - about 15 minute boat ride, alternativley the semi-sub provided a great show.

The highlight for us had to be the turtle hatchlings scurrying down the beach into the water, we had numerous encounters with these little creatures. I believe that Humpback Whales can be seen in the waters off the island from July to September. That would be worth going to see.

The notorious birds, well, yes I did get 'pooped' on a couple of times but only me I hasten to add! The Noddy birds are harmless enough, just lots of them, quite a few other different sorts all over the island I think (didn't do the bird walk) Even the dreaded Mutton Birds at night were not too bad, we found their noise quite entertaining actually, that they could really make such a dreadful sound. For the light sleeper the hotel does provide earplugs. We didn't need them, I think we were just so tired we would have slept through anything.

Our trip out to the island from Gladstone Marina was great - we were very fortunate that the sea was very calm, like a mill pond, so they were able to use the newer boat, Heron Spirit for the crossing. Other guests were not so lucky, and some crossing can be very rough. We travelled back to Gladstone on the helicopter which really was the perfect way to leave the island, circling the island before heading west and the airport - great for those final photos.

It isn't a glitzy 5* resort, but we loved it. For our first expeience of the great barrier reef, it was out of this world.

If you do decide to spend a few days here, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Denver
Level Contributor
9 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Snorkeling

Figglyhop,

I'm so glad you posted about your visit to Heron. We in fact did decide on Heron Island and will be staying in a Point Place Suite at the beginning of September. We are taking the helicopter round-trip as well. I will relax a little more about our decision after reading your post, since you had nothing but good things to say.

Thanks!