My husband and I were staying on Green Island for 5 nights and decided to do the Outer Reef trip with Great Adventures on one of the days following a recommendation from a couple that we met in the Resort.
We were collected at Green Island at 11:30am (it leaves Cairns at about 10:30 I think) and it took 55 minutes to reach the Norman Pontoon on the Outer Reef. The Pontoon is amazing - it is huge for starters with heaps of tables, a dedicated area for sun lounges, an underwater observatory and a Semi- Submersible affording amazing views of the fish, coral and edge of the reef without getting wet - perfect for older participants. The cost of the trip also includes your snorkel and fin hire, the buffet lunch (see below) and a piece of carrot cake or chocolate cake on your way out to the Pontoon. (Yum)
The snorkelling was absolutely stunning - best coral I've ever seen and the water seemed just so much clearer than my previous snorkelling experiences at Green Island and the Whitsundays. For that reason alone the money spent on the trip was well worth it.
The Buffet Lunch was served between 1-2pm. On the day we were there the hot options were a vegetable curry, a beef curry and a chicken stirfry with boiled rice. The cold options included large prawns, salad, coleslaw, bread rolls and cold meats like chicken and ham. I think there was fruit on hand as well.
There are plenty of add ons offered by staff along the way for extra $$$, eg. helicopter ride, scuba diving, Scuba Doo, photographs, etc however we didn't take up any of those options. I was disappointed to overhear a crew member trying to sell the stinger suit hire by telling a guest that it was currently stinger season, when September most definitely is not.
We left the Pontoon at 3:30pm and headed back to Green Island (and then back to Cairns). When I first heard that we would only be spending 3 hours at the Pontoon it sounded too short, but as it turns out the timing was perfect.
You spend a lot of time on the catamaran getting to and from the Pontoon. Tea and coffee, cold drinks, snacks and icecream is available to buy on board and there is a cold water dispenser. There are also plenty of toilets.
I've been on a lot of day trips or tours on my own over the years - this one probably wouldn't be great for that. You would have to work hard to find other people to chat with or pass the time with on this trip.
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