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“Fun introduction to the Great Barrier Reef”
Review of Reef Experience

Reef Experience
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Reviewed November 15, 2012

We were in Cairns for other reasons; our accommodation recommended the Reef Experience package. It's a day on the reef, with two stops; snorkelling and an optional introductory dive are included, along with food, tea and coffee. More diving is available at the second stop for an extra charge.

On our trip, there was a mixture of experienced divers, newbie divers, snorkellers and those simply along for the ride. We chose not to scuba as we were going to be flying out soon. (Planning tip: It is recommended to not fly for at least 24 hours after scuba diving.) There is also a glass-bottomed boat so you can see some of the reef without getting wet.

Newbie divers go through a few supervised exercises before they're allowed out. Some people took to it quickly, but the crew were very patient with those who needed extra help. As for the snorkelling, there was a briefing, and that was it. I'm not a strong swimmer and had never snorkelled or dived before... so I gave it a try with a flotation 'noodle', and found it too difficult to get everything right at once. But this was OK, one of the crew gave me a tow around on a rubber ring instead so I could work on my technique and still see some of the sights. By the time of the afternoon stop I was confident enough to go out with a 'noodle' and enjoyed it.

There is a marine biologist aboard to explain all about the reef, and a pro photographer with some very fancy camera kit. Underwater cameras are available for hire; the photo dude burns your shots, along with any of his shots that you pay for, onto DVD-R.

Don't let the first impressions put you off - the seats were damp and some of them were a bit tatty, but (of course) you're going to be sitting on them after you come out of the water, so they're not going to stay dry.

The transit time to the reef is over an hour in each direction. Booking agents will look up the forecast so you can try to plan your trip for a calm day; seasickness medicine is available on board.

Wear: swimming costume, clothes you don't mind getting damp.
Bring: towel, sunscreen, diving log book if you have one, money for the bar.

2  Thank Ross Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,953 - 1,957 of 2,739 reviews

Reviewed November 14, 2012

I had what was probably the best day of my whole trip with Reef Experience, and that's saying a lot, since I did just about everything that I could possibly do wrong on a reef trip. I got sea sick, I got stung by jellyfish, I got the sting antidote in my eyes, I lost my group on a dive... I was a terrible passenger to a comical degree, and the crew of Reef Experience put up with me for the entire day, helped me with all of my problems, and graciously didn't laugh at what a disastrous guest I was. I wasn't the only one to get sea sick, and one of the staff stood outside the cabin with a group of us, handing us paper bags (congrats on your strong stomach and huge amount of patience).The intro dive was absolutely fantastic; I'd never SCUBA dived before, and the instructor was super nice and helpful, and introduced me to a Maori Wrasse and a couple of turtles. The photographer took some amazing pictures and I ended up buying quite a few (well worth the price!).The reef was beautiful, and despite everything that went wrong, I had the time of my life, jellyfish bite on my face and all.

1  Thank adzthealien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012 via mobile

Whether you want to dive, snorkel, swim, boat or even fly overhead, you must see this natural phenomenon. Postcard perfect, absolutely stunning

Thank MitGerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

such a great introduction to the Great Barrier Reef. This was an efficient tour which got us quickly out to the reef with plenty of time to spend snorkeling some unique and spectacular spots. I also had the introductory dive and liked it so much I went on another. Safety was a priority, and staff had a great understanding and respect for the reef integrity. Food for lunch was outstanding and everyone was friendly and helpful. Thankyou for such a great day on the reef :)

Thank richiewato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Really enjoyed the day as a whole. Staff were fun and it was great to get the marine biology presentation to learn more about what we were seeing. The reef speaks for itself beauty wise. Would definitely recommend this to friends.

1  Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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