Thursday 17 August 2023

A day in The Great Barrier Reef

We visited Hardy Reef which 78km/48miles from Airlie Beach, reaching there on a boat via Hamilton Island. There were helicopters available to travel out to the Pontoon, but, obviously it was rather pricey.

We paid $450 (£225) for the two of us for the trip which included tea/coffee, breakfast, lunch on the pontoon and afternoon tea on the journey back. It's winter so the sea was rough and a few people suffered with sea sickness. I slept most of the way back so didn't really notice it.

The pontoon is moored in the reef and we found out once we got there that you could actually spend the night on the Reef, it's something I'd like to do if we visit again.

The was a semi submersible submarine and underwater aquarium as well as seating area and all equipment needed such as rash suits, wet suits, snorkels, fins and floats.

Although I am a competent swimmer I've always struggled with snorkelling, preferring to just swim under water with goggles, however a woman suggested I tried a float so I could focus on the breathing and not the swimming and it was a game changer. I was in the sea head down for almost an hour. I did drift but within the marked area and there was a life guard on the pontoon and a boat on the outer edge to nudge people back into line.

There was a lot of footage from my iPhone 8 in a waterproof pouch I bought for $15 (£8)

Peter has always wanted to try scuba diving and where better to try it than in The Great Barrier Reef. It cost $179 (£80) for 15 min training and a 30 minute dive with an instructor holding onto him.

It took 2 hours each way by boat, through the islands.

It was rather chilly in the water but the wet suits and rash vests helped.

The vivid colour of the reef was visible on approach, bright turquoise and although you weren't allowed to, you could've reached down and touched it without going under the water. 

Peter and I are both well travelled and have had many experiences that we would describe as 'once in a lifetime opportunities' but this day topped everything.


  1. Oh wow! What an amazing day!
    It really does sound like a game changer having the float, you could enjoy the sea without having to think about the swimming part of it. How wonderful for Peter to go scuba diving. x

  2. Looks like you all had a great time, enjoyed seeing your pics and video!

  3. Oh my what an amazing reef visit. I'm disabled so I haven't traveled in years, so I love that you shared photos so I can virtually travel with you.
    Thank you so much for hosting.
    Visiting today from PoCoLo#12

  4. What a wonderful experience! #pocolo