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Great Barrier Reef Tours from Port Douglas

 

Calypso Reef Charters

Part of the Tropical Journey's Group
FREECALL:  1800 005 966

Website

- Offers family cruises
- Reef tours and dive trips
- Suitable for all ages
- Provides a unique full day reef experience
- Child tickets $176.50
- more...

from $237pp Inc EMC charge

Sailaway Low Isles Cruises

Tel: (07) 4099 4200

Website

- Full day OR afternoon Low Isles tours
- 8.30am OR 1pm departures
- Sailing, reef and island experiences
- Family friendly OR adults only tour
- Unspoilt coral cay and heritage walk
- more...

from $248 pp $175 p/child

Enterprise Charters

1300 134 388 (local)
+61 1300 135 388 (international)
Website

- Luxury live aboard
- Low Isles Half Day & Outer Reef Full Day
- Longer charters available
- For those seeking cruising comfort and
  ultimate style
- more... 

 

from POA

M.V Bahama

Tel: +61 (0)7 4046 3344
Website

- Luxury cruising
- Spectacular reef areas
- Unique access
- Maximum 6 guests
- 3 ensuite cabins
- 5 Star service
- Fresh Tropical menus
- more...

 

from $7,200 /day


 


GBR Helicopters

Tel: (07) 4081 8888
Website

- See it from our perspective
- Reef and Heli tours
- Exclusive charters
- Fleet of 18 helicopters
- Leading helicopter tour company
- Ultimate once in a lifetime experience
- more...
 

from $159pp

M.V Monsoon Port Douglas

Tel: +61 (0)7 4046 3344
Website

- Private luxury cruising
- Ideal for families and groups
- Access to spectacular reef areas
- Based out of Port Douglas
- Maximum 10 guests 

from $3,300 /day

Reef Sprinter Fast & Fun Snorkelling Tours

Tel: +617 4099 6127

Website

- Half-days: Low Isles or Outer Reef
- Speedboats = more fun + no seasickness!
- Up to six trips daily inc equipment
- Maximum of 14 passengers
- Glass bottom boat inc (Low Isles)

from $130 pp $110 kids

    

Indigo Port Douglas

Tel: 0429 901 250
Website

- Avoid the crowds, max. 12 guests
- All gear & reef tax included
- Low Isles/Snapper Island trips
- Special diets catered for
- 2hr Sunset Sails available

from $219pp

         

Shaolin Charters Low Isles Adventure

Tel: 0407 406 386

Website

- Traditional Chinese Junk
- Up to 22 passengers
- Full island access
- Superb lunch and drinks provided
- Great for families and groups

from $190 pp

   

Aquarius Low Isles Sailing

Part of the Tropical Journeys Group
Freecall: 1800 005 966

Website

- Ultimate in luxury sailing
- 62ft spacious catamaran
- Maximum of 23 guests
- All snorkelling equipment
- more...
 

from $241pp

Wavelength Marine Charters

Tel: (07) 4099 5031

Website

- Small snorkelling tours - less than 30
- The best exclusive Outer Reef sites
- An educational adventure
- Reef interpretation by marine biologists
- Owned/run by local marine biologists

 

from $239pp - $189/child

Other Great Barrier Reef Tours from Port Douglas

Quicksilver Connections Port Douglas

The Reef Marina

Port Douglas Qld 4877

Tel: (07) 4087 2100 

General Facts on the Great Barrier Reef Port Douglas and Information & Commonly Asked Questions


Top Ten Factfile

 

ARE WE GOING TO SEE ANY SHARKS on The Great Barrier Reef ?

If you see a shark while visiting the reef, consider yourself very lucky as  sharks are not frequently encountered by visitors. Of those which are seen  the most commonly encountered are the white tip reef and black tip reef sharks. Easily identified by the white markings on the tips of the dorsal fins, they are often found resting upon the sea floor. 

Like most sharks white tip's are extremely timid and won't stay long around divers. Most sharks found on the reef are fish eaters and therefore pose no threat  to visitors.  Do not harass or block off a shark's exit as they may attack out of fear.

 

WHAT ABOUT STINGERS ? 

The box jellyfish is found in the coastal waters of North Queensland during summer months (October to March). Visitors wishing to swim during this period should only do so in protective swimming enclosures or wear protective clothing. The box jellyfish is a coastal species and is not found out on the reef, but they can sometimes be found around islands close to the mainland. Other stingers that are sometimes encountered on the reef include the irukandji and blue bottle

Stings from both box jellyfish and irukandji can cause serious injuries.  Vinegar can used on both box jellyfish and irukandji stings followed by immediate medical attention, but not on blue bottle stings. For blue bottles use cold water and ice.

 

WHAT FISH IS THAT ? 

With over 1500 species of fish on the great barrier reef the answer to this question is not an easy one.  The use of identification books and underwater cards can be useful in identifying commonly encountered species.  Body and mouth shape are often  the best key features in identifying the type of fish.  The reef fish section  of the marine biology manual will outline the features of the mostcommonly  encoungered families of fish.  Aim to learn the name of just one fish every time you visit the reef, and you will quickly know the most commonly encountered  species.

 

WHY ISN'T CORAL VERY COLOURFUL ? 

Most visitors to the great barrier reef comment that the coral isn't very colourful as they are used to seeing brightly coloured images in books and on television.  Natural white light is made up of all the colours of the rainbow; underwater, these colours are filtered at different depths with red and yellow disappearing  first.  This gives the reef a predominantly blue/green appearance. 

Photographs and video are taken using lights to show the true colours of the Great Barrier Reef. So the colours are there, it's just that you need white light to see them. This is  why night diving on the reef is so spectacular.

 

WHAT ARE CORALS ? 

Coral are made up of a thin layer of living animals called polyps, which secrete a chalky, limestone skeleton as they grow. Coral colonies grow as the polyps divide and multiply in a process known as budding.  In addition to catching planktonic prey with their tentacles corals also derive nourishment from simple single celled algae called zooxanthellae (pronounced  zoo-zan-thelly). living within their tissues. 

Like all plants, zooxanthellae  photosynthesize, producing nutrients from the suns energy which are used by the  polyp for its own nutrition.  Corals with zooxanthellae are able to lay down  limestone skeletons up to three times fster than those corals without.

 

WHAT TYPE OF CORAL IS THAT ? 

Trying to identify particular species of coral is very difficult.  What makes  it so difficult is that one type of coral may appear as a branching form in  calm water and look like a plate coral in another area. 

In many cases it is the environmental conditions, such as wave action, light levels and the amount of  sediment in the water, that influence coral colony shape.  The easiest way to identify corals is by their appearance  * boulder * branching * plate * table * vase * bushy * solitary

 

WHAT ABOUT CORAL SPAWNING ? 

Every year over one third of the reef's 350 species of coral reproduce sexually during a mass spawning event.  The majority of inner reefs spawn around November with the outer reefs spawning later in December.  Spawning always takes place  at night, and follows any time up to six days after the full moon.  Eggs and  sperm are released into the water where they eventually combine to form a free swimming planktonic larval stage.

 

WHY IS THE REEF SO FAR OFFSHORE ? 

Most of the Great Barrier Reef is located off the mainland of Queensland.   Corals need clear water which are low in nutrients.  They cannot not tolerate  freshwater or nutrients carried in the water run-off from the mainland.   That is why the most diverse and abundant corals grow offshore where the  environmental conditions are more suitable.

 

WHAT IS THE WATER CLARITY GOING TO BE LIKE ? 

The clarity of water on the reef is determined by a combination of the amount  of sediment and the amount of phytoplankton in the water.  Sediment becomes suspended due to increased water motion caused by tide changes, high winds and storms. Phytoplankton are the microscopic plants that drift around in the water.  They are more numerous in areas where the nutrient levels of the water are higher  particularly around coastal reefs which receive nutrient rich runoff from the  land.

 

ARE WE GOING TO SEE ANY WHALES ? 

Whales are normally encountered during the winter months when they migrate up  to the reef from Antarctic waters to mate and give birth.  One of the most  spectacular visitors during this period is the Humpback.  They are seen in the shallow coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef ranging from Harvey Bay to  Port Douglas.  Whale watching is conducted by a number of tourist operators  through these areas. 

The Minke is another species of whale seen during winter, particularly around  the Ribbon Reef area. The smallest whales, the dolphins can be seen all year round in most parts of  the reef. 

 

WHAT ABOUT CROWN-OF-THORNS STARFISH? 

The cause of Crown of Thorn Starfish outbreaks is still the focus of a lot of  research and debate.  Increased nutrients from the mainland and effects due to  El Nino are all being investigated as is the possibility that it is a naturally occurring event.  Crown of Thorns starfish may actually serve to maintain coral diversity on the reef by feeding on the fast growing species, that if left  unchecked, could dominate the reef. 

 

WHERE CAN WE GO FISHING ON THE REEF ? 

Fishing is not allowed in green national park zones or pink preservation and  orange scientific zones. In other zones fishing is allowed subject to Queensland fisheries restrictions.  Legal sizes, closed seasons and catch quotas also apply to a variety of fish and shellfish.  The following animals are totally protected: whales, porpoises, dolphins, dugong and turtles, clam, trumpet and helmet shells, female crabs all grouper and cod over 1.2 metres.  

 

WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER? 

In general the average passenger is not so much concerned with the weather as  they are with how it will influence their day at the reef.  Therefore an answer should be given in reference to their concerns eg.sea sickness, water carity,  and the colour of the reef.  

 

WHATS THAT SLICK? 

When good growth conditions exist, blooms of a simple floating algae called Trichodesmium are often confused with oil and coral spawn slicks.  Blooms can  be easily identified by their rusty brown colour as they occur in wind rows  along the surface of the water.  Slicks of coral spawn generally do not last  more than two days after coral spawning.  Any oil spill should be immeditely reportd to the local maritime authority. 

 

for more information please see:

http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/corp_site/key_issues/tourism/tourism_on_gbr

Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef

Read more about the Great Barrier Reef

Editorial Features

Top ten fact file on the reef

Did you know

  • The Great Barrier Reef was declared a World Heritage site on 26th October 1981


  • The Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2300 kilometres


  • 1,500+ species of fish inhabit the Great Barrier Reef


  • 400 different types of coral make up the Great Barrier Reef


  • 215 species of birds live and feed on the Great Barrier Reef


  • 6 species of Sea Turtle inhabit the Great Barrier Reef


  • The Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing on earth that can be seen from outer space

  • The Reef's origins date back to the last Ice Age


  • The Great Barrier Reef covers an area approximately 340,000 square metres


  • Over 1.6 million tourists visit the Great Barrier Reef each year

Great Barrier Reef Information

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. This reef system in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres.


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority patrols and polices the area for any illegal activity. There are fishing closures during the year to preserve the fish stocks, so check with a local fishing guide for when the reef is closed to fishing. They also provide free maps so you can see where to fish and where not to fish.

This great natural monument has now been named a state icon from the The Queensland National Trust.

There are number of boat tours leaving from Port Douglas to The Great Barrier Reef each day, on either a day trip or an extended overnight trip.

These tours cater for diving, snorkeling, fishing, jet skiing or just sitting back on a yacht and sailing the Coral Seas.

Port Douglas even offers helicopter tours over the Great Barrier Reef, landing on your very own private sand quay.

 

You can takeoff from land or you can travel out on the Quicksilver boat to their pontoon on the reef, and fly back to Port Douglas after you have had enough of snorkeling and watching the beautiful colours of the reef fish and the coral.

If you get the chance to go to outer space, look out for The Great Barrier Reef as you can see it from there.

 

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.

 

This reef is built by billions of tiny organisms, called coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

If you would like help booking your reef tour, click here. .

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