When I dutifully booked an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, I did so more out of a sense of duty of having to visit this one of Australia’s most iconic destinations.  I owed it to myself, I said, since I am in FNQ – Far Northern Queensland – as the locals call the area.  But once I was on the boat, had reached the moored pontoon out on the Reef and had my snorkeling gear on, I really got excited.


There were about 15 of us who went on a small boat to visit an accessible reef area about a kilometer away from the pontoon.  As soon as I jumped into the water, I turned on my rented underwater digital camera and, head underwater, snorkel on top, started shooting anything that came within my range of vision.  What a wonderland!  Different types of branch coral, mushroom top coral, all sorts of colorful fish, sea anemones.  No turtles this time, unfortunately.  The water was a pleasant 22 degrees or so and quite clear, although agitated because of light winds.  Our guides took us around a special open outer reef area and kept a running commentary of what kinds of coral and fish we were seeing.  Quite honestly, I did not hear much of what he was saying because my head was almost constantly under water, taking in the unfolding landscape as I swam with my flippers hither and yonder.

There are many day tours out of Cairns to chose from; I was recommended the locally owned and operated Reef Magic Tours and was totally happy with their service.  The boat was a confidence inspiring size but not too large and it was not too crowded, either. I felt the young marine expert staff really enjoyed what they were doing and knew their business, too.  On the pontoon, I was even able to get a massage (without the wet suit) to round out the relaxation experience.  All in all, a very enjoyable and informative day!  And my awareness of and respect for the fragile eco-system of the Reef was considerably heightened.

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  1. Solch wunderschöne Unterwasser-Bilder habe ich kaum je gesehen! Korallen und Fische natürlich schon – aber in dieser Sichtweise mit solch persönlichen Kommentaren – never! Der Zebra-Fisch-Schwarm ist ein besonders hinreißendes Bild, finde ich, unwirklich schön und still und als ob man selber der Beobachter im Wasser sei. Und dann noch zusammen mit Deiner Beschreibung von der insgesamt so gelungenen Bootstour – ein wirklicher Genuss! Vielen, vielen Dank! Liebe Grüße Ariane

  2. Hallöchen,
    ich beneide Dich und schwämme auch gerne dort unten in der Zauberwelt der Fische und Korallen. Gestern war Julia hier und hat sich voller Interesse Deine Komentare und Bilder angeschaut.
    Jetzt bin ich gespannt von wo nun Deine weitern Berichte kommen.
    Alles Liebe Dir


  3. Great pictures as always and following your travels is very enjoyable.

    I still don’t see North America on your itinerary but if you decide to add it and get near Albany, Kristina and I would love to return the hospitality you showed us when we were in Munich last year. As always, Travel Safe!

  4. liebe zenaida,
    ich finde es wunderbar, was du alles erlebst. im wasser, in der luft, in höhen und tiefen. und daß du uns alle mitnimmst durch die berichte und fotos, das finde ich besonders schön.
    wirst du später ein buch machen?
    ich würde es sofort kaufen.
    liebe grüße

  5. Danke fuer Deine lieben Worte, Dagmar. Desto mehr ich darueber nachdenke, desto warscheinlicher wird ein Buch. Allerdings nur wenn ich meine Daten/Photos retten kann, nach meinem Computer-crash! Schoenen Gruss nach Muenchen!

  6. Thanks for your kind words, Vincent. Who knows that I may turn up in your neck of the woods someday… In the meantime, enjoy and kindest regards from Tokyo right now

  7. This is a wonderful pictorial journey of the reef. I live in Australia and you have inspired me to visit the great barrier reef now.

    Keep on blogging about your adventures. Really enjoyable read!


  8. Zenaida,
    Of all the sites in the world I have been fortunate enough to experience, I believe my snorkeling experience in Maui was the most magical. I could not get out of the water, so entranced by the magical world under the surface. In fact ,the Beni Montresor colors were the most vivid I have ever seen! So glad you experienced the Great Coral Reef. Wow….


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