Safari Lodge offers not only accommodation and campsites but you can also book an Ocean Safari to the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef near the Daintree Rainforest is said to be one of the best preserved. So we booked a snorkel trip to Mackay Reef for our second day. With the crew of Ocean Safari we drove from one World Heritage to the next.
Because the “summer holidays” (here rather “winter holidays”) already started in Queensland, many places were already booked both on the campground and also on the tours. So we had to give up our original plan to visit the Great Barrier Reef on the day with the best weather forecast. Alternatively we got two places the day before 🙂
We were booked on the afternoon tour, met around noon, took care of the paper work and of course the wetsuits needed to be tried on. With 25 guests it took about 30 minutes. Then we walked through the rainforest towards the beach and then through the water onto the boat. And yes, of course we had signed papers informing us that there might be some crocodiles in there. After a short safety briefing we went out to the open sea. Our destination was the Mackay Reef.
The ride was a bit bumpy and our little boat with his 700 HP went off like a lightning. We were glad that we took our sea-legs tablets in advance 🙂
Great Barrier Reef
After about 25 minutes we reached the reef. And directly at the reef there is also a sandbank / sand island.
After we had “anchored” the boat we went for the first snorkeling. There was also a lot of sea grass close by, where sea turtles like to stay. Unfortunately we had no luck with them here, but we could discover a lot of corals and of course a lot of colorful fish 🙂 We had been on the road for six months now and for the first time we missed our underwater camera which we had left at home. But now we could simply enjoy the moment to the full without fiddling with technology.
After an hour we went by boat to another part of the reef. In the meantime the sky had become a little darker, it was raining lightly and so we got a spectacular rainbow from Mother Nature 🙂
Unbelievable, how different the corals looked during the second snorkeling and in addition to a lot of fish there was also the much longed for sea turtle to see.
Christiane’s first snorkeling trip was still characterized by a bit of uncertainty, but she did quite well the second time and let herself drift by the current over the reef 🙂
The last item on the programme was a visit to the sandbank. Awesome! We were in the middle of the sea and stood with dry feet on sand… nature is still the best architect!
In the background now finally darker clouds came up and it was time to “ride” home.
After a hot shower, we ended this fantastic day with beers, burgers, and fries.
Cape Tribulation and the Safari Lodge were the northernmost point we could reach with our campervan. Further north you would continue on 4WD gravel roads. For us this meant that we drove on the same way back to the ferry.
But one last visit we had to do in the Daintree rainforest. South of the Daintree River lies Mossmann Gorge, a gorge worth seeing.
With the shuttle bus we drove deep into the gorge to make a great hike through the rainforest. There were lots of signs with explanations and walking the narrow path through lush vegetation was really fun:-)
If you don’t have the time to drive all the way to Cape Tribulation during your Queensland visit, the Mossman Gorge offers you a great view into the rainforest.