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In March we had Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Port Douglas. The weather on the day when our tour was originally scheduled was absolutely awful, some leftovers of the hurricane, very strong wind, showers and thunderstorms. We were very upset, this trip was supposed to be a highlight of our entire trip to Australia. We were lucky to re-schedule this tour to the very last day of our trip. We were also very fortunate: that day weather was absolutely fantastic, actually the best weather for the entire week. Bright and sunny with great visibility and water was almost calm, cloudy and a bit rainy on our way back
It was great opportunity to explore Australia's Great Barrier Reef from the air and the water! You can choose to travel by scenic helicopter one way and cruise by high-speed catamaran the other, or take the helicopter in both directions a bit more expensive too. I have motion sickness, we took helicopter first because I was afraid to get seasick on catamaran and feel sick entire day. I was determined to do it, with patch behind my ear, Travacalm pills and bracelets on my hands I managed it! I was good on both helicopter and catamaran!
In the morning we left our car on parking lot at PD Marina and went to Quicksilver office, where we were picked by GRB helicopter tour people and brought to their office for quick safety instructions. We started with 35-minute scenic helicopter flight that took us above Fort Douglas and rainforest up to Cape Tribulation and after above the ocean to the Outer Barrier Reef platform on Agincourt Reef. We had 5 passengers and pilot on board. Mid-flight probably 300 feet above the ocean the door near my husband and my daughter opened up! I was sitting next to the pilot we could feel sudden gust right away. Interesting that we all had cameras, but at that moment everybody was checking their seat belts and not making pictures. We needed to take emergency landing on tiny sand island in middle of nowhere to close the door. If door next to me would open, I probably would die on the spot I am afraid of heights. Anyway we stopped, pilot closed the door, checked all other doors and we continue our flight to Quicksilver platform. Views from above were beautiful!
On the platform we took a 30-min semi-submersible submarine tour first, which was great, very informative. After we had quick lunch, buffet style, plenty of food, many choices, average quality food, but you will not be hungry. After this we got into full protective lycra suits, they were free that day because stingers were seen in the water, and off for the reef snorkeling. There is also the underwater observatory if you dont want to go into the water. Time on the platform went by very quickly! We would be happy to have additional hour. I would do Moon Walking - Helmet Diving, but we didnt have time left. We came back by high-speed catamaran Quicksilver to Port Douglas, 90 min trip. Hot tea and snacks were available for free and also cash bar.
Yes, we liked the trip! A bit too crowded on the catamaran. We also would like to have a bit more time on the platform. But yes, we would recommend this tour! Helicopter flight definitely added to the experience.
Great way the see the Reef system. Lots of options at destination.
Fantastic trip great snorkeling at an amazing reef. The helicopter ride was well worth the extra cost - amazing
This was my favorite part of my Australia vacation. It was a nice boat ride out to the reef when I did a guided snorkeling activity. The guide was great and really helped me overcome my nervousness!! It was absolutely beautiful. I took a helicopter ride back to get the most amazing views in this world. I highly recommend this tour.
Tony A United Kingdom
We had a wonderful day, blue skies and calm seas, to travel out to the Great Barrier Reef on the boat. There was plenty of staff to help and answer questions as well as advise which activities may suit. Once we arrived at the pontoon where all the activities are based, we did the underwater panoramic tour. For this you are sat in pairs behind other pairs of people in the bottom of a boat which has glass panel windows at either side. The guide for this trip was able to point out the various species of fish as well as turtles that were visible along the coral.
Lunch was served, which for all the people that were on this trip, was very good. A choice of salad with various meats and also a hot meal.
At the spot where those people who wished to go diving or snorkeling there is also an underwater viewing area, which is interesting watching the fish interact with all the people.
Our journey back to shore was by helicopter...this is definitely the way to see the great barrier reef. The view from above shows how beautiful it is and how vast an area it covers. The helicopter pilot was also very informative and willing to point out various amazing landmarks.
I would recommend this trip to family and friends.
Great experience with lots of activities available, the helicopter ride was the highlight of the trip.
It's was the highlight of our holiday as it was our daughters 18th birthday and it was a fantastic experience. Thank you.
From beginning to end this was a fantastic trip that was well organised. We enjoyed the high speed catamaran trip out to the reef and while my husband did the snorkelling, which he said was out of this world, I took a trip on the semi-submersible which was brilliant. After a beautiful buffet lunch we then finished our day with a helicopter ride by to Port Douglas, during which our Pilot took us over part of the reef and along the coast, enabling us to see the beautiful coastline and beaches and the Daintree River. Would do it all again in a heartbeat. Brilliant
The trip out on the helicopter from Port Douglas was an experience of a lifetime. We had a beautifully clear and calm day and the pilot took us down to see turtles, sharks and rays. The reef are truly stunning and best appreciated some distance above them and underwater. If you don't want to get wet then there is a submersible which gives a guided tour and you can take good pics from. Lunch on board the catamaran was fine and the sail back was ok - but you don't appreciate the reefs this way - so if you do this once in your life book the helicopter trip.
Excellent all around. We did the cruise to the reef, helicopter back. The overall experience was fantastic.
This was an experience that will stay with me for life. All the people I dealt with were fantastic. The flight was amazing, seeing the majesty of the reef from the air. Then another first, snorkelling. Great fun. All in all something I am very glad I did.
We all had so much fun, both the cruise and the helicopter tour. Weather conditions were excellent. We saw lots of coral and fish in the semi-submerged boats. Food was delicious.
Great Barrier Reef is absolutely beautiful! Would definitely do it again. I want to move to port douglas
We did the jet foil out and the helicopter back which was a great combination. The jet foil was much larger than we anticipated and felt a bit like a cross channel ferry, but there were lots of different places to sit and we chose one of the open decks so could enjoy the sun, the scenery and the fresh air. The pontoon was a little crowded once everyone had disembarked but the lunch was very good and the semi-submersible was excellent. Didn't do diving so can't comment but the snorkelling area was rather small for the number of people.
The helicopter ride home made the day a wonderful experience instead of just very good and I would thoroughly recommend this option.
In every aspect the best excursion during our long Australia trip. The cruise, the stay at the platform the lunch and in particular the hell trip back to paort Douglas. What a nice and informative pilot ! WOW !!!
A trip that was worth every penny !
Quicksilver is operated very well. After jumping on the catamaran, you are driving an hour and a half to the outer reef. During that time a marine biologist will give you a lesson in the animal life on the reef; if not, you can site inside near the coffee and biscuits or outside and soak up some sun. The platform on Agincourt reef easily accommodates the 100+ people on your catamaran.
The staff on at the dock, on the platform and on the boat are friendly and helpful. GET IN THE WATER IMMEDIATELY! After an hour or 2, the overabundance of suntan lotion and stirring up the waters, makes the water cloudy and reduces the visibility of the coral and fish. Rent a stingersuit (wetsuit) too- depending on the time of year you go, you can be surrounded by stingers. Don't worry about buying a rashie beforehand, the stinger suit is very affordable.
Spend the extra money on a helicopter ride too- you can do the 10 minute ride while you're there but I suggest taking the helicopter back to the mainland. There's nothing like the feeling of being swept away on a helicopter in front of everyone else--- you feel famous! LOL The pilot sweeps around several reefs and will help you spot turtles, rays, sharks, etc. Plus, it whisks you home in 35 minutes after a long day in the sun and water.
Great experience with lots of activities available, the helicopter ride was the highlight of the trip.
Very good. I only wish the catering could have been more varied than totally of Chinese cuisine. ( I accept that ninety percent on board were Chinese.
special mention of the helicopter... The pilot, the land crew ... Excellent, polite and friendly
A very interesting and pleasant trip over the reef, followed by an enjoyable time on the pontoon. Everything included (except for drink) made it all the more pleasant, as there were no hidden charges to be hit with. I'd recommend this for a brief trip, although it would have been good to see more of the reef itself.
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