Archive For The “Great Barrier Reef” Category

Lizard Island

Lizard Island

From Cairns we made a 150-mile overnight run to Lizard Island. Everyone we knew who’d been there said it was a must-do stop. They were enthusiastic, but it might have been even better than described. We did several excellent dives while there, plus a hike up to the top of the island for 360-degree views….

Read more »

Cairns

Cairns

The calm weather we’d been enjoying for the past few days on the outer reef was forecast to end, so it was a good time to go and visit Cairns. The city has a beautiful waterfront, with many restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and several nearby attractions. It also is a good place to provision…

Read more »

Back to the reefs

Back to the reefs

North of Townsville we stopped at Orpheus Island National Park and then passed though beautiful Hinchinbrook Channel. With winds forecast to blow less than 10 knots for the next few days, we then returned to the reefs–our first time since Circular Cay off the Whitsunday area last October. We had several excellent dives, particularly at…

Read more »

Diving the SS Yongala

Diving the SS Yongala

The SS Yongala is a world-renowned wreck dive about 48 miles south of Townsville. The 350 ft (107 m) luxury liner Yongala disappeared during a 1911 cyclone and the wreck was not discovered until 1958. The site now is protected under the Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act, and boats must have a permit to visit, so…

Read more »

Townsville and Magnetic Island

Townsville and Magnetic Island

We weren’t intending to stop at either Magnetic Island or Townsville, but Horseshoe Bay on the north side of Magnetic Island made a convenient stopover after Upstart Bay. One night turned into two and was almost to three when Townsville resident Mick Malone called and encouraged us to visit there. Mick is a longtime friend…

Read more »

Shaw Island to Upstart Bay

Shaw Island to Upstart Bay

We ended our 1,532-mile run from Melbourne at Shaw Island in the Whitsundays. From there we slowed down and coastal-hopped north. We did this partly because we were covering new territory, and also because we weren’t eager to get much farther north with Cyclone Solo having formed near New Caledonia just four days after we…

Read more »

Whitsunday Islands

Whitsunday Islands

From the southern Great Barrier Reef, we continued north to one of Australia’s premier cruising grounds, the Whitsunday Islands. Roughly 500 miles north of Brisbane, the Whitsundays are a group of 74 islands spread over 100 miles. Most of the islands are national park, with a half-dozen or so resorts sprinkled throughout. Offshore, the outer…

Read more »

Southern Great Barrier Reef

Southern Great Barrier Reef

One of the reasons we started diving over fiften years ago was getting full value from one day visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Even twenty years ago, we knew we were coming, we just didn’t know when. We finally arrived. Our first dive was at Lady Elliott Island, the southernmost reef in the chain that…

Read more »