Is there a better way to know the Great Barrier Reef than from the inside?
We have always heard about how it looks like, how colourful it is, how many exotic fish it has, but those words cannot compare to the experience of going underwater and get to see and feel one of the Seven Wonders of the World by ourselves.
Located in the north-east coast of Queensland, the world’s largest coral reef has over 3,000 km long and almost 65 km wide in some parts, and it’s considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO since 1981.
It attracts tourist and divers from all over the world due to its diverse and beautiful ecosystem, with more than 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusc (including giant clams over 120 years old), and around 20 types of reptiles.
Out on the reef:
Getting to know the reef is a full day activity in which you arrive by cruise to a spot on the ocean where you are usually invited to do many activities, such as Snorkeling, Glass-bottom Boat, Semi-Submarine, Helmet Diving, having lunch, and of course: Scuba Diving.
Whether you are a certified diver, or it’s your first time breathing through a regulator, you’ll be marvelled by the view you get underwater.
It’s recommendable before the first diving experience to practice snorkeling to get use to the feeling of breathing through your mouth and getting under water for a long period of time.
And it’s also a good idea to enquiry the tour operator if they offer a platform or stairs to get into the water, so you can do it gradually, instead of jumping from the boat. That will help you getting confident and learning how to breathe when you are still standing on your feet.
hmm… I’m not so sure about this...
If you’re nervous about it (that’s normal, I was too) as a general safe rule the instructor must hold hands with you on the first dive, so you won’t be on your own.
The guides and instructors are trained to help you feel good and comfortable with the diving, and their main objective is to keep you safe.
Most people start to feel confident after swimming a couple of meters and they forget all fears to start enjoying the best reef experience in the world.
Ok, let’s do it!
The diving goes through shallow water (maybe 1.50 metre) to deeper water (up to 10 metres) where the coral and fish are unique and wonderful. Everything in this underwater world is different and new, there’s nothing you’ve seen before: bright blue, yellow, orange fish; colourful coral with different shapes: spaghetti coral, brain coral, plate coral (those are the easy names they have); enormous and perfect clams; great and exotic animals such as sea turtles, sea cows, sharks, stingrays, sea cucumbers, etc.
The quietness and silence the ocean offers is pleasant, and it allows you to focus only on what you see (and, if you are lucky, touch).
Scuba diving is an activity that everyone should try at least once (if there are no health issues), and if you can do it in the Great Barrier Reef, even better.
Although I said no pictures or story can compare to the feeling of living it, I have uploaded a few pictures so you can see what I’m talking about. You can also take a look to our Facebook pictures of the reef by clicking here.
And if you want to get your own pictures, but you think your camera won’t be happy with that wish, you can ask in the tour desk for underwater cameras rentals for around $40 p/day.