Reef World in the Middle of the Great Barrier Reef
No trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. Albeit not for serious divers with better options for seeing the dazzling marine life that earned this area its reputation, a ride out on the FantaSea to Reef World, a permanent floating pontoon and underwater observatory, is perfect for those who want a brief firsthand taste of one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
As enjoyable as this day trip was—it offered a chance to experience the reef through a loop in a semi-sub, snorkeling, and even scuba diving for both certified and first-time divers—it was not the highlight. We opted for the Reef Sleep, which kept us on Reef World for another 24 hours after the FantaSea returned to Hamilton, with just our guide and a few staff members. This allowed us to continue exploring the area without anyone else around, including a private scuba dive for my wife and I and a family snorkel with the boys. After the sunset, we enjoyed a memorable surf and turf dinner under the brilliant night sky and retired to the only two guest quarters available.
The following morning, the boys continued their private immersion into life on a coral reef, including watching the feeding of the local nine-foot Queensland Grouper named George. We returned to the resort with the next group of day-trippers who showed up at 10:30AM. Their arrival didn’t dampen our experience, it accentuated just how special it actually was.