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Snorkeling Questions

Australia
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Snorkeling Questions

HI

I've asked a few snorkelling questions before but each time I read this forum, a get a bit more confused so i hope someone could help me clarify some of my questions

I'm thinking of going to the GBR and I guess most people on this forum have suggested the Fantasea. I understand they take you out to the ocean and then you can either dive, snorkel or view the fish from the boat view area.

1) I'm thinking of snorkelling but not a very strong swimmer. On the website it mentions a guided snorkelling tour (at additional cost). As I'm not a strong swimmer, I prefer to stay close to the boat.... will there be pretty fish near the boat or do I need to swim out?

2) Is there something to hold on to once you are in the water?

If not, is there at least some float boats on board that we can use?

3) If I go snorkelling without joining the tour, does snorkelling without the guide incur an additional cost?

4) I'm wondering if I do take this guided tour, I'll probably opt of the vest... i heard it does get in the way, does the tour go far?

5) Sea sickness, read from another post that it takes 2 hours out from HI to the reef, how probable is sea sickness?

6) Usually for tourist attractions here in sydney, the airport is flooded with brochures with coupons that offer discounts to the attractions. Are there such a thing or discounts you are aware off for Fantasea in HI?

7) Also considering doing Whitehaven... is this usually combined with the GBR or most probably 2 day thing?

8) Should i prebook or book when i get there. I read in another post that if it is windy, it affects the visibility. I want to see what the weather is like closer to the date to make my decision on which day to go on the day trip.

Sorry for the long list of questions, just want to be prepared.

Thanks all.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Hi giraffez

Sorry that I seem to be answering most of the questions ...

I have been on the Reef Trip 3 times in 10 years .. the most recent being 2 years ago so sometimes things can change but I will answer from my experience

1) We did the guided tour and it was quite interesting... a local expert guides you around various spots and points out marine life on the ocean floor and also brings up things like sea shells and sea life for a closer look ... there are fish close to the boat particularly if you swim around where the underwater viewing platform is as there are heaps of fish in this area

2) the area which you are allowed to snorkel in is all roped off .. last time the water was very choppy so we were able to swim around holding onto the rope which gave you a sense of security ... there are people sitting in boats watching the swimmers and are quick to notice if anyone gets into trouble

3) no there is no cost to snorkel if you dont do the organised tour .. all equipment is included in the cost of the day so you get stinger suits, snorkel, flippers, vests and also they had some noodles which are great if you aren't that comfortable in the water... flippers though are the most important for staying afloat, they are a pain to get on and get in the water although they do have a great platforn for you to sit on and don your flippers

4) I have worn a vest and havent had a problem with them .. the tour depends on the guide for the day but if you are appropriately kitted out, swimming shouldn't be a problem .. the noodles are great to wrap around yourself and float along

5) Unfortuneately the last time we went many were sea sick..the staff were very good and helped out a lot .. you could get some sea sickness tablets or try the acupuncture bands which work well for some but if you are prone to sea sickness, then it can get rough

6) No discounts I am afraid.. the only thing you might do is win at Trivia night where they do give away various day trips as prizes

7) Whitehaven is a separate tour and there are a couple of companies on the island so with this you do have a choice how you visit

8) I'm not sure when you are going but unless it is the height of the summer school holidays, wait until you arrive.. the boat takes lots of people and I have never heard of it being booked out

and yes wait for the weather report for when you get there... the main tour desk has all the water conditions, wind, temperature etc up on a whiteboard for the next 3 days so you get a good idea on which day to book .. they are extremely helpful and wont try to push any particular day just to fill the boat

Abbey

Australia
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2. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Hi Abbey,

Please don't apologise! You have been most helpful. Your wealth of information has helped me enormously. THanks

Moscow, Russia
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3. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Hi.

We are arriving at HI in a week. Could anybody advise if I need to know anything special to get the best out of our 10-days stay?

BR,

Sergo, Moscow, Russia.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Wow sergo, what a contrast particularly at this time of year .. from Moscow to the Whitsundays, I do hope the rain has eased by the time you arrive

Might I suggest you start your own post with the question that you have asked

That way you may get more replies from others who have visited HI for the first time

I will answer more fully but in the meantime it is worth doing a forum search as in the last 6 months or so there have been some excellet trip reviews posted in the HI forum which will give you an idea of what others have done during their stay

Abbey

Australia
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75 reviews
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5. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Abbey

Do you remember whether there were lockers on board. I'm wondering where people put their wallets and cameras if they are going to jump in the water and have nobody to mind the stuff

THanks

Sydney, Australia
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2,668 posts
30 reviews
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6. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Yes from memory they had lockers available so you can change on the floating pontoon and put all your goodies away safely

but double check at the tour counter when you go to book

Moscow, Russia
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6 posts
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7. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Thanks Abbey, I may try to do just that...

Yes, I hope there should be some change from snow and lack of sunshine, when we arrive to HI...

BTW, as we are at it, is it necessary to go to GBR to see any of sea life, or it is just more plentiful there? I mean, for example both on Maldives & Seychelles we usually had enough of sea creatures just knee deep, not more than 50 meters from our bungalow, but on Borneo one could swim for half an hour and never meeting anything save for corals and a dosen or so fishes?

BR,

S.

Sydney, Australia
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2,668 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Hi sergo

HI is very different to the maldives and other places .. catseye beach is more for water activities and boating .. you wont walk out and immediately be surrounded by tropical fish

At low tide you can walk out and see marine life .. sometimes even small reef sharks can be sighted but you can snorkel if you walk out a fair way .. the sandy bottom drops to deep water and you can see the fish

To really see the marine life you would be best to take a snorkelling tour with H20 who run 4 different tours including the Reef and smaller tour groups who can show you some of the best snorkelling spots

As you are staying at Qualia (lucky you) they also should be able to advise .. they have their own beach but I know they were getting a boat for their guests but I am unsure if this has happened yet

I hope your flight goes well and I will look forward to hearing your impressions particularly of Qualia as we dont get many reviews listed here

Abbey

Moscow, Russia
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6 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Snorkeling Questions

Thanks Abbey.

OK, so be it.

We will surely try to explore as much shoreline at HI as possible, so I hope to know everything on the matter soonest.

BR,

S.

10. Re: Snorkeling Questions

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