Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Date 3-Apr-2005
   
Well any journey to Queensland wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef so we booked a day trip to Fitzroy Reef, which was some 67km offshore from 1770 where we are staying. We went on a mono hull jet boat operated by the same company that ran the amphibious vehicle a couple of days earlier. There was some doubt if it would run or not as the upper wind limit was 20 knots. Well the wind was 20 knots but easing later so the trip was on. The journey out took 2 hours, which was a bit longer than usual, but the seas were quite rough and a lot of people weren't feeling too good. When we eventually got to the reef there wasn't much to see, no land just water except that the deep blue had turned turquoise and once inside the reef, it was very calm.
Fitzroy Reef
Underwater it was very different however, brilliantly coloured corals and fish everywhere. At great expense, I bought a disposable underwater camera to try and capture the scene for you. Here are some of the better shots.
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
Fitzroy Reef
The top of the reef was about 1 metre under the water where most of the pictures were taken. The camera didn't have a flash (what do you expect for $20?) but some of the reds seemed to have come out well. Ali plucked up the courage to jump off the back of the boat and after a while relaxed and really enjoyed the experience. The southern end of the Great Barrier Reef is supposed to be rich in coloured corals and it certainly was good. The reef at Ningaloo in Western Australia had the edge I think but the water at Fitzroy was much warmer. Perhaps we might see what the Northern end of the reef is like when we get up to Cairns.