Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Scuba Trip Reveals a Wonderland That Is Great Barrier Reef

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Scuba Trip Reveals a Wonderland That Is Great Barrier Reef

Article excerpt

I AM trying to hold back a smile as we glide along the water surface taking in the colossal beauty that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Even the smallest smirk will fill my goggles with seawater as my cheeks push against the plastic seal.

But holding back your emotions as you point and squeal in wonder is a little tricky.

The profusion of fish, the rich coral life and the stamina of this underwater kingdom is almost impossible to describe.

I am speechless by the sheer biodiversity of the great reef. It is like nothing I have ever seen.

New life flourishes in bright spirals among slow-growing coral boulders and swaying marine animals.

A wall of fish swim in unison along the reefs borders, darting in and out of tight spaces and snatching at the life as it passes by.

There are about 40 people on the Port Douglas tour with family owned and operated company Calypso Reef and Charter.

The experienced crew has been taking tourists to the reef for 15 years, and is one of the top-rated charters in the region.

Everything has been provided on the boat, including snorkel mask, flippers and an unlimited supply of knowledge, which the nine crew members are more than happy to share.

Our first taste of the reef is a small northern shelf 50km off Port Douglas called Opal Reef.

The water is a warm 25 degrees, and although a little cool in places, my goose bumps are the least of my concerns.

I jump in and begin to kick toward a dark mass on the ocean floor.

As I draw closer my eyes adjust to the beauty below and I am suddenly stunned.

Where to go? What to look at? There is just so much. My eyes cannot focus on the reef's surface quick enough.

I am mostly shocked at this heritage listed world's ability to regenerate, given a cyclone wiped out this area 15 years ago.

It is simply remarkable how these bright and incandescent coral walls have been built from thousands of coral spores, which found a home to nurture and develop. …

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