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Reef diving tour.
Reef diving tour.
Take a flight over the Great Barrier Reef.
Sail around the Reef.
David hangs out in Cairns.

Cairns

Thursday, October 11, 2001
The minute you arrive in Cairns, the excitement begins, from the tropical sunshine to the turquoise water.

The minute you arrive in Cairns, the excitement begins. The tropical sunshine and turquoise waters lapping in from the Great Barrier Reef are the setting for the holiday of a lifetime. The world's largest marine park covers 350,000 square kilometres, and is on the World Heritage List. It is also one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Cairns has realised its potential, and there are more than 600 tour options available every day.

Sunlover Cruises take luxury day trips each day to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef in modern, fast catamarans. The trips include buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea, snorkelling equipment, glass-bottomed-boat tours, a marine touch-tank, fish feeding show and transfers.

They go to Moore Reef via Fitzroy Island, which has beautiful, sandy beaches and a tropical rainforest. You can spend the day exploring Fitzroy or just relaxing at the resort's pool.

Arlington Reef via Palm Cove takes less travelling time, and once there you can enjoy the coral and fish by snorkelling, scuba diving or observing from a glass-bottomed boat.

Passengers are given information about the reef they are heading for, and novices are given a few pointers on snorkelling. Tandem intro-dives will be given to anyone who may be a little tentative about going alone.

For a bird's eye view of the 1000 islands and 2900 reefs making up the Great Barrier Reef, Reefwatch Air Tours take scenic flights to around 300 destinations. With more than 200,000 hours of coastal surveillance for Australian Government agencies, the experienced pilots fly twin-engine Shrike AC500s. They are of high-wing design with large, bubble windows giving passengers uninterrupted views.

Cruising over the Reef's cays and islands, then over fields of sugarcane to rainforest-covered mountains gives you a chance to see an amazing amount in a short while. You are taken on board as crew members and wear flight suits and caps with radio headsets enabling communication with the pilot during flight.

Another way to see the Reef is on the 20m Falla, a beautiful, full-sailed pearl lugger built in Broome in 1956. It is a replica of an 1835 design. When the introduction of plastic meant pearl shells were no longer needed for items such as buttons, Falla was taken to Geraldton for cray fishing. From there, she went to Fremantle, Sydney, and finally Cairns to become a tourist vessel.

Starting with a tea or coffee, you take a relaxing cruise to a remote, sandy island on the outer reef. You can swim and snorkel through colourful sea gardens teeming with tropical fish. A delicious lunch is served on board before an exhilarating sail home.

Location

The coast of far north Queensland.

Cost

Sunlover Cruises' day trips are $130 per person.
Reefwatch Air Tours' surveillance mission is around $319 per person, for two to four passengers.
Falla day trips, including snorkelling and lunch, cost $60 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Sunlover Cruises
Ph: (07) 4050 1333 1800 810 512
Fax: (07) 4050 1313
Website: www.sunlover.com.au
E-mail: res@sunlover.com.au
Reefwatch Air Tours
Ph: (07) 4035 9808 Fax: (07) 4035 9552
Website: www.reefwatch.com
E-mail: sales@reefwatch.com
Falla
Ph: (07) 4031 3488 Fax: (07) 4041 3000
Website: www.fallacruises.com
E-mail: info@fallacruises.com
Tourism Tropical North Queensland
Website: www.tnq.org.au

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