4. Reef Sleep: 2-Day Great Barrier Reef Pontoon & Gourmet Meals
Experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef during both day and night and enjoy a 'reef sleepover' out at sea!
Day 1: Travel on a high-speed, comfortable vessel 39 nautical miles from shore to the reef. The approximately 3-hour trip to the destination counts as its own sightseeing adventure. Spot whales at certain times of the year! Arrive at the permanently moored pontoon on Hardy Reef – one of the most spectacular stretches of the Great Barrier Reef. A coral wall, home to an ecosystem of magnificent corals and marine life runs adjacent to the pontoon. Hundreds of fish species at Hardy Reef will surprise and delight you - especially the giant groper.
Explore the reef all day with your choice of swimming, snorkelling and more. Curb your hunger with morning and afternoon tea and a sumptuous buffet lunch. As dusk approaches, watch for turtles who nibble at the seaweed around the pontoon. Watch the sun set while you sip your sundowner...the reef comes to life in the darkness of the night. Enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner and full use of the bar. Gaze at a gazillion starts from your comfy swag set-up on the top deck of the pontoon. A swag is a cozy, low tent with a clear viewing panel above your head, a comfortable mattress and snug bedding. On a clear night you can sleep with the cover open - just you, the sea air and the stars. The tranquility of being in the middle of the ocean lulls you to sleep.
Day 2: Enjoy a breakfast of bacon and eggs, toast and cereal with coffee and tea, followed by more time exploring the reef. Embark on optional guided snorkelling and diving trips and visit very special spots. Giant Maori Wrasse, spectacular coral formations, tropical fish, turtles and reef sharks might make an appearance. Choose to visit the underwater viewing chamber and look at the coral from the comfort of our semi-submersible vessel. You'll head home with plenty of memories and stories to tell. Boat returns to Port of Airlie at 6:10 PM
Sample Menu: please indicate your choice at time of booking.
• Char-grilled 150g eye fillet steak served with 1/2 garlic butter bay bug, cooked to your liking
• Spinach and ricotta ravioli served with tomato sugo, roasted red peppers and Kalamata olives, topped with shaved Parmesan cheese
• Slow braised lamb shank cooked in red wine and thyme and served with root vegetables
• Thai fish curry served with steamed rice