The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system on earth, extending for over 2,500 km along Australia’s East Coast. In fact, it is so big that it is said to be visible from space!
But if the Great Barrier Reef is impressive by its size, it is also a site of remarkable beauty. One of the Seven Wonders of the World (and there’s no surprise as to why), the Great Barrier Reef is an extensive collection of picturesque islets and islands, rainbow-coloured corals and countless exotic sea creatures.
Should we say more?
It was a must do and we did it : diving in the majestic site of the world famous Great Barrier Reef!
The tropical city of Cairns offered an ideal hub for a day trip to the reef. After a very very short brief on board of our boat, we were all set to dive. It was Simon’s second dive and my very first time. I was quite anxious. Did I mention that we did not test our skills in a training pool as usually done before an introductory dive?
The instructor just said something I could barely understand. My brain was in the middle of a monologue. How me (who can swim as good as stone) would take pleasure in the unpredictable underwater world?
The instructor came closer, blew my life jacket and repeated his instructions. I had no choice but to obey. In the water, another instructor was checking our equipment and testing our ability to breathe with the regulator. Once again I felt nervous. I just couldn’t seem to be able to breathe artificially.
I tried again. Still sceptical. The instructor was doing his best to calm me down. And after a few minutes, I finally managed to breathe properly.
We were now descending in the clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef, under the watchful eye of our instructors. We were already 14 metres down the sea enjoying an escorted scuba dive in only a few seconds.
We were soon surrounded by an amazing diversity of brightly coloured corals, marine life and fish from all sizes…all colours…and even a shark!
A shark? A shaaaaaaaaaaaaaark! But apparently he was still young and not dangerous. Well, that’s what we kind of understood as our instructors were looking at us doing some weird signals with their hands!
We even found Nemo (also known as Clown Fish or Anemone Fish). The silence (other than our own breathing) was surreal. The visibility was excellent. It was just like floating peacefully into a giant glass of sparkling water.
Soft plants were waving gently in the currents as we were zigzagging through the beautiful corals.
We looked above us. It seemed like we were separated from the other world by a huge glass window. We were slowly going back up. It was so great that we actually went back for a second dive. But this time, without an instructor holding our hands. Pure magic!
Since then, Simon got his PADI open-water dive certification in Koh Tao, Thailand, one of the world’s cheapest and most popular places to learn to dive.
We went back to Australia a few years later to another world’s premier dive destinations along the Great Barrier Reef: Heron Island.
The undersea wonders of the Great Barrier Reef are far too beautiful for words to describe so if you have the opportunity to do it, go for it.
Bu if you can swim, snorkel, and dive in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, you can also sail through the tropical islands as we will tell you all about in the near future on Ozawapi.