Why travel so far out to see the Great Barrier Reef?
Hastings Reef 30 nautical miles out from Cairns, during the last ice age some 15,000 years ago is where the Australian coast line resided and it was here the reef began to grow.
This is the preferred location for corals, well away from the coast and the effect of the rivers and streams; out here on the very edge of the Pacific Ocean is where the corals thrive. Of course with the healthy corals there are many dynamic and colourful fish.
For divers and snorkellers you are swimming in the clear ocean water which provides the utmost visibility.
Hasting is a typical outer reef, on most days a line of breakers marks where the deep ocean swells break onto the reef wall. The reef itself is shallow on top, with steep sides reminiscent of cliffs falling away into the surrounding water.
Seastar moors on the calm side at one of the most interesting locations and although the back of the boat may be hanging over the shallow coral the bow of the boat is in 20 metres of water.
It is here you can experience the true wonders of this Outer Edge Reef, there are the coral caves, coral overhangs, deep water drop offs, coral canyons, swim throughs and shallow coral bays that are only metres from the side of the Seastar. Along the steep edges there are swirling schools of small fish, colourful parrot fish, turtles, giant clams, “friendly" little reef sharks, bright yellow butterfly fish, pairs of rabbit fish, countless varieties of brightly coloured damsel fish and of course, Nemo.
GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
Even so with all this to experience some may wish to take life even easier and to cater for the lazy snorkeller, here at Hastings Reef Seastar has the comfortable, safe and dry Glass Bottom Boat.
A somewhat light hearted, relaxed and stress free tour of this reef, you float over the coral, sometimes only 30cm or 1 foot from the top of the reef.
As you cruise by, your skipper will be able to explain more about what is below and how the reef works. Often perceived as the less serious way to view the reef, for the reason that in the Glass Bottom Boat you’re sitting nice and dry with your friends, chatting and just having a lot of fun, you may have even brought a drink with you. However, when the boat begins to glide over the reef the very practical nature of this vessel becomes apparent, you’re still having fun but now there are many intriguing and fascinating corals and creatures to be seen, to all of which you have an excellent view!
Take your camera!