Reef Encounter Overnight

Old Dec 13th, 2005, 08:08 AM
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Reef Encounter Overnight

We are trying to decide between 1) doing a two day trip on the Reef Encounter and then spend two days seeing the Daintree/Cape Tribulation are and maybe Kurunda or 2) spending five nights in Port Douglas and taking two day trips out to the reef (probably with Wavelength since we are snorkelers and like smaller groups) and do the Daintree and Kurunda trips. Any advice? Hsa anyone ever done an overnight on Reef Encounter and, if so, was it worth it? How much time did you actually get for snorkeling? My primary goal for the Great Barrier Reef is to snorkel at as many places as possible over a two day period. But I also don't want to spend my entire vacation budget on those two days. If we stay in Port Douglas we are considering the Archipelago Studios. Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Reef Encounter is out of Cairns, not Port Douglas, they will pick up there by arrangement which of course will cost - Port Douglas is about an hour's drive from Cairns. Reef Encounter is excellent value - one night liveaboard for snorkelling is AU$220 in multi share cabin, AU$260 in stateroom and it does one and two night liveaboards. This includes all meals and introductory scuba diving, if you wish. Wavelength is AU$160 for day trip alone. So for a one nighter with Reef Encounter you'll be out on the reef at 10.30am, leaving next day at 3.30pm, most of those daylight hours could be spent snorkelling. Only snag is the feeder vessel, Compass is rather old and slow, it takes about 2 and a half hours to get out to reef to Reef Encounter, still that's a small price to pay. (Reef Encounter stays out on reef and moves from reef to reef). If you choose to do 2 reef trips out of Port Douglas, I'd make one Wavelength and the other Quicksilver's new Silversonic(snorkelling AU$142pp) - this way you'd have more variety of reef experience.

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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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When I looked back at the price, it does seem that Reef Encounter is a VERY economical way to go since it includes your overnight, snorkeling, and food. When I added up what two days of snorkeling would be (even if we went with the less expensive Qucksilver) and the night's hotel plus dinner and breakfast, it is a lot more to stay on land. How rough would the ater be overnight? Any trouble with seasickness? Not that either of us are terribly prone to that, but I have spent a not so nice night on board a sailboat in Cane Garden Bay in the British Virgin Islands.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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Some people certainly do get seasick - both night and day, depends on weather conditions at the time and how prone you are to seasickness. When were you thinking of coming here?
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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We will be there around the end of June 2006. Seems like it will be a nice time to be there and I'll probably just make sure I bring my seasickness wrist bands (they actually DO work). I'm usually fine during the day with a fair amount of motion - it's just at night trying to sleep that it can get bothersome. Do the seas tend to be a little calmer at that time or does it vary?
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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For late June it would be wise to bring along the seasickness bands, at that time of the SE trade winds prevail and can make reef conditions choppy - July and August are usually the windiest months.

Its unfortunate that international visitors' vacation time often coincides with the worst reef weather. Right now in "off" season reef conditions are perfect.
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Yes, unfortunately woring in a school means that I usually end up traveling when everyone else is. Of course, in other parts of Australia and New Zealand it seems that winter is off season. Once I retire, maybe we can come back at another time of year. Thanks for your advice.
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I looked into Reef Encounter for our trip later this year. How will the water temps.+conditons be around Nov. 16-20? I have contacted the company to get current rates-AUD320pp for snorkeller in a mid deck cabin for the 2 day/1 night. Looks like a great deal for what you get. Giving this some very serious consideration.
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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This really has nothing to do with your question (terribly sorry), but I was desperate to find some way of contacting you. 2 friends and I are trying to plan a 2-month long trip to South America, but don't really know how to go about it. We want to do more backpacking than anything else, and I wanted to know if you have any advice what trails to go on, what sites to see. . . basically any information you found useful in your previous trip. Thank you so much!!!
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