Reefsleep, GBR from Airlie Beach AUS

Apr 9th, 2005, 06:04 PM
  #1  
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Reefsleep, GBR from Airlie Beach AUS

Has anyone done the Reefsleep from Fantasea out of Airlie Beach? It sounds wonderful for snorkeling and experiencing the remoteness of a GBR island for a lot less than flying in to a real island and then paying for a resort and then paying for a trip to the GBR. But first hand experience or even second hand would be appreciated. We're planning our next trip to Oz for 2006. Which month did you go or would anyone recommend for the area?
Sally in Seattle
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Apr 10th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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I haven't done the Reefsleep, but I've been out to Reefworld, where the accommodations are, and taken a look at the rooms. It was a consideration for us, but our kids were too young (you have to be 12). We took the Fantasea boat out from Daydream Island, one of the Whitsunday Islands, and spent the day at Reefworld. Some of us dived, while others snorkeled. I also took a short helicopter ride over the GBR for some great views. We had the Fantasea buffet lunch, which was a typical higher-end lunch buffet (I think we got our money's worth from my son alone, who might have eaten his weight in shrimp).

My take on this, is it would sort of be like being on a cruise ship. The rooms are smallish, but the upper deck is huge, and the sunset (and sunrise?) from there should be fantastic. If you are a diver, the prospect of a night dive would be very attractive. As it is, this is a good place to get an intro to SCUBA, as there is an underwater platform where you can get used to the gear before heading out. Also, it might be interesting to go the underwater viewing chamber at night. Finally, it should be a more intimate experience than the day trip, which drops over 100 people at Reefworld, who immediately overrun the snorkeling area.

We were in the Whitsundays in April, and it was quite nice, except for a couple of short afternoon torrential downpours. You should avoid January, February, or March, as that is the height of The Wet season. December and April are also somewhat wet, but not nearly as bad as those other months. May through November are far dryer, although there is the danger of tropical storms in August through December. November through April are usualy bad times to try to swim along beaches, due to poisonous box jellyfish infestations (not a problem out on the reefs). Bottom Line: May, June, July are probably best.

ALF (also in Seattle)
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Apr 10th, 2005, 05:22 PM
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Thank you, ALF,for your reply. I was surprised that my search of the archives didn't pull up anything on this. Because it is a touristy thing, I thought there would be a ton. I expected the rooms to be small, so that was no surprise. Thanks for the comparison to a cruise--that is what I thought it would be. We're thinking October or November since we are also wanting to go to Melbourne and Adelaide.
Sally acutally in Bellevue, suburb of Seattle
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Apr 10th, 2005, 11:47 PM
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And, actually Snohomish. October or November should be great, unless you are incredibly unlucky to get a typhoon to come by.
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Apr 11th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Hi Sally,

I'll be checking it out and meeting with the General Manager next month when I travel to the Whitsundays on a familiarization trip. I don't know if I'm going to be able to actually do the overnight, but at least I'll get to do a site inspection. I've heard from 6 other travel consultants who've done it and all have been rave reviews. One woman told me that being out on the Reef at night, when all the other boats were gone, was one of the most amazing things she'd ever experienced. They never even went to bed -- they stayed up all night just looking through the underwater viewing chamber that ALF mentioned!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist

Regarding the room, I understand there is one room with a queen bed, and another room with 2 bunk-type beds; that's it. Needless to say, reservations will be necessary!
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Apr 11th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Sally, We did the Whitsundays differently last April. We sailed on the Solway Lass a 102 year old refurbished tall ship and spent 3 days and nights cruising around some of the different islands. It was a wonderful trip. Cabins are either 2 person or 4 person, rather minimal , but comfortable. We snorkeled, dove hiked and lazed about the beach. The boat probably carried about 30 of us mainly young people in their 20's and 30's ( we are in our 50's, but had a great time meeting the younger generation) However I was at an extreme disadvantage in the popular song section of charades on a rainy afternoon. I recollect it cost about $375 for each of us in a 2 person cabin. The food was wholesome, but we did not get platters of shrimps!

AndrewDavid

PS I've been passing through Seattle monthly as we plan our move from Santa Fe to Victoria. I bed down w/ friends on Mercer Island
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Apr 11th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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Hey, AndrewDavid, if your Mercer Island friend is full we always have a guest room available. Santa Fe to Victoria--quite a difference! We love Victoria and all of Vancouver Island, although it is tough to get there from here in the winter (timewise). The Provincial Museum is very interesting. Where did your ship sail from? And, most importantly, would a person who tends to get seasick have had a problem on your trip? When we went out on the Frankland Island tour I was very glad to get to solid ground after 1 hour of up and down and side to side. Which is why I hesitate to go on a snorkel cruise, especially on a sailing ship. But it sounds so great.

Melody, thank you for your reply. I will look forward to your report when you get back. It sounds so wonderful, although I didn't know it was only 2 rooms in total!

Sally in rainy Seattle
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Apr 12th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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Sally, We sailed from Airlie Beach. No one was seasick on our voyage. Of course the younger generation were up half the night drinking(quietly so as not to disturb us). We even got to haul canvas and swing from ropes into the sea

Thanks for your kind offer of accomodation. Some of our Australian friends can vouch for me as a houseguest!

Yes Santa Fe to Victoria is a change. Mainly we are more in step w/ Canadian politics and values than US. Also like the difference in civility on the sidewalk and roadway.

best wishes,
AndrewDavid
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