Issue# 144, 2014

Welcome to our Summer issue of Quickies,

keeping you posted with some of our latest news and happenings.

It has certainly been an exciting year full of wonderful developments for the Quicksilver Group. As we celebrated our 35th year, we welcomed Poseidon into the Quicksilver Group family to expand our dive and snorkel operations, conducted multi-million dollar refits to wavepiecer Quicksilver V and sailing catamaran Ocean Spirit, and both Quicksilver's and Great Adventures' reef platforms, all ensuring we continue to provide the best products and Great Barrier Reef experiences for our customers.

Along the way we've swum with whale sharks and minke whales, hosted beauty queens on the reef and continued to lead the protection of our magnificent Great Barrier Reef assets with sustainable practices.

As the year draws to a close, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe festive season and a prosperous 2015.

In the meantime, enjoy a break with our latest Quickies!

With warm tropical wishes from the Quicksilver Group Crew.


14th Cairns & Great Barrier Reef branded shop opens in Guangzhou

With the Chinese New Year of the Sheep on the horizon, it was a fitting time to celebrate the opening of the newest Cairns and Great Barrier Reef branded specialist retail travel shop in the affluent Southern China city of Guangzhou recently.

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Quicksilver Group Managing Director, Tony Baker, attending the opening said the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef branded shop is the 14th such shop to be opened in a period spanning nine years, with this venture being a partnership between Tourism Australia, leading Chinese travel agent GZL International Travel Services and the China Sales Group led by the Quicksilver Group.

In addition to the scheduled airline arrivals into Cairns during the Chinese New Year, there will be an additional 5 charter flights during this period.

The China Sales Group brings together a range of quality Great Barrier Reef and Cairns land based touring products and accommodation including Quicksilver, Great Adventures, CAPTA, Hot Air, Seawalker Green Island, GBR Helicopters and Accor Hotels amongst others. While the key focus remains on Cairns, it is now expanding to include other iconic Australian experiences including Captain Cook Cruises and Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Quicksilver V a Perfect 10!

Following her major refurbishment earlier this year, our 39 m wavepiercing catamaran Quicksilver V is striking quite the supermodel pose as she sashays to showcase the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

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The impressive internal refit can be seen in the photo gallery below. Sporting a beautiful and stylish contemporary interior design, Quicksilver V's multi-million dollar refit included a total new servery and bar area, internal stairway, new seat coverings and new toilets with the addition of a disabled access bathroom. On the upper deck, there's even windows for passengers to see into the wheelhouse as the skipper plies the Coral Sea.

World Instameet Record set in Queensland @ReefCruises

What's an 'Instameet'? When a group of people post photos on Instagram at the same time with the same tags! We were delighted to be a part of Tourism Events Queensland's world record Instameet with a group of high profile Instagrammers on Green Island and all of our reef cruises participating in this fun and unique event.

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1,085 people registered at over 90 Instameet locations across Queensland, with more than 6,000 images shared on the day with the official hashtag #thisisQueensland.

You can follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/reefcruises>

Quicksilver a Community Champion

Quicksilver is proud to be have been awarded the "Best Business" in the Cairns Inclusive Community Champions Awards. Presented by Spinal Injuries Australia in a ceremony held at the Cairns Regional Council, Quicksilver was recognised for services and amenities provided to assist people with mobility issues.

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For an Outer Reef experience, we recommend our Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise. The snorkel platform features a unique water powered lift (the only one of its kind on the Great Barrier Reef) enabling access for wheelchair patrons into the weightless environment of the water where they can snorkel and explore the Reef. The activity platform has ramps between levels, removable seats and an extension table for lunch.

For an Island experience, we recommend Green Island with its extensive boardwalks allowing access to the resort facilities, rainforest and beach. Information sheets are also available for wheelchair passengers on our website.

Spinal Injuries Australia Chief Executive Officer Bruce Milligan said nominations were received from people across the community, as well as from members of Spinal Injuries Australia.

"These awards honour the fantastic organisations, services, venues and individuals who are hard at work to improve the social and economic performance of their region. Accessibility isn't just about people who have a disability - people who are affected can also include parents with prams and older people."

Rare and awesome Whale Shark encounter

Wow, imagine swimming with a 5 metre whale shark! That's just the awesome and rare experience some lucky divers aboard our Cairns-based dive and snorkel vessel, Silverswift encountered recently.

At the first reef site of the day, Coral Gardens at Flynn Reef, the whale shark swam close for around 6 minutes swimming around divers at depths of 2 to 12 metres in a very special and awesome experience.

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More often associated with the northern waters of Western Australia, whale shark encounters on the Great Barrier Reef have been more frequent in recent years with several reported sightings. A whale shark, believed to be the same animal, was also sighted from Pro Dive Cairns' liveaboard vessel Scuba Pro just 3 days earlier at nearby Milln Reef.

As the largest fish in the sea reaching lengths of over 12 metres, whale sharks are docile fish feeding mostly on plankton, crab larvae and jellyfish, which they scoop up with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface. They are currently listed as a vulnerable species and prior to the mid 1980s there were less than 350 confirmed reports of whale sharks world wide.

Researchers are able to identify individuals from photographs by analysing the patterns of markings on their bodies. The whale shark's back and sides are gray to brown with white spots among pale vertical and horizontal stripes, and its belly is white. The flattened head sports a blunt snout above its mouth with short barbels protruding from its nostrils. Its two dorsal fins are set rearward on its body, which ends in a large dual-lobbed caudal fin (or tail).

Photo credit: Serina Yamamoto.

Wavedancer a School Adventure!

Quicksilver for many years has provided a complimentary day trip to Low Isles on board Wavedancer for all Grade 7 children in the Douglas Shire. This year was extra special, as our free trip extended to Grade 6 as they will also be moving into high school next year.

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This year over 217 children from 9 local schools along with teachers travelled to gain a better understanding of the place they call home and to learn about the wonderful and unique environment they live in between the World Heritage Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, commented Michael Healy, Quicksilver Group Director Sales and Marketing.

To cater for all the children, Quicksilver sets aside 2 days to allow for all the children to travel and experience the reef. We have long believed as a company we need to engage with the local children and this is one area we can create a message about the environment and complement their school studies. We have had very positive feedback from the teachers as the children get to engage with students from other schools which is critical as they move to high school and larger schools.

Photo: Shane Nichols Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette

Low Isles through the eyes of Year 6 student, Jack Norwood..

"When we got there, we were bouncing out of our skins about snorkelling in the crystal clear water. "All suited up in the stinger suits we could then go into the water, gazing at colourful coral and thousands of amazing fish, big and small, darting between the coral. After an hour of discovering, we went back to the Wavedancer for a well-earned lunch. After that, a glass bottom boat awaited us. It was awesome (just like everything else on the trip); we got to see more bright fish and big colourful corals. We even saw a turtle surfacing less than 10 metres away. "When we got on shore again, we went in the water in search of the huge Green Turtle. Ten metres offshore, Laine, with his eagle eyes, found a sleepy turtle hiding in the coral. Soon, we were surrounded by other students from different schools, trying to get a better view of the big turtle. "It then got better! Another two turtles were swimming past the group! "Amazing! We then had to return to Wavedancer and return to Port Douglas. Our adventure was over. "Thank you very much Quicksilver for a great day!"
Jack Morwood of Daintree State School Year 6.

Green Island Day Visitor Amenities Refurbishment

To ensure the best facilities are maintained and available to our island guests, refurbishment to amenity and shower facilities nearby the Reflections Pool Bar in the day visitor area have commenced and will reopen on 25 December. The refurbishment also includes two new outdoor showers. In the meantime, facilities are available near the Emeralds Restaurant terrace and Lite Bites shop. We do apologise for any inconvenience during this period, however we look forward to providing new and improved facilities to our Green Island visitors.

Beauty Queens and the Great Barrier Reef

The beauty of Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef was a perfect backdrop for filming segments of the 2014 Hainan Beauty Contest with ten lovely contestants. This premier beauty contest program was produced by China's Hainan Communication and Travel TV Channel. During their visit to Green Island, contestants experienced the island's inviting waters and also donned Seawalker helmets to experience the underworld beauty of Green Island. The Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region was the only overseas destination for episode shooting in 2014.

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The 20 year Club - celebrating 467 years of service!

With many long term and dedicated staff across our company, we're celebrating the achievements of another four staff entering our "20 Year Club", each receiving special recognition. Across the Quicksilver Group, 19 staff have over 20 years of continuous service, and a phenomenal combined wealth of 467 years of experience! Wow!

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Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said the essence of Quicksilver is in its crew and we congratulate the ongoing dedication and continual commitment to provide our premier reef experiences. Joining the 20 Year Club this year are: Heinz Hoegger, Quicksilver Dive Services Manager; Cliff Stanaway, Quicksilver Cruises Skipper; Gerry Webb, Great Adventures Customer Service and Paul Lim, Pro Dive Cairns General Manager.

Spanning our company of 550 local staff, we're very proud to have so many long term employees in our Quicksilver Group family. In addition to our 20 year club, 92 staff have over 10 years continuous service and 195 with 5 years or more!

Sell TNQ gets into the Spirit - Ocean Spirit!

Showcasing the business events and tourism in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region, Sell TNQ delegates recently experienced a picture perfect day on Michaelmas Cay aboard Ocean Spirit. Snorkelling, scuba diving and relaxing were the order of the day!

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  • Andrew Powell, Minister for the Environment Protection and Heritage visited Norman Reef with Great Adventures.

  • Jessica Allen from the Canadian TV program The Social enjoyed a day at Agincourt Reef including a scenic helicopter flight over the reef.

  • Ms Rodeo Canada 2014 Nicole Briggs had an unforgettable day snorkelling and scuba diving at the Great barrier Reef with Quicksilver.

  • Channel 7's Queensland Weekender program had a wonderful visit to experience the Great Barrier Reef with Great Adventures including experiencing the very unique Scuba-Doo underwater scooter and a scenic helicopter flight.

  • Check out host Chris Parson's day at Norman Reef activity platform with Great Adventures! - Click here to see the video!


11th Annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Appeal

In the spirit of giving, our Quicksilver Group Annual Christmas Charity Appeal is once again supporting local charities to help make this time of year a little brighter for those less fortunate in our community. All donations, big and small, provide some much needed food items and gifts and have been gratefully received. Sincere thanks to all of our staff, industry colleagues, suppliers and friends who have contributed to assist our local charities of St Vincent's de Paul, The Salvation Army and the Douglas Community. Thankyou to all of our contributors!

Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim

With entrants from Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Victoria and the UK, 72 ocean swimmers took to the waters off Green Island to compete in Great Adventures' annual Green Island Ocean Swim on Sunday 14th September. Now in its ninth year, swimmers faced challenging 20 knot winds in the 1.5km and 3km distances in this unique Great Barrier Reef event.

Michael Healy, Quicksilver Group Director of Sales and Marketing said, "The event is a wonderful community event and has become a regular fixture on the Ocean Swim calendar." Green Island's Ocean Swim attracted competitors aged from 13-70 years and also included a fun swim for enthusiastic junior swimmers under the age of 12.

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BIO BITS - The Christmas Tree Worm!

At this time of year, it's only right that we feature the Christmas Tree Worm! The classic Christmas Tree or fanworm (polychaetes), create a tube made of limestone or grainy particles that increase in length as the worm grow. The two fans they extend into the water column are mucus lined and multi-purposed in that they collect fine particles to feed on, and also extract oxygen from the water. The colours of these fans range from orange and yellow through to blue and white. When danger approaches, the fans are quickly pulled into the chamber, and a hard cover (called the operculum) is pulled over the top like a trap door.
Merry Christmas!


It's ladies day! We'd like to introduce you to some of our sales team in the local Cairns and Port Douglas area, pictured left to right..

Monika Baum, our new Pro Dive Cairns Sales Executive
[email protected]

Jennifer Cope, Quicksilver Sales Executive, Port Douglas
[email protected]

Kate Day, Great Adventures Sales Executive, Cairns and Beaches
[email protected]

Nathalie Bauermann, Ocean Spirit and Quicksilver Sales Executive Cairns and Beaches
[email protected]

Emma Wolstencroft, Silver Series Sales Executive
[email protected]

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Postcard.... to Poseidon

This was one of the greatest tours I have ever participated in!

The day with Poseidon started fantastically, free transfers from accommodation to the marina. Straight on board, greeted warmly and enthusiastically by the entire crew and a photographer. Getting past the jitters, thanks to the amazingly supportive dive instructor, we became confident and zoomed around the reef for 45 minutes. After only booking one scuba dive, and receiving the confidence from the first dive, we couldn't resist the thought of going out again. Twice! The day wrapped up with the dive instructors taking the time to chat, reflect and laugh with you. Can't be raved about enough. Every single staff member, from the booking clerk, to the captain, and every one in between, has the same friendly, welcoming and smiling attitude. Thank you!
Emma, Adelaide Aus.


  • Christmas Day Operations: The following cruises will be operating on Christmas Day: - Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise. - Great Adventures: Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Green Island Eco Adventure and Green Island Discovery.
  • Wavedancer, our 30 m (98ft) sailing cat will be back in service on 16 December after her annual refit and once again setting sail for a wonderful day at the idyllic Low Isles. Annual refits are part of our Quicksilver Group's ongoing rigorous maintenance program to ensure we're 'ship shape' in every way!
  • Quicksilver's Agincourt 2D Reef Platform is now back at home on the Great Barrier Reef after a complete refurbishment. While annual refits and maintenance are conducted, this is the first time she had been towed back to the mainland in 18 years for a complete refurbishment.
  • FREE Wi-Fi: Our dive and snorkel adventure vessels Silversonic and Silverswift, and Pro Dive Cairns' liveaboard fleet all provide free unlimited Wi-Fi - even when 50 km offshore! Green Island Resort guests are also able to access free Wi-Fi from the Coral Cay guest lounge.
  • Please note that the 2 Course lunch menu and a la carte options are not available at Green Island's Emeralds Restaurant on 25 December due to the special Christmas Day Buffet Lunch.
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