Issue #184, 2018
And so we come to the end of 2018 and wow what a year it’s been!
We’ve welcomed Seawalker Green Island’s helmet dive operations into the Quicksilver Group family, had the honour of taking the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton underwater on the Reef for the very first time, launched our brand new Quicksilver Dive Centre in Port Douglas and have just witnessed the best mass coral spawning event on the Reef for several years!
During the year we partnered in a long term scientific coral restoration research project, through participation in Oz Harvest food rescue we're continuing to assist many local charities in our community and we've ventured online with the opening of our 18th Cairns and Great Barrier Reef themed experience shop in China. And as always, we're delighted to report our passengers are continuing to see and experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.
In the spirit of the season our staff and local tourism community have once again opened up their hearts for our 15th annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Charity Appeal, assisting local charities to make this a more enjoyable time for those less fortunate in our community.
We'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, safe festive season and a prosperous 2019.
More than two years in the planning, design and construction, Quicksilver Dive is open for business! Our brand…
More than two years in the planning, design and construction, Quicksilver Dive is open for business! Our brand new $3.85 million, state-of-the-art Quicksilver Dive Centre, was officially opened by the Chairman of Quicksilver Shin Watari and the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk Premier of Queensland on 23 October 2018.
The only dedicated 5 Star PADI Training and Instructor Development Centre in Port Douglas, Quicksilver Dive offers a range of PADI accredited courses for beginners to advanced divers looking to further their skills in a professional, safe and fun learning environment.
Commenting on the Dive Centre, Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said, “We are thrilled with our new facility and were pleased to employ local contractors and suppliers who have been involved from design, construction and fit-out. The quality of the build is evident in every aspect.
The facility complements the services Quicksilver currently provides with our Port Douglas based dive vessels Silversonic and Poseidon utilised for open water training and certification dives on the renowned Agincourt ribbon reefs. We know we will attract a new market to Port Douglas who will be spending up to a week in local accommodations and participate in other evening activities.”
The Quicksilver Dive Centre features a four metre deep training pool, classrooms, offices and a specialty dive retail shop. The training pool features a unique above ground design with innovative viewing wall.
Quicksilver Dive Courses include:
The Port Douglas based Quicksilver Dive is also a perfect complement to the Group’s Cairns based dive training facility, Pro Dive Cairns, with learn to dive courses and liveaboard trips catering to the adventure market.
Over the nights of 27 - 28 November this year’s coral spawning event, the simultaneous mass reproduction of corals,…
Over the nights of 27 - 28 November this year’s coral spawning event, the simultaneous mass reproduction of corals, was one of the most significant witnessed on the Great Barrier Reef in many years.
With many media stories about coral bleaching events that impacted some parts of the Great Barrier Reef in the summers of 2016 and 2017 due to prolonged higher than normal water temperatures, we’re delighted to report that our reef sites from the Agincourt ribbon reefs to Moore Reef, an area spanning over 100km, have experienced the best mass spawning in several years.
Corals have two reproductive methods: asexual and sexual. The asexual process occurs continuously throughout the year and is where the individual polyps split and divide to increase the overall size of the colony. The sexual phase is coral spawning. To maintain a consistently robust gene pool, corals need to have a sexual phase to exchange genes. This process was unknown to science until 1981, when several marine biologists working on the Great Barrier Reef observed it in the wild for the first time.
Quicksilver Group’s Environment Compliance Manager, Doug Baird said, “the coral sperm and egg bundles are highly buoyant and float up to the surface, it’s a little like being in a snow globe in reverse and often referred to as an upside down snow storm.”
For the annual spawning or sexual reproduction to occur, a variety of factors come in to play. We know the moon cycle and specific water temperatures (greater than 26 degrees celcius) play a role, but also tides, salinity levels and day length can also affect the timing. Spawning happens two to three hours after sunset, which scientists believe is timed to ensure most of the plankton feeders are asleep, creating a greater chance of pollination for the corals. And it’s romantic too!
"This year's coral spawning is a defining moment in the history of the Great Barrier Reef. The corals out there today have survived two consecutive years of coral bleaching – their genes are a genetic gold mine for the future of the Reef. We are hoping that the next generation spawned from these genes will be more resilient in the face of climate change."
David Wachenfeld, Chief Scientist, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
The first online “Cairns and Great Barrier Reef” themed travel store in co-operation with leading Chinese online travel agent,…
The first online “Cairns and Great Barrier Reef” themed travel store in co-operation with leading Chinese online travel agent, iTrip, has been launched.
While the Quicksilver Group led “China Sales Group” has opened a remarkable 17 Cairns and Great Barrier Reef themed travel shops since 2007 in key mainland China cities, this 18th branded store and latest partnership with iTrip is very significant in bringing the very first themed store online.
Attending the official launch of the new online store in Chengdu, Quicksilver Group Sales Director Adam Maroske said, “The launch of this online themed store adds a new dimension and reach to a huge and technically engaged audience to showcase the world class experiences, from reef to rainforest that our region has to offer.”
By engaging directly with key distribution partners and branding themed stores, we ensure a high level of product knowledge. In addition to the opening of the online themed store with iTrip, sales training activities were conducted across other major cities reaching over 120 sales agent staff.
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 and Accor Hotels.
Complementing the Quicksilver Group’s commitment to environmental sustainability, 2018 has seen the elimination of plastic straws and single-use…
Complementing the Quicksilver Group’s commitment to environmental sustainability, 2018 has seen the elimination of plastic straws and single-use plastic bags across the company's Great Barrier Reef operations.
As a foundation member of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, the Quicksilver Group recognises the fantastic work being done to raise awareness and the need to reduce the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics.
"The Quicksilver Group has a long standing commitment to sustainable practices and through the Citizens Of The Great Barrier Reef’s “Plastic-Free Pledge”, we hope other businesses are encouraged to not only take the pledge, but also investigate and source suitable alternatives for other single-use plastics wherever possible,“ said Tony Baker, Quicksilver Group Managing Director.
“Environmental commitment is much more than buzz words, and in this sense, it’s about the future and preservation of one of the most remarkable natural assets on our planet.“
Quicksilver’s commitment has always been backed up by action, innovation and significant investment; from developing the precurser to GBRMPA's Eye on the Reef program in the late 1980s by the company’s Reef Biosearch team of marine biologists, to ongoing support of reef research and restoration projects, reducing carbon footprint and environmental impacts, through to employing a full time environmental compliance manager. Recognised by GBRMPA as a high standard tourism operator, all products are accredited with Advanced EcoTourism Certification. Quicksilver was also one of the first companies to be certified by Ecotourism Australia’s Climate Action Program, over ten years ago.
As the region’s largest Great Barrier Reef operator, eliminating plastic straws and single use plastic bags has been significant and rewarding. This undertaking encompasses a fleet of 14 touring vessels, four reef platforms and nine major brands of Quicksilver Cruises, Great Adventures Reef and Green Island Cruises, Silversonic, SIlverswift, Poseidon, Ocean Spirit Michaelmas Cay Cruises, Wavedancer Low Isles Cruises, Pro Dive Cairns and Green Island Resort.
The Great Barrier Reef is renowned as an underwater treasure trove of intricate corals and jewel coloured tropical marine life...…
The Great Barrier Reef is renowned as an underwater treasure trove of intricate corals and jewel coloured tropical marine life... and now for a lost gold wedding ring!
Several weeks ago, Scottish honeymooners Stuart and Amie were on the trip of a lifetime, which included spending a day exploring the Great Barrier Reef with Quicksilver. Unfortunately though, only moments after entering the water, Stuart’s brand new wedding band slipped off his finger and floated away, never to be seen again. Or so he thought!
Almost two weeks later, one of our amazing divers managed to locate the ring, sitting like a jewel in the crown atop a coral bommie under the platform. The ring was express posted across the globe and back onto the finger of its rightful owner, who thought he would never see it again. We were so pleased to be able to reunite this band of gold with the happy couple and wish them a long and happy life together.
For over 20 years Quicksilver has provided a complimentary day trip to Low Isles on board our beautiful…
For over 20 years Quicksilver has provided a complimentary day trip to Low Isles on board our beautiful sailing catamaran Wavedancer for all children in their last year of primary school in the Douglas Shire.
“This year over 150 children from nine local schools along with teachers and parents travelled to the idyllic and unspoilt coral cay of Low Isles. It's a chance to gain a better understanding of the place we call home and to learn about the wonderful and unique environment we live in between the of world Heritage Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef,” said Megan Bell, Quicksilver Group Media Manager.
Low Isles was named by Captain Cook in 1770 and the landmark lighthouse has been shining over the seas of the Douglas Shire since 1878. Our marine biologists shared stories with the children about the wonders of the island and why the coral reefs surrounding the island are home to amazing coral, fish and the ever present turtle population.
To cater for all the children, Quicksilver sets aside two days to allow for all the children to travel and experience the reef at an investment of $20,000. 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.
Schools participating this year were Miallo State School, Alexandra Bay State School, Mt Molloy State School, Mossman State School, Port Douglas State School, St Augustines, Wonga State School, Daintree State School, Alexandra Bay State School and Julatten State School.
The spotlight was on Port Douglas and the Daintree when around 70 business event planners from Australia and…
The spotlight was on Port Douglas and the Daintree when around 70 business event planners from Australia and New Zealand attended this year’s annual Sell TNQ event hosted by TTNQ’s BEC – Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef. We were delighted to provide the unique venue for the full day tradeshow onboard our flagship wavepiercer Quicksilver VIII with the marina and stunning Daintree backdrop.
Following the tradeshow we were also pleased to host several of the guests aboard our beautiful sailing catamaran Wavedancer to experience a day on the idyllic Low Isles.
This year’s annual Inbound Up North was turtely terrific! The annual event in October saw around 50 Australian…
This year’s annual Inbound Up North was turtely terrific! The annual event in October saw around 50 Australian based international buyers come to experience the Reef and Rainforests of Tropical North Queensland.
As a part of the famil fun covering a range of wonderful experiences, six teams got very creative with Instagram posts of their day. We were delighted to host “Team Turtle” to experience Quicksilver’s Outer Reef cruise to Agincourt Reef and It goes without saying #teamturtle with our fun mascot won the day! Check out some of the fun photos in the gallery.
In a new eco initiative, Green Island Resort is pleased to support Soap Aid, an Australian not-for-profit organisation committed to…
In a new eco initiative, Green Island Resort is pleased to support Soap Aid, an Australian not-for-profit organisation committed to saving lives and empowering disadvantaged communities through improved hygiene.
Instead of partially used guest soap bars ending up in landfill, we collect the soaps for treatment and reprocessing into fresh, hygienic soap bars for distribution to targeted communities around the world.
In addition to achieving lifesaving improvements through improved hygiene practices, Soap Aid is redirecting millions of bars of discarded soap from landfills and reducing carbon emissions by 59% when compared to using virgin soaps.
Their humanitarian and environmental mission is made possible through partnership with the hotel industry, of which Green Island Resort is proud to contribute. The expansion of Soap Aid into the US hotel market provides even greater opportunity to make significant environmental impacts as well as their core commitment to save lives.
How's this for a very patriotic plate coral?! Pictured with Poseidon at the Agincourt reefs with thanks to the…
How's this for a very patriotic plate coral?! Pictured with Poseidon at the Agincourt reefs with thanks to the wonderful Indepth Photography team.
I come from a Land Down Under,
Where the corals grow and the fish outnumber,
Can't you feel, can't you feel the wonder?
You better come, you better dive under!
It was a pleasure to have Star 102.7FM radio hosts Dave and Inkie broadcast their breakfast morning show live from…
It was a pleasure to have Star 102.7FM radio hosts Dave and Inkie broadcast their breakfast morning show live from our brand new Quicksilver Dive Training Centre in Port Douglas. While not exactly on the Reef, they took the plunge in the 4 mere deep training pool with a Discover Scuba Dive!
I’m dreaming of a Green Christmas… A Green Island Christmas of course! A…
I’m dreaming of a Green Christmas… A Green Island Christmas of course! A sumptuous Christmas Day lunch on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef (and no dishes to wash!) is certainly a special way to celebrate Christmas. Green Island Resort’s Executive Chef Shuki Salem has created a wonderful menu full of fresh seasonal produce and traditional delights for a special Christmas Day buffet lunch at Emeralds Restaurant. A two hour beverage package with an assortment of wines, beers, juices and soft drinks is also included.
As well as a treat for house guests, there are limited seats available for day visitors to join in the celebrations at Green Island. After feasting to your content, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the lush rainforest or laze on the beach. Prices are $202 per adult and $94 per child. In addition to the buffet lunch, your day also includes return fast catamaran transfers from Cairns with Great Adventures. Bookings are essential as places are limited, book directly with Great Adventures on 4044 9944 or email [email protected]
Thanks to the support of our wonderful industry colleagues, suppliers, staff and…
Thanks to the support of our wonderful industry colleagues, suppliers, staff and friends, our annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Charity Appeal will once again help to make Christmas a whole lot brighter for many in our community needing a helping hand. In the spirit of giving, around $10,000 of food and gifts will be a significant help to local charities St Vincent's de Paul, the Salvation Army and the Douglas Shire Community as they collectively prepare over 700 hampers to assist local families and individuals in need.
Now in its 15th year, our annual appeal brings out a wonderful sense of community spirit for all involved. In addition to donations received, our Sales and Marketing team shopped up a storm for food and gifts with special thanks to the staff and check-out operators at IGA Piccones Pease St and KMart Cairns who were kept very busy!
We couldn't help but notice this Lionfish getting into the spirit of the silly season!
Native to the South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Red Sea, the Lionfish is at home in the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. In some areas however, they are not quite as popular to see! They are now established along the southeast coast of the US and the Caribbean and as they are not native to the Atlantic waters, they have very few predators and are considered an invasive species. While the exact reason they now populate these waters is unknown, there was speculation that aquarium owners had begun releasing them once they had grown too big for their tanks. What is known is that they have a highly successful breeding rate, with females regularly releasing egg sacs containing in excess of 15,000 eggs.
The Lionfish found on the Great Barrier Reef however have immense importance to the ecosystem. They are the ultimate predator; efficient hunters, well protected by their poisonous barbs and can tolerate a diverse range of water conditions and habitats (but especially like environments such as ship wrecks and our outer reef platforms!). Regardless, these beautiful fish make up just one of over 1500 different species of tropical fish to be discovered, and respected, in the Great Barrier Reef.
Welcome aboard to Rachel Adlard, our new Great Adventures Sale Executive in the local Cairns and Northern Beaches…
Welcome aboard to Rachel Adlard, our new Great Adventures Sale Executive in the local Cairns and Northern Beaches market. Rachel joins us from the recruitment industry with a multi-talented background as Dive Instructor and Trip Director, with a background in tour reservations where she became very familiar with the Quicksilver Group's wonderful range of reef experiences.
Rachel can be contacted at [email protected]
We’d like to introduce and welcome aboard Rebecca Kenny who is our new Pro Dive Cairns and Quicksilver Dive…
We’d like to introduce and welcome aboard Rebecca Kenny who is our new Pro Dive Cairns and Quicksilver Dive Sales Manager. As a keen diver, she brings her depth of experience to her new role. Rebecca joins us from a tourism sales background and dive industry experience.
Rebecca can be contacted at [email protected]
This was one of our favorite excursions while in Australia. Got to visit 3 sites, the crew was so much fun and friendly. Lunch was delicious. We were able to see sharks, stingrays, barracudas and tons of beautiful fish. The reef is indescribable. Thanks for a wonderful day!
M, Charlotte, North Carolina