Issue #193, 2019
From awesome reef conditions to witnessing the famed white humpback whale Migaloo, a stylish refurbishment on Green Island and welcoming a brand new Great Adventures’ branded Nautilus helicopter, it certainly has been a whale of a time - quite literally on the Great Barrier Reef lately.
We’ve also celebrated ladies that dive with PADI International Women’s Dive Day, and in this issue we're taking you for a spin on an underwater scooter, and as always, we’re delighted to showcase the health of the Great Barrier Reef with some awesome underwater vision and customer comments. Catch up with what our guests are saying and gain a personal insight into “A Day in the Life of a Master Reef Guide” with one of our talented marine biologists.
We hope you enjoy catching up with the latest news from the Quicksilver Group.
Less than two months after the arrival of our Quicksilver branded Nautilus Aviation Airbus H130 helicopter, we were…
Less than two months after the arrival of our Quicksilver branded Nautilus Aviation Airbus H130 helicopter, we were excited to welcome Great Adventures’ branded luxury aircraft on the 24th July.
Tony Baker, Quicksilver Group Managing Director said, “We are very excited to see the new Great Adventures branded helicopter in Cairns and flying out over Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. Nautilus Aviation is a wonderful partner and their investment in this second new helicopter for our operations reflects the commitment of both our companies to work together to showcase the amazing vistas of the Great Barrier Reef from the air for our customers.”
Aaron Finn, Nautilus Aviation CEO said, “The arrival of this second factory new H130 highlights Nautilus Aviation’s significant investment to the delivery of high-end customer experiences in the region and our unwavering commitment to the region’s tourism industry. The Airbus H130s raise the quality of the visitor experience that international visitors are accustomed to elsewhere in the world and offer one of the safest platforms in the helicopter industry”.
Unique in North Queensland to Nautilus Aviation’s operation the Airbus H130 seats up to 7 passengers and can carry up to 600kg in payload. The additional seat makes it possible for more visitors on board to see the magic of the Great Barrier Reef from above on a scenic flight.
Meet Sam Gray! Samantha is one of our knowledgeable marine biologists working with our Cairns based operations, a…
Meet Sam Gray! Samantha is one of our knowledgeable marine biologists working with our Cairns based operations, a position she has held for over five years. She is also a Master Reef Guide, being an official interpreter, storyteller and ambassador for our World Heritage icon. We followed Sam for a day out on Ocean Spirit at Michaelmas Cay recently.
Check out a day in the life of a Master Reef Guide!
Samantha combines her lifelong passion for the marine environment with her desire to educate people to deliver memorable experiences for thousands of visitors to the Great Barrier Reef each year. She has diverse experience across a range of marine tourism products including a remote tropical island resort, whale watching tours and as a Dive Master. Samantha’s favourite thing about the Great Barrier Reef is that it reveals none of its secrets from the surface but once you get into the water and put your face below the surface, the most beautiful colours, shapes and textures appear.
The Master Reef Guide program is delivered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and covers reef management and protection, responsible practices, citizen science, along with public speaking skills, storytelling and science communication
It was an amazing 4th of July when Migaloo the celebrity white humpback whale stunned passengers and crew…
It was an amazing 4th of July when Migaloo the celebrity white humpback whale stunned passengers and crew aboard Silversonic, our Port Douglas based dive and snorkel vessel, with a once in a lifetime experience.
While Silversonic was travelling to Agincourt Reef, Migaloo was spotted around 35mile Reef where he put on an amazing show, breaching high out of the water in an encounter that lasted around 10 minutes.
His identity was confirmed by the Great Barrier Reef Legacy through analysis of particular markings on parts of his body (right side dorsal, peduncle knobs and the top side fluke). Every humpback has unique grid markings, similar to fingerprints on humans, which enables individuals to be identified.
Migaloo was first sighted in 1991 and scientists believe he would be around 30 years old. Over the years, he has been a frequent visitor to our tropical waters each winter during the humpbacks' annual migration.
Thanks to Indepth Video and Photography for these wonderful photos and to Tami Summers, one of our fabulous dive crew, for capturing this video.
Brilliant, amazing, beautiful, highlight of our trip... That’s what our guests are saying and we think you’ll agree!…
Brilliant, amazing, beautiful, highlight of our trip... That’s what our guests are saying and we think you’ll agree! We’re delighted to share underwater vision and guest experiences showcasing the beauty of Michaelmas Cay.
Filmed on a picturesque August day, check out what some of our guests had to say about their experience and the Great Barrier Reef onboard our Ocean Spirit Michaelmas Cay Cruise.
It was girl power onboard our Cairns based dive and snorkel boat, Silverswift, for PADI International Women’s Dive…
It was girl power onboard our Cairns based dive and snorkel boat, Silverswift, for PADI International Women’s Dive Day on 20 July with a team of fabulous lady divers and crew taking centre stage.
Across the company, we have amazingly talented crew but this day was all about celebrating women’s contributions to what was once a very male dominated industry, and encouraging the next generation of female divers and instructors.
On the day, 70% of the crew were ladies, all who have passion for exploring the ocean and educating visitors from around the world. Between them, they share a love of adventure and the Reef, inspiring guests on a daily basis.
Tony Baker, Quicksilver Group Managing Director said, “With around 650 staff across the company, our female diver instructors are very much a part of ensuring our passengers have sensational days diving the Great Barrier Reef. It was great to see Silverswift join in this day. Pro Dive Cairns also has a growing number of female dive instructors and represents around one third of the team. We congratulate them on this PADI International Women’s Dive Day and the dedication they demonstrate every day.”
Dinner is served! Green Island Resort’s signature restaurant, Emeralds, is looking fabulous after a stylish, architecturally designed refurbishment to the…
Dinner is served! Green Island Resort’s signature restaurant, Emeralds, is looking fabulous after a stylish, architecturally designed refurbishment to the outdoor terrace dining area.
With a fabulous new airy high-top roof and extended undercover area, enclosures featuring a beautiful reef and rainforest theme, redesigned seating area and new furniture, you could say Emeralds is sparkling! Overlooking the main pool, terrace screens to the frontage can be opened and closed to suit the day.
With a la carte dining experiences and exotic local produce always on the menu, Emeralds is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Emeralds refurbishment has been undertaken as part of the State Government’s Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program's matched funding, ensuring our beautiful island destination continues to provide sustainable world class experiences for our visitors.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to ride on a groovy, yellow underwater scooter surrounded by amazing corals…
Have you ever wondered what it's like to ride on a groovy, yellow underwater scooter surrounded by amazing corals and marine life? Well just like James Bond, you can dive the Reef on the unique Scuba Doo!
Scuba Doo operates exclusively at Great Adventures Outer Reef platforms and is ideal for non-swimmers too. You’re accompanied by a professional guide as they take you on a very unique underwater tour. This is the only place in Australia where you can experience this amazing dive option. Just like regular scuba diving, you need to be aged 12 years and older to participate.
Checkout this awesome fun video taken at Great Adventures' Norman Reef platform, thanks to our intrepid adventurers Tobi and Albert.
We would like to advise our Industry partners of an upcoming temporary closure of Green Island Resort’s accommodation…
We would like to advise our Industry partners of an upcoming temporary closure of Green Island Resort’s accommodation while works are completed on Green Island jetty by Ports North on behalf of the Queensland Government who are the owners of the jetty.
To minimise the time to complete works in close proximity to the Resort accommodation, some noise may occur early morning or late afternoons which are some the most memorable times at the Resort. As such, to ensure our guest experience remains optimal, we have decided to suspend accommodation services while this work is being undertaken.
As a result accommodation at Green Island Resort will not be available from the 17 Feb 2020 to 28 June 2020.
Our day visitor operations with Great Adventures will not be affected and will operate as normal with three daily departures from Cairns available to our beautiful island. This includes the normal operation of all restaurant, food outlets and bars, island swimming pool and all day visitor facilities and activities.
The work being carried out by Ports North involves repairs to the underside of the jetty and replacement of a significant number of pylons. These works do not impact the daily access to the jetty and island.
While we are disappointed to temporarily close accommodation availability, we know this will be best outcome during the jetty renovations to ensure the quiet enjoyment of the Resort.
We look forward and welcome your continued support.
If you have any questions please contact Adam Maroske, Director of Sales on [email protected]
It has been a wonderful whale season, with our Cairns and Port Douglas passengers and crew having the…
It has been a wonderful whale season, with our Cairns and Port Douglas passengers and crew having the added bonus of frequent sightings of humpback whales during our daily reef cruises.
From sighting the famed white whale, Migaloo, to seeing mothers with new calves, and amazing acrobatic performances, these gentle giants had us in awe with their carefree shows of freedom.
Humpbacks are generally seen on the Great Barrier Reef between the months of June to September with regular sightings at the Outer Reefs and the whale highway passing Green Island and Michaelmas Cay to the Agincourt reefs.
They migrate from Antarctic waters along the east coast of Australia every winter to the warmer waters of the Great Barrier Reef to breed and calve. Humpbacks are easily identified by having extremely large pectoral fins (their scientific name is Megaptera, which literally means giant wing), and scalloped flukes. They grow up to approximately 16 metres in length, weighing in at 30-50 tonnes. Male humpbacks produce “songs” which are believed to attract females at mating times.
Humpbacks can display a wide range of behaviour, such as:
The photo gallery has a few highlights to enjoy.
The first of a new initiative to assist Chinese non-English speaking visitors gain a deeper understanding of Green…
The first of a new initiative to assist Chinese non-English speaking visitors gain a deeper understanding of Green Island’s history and environment has been launched. A treasure trail, “selfie” opportunities and ranger talks are part of an initiative led by Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and James Cook University.
Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said the trial was a great first initiative enabling visitors to easily access National Parks interpretive information in their own language through a QR code.
“We see it as a very positive step for the Rangers to have an increased involvement in providing interpretation for all visitors to enhance their experience and appreciation of this beautiful island.”
The self-guided Green Island Treasure Trail takes visitors to the best selfie locations and has questions and answers with messaging around safety and the correct behaviour in a marine park to protect the environment. The Green Island information book used by the Rangers was also recorded in Chinese and digitised.
We were delighted to welcome aboard former "Bachelor" and TV personality, Matthew Johnson, better known as Matty J…
We were delighted to welcome aboard former "Bachelor" and TV personality, Matthew Johnson, better known as Matty J for a wonderful day out at Agincourt Reef. Thanks for the photo Matty!
Snorkelling off the beach at Michaelmas Cay beckons an underwater treasure trove. Dive in and check out some…
Snorkelling off the beach at Michaelmas Cay beckons an underwater treasure trove. Dive in and check out some of these amazing 360 degree images captured at Michaelmas Cay.
The Green Island Windsurfing Nationals took place over Sunday 21…
The Green Island Windsurfing Nationals took place over Sunday 21 July to Thursday 25 July, with 5 days of perfect competition conditions. With high speed action and immense fun, everyone came out a winner.
|Winner of Freerace Nationals – Women:
|Winner of Freerace Nationals - Grand Masters:
|Winner of Slalom Nationals:
|Winner of Slalom Nationals – Women:
|Winner of Slalom Nationals - Grand Master:
Photo credits with thanks to Paul McGill.
Now in its 14th year, our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean…
Now in its 14th year, our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim will once again welcome swimmers to compete in 500m, 1.5km and 3km distances in this unique Great Barrier Reef swim. Competitors aged 12 years and over are eligible to enter. For more info or bookings, contact Great Adventures on 4044 9944 or book online at http://www.green-island.com.au/oceanswim
One of nature's phenomenons, coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef, is on…
One of nature's phenomenons, coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef, is on many diver's bucket lists. And for guests travelling with Pro Dive Cairns liveaboard experience, you just might get lucky to witness it in the marine wilderness during a night dive.
Ths year, our marine biologist experts predict it will occur around 17 November or 16 December this year. Predicting the date is not an exact science but we know a few factors come in to play such as the moon cycle and specific water temperatures (greater than 26 degrees Celsius) tides, salinity levels and day length can also affect the timing. Spawning happens 2-3 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!
The Quicksilver Group will soon be launching our annual Christmas Charity Appeal,…
The Quicksilver Group will soon be launching our annual Christmas Charity Appeal, now in its 16th year. Through the support of many wonderful industry colleagues, suppliers, staff and friends we look forward to another successful appeal to assist local charities provide joy to many in our community for the festive season. More information to follow.
One of the wonderful creatures you just might meet while exploring the Great Barrier Reef is the sea turtle. We’re lucky that here on the GBR, it’s home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles!
Turtles are an ancient creature and are air-breathing reptiles that have adapted to live in the ocean. They can live up to 100 years. When feeding, they can hold their breath for about 20 minutes, but if sleeping, can remain underwater for about 1 hour.
Turtles are found throughout the year, but most activity is centered around the warmer months when they get ready to breed. Turtles will nest in areas known as rookeries, major nests are located in the southern and northern sections of the Great Barrier Reef. After mating, the males will return to their feeding grounds, while the female remains to start nesting. Marine turtles will never get lost in the vast oceans however, as they can detect the Earth's magnetic field and use it as a compass.
Some species like the Green Sea Turtle are herbivores feeding on algae and love a good munch on seagrass! Others such as Loggerheads feed on molluscs and crustaceans, while the leatherback turtles feed on jellyfish. One more reason why it’s so important to keep plastics out of our oceans! Turtles are such awesome creatures, are they not?
Eli Chang heads up our Pro Dive Cairns Reservations team; she loves meeting new people every day and sharing her passion for the…
Eli Chang heads up our Pro Dive Cairns Reservations team; she loves meeting new people every day and sharing her passion for the wonderful Great Barrier Reef. Eli has worked with the Quicksilver Group for over a decade, previously with Great Adventures Reservations team.
You can contact Eli and the Pro Dive Cairns Reservations team at [email protected]
I went on your Outer Barrier Reef Cruise and just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the crew. I am a manual wheelchair user, very independent and always looking to push the boundaries of what I can do. I am travelling from the UK by myself for a total of 6 weeks around various countries and regions. Upon arriving at the reef, your staff were super helpful, helping me get into the water with the aid of the chair lift and the lifeguard in the water (Brody I think) helping me put my flippers on and getting me set up. I initially just had a noodle round my chest to help with buoyancy. I am a very competent swimmer back at home, but this was the first time I had ever been snorkelling and was just taking in a lot of water. I have weak core muscles so struggled to stay up to take air in and managed to just lay on my back in the end.
The lifeguards saw I was struggling and helped me back in. At this point I thought maybe I’d reached my limit of what I can do. However, a few minutes later the lifeguard came back and said a crew member would go out with me. With Troy there to help me come up for air occasionally, I was able to swim round the reef. It was an absolutely amazing experience and I can't say thank you enough to him and the other lifeguards for making this happen. It was really a dream come true.
The crew were amazing as well helping me get into the semi-submersed boat, saving me a space and being patient with me while I walked down the stairs. From the crew on the boat to Mick the bus driver, they were all so very kind and helpful. Please can you pass on my thanks to the crew. Thank you again. Kind regards, Ian P, UK.