Issue #194, 2019
What a year it has been at the Quicksilver Group, full of exciting achievements and the never-ending surprises the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef delivers for our guests.
Quicksilver celebrated 40 years of cruising to the Great Barrier Reef, we’ve welcomed our new partnership with Nautilus Aviation flying high with two new Quicksilver and Great Adventures branded H130 Airbus helicopters, hosted scUber the world’s first ride share submarine at Agincourt Reef, our Wavedancer sailing cat had a million dollar refurb and we continue to innovate with leading edge sustainability practices which we share with you in this Quickies issue.
Once again, our staff, suppliers, local tourism and business community have opened up their hearts for our most successful ever annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Charity Appeal, assisting charities in our community.
On the cusp of the New Year and a new decade, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, safe festive season and a prosperous 2020.
Shoes are optional but G'days are compulsory on the Great Barrier Reef… Meet Sam (Samantha) Gray!
Sam, one of…
Shoes are optional but G'days are compulsory on the Great Barrier Reef… Meet Sam (Samantha) Gray!
Sam, one of our wonderful marine biologists and Master Reef Guides, is the Queensland face of Tourism Australia's new “Philausophy” campaign. Philausophy continues the “There’s nothing like Australia” global platform to showcase the Aussie personality.
Filmed during a day at Michaelmas Cay with Ocean Spirit Sam is excited to share her lifestyle and love of the GBR which has been a passion since childhood. Sam’s Philausophy is to educate, inform and for everyone to explore her “happy place” and take away life long memories as ambassadors for reef protection and preservation. Sam said, “The best thing about my job is sharing what I am passionate about and for our guests to open their minds and be inspired by the natural underwater world. It’s a whole other planet.”
Quicksilver Group Managing Director, Tony Baker said “We are absolutely delighted that Sam is the Queensland Philausopher and her passion for the Great Barrier Reef is infectious. Sam is one of our 600 plus Quicksilver crew along with thousands of other Queenslanders who welcome International guests to experience the Queensland spirit”.
Come Live our Philausophy invites the world Down Under to experience first-hand our uniquely Australian way of life. So come and say G'day!
We’re very pleased to congratulate our Managing Director, Tony Baker, on being honoured for his contribution to tourism…
We’re very pleased to congratulate our Managing Director, Tony Baker, on being honoured for his contribution to tourism at the 2019 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Industry Excellence Awards.
Tony was awarded Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.
Speaking at the awards presentation, Tony said, “I feel very humbled to be recognised and I’ve always been very proud to be a part of this industry. I’ve been very lucky to work with some amazing people in our industry and have always tried to make a positive difference. I’ve been involved in tourism for a long time, over 30 years. It is such a great, resilient industry with fantastic people and products and we are blessed with the Reef and Rainforest, two of nature's icons.”
Tony has been at the helm of the Quicksilver Group for 12 years, as the company has grown to become Australia’s largest and most awarded reef tourism operator. He has been a board member of Tourism and Events Queensland and Chair of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree. He helped drive environmental stewardship as a member of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Tourism Recreation Advisory Committee and is the Chairman of the Australian Marine Park Tourism Operators.
Breathtaking, surreal, awesome, incredible, the best experience I ever had! Filmed at our stunning selection of dive sites…
Breathtaking, surreal, awesome, incredible, the best experience I ever had! Filmed at our stunning selection of dive sites at Flynn Reef during Pro Dive Cairns 3 Day/2 Night liveaboard trip, check out what guests are saying about their experience, the awesome conditions and spectacular underwater vision.
The annual mass coral spawning on the Reef has been one of the most significant in recent years.…
The annual mass coral spawning on the Reef has been one of the most significant in recent years. And according to our resident marine biologist guru who has successfully predicted coral spawning dates for over 20 years, we’re likely to see a second spawning at the Outer Reefs in December. Just in time for Christmas!
Russell Hore, Quicksilver’s Reef Biosearch Manager said the conditions in the lead up to this year’s spawning were ideal, even allowing for day time spawning which is very unusual as it generally occurs at night. “It is a very significant event and vitally important for genetic diversity across the corals. It also allows for species distribution around the reef.”
Getting in on the day time act…
Thanks to Silversonic skipper and engineer, Shane ‘Sharky’ Down, for capturing this most unique and rarely seen vision of a Christmas Tree Worm spawning. Quite apt for this time of year we think!
At the height of the coral spawning event, this little Christmas Tree worm featured in the video, decided it wanted in on the festivities. As the waters of “Barracuda Bommie”, one of our dive sites on the Agincourt reefs, filled with the eggs and sperm of hopeful coral polyps, it too released its reproductive materials in the hopes of finding the spirobranchus giganteus of its dreams!
The conditons just right for love on the reef...
For the annual spawning or coral’s sexual reproduction phase 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 usually 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.
We’re privileged to live and work in one of the most remarkable environments on this planet, the World…
We’re privileged to live and work in one of the most remarkable environments on this planet, the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. Here at the Quicksilver Group we are committed to sustainable environmental practices across the breadth of our operations, at sea and on land. This is supported by proactive action and leading edge science.
We're pleased to share this link Environmental Stewardship to an overview of some of our current and ongoing initiatives achieving real, tangible results for climate action and our environment.
Filmed on location in Port Douglas and the spectacular Agincourt ribbon reefs, a truly amazing place to learn to…
Filmed on location in Port Douglas and the spectacular Agincourt ribbon reefs, a truly amazing place to learn to scuba dive!
Learning to scuba dive with Quicksilver Dive is a first class experience. And matching the quality of training,…
Learning to scuba dive with Quicksilver Dive is a first class experience. And matching the quality of training, Quicksilver Dive’s state-of-the-art dive centre has been recognised for innovation and quality craftsmanship, winning two Master Builders Awards.
Built by Field Construct, the Quicksilver Dive Centre was officially opened in October 2018. It’s construction was recently awarded Regional and State Queensland Master Builders Awards for Retail Facilities up to $5million.
Featuring the unique four metre deep training pool with viewing window, poolside classrooms, offices and a specialty dive retail shop, the training facility is now home to a wide range of PADI accredited courses from beginner to professional level.
Take a look through the award-winning facility in the photo gallery.
Age has proven no obstacle for Rosita Ortega achieving her dream of getting up close and personal with…
Age has proven no obstacle for Rosita Ortega achieving her dream of getting up close and personal with a marine turtle in the Great Barrier Reef.
With the minimum age to learn to scuba dive being 10 years, Rosita who is from the Sunshine Coast, made the trip to Cairns with her family to join Pro Dive Cairns’ 5 Day PADI Open Water Course, including a 3 day/ 2 night liveaboard trip.
Pro Dive Cairns dive instructor Lockie Clark said Rosita was his youngest pupil and a natural. Pro Dive Cairns students stay with the same instructor throughout their course, from the classroom to the ocean.
“She loved it. She was asking questions, it was super good. We went from blowing bubbles in the pool on Tuesday to night dives with sharks and turtles on Friday.”
A natural mermaid and keen surfer, Rosita is passionate about protecting the Reef. “I am doing a project on the Great Barrier Reef and diving has come from that. I had heard you can get really close to turtles,” she said.
While the minimum age to learn to scuba dive with a PADI accredited course is 10 years, the minimum age for introductory scuba diving in Queensland remains at 12 years.
Since 1998, Quicksilver has been providing complimentary day trips to Low Isles aboard our sailing cat, Wavedancer, for all…
Since 1998, Quicksilver has been providing complimentary day trips to Low Isles aboard our sailing cat, Wavedancer, for all children in their last year of primary school in the Douglas Shire.
“This year over 170 children from nine local schools, along with teachers and parents, enjoyed our end of year tradition, travelling to the idyllic coral cay of Low Isles. It's all about gaining a better understanding of the place we call home and to learn about the wonderful and unique environment they live in between the World Heritage Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef,” said Megan Bell, Quicksilver Group Manager Media.
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 island's history and the amazing marine life that call it home, including the ever-present sea turtles.
To cater for all the children, Quicksilver sets aside two days for the charter of Wavedancer at an investment of over $20,000. It's a wonderful way of engaging with the children about the environment in a fun way that complements their school studies, and importantly, creating new young reef ambassadors for future conservation.
Schools hosted were Alexandra Bay State School (SS), Mt Molloy SS, Daintree SS, Port Douglas SS, St Augustines, Miallo SS, Wonga SS, Mossman SS and Julatten SS.
Green Island Resort and Great Adventures were delighted to support and welcome an enthusiastic team of 15 volunteers…
Green Island Resort and Great Adventures were delighted to support and welcome an enthusiastic team of 15 volunteers from Tangaroa Blue to Green Island. The Australian Marine Debris initiative is coordinated by Tangaroa Blue, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris from our coastlines.
With the aim to clean up and track the source of the debris washed up along coastlines, the team set about a beach clean up and data collection before enjoying lunch and some snorkelling. Tangaroa Blue will now provide an analysis to help identify the source of the collected items which included hard plastic remnants and glass bottles making up the bulk. In a fantastic recycling approach, old pieces of rope and plastic piping for example, will now be used by local artists, turning waste into art creations.
Thanks to the great work and dedication of Tangaroa Blue and wonderful volunteers for helping to keep our beautiful island and oceans clean.
It was a picture-perfect day with calm conditions, when a record number of entries of over 200 swimmers…
It was a picture-perfect day with calm conditions, when a record number of entries of over 200 swimmers of all ages took to the clear waters of Green Island for the 14th annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim.
185 swimmers aged from 12 to 65 competed in 500m, 1.5km and 3km events while the fun “Nippers” swim for the under 12 year olds saw 17 enthusiastic future ocean swimmers enjoy a taste of swimming in the Great Barrier Reef.
We were delighted to welcome back many long term local competitors in addition to swimmers from across state as well as a New South Wales swim team who made the journey to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to compete in the event.
Talented young Cairns swimmers took out the wins in all categories. In the 3 km swim, 15 year old Jackson Rodgers won the men’s event in a record time, while 15 year old Anastasia Wynberg won the Women’s. In the 1.5km swim, 13 year old Lauren Morris took out the win and 16 year old Marcus West won the men’s. The 500 m swim was won by 18 year Ankie Putri.
Once again we offer special thanks to Surf Life Saving Queensland for their wonderful support and community spirit in conducting in-water safety for the event, to the Cairns Crocs Triathlon Club for assisting with the timing, as well as Tabata for their continued support and donations of prizes and swim caps.
The date for next year's swim is set for Sunday 18 October so there's plenty of time to get into training! Check out the video of this year's swim for some inspiration.
Too good not to share! Passengers onboard Wavedancer were treated to some pretty special escorts on the return journey from…
Too good not to share! Passengers onboard Wavedancer were treated to some pretty special escorts on the return journey from Low Isles to Port Douglas with two playful dolphins darting and weaving under the bow. Thanks to Albert Jindra for the gorgeous vision.
It was a pleasure to welcome Rafferty, Junior Ambassador for Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and the…
It was a pleasure to welcome Rafferty, Junior Ambassador for Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and the Nickelodeon team aboard Quicksilver, helping kids all over the world learn about oceans and conservation through their Junior Citizens program. Raffy, an inspiring young man indeed, enjoyed learning about our reef environment with marine biologist Hayley. nick.com.au/reefsquad
We were thrilled to host Lee, Jesse and the crew from Network Ten's Scope TV and Totally Wild,…
We were thrilled to host Lee, Jesse and the crew from Network Ten's Scope TV and Totally Wild, two of Australia’s most popular children’s TV programs, for an amazing day of discovery at Agincourt Reef. Our marine bio extraordinaires Hayley and Glen had the chance to help educate and inform our next generation of marine biologists and Ocean Warriors!
From flying high aboard the Quicksilver branded Nautilus helicopter, to diving in for an amazing guided snorkel tour,…
From flying high aboard the Quicksilver branded Nautilus helicopter, to diving in for an amazing guided snorkel tour, Quicksilver had the pleasure of hosting Star 102.7FM radio breakfast show announcers Dave and Maddie for a fun day at Agincourt Reef. This was followed by an early morning broadcast at the Port Douglas Marina chatting with crew and guests.
Thanks to the support of our wonderful industry colleagues, suppliers, local businesses,…
Thanks to the support of our wonderful industry colleagues, suppliers, local businesses, staff and friends, our annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Charity Appeal has been the most successful ever, donating around $15,000 of food and gifts. This 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 16th 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 at IGA Piccones Pease St and KMart Cairns!
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. Green Island Resort's Head Chef Charlie Wilkes has prepared a sensational buffet lunch menu at the island’s Emeralds Restaurant inspired by wonderful local produce and of course with all the traditional favourites and trimmings,
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]
The beautiful and brightly coloured Spanish Dancer is one of the largest nudibranch sea slugs, usually around 30-40 cm in length (12-16 inches). Its name was earnt through its undulating movement which was observed to mimic that of a flamenco dancer’s red skirt. Ole’!
Their diet consists of marine sponges and even jellyfish. They are able to store the toxins from their food for their own defence and that of their eggs. That also makes them a toxic snack for would be predators!
“Nudis”, as Nudibrachs are nick-named, are born as simultaneous hermaphrodites but cannot self-fertilise and need a mate to breed. But parenting is not their forte as once eggs are deposited on the reef surface, they are left. When threatened, the Spanish Dancer will swim violently flapping its external gills and appendages, displaying its bright warning colours.
Introducing... James Adams, a dive sports and ocean fanatic! James is our new Dive Sales Manager, representing our wonderful…
Introducing... James Adams, a dive sports and ocean fanatic! James is our new Dive Sales Manager, representing our wonderful range of dive adventure products; Pro Dive Cairns, Quicksilver Dive and our dive and snorkel vessels Silversonic and Poseidon based in Port Douglas and Silverswift based in Cairns. James joins us from a tourism travel agency background. With a love for wildlife and fascination with the ocean, he gained his Open Water certification and has since completed over 70 dives. Even as an experienced diver, he is amazed how you can still discover something new on every dive when exploring the Great Barrier Reef. You could say he loves his office!
James can be contacted at [email protected]
Thanks Jes from the UK for this wonderful review of her experience with our dive and snorkel boat, Silverswift.
I had a fabulous day with the team on Silverswift. I cannot fault the day. The briefings were detailed but there was a touch of humour to them... The team were knowledgeable and thorough as they kitted you out but made time for everyone. I have not snorkelled in open water before and this is where I first met Eve. She coaxed me into the water and gave me a few pointers. This gave me the confidence to swim away from the boat and enjoy the experience. I was thrilled when I found out she was my instructor for the discovery dive. Again her patience and reassurance enabled me to experience my first SCUBA dive. She also led the guided snorkel at the third stop. The Great Barrier Reef is an amazing place to snorkel and dive and Quicksilver are a great company. The staff totally understood my nerves and went out of their way to reassure me but also provided a great experience for my daughter who is an experienced diver. The whole day was well organised and the team were professional.. I thoroughly recommend them. Thank you Quicksilver for a great day!