Hamilton Island, at the gateway to the 74 island Whitsunday archipelago, owned by sailor and winemaker Robert Oatley, is a resort island with lovely beaches and opportunities for sailing through the islands. It is also a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living thing on Earth.
Today we travelled aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned, high-speed catamaran through the Whitsunday Islands to Reef World located at Hardy Reef. We arrived at a fixed pontoon which contained lots of facilities. There were opportunities to scuba dive or snorkel. I had intended to do the latter but came down with a bad cold, and never having snorkelled before, decided against it. However, I did take a ride on a glass-hulled semi-submersible coral viewer which took us along the reef wall. The coral in this area is in the natural decline stage of a living reef’s life cycle and therefore is not colourful. However, it was beautiful and there were lots of fish to see there and from the viewing platform under the pontoon. As the day went on, the tide ebbed and the top of the coral reef became visible. Here are some photos of the islands, the pontoon, the reef, the coral and some fish.