I hope you’re all well! It’s been a while since I did a travel post on here but I wanted to share some bits and bobs from our honeymoon which will come in a seperate post because this experience needed it’s own post! Just so you know I was gifted this experience by Cruise Whitsundays but all that they asked for was one instagram story . . as if I wouldn’t be shouting about this everywhere!!!! The Cruise Whitsundays reef sleep is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone honeymoon or not! Dua Lipa stayed there a few days later . . I wonder if she slept in our tent?
The Great Barrier Reef Sleep Over
So the Reef Sleep on the Great Barrier Reef is pretty self explanatory right? I’m going to break the day down for you though because it was so much more than a sleep over. It’s a fairly new experience so although it does sleep up to 12 (don’t quote me on that though) it was only us and one other couple which was just magical! I know the night after us it was only 4 people again so at the moment the reef truly is yours.
First off you get the ferry there from Hamilton Island, I’m sure there are other islands in the Whitsundays you can get it from but we were based in Hamilton Island so we got it from there. The boat trip was less than enjoyable, very rocky but also very worth it. Just take some sea sickness tablets! I accidentally took some drowsy ones which actually worked in my favour because I slept through the nightmare rocking.
When you arrive it’s with the whole day trip as they do daily trips to Hardy Reef (The Great Barrier Reef) alongside the reef sleep. There’s optional activities of a guided snorkelling tour for those who aren’t strong swimmers or who want to know more information about what they’re seeing. A scuba dive which I had to unfortunately pass on due to chest issues – absolutely gutted! And helicopter rides which take you over the great barrier reef and the heart shaped reef. My biggest fear – more than sharks surprisingly – is jelly fish and most importantly the box jelly fish. Which after googling I found out was one of the two (deadly) jelly fish that hang out at the great barrier reef and the whitsundays at this time of year, lovely! When snorkelling you can wear a stingersuit which protects you from jelly fish which immediately relaxed me and if you’re a fellow worrier like me, fear not, I didn’t see one whilst snorkelling!
Once the day trippers leave you get the whole pontoon to yourself and are free to snorkel some more with the entire reef to yourself, an amazing experience! But you have to be in before 5 when the bigger things come out to play, aka … feeding time! Scary! You won’t be surprised to know I was out in good time!
The pontoon also has an underwater viewing area where you can see the fish underwater without getting wet. We went under there once it got dark to see the feeding time and it was amazing! There were some fish longer than me!! As a day tripper you can also go down here and they have the coral explorer which takes you on a tour of the reef in an underwater observatory with someone talking you through each part and explaining everything!
After a hot shower we had wine and canapes as the sun went down and a candle lit dinner of the best lamb shank and steak, then slept under the stars where we saw no less than 4 shooting stars! The sky was so full of stars I really wish I had thought to take a picture to show you guys but I was on full honeymoon mode!
In the morning we had a breakfast of eggs, bacon, pastries and fruit then went on our morning snorkel before the next load of day guests arrived. It was amazing to see the fish before the crowds arrived as they were all out and busy in the morning! We even saw two turtles that came up to see us when we were eating breakfast, later in the day I swam with one on the reef!
Something our guide told us to do and we did and it was great, was to swim in the morning when no one is there and you have the reef to yourself, then to swim again at low tide when you can see way more fish and more of the reef. For us that was 1pm which was also perfect because most of the day guests had gotten out for their lunch!
At low tide the top of the reef actually sticks out of the water! It’s gotten so big that it sticks out! How amazing is that! so when you swim at low tide you can see more of the coral that is lower down and more vibrant in colour as the top coral that gets exposed at low tide has sun and wind damage.
If anyone is thinking about doing this you can find out more information here and please feel free to message me with ANY questions AT ALL! I am happy to help and can’t sing the praises of this place enough! This was 100% the absolute highlight of our honeymoon and something that will stay with me forever! About a week after we left, they also opened their underwater rooms, so if you don’t fancy sleeping under the stars, you can sleep in an underwater hotel room complete with ensuite and glass walls! I have to go back and try this!