Fantasea Reefworld Hardy Reef

by John on March 13, 2011

Image of 3 clams together that are so different in beauty.

This image shows the great diversity of beauty the the Great Barrier Reef holds. How can 3 clams living together be so different in appearance? Click image for larger size.

A trip to the Great Barrier Reef is a fascinating day and there is no better cruise than a day trip with Fantasea Cruises to their Reefworld platform, situated on Hardy Reef.

There has been some damage to the coral at Hardy Reef. I am not qualified to say whether it is from human activity or the cyclones that have battered the Whitsundays in 2010 and 2011. (Ului, Anthony and Yasi.) You can easily see that there is damage and my guess is that some of it has been caused by tourism and some by these tropical cyclones. While the coral damage is easy to see, Hardy Reef is still a spectacular experience.

There must be an argument that some damage is acceptable to a small amount of the Great Barrier Reef, if we are to share the reef’s the natural beauty with people from all over the world, and also showcase the need to protect the reef from many other forms of commercialism.

We must appreciate that The Great Barrier Reef is a living reef. Like all things that live, death is also part of the story. Some of the reef will die and in time, be replaced by new life.

The Fantasea Reefworld day trip departs from Shute Harbour at 8.00am daily and picks up more guests at Hamilton Island. Then it is roughly a two and half hour cruise to the floating pontoon situated on Hardy Reef. You arrive at Reefworld around 11.00 am departing about 2.30pm. This gives you over 3 hours to snorkel, scuba dive, take a helicopter flight over the reef or enjoy the Great Barrier Reef in glass bottom semi submarines or the underwater viewing chamber at the pontoon. There is also a special viewing place where the resident giant gropers can be appreciated.

I would highly recommend taking this cruise to see and enjoy The Great Barrier Reef to anyone who visits The Whitsundays.

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is provided, as is all snorkelling equipment. Scuba dives and helicopter flights are extras and can be booked on the day of travel.

Hardy Reef is roughly 50 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide and is home to an amazing range of soft and hard corals. The reef is absolutely teeming with awesome marine life.

Fantasea Reefworld operates on perhaps a 200 to 300 meter strip of the reef, which is really minute in the scheme of things, yet delivers an unforgettable experience to so many people from around the world. When snorkeling, stick to the edge of the reef where the shallow water meets the deep. The coral has less damage at the edge of the deeper water and you will see larger fish.

Here are my favorite photos from a few hours of snorkelling Hardy Reef.

Underwater image of Rabbitfish at Hardy Reef.

There are thousands of tropical fish making the Great Barrier Reef their home. Snorkelling is a easy way to enjoy all the varieties you will see at Hardy Reef. Click the image for larger size


Image of beautiful blue clam taken at Hardy Reef.

There are many different coloured clams living on Hardy Reef. In deeper water there are spectacular giant clams which are so awesome to see. Click the image for larger size

Image of a staghorn coral outcrop on Hardy Reef in The Whitsundays.

Most corals are named simply by what they look like. Here is a fabulous outcrop of Staghorn Coral of hardy Reef. Click the image for larger size.

Photo of someone snorkeling and taking a photo of Yellowtail fish at Hardy Reef..

You don't have to be an expert snorkeller to enjoy the many species of marine life at Hardy Reef. Most fish come to you. Click the image for larger size.

Typical image of beautiful underwater scene of Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is truly a beautiful underwater garden. You must snorkel or dive to fully appreciate the real beauty. Click the image for larger size.

Image of lifeguard in inflatable dingy watching the safety of snorkellers.

Fantasea takes the safety of it's guests seriously, employing a lifeguard on the pontoon and one cruising the waters just in case someone has difficulties.

Typical underwater scene on Great Barrier Reef of coral and marine life.

An amazing amount of marine creatures live on the coral of Hardy Reef. Some actually live by cleaning organisms from the coral. Click the image for larger size.

Imagine swimming with hundreds of yellowtail fish. This image shows it is real.

From the moment you enter the water at Hardy Reef, you are greeted by a wide variety of marine life. This swarm of Yellowtails are just as curious of you as you are of them. Click the image for larger size.


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