Hardy Reef Waterfall

by John on April 25, 2013

Hardy Reef Waterfall

We blogged about our recent trip to Hardy Reef with Cruise Whitsundays on 23-4-13. What we didn’t show you among the images we uploaded was the amazing waterfalls that occur as the tide turns from low to incoming.

The coral of Hardy Reef is exposed at low water. (There was a time, many years ago, where tourists were taken for a “walk on the reef”. Of course we know better than to walk on the reef today, thanks to the voices of environmentalists and marine biologists. Walking on the reef kills many organisms and polyps.)

At low tide, sea water is trapped between the exposed coral reef and what is called the river, forming lagoons. At the start of the incoming tide the water rushes out of the lagoon over several low points in the coral wall and causes an effect like a small waterfall. This is an amazing sight resembling a fast rushing stream until the water level within the “river” equalizes with the sea water in the coral lagoon.

What is amazing is the thought that at Hardy Reef, you are some 90 kilometers from the Whitsundays coast. To see a waterfall or fast flowing stream that far out to sea is really special. A wonder of nature.

You must remember that this natural phenomenon only occurs as the tide turns from low to incoming. The timing needed to be on an incoming or departing cruise vessel near this occurrence, at that exact time, is a chance some would call an absolute fluke or small miracle.

Perhaps if you study tide times, arrival and departure times of the cruise vessel, then factor in weather conditions, you could work out when to be there to see the Hardy Reef Waterfalls yourself.

Below is a photo from a flickr member chezynickannie taken from a seaplane. Awesome.

'waterfalls' escaping from hardy reef

And below is a short video taken by us as we departed Hardy Reef aboard Seaflight, after a wonderful days snorkeling the outer Great Barrier Reef. Thanks again Cruise Whitsundays for a wonderful day at your Reefworld pontoon.


Viator

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