Wavelength – Full Day Outer Reef Snorkel
Experience a small group, low-impact, close to nature educational adventure with exclusive access to some of the most spectacular reef sites.
Port Douglas snorkeling at its finest designed for pure snorkeling enthusiasts to experience the best parts of the reef.
Great for first-timers or experienced snorkelers as our expert crew treat you to the most amazing and unique reef locations.
With 15 breathtaking snorkelling sites to choose from, our marine biologists help you discover aspects of the underwater world inhabited by a multitude of amazing creatures and corals that may otherwise be missed.
We select three reef sites to share with you and Opal Reef is our main destination.
Wavelength was the first operator to visit this large, mostly shallow, crescent shaped reef near the edge of the continental shelf in 1986 and we have exclusive access to these fantastic sites.
The shape provides a lot of protection from the prevailing wind which, combined with the clear water, provides for excellent snorkelling.
Ray Ban boasts prolific shallow water coral cover and fish with the site famous for Nemo the clown anemonefish, as well as spinecheek and Great Barrier Reef anenomefish all within a few metres of each other.
This site also boasts seemingly endless staghorn coral forests, brilliantly coloured giant clams and clouds of colourful damselfish that weave their way in and out of the corals in an almost choreographed dance.
Keep your eyes open for stingrays lying on the sandy patches and lizardfish with their brilliant camouflage that sit atop the corals waiting for the next unaware fish to swim past.
Blue Lagoon is a very protected shallow water site with beautiful staghorn coral gardens, plenty of shallow water reef fish species plus the occasional white tip reef shark and foraging green turtle.
Mojo has gullies full of blue staghorn coral and blue chromis and offlying bommies with roaming schools of red bass and paddletail snappers.
The site has frequent visits from turtles and reef sharks with colourful wrasses and butterflyfish grazing on the reef top.
South North Opal has the best possible coral cover with truly beautiful gardens of plate coral.
Amazingly the site was in very poor condition some 25 years ago following crown of thorns starfish damage and shows how the reef recovers as long as water quality is good.
Sandbox boasts great diversity leading from deeper boulder corals to huge gardens of staghorn coral and giant clams.
The fish life is equally diverse across the site from more pelagic species at the deep side to large schools of reef fish in the shallows.
Seagull gives a good example of the coral type and buttress structure of the outside of the reef and has a wild and remote feel.
Bashful Bommie, on South Opal, is a meeting of two very different underwater environments.
On the one side, the reef edge stretches to the south with perfect shelter for some of the smaller coral dwelling fish, while the other side is a deeper ocean channel leading to the big blue and creating the perfect environment for larger pelagics.
Species found here include a large resident Maori wrasse, large schools of red bass and marauding Spanish mackerel hunting the schooling baitfish.
Coral here is more representative of a higher energy site and varies from shallow gardens of hardy corals and giant clams to deeper waters that are home to large boulder corals covered in myriads of Christmas tree worms in all different colours.
Beautiful Mooring has more delicate staghorn corals in the shallows and is also home to several anemonefish species.
You will find these colourful fish darting in and out of the swaying tentacles of anemones that range from white to orange to fluorescent green.
The shallow reef flats play host to dozens of butterflyfish species, wrasses, parrotfish and the ever eye-catching blue chromis.
The sandy patches throughout the reef are strewn with different sea cucumber species and sand perches, sitting on their pectoral fins casting their eyes upwards observing the world above.
Take time to also explore the deeper edges of the reef and be rewarded with titan triggerfish and sweetlip sightings as well as stingrays.
St Crispin Reef is home to an abundance of marine life and some spectacular coral formations.
At this site you’re greeted with an absolute myriad of fish, from huge schools of fusileers and sergent major fish, to the always lovely greetings of numerous sweetlips.
It also features feather stars, bumpheaded parrotfish, many wrasses and butterflyfishes, and some very shy reef sharks.
The coral at this location is joined with deeper sandy patches that have an abundance of sea cucumbers and giant clams.
There’s lots of smaller creatures around like brightly coloured nudibranchs, seasquirts, sea urchins and hermit crabs.
With approximately eight resident green sea turtles, including the regular characters such as “Friendly Girl” and three-flippered “Lucky”, the chance to encounter one of these endangered gentle giants in its natural surroundings is one of the highlights of visiting Turtle Bay, situated on Tongue Reef.
With our exclusive access you’re almost guaranteed to be able to swim alongside turtles, but there are often encounters with other megafauna and pelagic fish.
The site has very good coral cover varying from large boulder corals and bommies at the bay entrance to pinnacles and patches of hard coral and gardens around the edges.
The bay’s Shark Alley is also a great spot to see smaller harmless reef sharks in their natural environment.
Need To Know
- Bookings required by 4pm the day prior to tour.
- Minimum age 8 years.
- Courtesy pick-up from accommodation for 8am check-in.
- Complimentary tea/coffee and morning tea provided.
- Delicious deli-style lunch catering for vegetarian and gluten-free diets to be enjoyed with a spectacular choice of deck views.
- Professionally fitted snorkelling gear provided.
- Interactive reef talks delivered by passionate marine biologists which educate snorkelers not just about the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef but the impacts of climate change.
- Free corrective masks available for snorkelers who wear glasses.
- Boat returns to the marina approximately 4.30pm.
- Our crew have an underwater digital camera and will take photos of all passengers and also of the fish, corals and turtles seen on the day. Our office crew will burn a disk of the day and also add 100 of the best images of Wavelength to it. The cost of this is $45 for each CD.
- During the months of July to September migrating Humpback and Dwarf Minke whales are often seen on the Great Barrier Reef however their movements cannot be guaranteed.
- Wavelength require passengers to wear a lycra suit whenever they are in the water during “stinger season” (May-November). While snorkelling outside of this season, lycra suits are available but not mandatory. In the cooler months we provide 5mm shortie wetsuits instead of lycra suits.
- Complimentary flotation devices available.
- Wavelength trips are NOT suitable for non-swimmers or people with poor medical fitness or mobility difficulties. As a guide you should be at least able to swim a pool length without flotation assistance. If you can’t swim you should consider an alternative way to see the reef, such as visiting the Low Isles or a reef pontoon.
- To snorkel safely you should be medically fit. If you have a relevant medical condition such as heart disease or a lung condition, are extremely overweight, or are an older person, we strongly recommend you have a doctor confirm that you are fit to participate.
- Seasick medication available for purchase onboard.
- All rates are inclusive of the government Environmental Management Charge of $6.50 per person.
What To Bring
- Cash or credit card for onboard purchases
Wavelength is the second-longest running reef operator in Port Douglas.
Owners John and Jenny Edmondson, both local marine biologists, and their two young children Jack and Katie share a lifelong passion for the ocean.
Wavelength boasts qualified marine biologists as crew in order to offer a high level of interpretation of the Great Barrier Reef.
We have more exclusive use moorings on the Great Barrier Reef than any other local tour operator selected exclusively for the needs and requirements of snorkellers. Our sites are not crowded with other snorkellers or boats.
Terms & Conditions
- 100 per cent cancellation fee if tour cancelled within 24 hours of departure.
- Port Douglas snorkeling tours can be changed, subject to availability, if more than 24 hours notice is given.
- Wavelength will not accept any liability for any damage to your equipment, regardless of how it’s occurred.
- Adventures Port Douglas Terms & Conditions