Snorkelling at Manta Ray Bay

Research shows that Manta Ray Bay on the very northern tip of the Whitsundays is reputed to be one of the best snorkelling sites on the Queensland coast. When we were there winds were light which is ideal for a north facing bay. We spent a couple of hours motoring round to the bay and saw our first dolphins of the trip on the way. We picked up a mooring buouy close to the shore. As soon as we stopped large fish swam around the boat and we swam with them. Clearly they are used to people as they came within a few feet of us.

Manta Ray Bay proved to be a fantastic site, a lovely fringing reef with multi coloured coral and plenty of fish of varying sizes and colours. Best of all we came across a large turtle happily feeding and we swam with it for ages, at times nearly touching it. The turtle seemed more than happy to have us along.

The next bay along was called Luncheon Bay so of course we stopped there for lunch. The wind picked up nicely in the afternoon and we sailed round the top of Hayman Island and spent our last night anchored in Stonehaven Bay. We had planned a special dinner for our last night on board and the ladies were allowed the luxury of a hot shower. The men had their usual swim ando f course for this special occasion we had to dress appropriately for dinner. A perfect end to a perfect week.

You soon run out of superlatives to describe the Whitsunday Islands. It is safe to say that if you’re ever fortunate enough to get the chance to visit them just go for it. You certainly won’t regret it.

From our point of view it just confirms again why we use a campervan fro our travels and don’t have rigid plans. Who would have though that we would have bumped into Sandy and Liz in the far north of Queensland and ended up two weeks later sailing round the Whitsunday Islands. Great people and now great friends.

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