The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is 280,000 sq. kms. or 344,000 sq. kms. It’s 1200 miles or 1600 miles top to bottom. No one seems to know exactly where it starts or ends but everyone seems to agree it’s pretty big – the only living thing that can be seen from space. It comprises of 2900 individual reefs, 600 islands, 300 kays and supports a list of wildlife far too big to list here.

We’ve been working our way south for the past few days starting at Port Douglas (reminded us of Marbella) and then on to Cairns (the backpackers capital). These are both good places to access the Great Barrier Reef but we only stopped briefly. We are saving our swimming and snorkelling for the Whitsunday Islands, some 650 kms further south. The drive south of Cairns is idyllic with coral blue sea and rich green rainforest and inumerable pretty bays to stop and camp at.

We spent a couple of nights at Bingil Bay just north of Mission Beach where they have a campsite host on duty. There is only space for about 6 or 7 tents or vans at a time and the host makes sure everything is run properly and collects a small fee.

A few people stroll on the beach but nobody swims. October to May is the season for box jellyfish or marine stingers as they are know in Queensland and they render the beaches of the tropics quite useless to humans. It’s amazing, bays as inviting as anywhere in the world offer if not death certainly a very umpleasant experience. There are, however, netted swimming areas and for some reason stingers don’t frequent the reef.

Now we are at Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands named by Captain James Cook because he sailed through them on Whitsunday strangely enough.

Before we got to Cooktown we met Sandy and Liz. Sandy has been working in Brisbane on a years contract and they are finishing their time in Australia off with a 9 week tour of North Queensland. We’ve kept in touch by text since and met up with them again a few days ago. They have invited us to join them to sail round the Whitsunday Islands on an eight berth catamaran that they have charted. It would have been rude to decline such a wonderful offer!

Gone sailing! Back soon!

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The Campsite

The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

Dove Cottage,
Waterheath Road,
NR34 0DQ

Telephone: +44 (0)1502 677266
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Sales and Rentals are at Norwich Camping and Leisure

Norwich Camping and Leisure,
58 Yarmouth Road,
NR13 4LQ

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Mobile: 07714 466997

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