Crocodiles on the Great Barrier Reef?!! That’s enough to put anyone off entering the water!
But no need to worry – the only crocodiles you’ll meet on a day trip to Green Island will be safely and comfortably enclosed in Marineland Melanesia – one of the brilliant family-friendly activities that you can experience on the island.
There are lots of ways to visit the Great Barrier Reef – but one of the main things to consider when travelling with kids is are they going to have enough to keep them entertained throughout the day.
This is what makes Green Island the perfect way to visit the Great Barrier Reef – whatever the weather!
We have visited Green Island a few times over the years – 90% of the time the weather has been postcard-perfect – white sands, blue sea, calm waters – but Tropical North Qld has a wet season and sometimes there is a bit of wind and rain. If you find yourself on holiday in the region and the weather is looking a bit on the wet side – don’t let it stop you exploring – a Green Island adventure is the perfect way to experience the reef in the rain or the sun.
We recently traveled to Green Island as guests of Great Adventures. As we departed from Cairns the sky was an ominous grey colour and we were warned on departure that the wind was currently at 30 knots (which meant absolutely nothing to me until we got into the open ocean!) The lovely staff advised us to sit at the back of the boat – particularly as we were travelling with kids – as this would be the most stable and least sea-sickly part of the boat. We were a bit concerned about what the trip out to the island had in store (especially as we had just filled ourselves up on the complimentary tea, coffee, juice and biscuits available before departure) – but we didn’t have to be worried at all. The catamaran sliced through the waves, and apart from a few exciting bumps and sways we were at the island in no time and ready for adventure!
The trip with Great Adventures includes all snorkel gear as well as a glass bottom boat tour. We headed out on our boat tour first, and despite the terrible conditions we still managed to spot turtles, coral and fish as we sailed around with our knowledgeable captain. The glass bottom boat was definitely a bonus – it was Winter when we visited and due to the lack of sunshine and strong winds the idea of snorkelling with 2 kids under 4 was not an attractive proposition!
On previous visits we spent hours lying on the beach and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters on the island – and several times we have swam alongside turtles. This trip we took advantage of all the other attractions the island has to offer.
Home to Cassius – officially the world’s largest crocodile – Marineland offers visitors the chance to get up close to lots of native marine life – including turtles, stingrays and a variety of aquariums. Add to this the astounding display of Melanesian artefacts and historical items on display you could spend hours in this one area alone! They also have a daily crocodile show where you get to see the residents having lunch and learn more about their lifestlye and personalities. And the bonus (for Winter at least!) is that you get to stay dry while experiencing it! (admission fees extra)
There is a self-guided eco walk that you can do on the island – a wide boardwalk (perfect for little legs, strollers and prams) leads you under the shade of the rainforest canopy across the island, with regular information points telling you the fascinating story of the island and its inhabitants.
The circumference of the island is just 1.6km – on previous visits we’ve spent so much time in the water we have never had time to take a walk on the beach – on this trip we walked around the whole island and saw some stunning views, found secluded bays and hideouts, and combed the beach for crabs, shells, driftwood and treasure! Both boys (aged 2 and 3) managed the whole walk and it was a highlight of our day.
Kids (and me) love to explore – the size of the island makes it perfect for kids to see and do everything in a day. We found a lovely picnic spot down by the beach where we ate our lunch (you can bring your own food to the island or get lunch included with your trip) and we let the kids lead the way along the boardwalks and beaches looking for birds and pirates!
As a passenger with Great Adventures you get the added bonus of using the day guest facilities – including the use of the lovely resort swimming pool which is great for kids, and also great as a suit free swim during stinger season. There is also a bar, cafe, gift shop and ice cream shop in the resort, as well as shower and change facilities. You can stay overnight at the Green Island Resort too for some added luxury.
So go on – what are you waiting for! Dive in to a great family adventure on one of the wonders of the world – whatever the weather!
See more of our highlights on the video below….