BBM Live’s Jean-Gabriel Laine jumps on board with Ocean Safari from Cape Tribulation to see just what’s so special about this part of the world, and this eco-friendly tour operator.
- Eco-friendly tour
- No other tours operate at these beautiful untouched locations
- Turtles and stingray spottings almost guaranteed
- Time saver : 20 min to reef – half day tour
- Beautiful and clean accommodation at jungle lodge
- The trip was bumpy – joke – no seriously, these guys have got a 10 out of 10 from us!
Ocean Safari Tour Review
An unbelievable experience heading out with Ocean Safari was the highlight of our East Coast trip.
Ocean Safari is a unique independent company and the only one operating out of Cape Tribulation.
Upon reflection, I still can’t quite figure out why this place isn’t packed; they are the only one operating on the island, they are fairly cheap, this is a half day tour which leaves time to visit other places, the ride is only 20 minutes, AND their staff are all locals who know all the best secret spots. To sum it up in three words this was a pretty amazing trip.
We arrived the night before at the Jungle Lodge where we enjoyed a good night’s sleep in a very large and private campground. It is right in heart of the forest too, so you get to see amazing bits of nature, and wake up with the sound of the birds. (We also got to see a rather large prehistoric looking cassowary bird on our way too whilst it hung around the lodge!)
The morning before check-in at Ocean Safari, we had breakfast near the pool where they have all the appliances and power outlets you could possibly need.
We were even offered to leave our camper van at the lodge for the whole trip, and actually come back for a hot shower before our next trip, which definitely upped the comfort and convenience levels. What you will find should you be lucky enough to visit is that the guys and gals at Jungle Lodge are very welcoming, and their lodge is pretty special.
After check in, you get to walk 5 minutes to the beach where the boat is waiting for you, and the staff help you get onboard. You actually need to wade through the water to the boat, so be prepared to get wet up to your knees – however this won’t bother you if you’re already in a wetsuit!
Onboard, you get the security brief, and before you know it, the boat has taken off to the Reef ! On board this high speed and powerful boat you can definitely feel it cutting through the waves, but the seats are nice and comfortable. But either way you’re only on a 20 minute ride so the quick burst is only temporary.
As we made the quick journey out to the reef the good tunes pumped out including drum and bass, Creedance, Clearwater and the Beatles – surprising, but fun! And much better than the rubbish music you sometimes get whilst on tours.
During the tour it felt like the locals were taking you to their spot, and you were a guest onboard… which made for a special atmosphere.
Despite this being a half day tour, we got to snorkel in two different locations. First, we stopped at XX Creek where we got to spend almost an hour in the water. Over there, you get to see a lot of wildlife, and the corals are absolutely amazing… Most importantly however, no one else but your group is in the water! So, if you want peace and want to feel like you are alone visiting this beautiful part of the world, this is it.
We then moved to a different snorkelling spot not far from the first one, and this time we got to see sea turtles, stingrays, and starfish, which was truly amazing. And what’s more is despite having travelled all around Australia, I’ve never got to see and swim with turtles that close in any other location I’ve snorkelled at! What was also a bonus is that the knowledgeable, local crew were also great at answering any questions the passengers had about the reef and wildlife.
After an hour in the water, we jumped back onboard, removed the wetsuits and headed back to shore. Another great sets of tunes ended our trip smoothly back to the Lodge, where we got to enjoy lunch and a well deserved latte. They even carry almond milk, which is nuts considering they live far from land and use mostly rainwater and solar power!
This tour really is a highlight whilst visiting Queensland and we highly recommend you to try it. Trust me you won’t be disappointed. Just remember to to recycle, keep your crap away and leave everything on the reef as you found it, so many more like us can enjoy this unique spot!
Words and images by Jean-Gabriel Laine