Is Explore operating to the reef?
Yes - We operate to Bait Reef on our full day tour and the fringing reefs around Hook Island on the half day tour.
Is it still worth visiting the reef?
Yes - The reef is still very much alive, healthy and definitely worth visiting. Although certain parts of the reef did sustain natural damage during the cyclone, our dive team have completed dive reconnoiter trips around the Whitsundays region and outer Great Barrier Reef, and have found plenty of healthy areas to snorkel or dive.
What is visibility like?
The visibility out at the reef changes every day dependent on the prevalent weather conditions. At this time of the year you can expect an average of 8-15m at the outer Great Barrier Reef and 5-8m around the inner fringing reef. The winter months typically see visibility well in excess of averages due to lower tidal ranges.
What can I expect to see?
Both locations are packed with coral, colour and marine life. The fringing inner reef tends to be slightly more colourful due to the nature of the soft coral that grows around these areas. You will find numerous smaller reef-dwelling fish such as parrotfish, angelfish, batfish, damselfish and fusiliers. At the outer reef, you can expect to see a hard coral platform reef with impressive drop offs and our friendly resident giant trevallies, along with countless colourful reef fish. If you're lucky you might even get a visit from a turtle, ray or white tip reef shark whilst on one of our trips!
What if I am an Introductory Diver?
At the moment, Explore is operating introductory diving on the full day tour to Bait Reef on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. An excellent way to immerse yourself in the Great Barrier Reef and experience it from under the surface.
Is the reef all bleached?
No - We are lucky in the Whitsundays to have healthy reef systems which have not been dramatically affected by coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when higher than average water temperatures cause Zooxanthellae (little creatures that live within the coral) to leave. When this happens, you are left with the skeleton of the coral. Our water temperatures sit between 22-28 degrees Celsius all year round, making for ideal coral conditions.