The Great Barrier Reef: Home of Great Friends (and Great Whites)

Written by | Travel

I was on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but had only a limited time to explore and enjoy.

Great Barrier Reef

I stopped by one of the many tour booking stores at Airlie Beach and they recommended I take a full-day excursion aboard something that floats they like to call “Big Fury.” Now I am not big on joining tour groups, but this was the only way to see the many islands off Whitsunday Islands. I was somewhat hesitant at first, since I was there all by myself and didn’t know anyone on board the boat. But that was going to be my only alternative, so I took it.

The itinerary, the tour operator explained to me, included a visit to magnificent Whitehaven Beach and a view of more than 30 tropical islands. Then we’d enjoy an island reef snorkel at one of the many pristine coral reefs around the Whitsundays. To top it all off, there was a planned hike on one the islands to see the beautiful sand formations off the reef; and all this aboard the Big Fury, which also included a buffet lunch on the beach.

As it turned out, the passengers were mostly comprised of a younger group of sightseers from across the globe – mostly backpackers from Europe, the U.S. and nearby New Zealand. I easily made friends with everyone on the boat and had the time of my life. I’m posting a video of our adventure and how quickly we all became fast friends. It’s best you see it for yourself.

Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.

Last modified: July 27, 2017