17 December 2008

See the Great Barrier Reef with kids

Still on my list of must-sees in the wider world is the Great Barrier Reef, but I've been warned many times that I'll just have to wait until my children are older... and here we are with another one on the way. Friends and family members who have made it out to the reef have cautioned me from their own experiences that it’s a long monotonous haul just to get out there, involving small speed boats, choppy waters, etc., and then of course everyone abandons the boat to take to the water. In other words, it’s no place to take a baby.

Think again. If you’re considering a family vacation in Australia, don’t rule out an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef just because you have a baby, toddler, or any assortment of very young children along for the ride. With a Sunlover Reef Cruise, your entire family (even the non-swimming members in diapers) can enjoy a leisurely daytrip from Cairns to the outer Great Barrier Reef in total comfort with family-friendly amenities, including stroller-friendly decks.

Children who aren’t ready to test the open waters can enjoy finding Nemo with a guided viewing of the coral and its creatures from a “semi-submersible” and glass-bottom boat. They can also touch some of the unique marine animals they’ll see in a marine touch tank onboard. And when they’re finished with that, let them enjoy the children’s wading pool on deck while you relax at sea.

Parents may enjoy taking turns with their snorkels or taking advantage of Sunlover’s included introductory and certified scuba diving, plus world famous Seawalker Platform Helmet Diving (extra fee). All snorkeling equipment is provided, along with a hot buffet luncheon including fresh seafood, and afternoon tea.

Children under 4 years old are always free on Sunlover Reef Cruises, and from now through the end of January 2009, children 4 through 14 years may cruise free with paid adults. Find out more at the sites for Sunlover Reef Cruises and Cairns Family Holidays.

For more info: See more family-friendly vacation ideas and read reviews of family attractions in Australia’s Tropical North Queensland in this helpful section at Cairns Family Holidays. For help planning travel overseas with a baby or young child, check out Shelly's book Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children..

Article by Shelly Rivoli Author of 'Travels with Baby' Read More

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