Qantas Specials from Canada to Cairns


If you live in Canada and are interested in visiting the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, now is the time to take advantage of this offer. The following Australia fare sale is valid for outbound travel departing between now and 8 June 2009. This fare sale expires at midnight Pacific Time (PT) on Tuesday, 31 March 2009!

All prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
Vancouver to Cairns Round trip from $1198 Book Now
Toronto to Cairns Round trip from $1698 Book Now

See more of Australia with a Qantas Aussie AirPass from $1199 that gives you 4 cities for one low price!
Hurry, the Qantas Aussie AirPass expires on Tuesday, 31 March 2009. Book Now

Don’t Forget to Book Your Trip to the Great Barrier Reef as well. Book Now
As per usual see the airlines website for all the details.

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What Does the UV Index Mean?


A lot of of our guests hear on the local radio and TV reference to a UV index and ask what it means. UV is what gives Aussies our tanned, rugged, good looks and, like everything in life, everything in moderation. So we have included the table here for a reference for travellers to the region. Anything above 3 can cause damage in the sun. In the tropics around the world the average reading is often much higher then this. So sun protection on the Great Barrier Reef and in the rainforest is just common sense and will help you enjoy your trip much more. These easy steps above will help protect you and make your experiences that much better, and remember drink lots of water. The current index can be found on the BoM Website.

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Reefcheck Australia Training Courses


Reefcheck Australia are now seeking Volunteer Coral Reef Surveyors.
• Become part of the community of coral reef surveyors.
• Learn how to monitor coral reef health.
• Improve your underwater knowledge and skills.
• Build your diving experience, log lots of dives.
• Some training costs are involved, but once qualified, you can participate in survey expeditions!!
More details on training can be found at their website
For expressions of interest please email or call !
Contact support@reefcheckaustralia.org or call (07) 4724 3950 for more information (including timetables for each course).

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Lion Fish – Species of the Reef


The lionfish blends very well into it’s environment. The photo above was taken by one of our guests, Hans Knudsen, trying to capture the ravine and beautiful fans. He was surprised to see a lion fish in the front right of the picture when he got home and looked at his photos from the trip.

A Lionfish is any of several species of venomous but not aggressive marine fish in the genera Pterois, Parapterois, Brachypterois, Ebosia or Dendrochirus, of the family Scorpaenidae. The lionfish is also known as the Turkey Fish, Dragon Fish, Scorpion or Fire Fish. They are notable for their extremely long and separated spines, and have a generally striped appearance, red, green, navy green, brown, orange, yellow, black, maroon, or white.
The lionfish is native to the tropical Indo-Pacific region of the world, but various species can be found worldwide. Due to a recent introduction, the lionfish has recently been spotted in the warmer coral regions of the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Lionfish are an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea regions. Successful breeding of the lionfish in captivity has not been reported. In early 2009, the Lionfish was spotted in the Florida Keys, seemingly increasing its range.
There are many types of lionfish that vary in size. The common lionfish generally reaches a size of 30-35cm, while smaller lionfish, like the Fuzzy Dwarf, are typically the size of a tennis ball, not including fins.
We encourage everyone (divers and fishermen) to be extremely cautious and avoid contact with the venomous spines of the lionfish. Although they are not deadly, they are very painful. Lionfish are not aggressive toward humans and will almost always keep their distance when given the opportunity, so they pose a relatively low risk.
The lionfish is one of the most venomous fish on the ocean bottom floor. Lionfish have venomous dorsal spines that are used purely for defense. When threatened, the fish often faces its attacker in a head-down posture which brings its spines to bear. However, a lionfish’s sting is usually not fatal to humans.
Lionfish are voracious predators. When hunting, they corner prey using their large fins and then use their quick reflexes to swallow the prey whole. In captivity, lionfish can be trained to eat frozen brine shrimp, mysis, and krill.
However the lionfish have very few natural predators, but the grouper and other lionfish have been found with lionfish remains in their stomachs. Below is a clearer picture of the lionfish out in the open on a small coral outcrop.
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