Low Isles Daytrip: Sailing and Snorkelling from Port Douglas
Only a few kilometres offshore from Port Douglas, the Low Isles Queensland are a beautiful protected marine park in the Great Barrier Reef and a haven for seabirds, green sea turtles, reef sharks and snorkellers.
If you’re staying in Port Douglas, a day trip to the Low Isles should definitely be at the top of your itinerary.
The views are stunning and with swaying palm trees and a distinctive lighthouse popping up out of the blue, you won’t forget that ‘castaway on a tropical island’ feeling as the anchor drops into the water.
There are several tour operators heading out to the Low Isles each day but if you’ve got the budget, we would definitely recommend opting for a small group sailing tour rather than one of the big boats.
With such a small group the service is intimate and personalised. The boat is sparkling white and clean with plenty of space for everyone to stretch out comfortably for a relaxing chat or snooze on the way home.
Andy, the skipper, gave the group a good lesson on how to snorkel for those who hadn’t done it before, and explained where the best areas to swim were.
One of the reasons the Great Barrier Reef is so ‘great’ for visitors is the fact that you don’t need to be a fully certified scuba diver to experience it up close.
The Barrier Reef’s coral-fringed islands, like the Low isles, are ideal for people who are not confident swimmers.
In fact, on the day we went there was at least one fellow guest who couldn’t swim at all, but with a couple of ‘noodles’ tucked under her body she felt confident enough to swim all the way back to the boat.
And while the visibility and colours around the islands are not as good as the outer Barrier Reef, one of the positives of coming to the Low Isles is the chance of seeing sea turtles and reef sharks.
We were lucky enough to see both as well as lots of others varieties of fish.
We also had a look at the lighthouse although you can’t go in it.
There are actually two islands in this group – Low Island and Woody Island (a unique mangrove island and fish nursery).
We tucked in to salads, cold meats, prawns and breads.
The left over prawn heads were thrown into the water and quickly eaten up by a couple of black tipped sharks and giant trevallies.
Andy had already mentioned during his snorkelling briefing that there were sharks in the area and I have to say he did a really good job of allaying peoples fears about ‘Jaws’.
Reef sharks are beautiful elegant animals to see in the water and they’re quite small and timid so there’s definitely nothing to be afraid of.
After lunch we had time for another snorkel before a nice relaxing sail back to Port Douglas. Overall this is an awesome day on the reef and highly recommended.
travel nq fast facts
- The daytrip on Aquarius to the Low Isles includes food and drinks. Soft drinks are extra. Guests are allowed to take their own alcohol along if you fancy a nice glass of wine on the way back.
- Snorkelling equipment including stingers suits are provided.
- This is a protected area so no fishing, hunting or collecting is allowed.