Surfing Great Barrier Reef: Yes You Can!


Surfing Great Barrier Reef. Okay, I know what you're thinking. How can you possibly be surfing the Reef when a lace wall of coral breaks all your waves before you can get to them?

Alright. Let me be a little more specific -- how about kite surfing the Reef!

Have you tried kite surfing yet? That qualifies as surfing Great Barrier Reef, right? What better place?

Let's first explore Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, then I'll tell you what I plan to do there and where I will stay.

Not only are your surf waves getting caught, keeping you from surfing Great Barrier Reef, Capt. James Cook's Endeavour was grounded by the Reef in 1770.

To call it one reef is really a misnomer, because it is actually a collection of 2,900 smaller reefs, forming a lace net of lime-based coral that covers 137,600 square miles (344,000 square kilometers), and is just 31 miles (50 kilometers) from shore in some places.

The underwater "city" of brightly-colored coral peaks out through the crystal clear water just below 300 little islands scattered along the surface.

This is standing on the shoulders of your ancestors at its best. Each new coral polyp, which produces a shell, then attaches itself to neighbor coral polyps to sculpt a mosaic colony, is resting on the skeletal remains of its ancestor coral polyps.

It's actually algae that then attaches to the coral that gives it the exotic colors you see.

The Great Barrier Reef is a very diverse underwater "city" with 500 species of hard and soft coral, 1500 varieties of tropical fish and 4,000 kinds of mollusks, all forming a delicate, symbiotic community.


I'm sure you've heard that the Reef is in danger from visitors (yup! just under 2 million of us per year), overfishing, pollutants from boats, farms, ranches and industry. Of course, global warming poses an even greater threat.

Scientists doubt that the Reef could survive even a 5% increase in temperature.

Well, that just means we need to use our human ingenuity and figure something out! I'm not much into doomsday drama. We need to be responsible and as creative as we have been to solve other problems we've faced.

I know. You came to find out about surfing Great Barrier Reef. It's almost whispered legend that there are a couple of places where you can catch some amazing waves.

My research has told me that, either the local surfers are keeping these spots quiet or the consensus that there is no consistent place for surfing Great Barrier Reef rules.

I've found a couple surfers talking about "getting lucky" a couple of times, but that's about it.

You'd about have to understand what is happening along the Reef with the weather and water to find good surfing Great Barrier Reef -- i suppose you could make a new sport out of it, like storm-chasing except you'd be wave-chasing.

I don't know, sounds pretty tough.

So, kite surfing! I would say it trumps surfing! It's windsurfing, surfing and paragliding all wrapped into one! Are you ready for a huge adrenalin rush? I am! Besides, I don't know how to surf, and windsurfing is really hard!

So what you'll do to go kite surfing in the Great Barrier Reef is stand on a wake board, which is shorter than a surfboard so you can easily maneuver.

You're then like a puppet on a string -- no, just kidding! But you will be unless you take lessons!

If you've ever flown a sizable kite, you have different strings to pull to make it do different things, right? Same with kite surfing. The kites are about 5 square meters (huge), with 4 primary control lines.

So, by adjusting the angle of the kite in the wind, you can PROPEL yourself in whichever direction you like! You'll want more than 10 knots of breeze but not a hurricane.

I've seen local kite surfers try to surf when it is too windy and raining -- yuk! What a mess. They spent the whole time trying to untangle everything over and over.

I also want to emphasize again that you'll want to take lessons and be patient with yourself. That's what I'll be doing when I go kite surfing on the Great Barrier Reef!

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The most popular kite surfing beach in North Queensland is right near where I'll be staying! it's called Yorkey's Knob. They have places that can give you lessons and set you up with gear.

Honestly, though, as long as I have a really good instructor, I'd rather be alone when I learn kite surfing Great Barrier Reef.

Can you imagine? Gliding on the glass smooth water above the Reef, seeing a kaleidoscope of coral flashing through the crystal clear water as you fly!

There, how do you like that for surfing Great Barrier Reef? I'll also snorkel, of course. I can't wait to be nose to nose with those amazing exotic fish (but no hugging, I can't believe that is good for them)! Scuba diving? Maybe another time, I'm going to focus on learning kite surfing first!

First Class Dirt Cheap Vacation Surfing Great Barrier Reef

Where am I going to take my tired body after a day of learning kite surfing Great Barrier Reef? The Worldmark Cairns! I can wash out my sand-filled swimsuit because I have a washer and dryer in my first class condo! We can then relax in the lagoon pool and spa.

Of course, other on-site amenities include a sauna, tennis court, putting green, walking and golf-cart trails. Nearby amenities include restaurants, a casino, golf, and of course, sailing, scuba diving and waterskiing.

Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to how much -- but you're not going to believe me!

The resort costs me nothing!

I check-in, but I just wave on the way out!

I just use Worldmark credits. I am not kidding! Review how it all works at What are the Best Timeshares and The Best Bottomline. With any of the more than 60 Worldmark resorts, I just use credits. No exchange fees.

Can it get any simpler?

I can't wait to experience kite surfing Great Barrier Reef! Can you?

Move on to Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

Go back to Seven World Wonders from Surfing Great Barrier Reef

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