Ocean Freedom Destinations - Upolu Cay & Upolu Reef
Ocean Freedom has two stunning destinations, one close to Upolu Cay and the other on the outer edge of Upolu Reef.
Upolu Cay is a beautiful coral formation surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water. It is a moving, changing system: its shape and size change with the currents, wind and wave action. The beautiful white “sand” is actually not sand at all, but crushed up dead and sun bleached coral and reef animal skeletons.
As it is a natural pontoon - the cay size and visibility is subject to conditions on the day but the clear shallow blue waters surrounding the cay (whether visible or not) are always there! In certain conditions when the cay is visible and conditions allow guests are actually able to land on the Cay ( see above photo ). Ensure you get some photos at this memorable location; in the background you will see Green Island, which thousands of years ago also started as a simple sand cay.
You can return to Ocean Freedom on tender, or snorkel back over shallow coral gardens viewing the hard and soft corals and vibrant coloured marine life, under the watchful eye of our lookouts.
Upolu Reef our second site for the day, boasts the amazing "Wonder Wall" streaming with sea life. Crew comment that they have never seen so many different "nemo" species on one site!
Learn more about this amazing ecosystem on a guided adventure drift snorkel tour with our marine naturalist. He will point out the different types of coral, fish and marine critters, explaining their life cycle and importance to the reef environment.
Upolu Reef and Upolu Cay are both a part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This area is approximately 348,700 square kilometers, running along the Queensland coastline from just north of Bundaberg to the tip of the Cape York Peninsula, over 2,300 kilometers in length.
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of over 2,900 reefs. This includes 760 fringing reefs and 300 coral cays. Upolu Cay Reef (16-046) is a middle-shelf Planar Reef within the Cairns Section at latitude 16°40.5' longitude 145°56'.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem home to approxiamately:
- 1,500 species of fish
- 400 species of corals
- 4,000 species of mollusks
- 500 species of sea-weed
- 215 species of birds
- 16 species of sea-snake
- 6 species of sea turtles
- and some of the largest Dugong population in the world