Pioneers of Reef Eco-tourism
Wavelength is the longest running reef operator in Port Douglas apart from Quicksilver. It is also the only outer reef tour company that is still owned by Port Douglas locals.
Starting in the 1980’s, under the ownership of eco-tourism pioneer Steve Simpson, we retain the original philosophy; a small group, low-impact, close to nature educational adventure. Wavelength was one of the first Advanced Eco-Accredited operators in the country and co-founders of the Eye on the Reef program, one of the largest reef monitoring programs in the world. Nowadays Wavelength is owned by John and Jenny Edmondson, both local marine biologists, with two young children (Jack and Katie) and a lifelong passion for the ocean.
What are the advantages of snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef with Wavelength?
Wavelength provides small personalised snorkelling tours to the Great Barrier Reef with no more than 48 passengers. On average, other Great Barrier Reef tour operators take group sizes of 90 passengers or more to the reef on one boat, and some of the larger boats can take as many as 400 passengers. With Wavelength we don’t have a large or diverse business and our full attention is just on our small group of passengers, so you can be assured of excellent care and service.
Snorkel only operation
Wavelength selects all our sites based on the specific needs of snorkellers. As coral needs sunlight to grow, the best coral and fish diversity is near the surface. We take you to exclusive reef sites owned by Wavelength and chosen specifically on the day by the skipper to suit the tides and weather conditions. As one of the longest established local Great Barrier Reef tour operators, Wavelength have the best selection of outer reef sites available for snorkelling.
On windy days Wavelength takes our snorkellers to protected shallow lagoon sites on the outer reef to maximise comfort and ease of snorkelling. When it comes to site selection, mixed dive/snorkel operators tend to favour divers more on their Great Barrier Reef tours. Most of the time on these boats, snorkellers have to wait until all the divers are in the water before they can get in and the schedule is dictated by dive times. Many of our favourite sites are just not suitable for divers as they are not deep enough. Divers, especially novices learning buoyancy control, can also bump into and damage coral, and well used sites can show the effects. Our sites are pristine and largely untouched by humans.
Wavelength employs qualified marine biologists as crew in order to offer a high level of interpretation of the Great Barrier Reef as we believe this enhances our guests experience and appreciation of this remarkable World Heritage listed wonder. Our snorkelling marine biologists take our passengers on a guided tour, explaining the many interesting intricacies of the Great Barrier Reef marine life and habitats. They also give a fascinating lunch-time talk. There are normally three biologists on board each day.
Exclusive use snorkelling sites
We have more exclusive use moorings on the Great Barrier Reef than any other local tour operator selected exclusively for the needs and requirements of snorkellers. Our sites are not crowded with other snorkellers or boats.
Independent local ownership
As is typical these days, most reef tour businesses are part of larger corporations, with Port Douglas boats Poseidon, Silversonic and Quicksilver part of the Japanese owned Quicksilver Group, Calypso owned by publicly listed company Experience Co, and Aqua-Quest owned by Cairns company Deep Sea Divers Den. The results of being a small business with family ownership are visible in the attention to details, the personal service, the crew’s enthusiasm and passion, and our intimate knowledge of the local reefs.
Long term Port Douglas tour operator
With more than 30 years of local operations, you can be assured that Wavelength is a reputable and experienced Great Barrier Reef tour operator. If we are still here after 30 years then we must be doing something RIGHT!
As an Advanced Eco-Certified tourism operator, we do our best to remain as eco-friendly as we can be. Have a look at our eco philosophy here.