Australia

News Scoop! airguides’ First Guided Expedition

Bibi Jellema, Airguides

21 July 2021

We have a very special announcement! We are incredibly proud to announce our first ever guided expedition. With none other than the crazy talented wildlife photographer Jono Allen and Master Reef Guide Jacinta Shackleton as expedition leaders, who handpicked all locations and experiences. This one of a kind photography and marine life adventure will take you to the most stunning locations on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. 

Join us on a limited 8-Day Photography and Marine Life Adventure on the world famous Southern Great Barrier Reef. Limited to only 8 people, this expedition will take you to the snorkel paradise of Heron Island, Lady Elliot Island, famous for its Manta Ray population, and Hervey Bay, where you will swim with Humpback Whales.

Plus, meet two of Australia’s most celebrated underwater photographers and learn underwater photography and how to interact with the spectacular marine life. 

We will let the video speak for itself. Shot by Jono Allen.

Lady Elliot Island

Photograph by Jono Allen

Day 1: Heron Island

Welcome to Queensland! We will be waiting for you at Brisbane Airport. Together we will fly to Gladstone and take the ferry to Heron Island.

Enjoy a tour of the island with Jono and Jacinta before your first guided snorkel experience. After freshening up, you will join Jono and Jacinta at the bar to enjoy dinner followed by an intimate chat. Your expedition leaders will introduce themselves and share their passion for the ocean.

Overnight at Heron Island Resort.

 

Heron Island

Photograph by Jono Allen

Day 2: Heron Island

Wake up in Heron Island, an evergreen coral cay. Get up early to join Jono and Jacinta for a sunrise snorkel in the bay off Heron Island.

Head back to your cabin before joining us for breakfast and a Masterclass on Marine Life Interactions. After breakfast, you have the chance to go for a snorkel before joining everyone on a boat tour out to the reef.

After dinner, Jono and Jacinta will present a Masterclass on Diving and Underwater Photography.

Overnight at Heron Island Resort.

 

Humpback Whale

Photograph by Jono Allen

Day 3: Heron Island

Rise and shine, it is time to join Jono and Jacinta on a sunrise snorkel in the bay off Heron Island.

Head back to your cabin before joining us for breakfast. After breakfast, you have the chance to explore Heron Island or go for another snorkel. In the afternoon, you will join everyone on a boat tour out to the reef.

After dinner, Jacinta will present a Masterclass on the Southern Great Barrier Reef and the Marine Life that call it home.

Overnight at Heron Island Resort.

Green Turtle at Heron Island

Photograph by Mark Fitz

Day 4: Gladstone

This is your last morning on Heron Island. Join Jono and Jacinta for a guided snorkel before you enjoy breakfast.

After breakfast, we have arranged a private tour of Heron Island Research Station, a world class marine station for coral reef research and education. Explore the facilities, hear about the stunning biodiversity and ecosystems surrounding you, and learn about their incredible conservation work to protect the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Together we will take the lunchtime ferry back to the mainland where you have free time to explore Gladstone.

Overnight in Gladstone.

Manta Rays

Photograph by Jacinta Shackleton

Day 5: Hervey Bay

Get excited because day five is an extra special one!

The amazing crew from Lady Elliot Island are picking us up in a private charter. Enjoy a scenic flight with stunning views of the reefs before we land on Lady Elliot Island, a coral cay located at the southern tip of the GBR. Located within a highly protected ‘Green Zone’, Lady Elliot is home to a vast array of turtles and manta rays.

We will spend a full day here. Enjoy a boat trip out to the reef with the group and explore the pristine reefs surrounding the island.

A scenic flight will take you back to the mainland later in the day.

Overnight at Ramada by Wyndham, Hervey Bay.

I believe the difference between simply ‘ticking a box’ and having a life changing experience, comes down purely to connection. The difference between simply witnessing a whale underwater, and having one spin around you in joy that you’ve connected closely with, is simply incomparable.

–Jono Allen

Day 6: Hervey Bay

Before we join the gentle giants of the deep, we will go on a unique cultural journey. The Djinang Cultural Walking Tour connects you with the culture of the local Butchulla people when you walk in the footsteps of a local Butchulla Guide. Discover the significant sites in Hervey Bay and K’gari (Fraser Island).

Then, we will get dropped off at the marina for your first encounter with Humpback Whales. An experienced boat crew will take us out for a full day of swimming with the majestic creatures, in the most respectful way.

Finish this magical day with dinner and an Underwater Photography Editing Masterclass with both Jacinta and Jono.

Overnight at Ramada by Wyndham, Hervey Bay.

Gentle Giants of the Deep

Photograph by Jono Allen

A Special Encounter

Photograph by Jono Allen

Day 7: Hervey Bay

This expedition would not be complete without experiencing the natural wonders of K’gari (Fraser Island). You will head out for a full day of whale watching, snorkelling, kayaking and exploring K’gari.

The boat we have organised is one of the nicest in K’gari, complete with warm showers and a licensed bar. This will be another highlight experience to wrap up our Southern Great Barrier Reef adventure.

On the last night, you will have a relaxed group dinner by the pool at Ramada and enjoy a few tropical drinks.

Overnight at Ramada by Wyndham, Hervey Bay.

Heron Island Sunset

Photograph by Mark Fitz

Day 8: Hervey Bay

Enjoy a breakfast at Ramada on your last morning in Hervey Bay.

Then, it is time to fly back to Brisbane Airport. Our team will work closely with you to choose a flight time that suits you best.

Reserve a spot on this special photography and marine life adventure: 8-Day Southern GBR Photography Expedition