Take a weekend cruise to CQ’s Best Reef on the Adori
It is no surprise to John Hallett that his “big blue backyard” contains three of the reefs voted Queensland’s 10 best.
Mr Hallett and his wife Lyn have run a charter boat business out of Rosslyn Bay for the best part of 45 years.
But reaching the Crystal Blue Hole, about 270km offshore from Yeppoon, remains as “spectacular” as when John first saw it.
“The reef is structured out over the lagoon; you come over the bombies and it’s a nice cosy place to anchor,” he said.
“If the boat lays the right way, you just jump over the side but, if the winds aren’t right, then you take a tender over to the reef and swim back to the boat.”
The Adori is a 56-foot airconditioned vessel that features one four-berth cabin with its own shower, as well as two ensuite cabins down aft.
It’s the “fifth or sixth” boat for Rockhampton-born Hallett who traded in a plumbing trade for life on the sea.
He skippers the vehicle and supervises the SCUBA dives, as well as preparing meals and entertaining the guests.
“Breakfast could be bacon and eggs, lunch cold meats and salads, dinner a roast lamb or steak or pork spare ribs,” he said.
“In between dives, everyone relaxes on board.”
Before COVID, he was running more than 20 trips a year but in the past year that number was significantly less.
Mr Hallett provides the tanks and weight belts and customers take their own personal dive gear.
The most popular charters leave Rosslyn Friday evening and return on Sunday.
However, the Top 10 Lesser-Known Reefs judge, Johnny Gaskell, spent a whole week aboard the Adori, in order to fully explore what Swains Reef and the Keppels had to offer.
He chose three of the Adori destinations – Little Barron Reef, Unnamed Reef and the Crystal Blue Hole – for his top 10.
He said it “doesn’t get better” than the Crystal Blue Hole, a small reef with a “perfect” lagoon anchorage right next to a 45m, deep chasm.
“Inside the hole there was coral cover all around the edge, then a steep drop down into the blue,” he said.
“I couldn’t even see the bottom.”
Here are the Top 10 Lesser Known Reefs results:
- 10. Sudbury Reef, Cairns
- 9. Little Barron Reef, Yeppoon *
- 8. Kangaroo Reef, Bowen
- 7. Unnamed Reef (21-227 GBRMPA ref.), Capricorn Coast *
- 6. Fitzroy Reef, Great Keppel Island
- 5. Tiger Reef, Bowen
- 4. Briggs Reef, Cairns
- 3. Secret Reef, Whitsundays
- 2. Elisabeth Reef, Whitsundays
- 1. Crystal Blue Hole, Yeppoon *
- Adori Charters