Issue #164, 2016

Welcome to our Summer issue of Quickies,

keeping you posted with some of our latest news and happenings.

And so comes the end of 2016 and it certainly has been a big year! Operationally, we have welcomed our newest vessel, "Reef Adventure", into the Great Adventures fleet, our flagship wavepiercer Quicksilver VIII and Agincourt Reef platform underwent major refurbishments, as did Pro Dive Cairns' Scuba Pro III. We've introduced a new breed of environmentally friendly coach to upgrade our luxury coach fleet and also completed a major refurbishment of our Port Douglas Catering Kitchen. Phew!

Pro Dive Cairns made Australian history certifying their 150,000th diver and the 16th Cairns Great Barrier Reef branded 'experience' shop was opened in Shanghai China, just in time to welcome the Year of the Rooster. Looking ahead, 2017 will see the development of our new Quicksilver Dive Centre in Port Douglas.

Earlier in the year, the Great Barrier Reef experienced the widely reported coral bleaching event, predominantly in the Far Northern sector. In the nine months since this event, we have witnessed the robustness and resilience of the coral communities in our Cairns and Port Douglas region, including the annual coral spawning during November.

We're delighted to report as always, our passengers are continuing to see and experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. See the latest pictures from our wonderful reef sites quicksilvergroup.com.au/reefhealth.htm and check out the 360 degree video at Agincourt Reef in this issue of Quickies!

As we reflect on the year past and get ready to welcome the new, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, safe festive season and a prosperous 2017.

With warm tropical wishes from the Quicksilver Group Crew


Diving in with Quicksilver Dive Centre

With development plans approved and design underway, we're set to see construction begin on our new purpose built dive centre in Port Douglas in early 2017.

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The Quicksilver Dive Centre will be the only one of its kind in Port Douglas and will provide a state of the art facility for the adventure learn to dive market.

Tony Baker, Quicksilver Group Managing Director said, "The Quicksilver Dive centre will be a two-storey building and will also include a retail outlet and offices. We are confident in the growth of tourism in Port Douglas and this development will see Quicksilver continue investment in our facilities and services into the future. The property allows us to develop our marine activities in Port Douglas and still be close to the Marina."

Silversonic and Agincourt Reef star in 360 degree video

Our Port Douglas based dive and snorkel catamaran Silversonic and Agincourt Reef are the stars of one of Tourism Tropical North Queensland's incredible 360-degree videos.

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Filmed in November showcasing pristine reef sites at the Agincourt ribbon reef system, the amazing footage filmed by PhlipVids takes viewers into the Great Barrier Reef experience for an incredible virtual tour.

This 360-degree technology is best viewed on a tablet or smart phone. If on a desktop computer you can view it on Facebook or a VR Player. For other locations featured in TTNQ's suite of 360 degree videos, check out youtube.com/exploreTNQ or facebook.com/tropicalnorthqueensland

Showcasing Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to China

Shanghai is the location of the newest Cairns and Great Barrier Reef branded travel shop, opened on 22nd October. Giving customers a preview of what they can expect when they visit our beautiful World Heritage region, this is the 16th such branded shop opened over the past ten years in mainland China, and the fifth in Shanghai.

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The shop with Caissa Touristic-Shanghai CAISSA International Service is the result of a jointly funded partnership with the Cairns-based China Sales Group and Tourism Australia.

Attending the launch, Tony Baker, Quicksilver Group's Managing Director said, "It is a pleasure to be at this launch and see the huge levels of interest in our destination. It allows us to introduce Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to a wider audience and with the growth of Chinese flights into Australia it is a timely launch as we head into Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster."

Along with TA and TEQ representatives, China Sales Group members attending the opening included Quicksilver, Great Adventures, CAPTA, Hot Air, Seawalker Green Island, GBR Helicopters, Accor Hotels and Kingfisher Bay Resort and Tjapukai Culture Park.

Reef Health Update - Diving at Norman Reef - Great Diving Adventures!

Dive in and come with us for an underwater tour. Here's some amazing footage filmed on 2 December 2016 showcasing Great Adventures' Norman Reef destination.

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Quicksilver introduces "Interpretive Hotspots" onboard

Passengers travelling on Quicksilver's Outer Reef Cruise will now have the opportunity to gain more interpretive information about the Great Barrier Reef through an innovative new hotspot feature installed on both Quicksilver V and Quicksilver VIII. Easy to access with any Wi-Fi enabled device, the hotspot creates a new avenue for passengers to learn more through a marine biologist presentation and marine interpretation. It also features important safety information, snorkelling tips and details on what our guests can expect during their day on the Reef with Quicksilver.

Fishing up our faces for a great cause!

In support of Greening Australia's Reef Aid campaign, some of our fabulous Quicksilver crew put their dignity on the line to make their best fish face impressions!

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The campaign aimed to raise funds for Greening Australia's Great Barrier Reef program that supports the restoration of gullies and coastal wetlands, to reduce the amount of sediment that reaches the reef. To find out more about how you can help, check out Greening Australia's website https://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/project/great-barrier-reef . Pics of crew with fish faces .

Helping keep Green Island beautiful

We were delighted to welcome to Green Island 20 local youths, most on working holiday from Japan, who spent the gloriously sunny day participating in an island clean up.

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Hosted by our Japanese sales manager Hiro Nagano and Mr Ikeda from the Japanese Consulate, the group discovered a wide range of everyday items had been washed up on Green Island's unique coastline, which reinforces everybody's responsibility in preventing waste from reaching our oceans. The efforts of this environmentally aware group, is greatly appreciated in helping to keep Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef beautiful.

Wavedancer waves to the next generation

It's become a much-anticipated tradition for students completing their final year at local Douglas Shire primary schools - a free class trip to beautiful Low Isles on our sailing catamaran, Wavedancer!

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This year's annual excursion was as popular as ever with around 160 children from nine local schools taking part, along with teachers and parents.

It provides an opportunity for the kids to gain a better understanding of the Great Barrier Reef and its environment, as well as the role we play living in a World Heritage area. Quicksilver strongly believes in engaging with local children to help build a better future for this unique environment, investing $20,000 over two days to cater for the students and their escorts. The positive feedback is always overwhelming, with teachers also pleased to see their students socialising with others their own age who will soon face the challenge of moving into high school.

From the outback to the Reef! Supporting Indigenous Youth

Three hard working Amata School students from the heart of the outback recently experienced the Great Barrier Reef for the first time with Ocean Spirit at Michaelmas Cay.

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Britteny Edwards, Kylie Dingaman and Maria Windy were the winners of a student cooking competition held between 8 Central Australian schools. The 15 and 16 year olds cooked up a storm to be judged the best by three visiting chefs and their own peers. The Amata School is located in the APY Wildlands on the border of South Australia and the Northern Territory - around 2000km from Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef!

Pro Dive Cairns waves the flag in Las Vegas

Pro Dive Cairns sales executive Monika Baum attended the annual DEMA (Diving Equipment and Marketing Association) show in Las Vegas in November, waving the flag for the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region. The DEMA Show is a hugely popular dive exhibition, attracting divers, destinations and manufacturers from all over the world.

Christmas Lunch on Green Island

With no dishes to wash or cooking required, celebrating Christmas Day on tropical Green Island would be top of the wish list! Green Island Resort's Executive Chef, Shuki Salem, has done all the hard work with Emeralds Restaurant ready to serve a sumptuous buffet lunch feast featuring fresh local produce and traditional Christmas favourites.

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Available to resort house guests, limited seats are also available to be enjoyed by day visitors who want to make their Christmas just that little bit more special, along with the choice of a glass bottom boat tour or snorkelling on the Reef.

There's still time to book but be quick and bookings are essential. For more information contact the crew at Great Adventures Reservations on 4044 9944 or email [email protected].

Running for Animal Welfare

Raising funds for the rehousing of animal shelter Paws and Claws was the incentive for two of our wonderful staff to enter the Great Barrier Reef Marathon in November. Congratulations to Jen Cope (Business Events) and Emilie Keijzer (Marketing Assistant) who took on the hot tropical conditions to raise $650 in the fun run event.

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Paws and Claws based in Port Douglas, are in desperate need for donations after they were forced to close their doors in recent months.

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  • Nabila Huda: Malaysian actress and TV host Nabila Huda and her husband Bin, enjoyed a visit to the Outer Reef with Great Adventures. The couple were filming a TV episode for 'Romantika' during their Australian and Tropical North Queensland visit.

  • Sell TNQ makes a splash: The annual Sell TNQ, for meeting, event and incentive planners, went off swimmingly (excuse the pun!). We were delighted to showcase a day at Quicksilver's Agincourt Reef platform with representatives from across New Zealand and Australia experiencing the wonders of the reef from below with snorkeling, scuba and Oceanwalker helmet diving, and from above in scenic heli flights.


    The Spirit of Giving - Quicksilver Group Christmas
    Charity Appeal

    With the awesome support of our staff, industry colleagues, suppliers and friends who contributed to our annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Charity Appeal, we have been able to donate around $9000 of food and gifts to local charities. All donations will be distributed among local families and individuals by St Vincent's de Paul, the Salvation Army and the Douglas Community, to help bring a brighter Christmas to those in need.

    "The support and generosity of the local tourism industry and friends of tourism has been overwhelming," said Michael Healy Quicksilver Group Director Sales and Marketing. "Everything donated will certainly help make this Christmas much happier for a lot of families and people."

    The annual appeal has been ongoing since 2003 with local charities now relying on this support. This is very much an ongoing commitment and brings out the sense of community spirit at this time of year of all involved.

    Thank you to all Supporters!

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    Can you see me?

    The stonefish is a real master of disguise, getting its name from its uncanny ability to perfectly resemble a rock or piece of coral. It takes an experienced diver's eye to spy these weird looking critters on the Great Barrier Reef. It is also a fierce predator, able to attack and swallow small shrimp and fish in just 0.015 seconds. Among the stonefish's many other talents is the ability to produce up to one million eggs at a time, and to stay alive out of water for almost 24 hours. While the stonefish can fall prey to the usual suspects like sharks and rays, people also pose a threat in a most unusual way. The stonefish has become a delicacy in some parts of Asia, including China and Japan, where chefs heat the fish to neutralize the venom for Okoze Sashimi. This is such a dangerous process that chefs in the Philippines must be specially licensed to prepare the dish.


    Catherine Wang

    Welcome aboard to Catherine who has joined the Sales and Marketing team as our new Asia Sales Manager. Catherine can be contacted at [email protected]

    Leigh Brown

    Welcome to Leigh Brown, our new Port Douglas based Quicksilver and Wavedancer Sales Executive. Leigh joins us from the Port Douglas Pullman Sea Temple. Leigh can be contacted at [email protected]

    Emma Wolstencroft

    Emma Wolstencroft has taken on the role of our North American sales manager, along with her current responsibilities in the NZ, Domestic and local markets. Emma can be contacted at [email protected]


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    Postcard.... to Poseidon

    This was my first time out to the reef from Port Douglas and I was amazed by the coral reef and the variety of fishes - they are amazing! The crew spirit makes such a big difference on the trip, all crew on the boat are very passionate and you can tell they love what they are doing - rather than just a job. The boat is clean and comfortable and I would highly recommend Poseidon.

    With thanks Chee, Qld


    • ATEC Inbound Up North: This year's annual Inbound Up North brought out the creative and competitive as six teams spent the day experiencing a range of wonderful activities whilst waging Instagram war. We're happy to say our #TeamSeaTurtle won the day, after enjoying a trip to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Cairns Lagoon and a great day out with Great Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef.
    • Christmas Day operations: The following day cruises will be operating as normal on Christmas Day: Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise; Great Adventures Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Green Island Eco Adventure and Green Island Discovery
    • Green Island Resort: will be closed for maintenance from 20 January to 2 February 2017.
    • Great Adventures new website launched. After an extensive redesign, Great Adventures new website featuring wonderful imagery and easy navigation, makes it easy to discover Great Adventures wonderful range of Green Island and Outer Barrier Reef cruises. Jump online to check it out! greatadventures.com.au
    • Did you know we're on Instagram?! Instagram.com/ReefCruises and Instagram.com/ProDiveCairns

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