How To Get To Sleep On The Great Barrier Reef, Qld

Do you think you could get a good night’s sleep on a pontoon floating above the Great Barrier Reef 70km off the coast of Queensland? Here’s what it’s light to spend the night on ReefWorld’s ReefSleep.

Staying overnight on the Great Barrier Reef - Reefworld and Reefsleep

Moored in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, ReefWorld is a 45-metre long triple-deck pontoon that up to 200 day-trippers from Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach come to explore the underwater world of Hardy’s Reef.

But after 3pm, the Cruise Whitsundays catamaran returns all by 24 of you for dry land, you’re left with the whole 1,100m² of this giant pontoon at your disposal.

Check out our video from ReefWorld:

Until the sun starts to set, you can snorkel, swim and even scuba (no PADI licence necessary) to your heart’s content.

And after evening cocktails and a three-course feast, you retire to your ReefSleep bed on the top deck.

Is It Easy To Sleep On ReefWorld?

Although the beds aren’t that big and the zip-up canopy covering you is quite low, there’s no feeling of claustrophobia—it’s a good example of glamping really.

Reefworld in the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef - Reefsleep

The mattress is very comfortable and although the pontoon moves on the waves, the motion isn’t a problem. In fact, the resident marine biologist was surprised when we all told him how well we’d slept.

Overnight winds had gusted up to 40km per hour.

After a full day of snorkelling and scuba diving, as well as an attentive bartender and an ample dinner, not even gale-force winds could keep me awake.

It was early May when we were here and even though ReefWorld is in the tropics, it’s also out at sea. Evenings were cool and the night air could turn chilly when the wind blew.

Reefworld in the Whitsundays - beautiful Great Barrier Reef

However, zipping our bed up all the way made things so cosy we didn’t need blankets when we slept.

In the summer, if there’s no breeze, it will probably be warmer, but each ReefSleep bed has an electric fan, and removing the heavy canvas outer layer of the beds would allow for plenty of airflow without compromising privacy.

Do You Get Sea Sick On ReefWorld?

ReefWorld pontoon is permanently and securely anchored to the seabed. However, it does move a bit with the motion of the sea.

The best part about being in the middle of a coral reef is the surges and high waves of the deep ocean don’t get to the pontoon. Those big waves break on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef a long way from ReefWorld.

We didn’t need seasickness medication or ginger sweets while we were there, but if you’re very susceptible to motion sickness, it’s a good idea to take some just in case.

To be honest, the voyage out to ReefWorld can be a bigger problem, especially if it’s windy.

Reefworld in the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef - Jim in Reefbed made up for daytime

Christina and I found the movement of the pontoon quite relaxing and kind of rocked us to sleep. Add that to all the fresh sea air and the exertions of snorkelling and scuba diving all day, not to mention the ample dinner and wine, we slept like two logs!

For more stories on the Great Barrier Reef, click here!

The only thing that hampered our sleep was the excitement of being on the Great Barrier Reef. The moon rose out of the ocean in the middle of the night, which I’m glad I woke for, and the sun coming up on the other side of the horizon made sure we didn’t sleep in too long.

So if concerns over what your night will be like on ReefWorld and ReefSleep is the only thing stopping you from going, it’s time to book your bed now!

Staying overnight on the Great Barrier Reef - Reefworld and Reefsleep

We visited ReefWorld and spent the night on ReefSleep as media guests of Journey Beyond and Cruise Whitsundays, but our experiences and opinions remain our own.

Be first to comment