Port Douglas has always been famous for its clear dark skies brightened by the infinite glow of the stars.
But visitors have never been treated to a guided astronomy tour using military grade lasers while floating on the waters of the Coral Sea.
That is until now.
Pioneering Port Douglas businessman John Morris has teamed up with Blue Dive owner Mark Fraenkel to offer an unprecedented nighttime experience on board one of the most popular vessels in town.
Enter the Sunset and Stargazing Adventure Cruise by Blue Dive on the Choo Choo Explorer.
Using the finest in licensed green star spotting lasers, the second half of the cruise is dominated by the cosmic enchantment in the sky.
“We had a vision and wanted to offer something that’s never been seen before in Port Douglas,” Fraenkel said.
“The southern sky shines brightest in Australia, so for people to experience its magic on a guided stargazing expedition on water is very unique.
“It’s certainly an exciting collaboration between John Morris and Blue Dive Port Douglas.”
The tour, rubber-stamped by the Astronomical Society of Australia, also offers a rare opportunity to see the region’s exciting wildlife under the cover of darkness.
How? Using specifically designed, red-beamed, wildlife spotting torches, of course.
“We wanted to offer a tropical wildlife experience and give visitors a chance to spot a crocodile, or some of the vast array of nocturnal animals, at night,” Fraenkel said.
“A lot of thought has gone into making this one of the best experiences in the region using state-of-the-art equipment.”
After taking in the rainforest-clad Great Diving Range at sunset, the adventure makes its way up the mangrove-lined Dicksons Inlet where keen eyes begin to scan the waterways.
The tour then turns toward the sky where the history of the constellations are passed on by a trained guide, along with tales from Kuku Yalanji folklore.
“Our beautiful star-studded sky is like a time machine, there are just so many incredible stories to be told and that’s what this tour is all about,” Fraenkel adds.
“The moon’s light takes 1.3 seconds to get to us, and the sun, our nearest star, over eight minutes.
“So we point out some very distant stars that potentially have died hundreds and hundreds of years ago.”
The cruise, which runs for almost two hours, includes free nibbles and a paid bar. Trips run on Monday and Thursday at 5.30pm from the Port Douglas marina.
SUNSET & STARGAZING ADVENTURE CRUISE
by Blue Dive on the Choo Choo Explorer
For more information and to book visit www.bluedive.com.au/stargazing, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0427 983 907.