Today Show host tells nation of beauty of our Whitsunday reefs
THE irony of immersing herself in the spectacular beauty of the Great Barrier Reef on a picture-perfect morning – exactly three months after Cyclone Debbie tore through the Whitsundays – was not lost on Sylvia Jeffreys during her recent trip to the region.
The Channel Nine Today Show presenter said visiting the reef, from a reopened Hamilton Island four weeks ago, was a “remarkable” experience.
“It was so nice just to put my head under the water and see all the marine life. It’s all about being up close and personal with the reef and there is something truly awe-inspiring when you first see all that life under the water. As soon as your face breaks the water and you see all these marvellous fish and colours zipping around the coral, you really have this humbling feeling of ‘this is their territory and I’m really lucky to be here’,” she said.
Her comments and the release of her photos from the trip came as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) voted not to add the Great Barrier Reef to its list of sites in danger – a relief to the tourism industry with the reef now estimated to be worth $56 billion.
Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Craig Turner said the reef remained a “world-class” destination. He said visitors were still getting the best when it came to snorkelling and diving, with facilities such as the pontoon at Reef World improved.
“The Whitsundays on their worst day are better than most places on their best day,” he said.
Mr Turner said the industry was determined to return to record pre-cyclone visitor numbers.
FLYING HIGH: Today Show host Sylvia Jeffreys said visiting the reef in the Whitsundays post Cyclone Debbie was a remarkable experience.