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Why you should travel with Ocean Rafting in the Whitsundays!

Fish Ocean Rafting Whitsundays
Ocean Rafting Nathan Fleming

Nathan Fleming
Sales Captain - Ocean Rafting

What is the name of your tour activity, where are you located, and what do you offer as a product?

Our tour is Ocean Rafting. We are located in beautiful Whitsundays in North Queensland, and we offer a day tour around the Whitsunday Islands.

What age demographic usually travels on your tours?

Our age range from six months right up to 99 years of age.

Ocean Rafting has 2 types of tours, you've got the Northern Exposure, and then the Southern Lights?

Yes, that's right. So we've got the Northern Exposure's where you will have more time in the water snorkelling, and then the southern tour you spend more time at Whitehaven Beach.

What level of fitness would you say you need to participate on the tour?

If you can walk 100 metres, you're all sweet.

We offer a fast, fun, safe experience. You're out there within an hour to Whitehaven Beach, one of the fastest vessels out there.

What about swimming skills required for Ocean rafting?

Very basic skills are needed. We've got noodles and life vests on board the boat too, so you don't have to be an Olympic swimmer. With our boat, you only need 30 centimetres of water, you don't have to get off the boat to actually get in the water to see the marine life.

What are some tips to bring, or have prepared for arriving on the tour?

Very simple. Sunscreen, water, sense of adventure, and a nice warm jacket for the ride home.

Do you provide food on the tour?

Yes we do, we have a buffet lunch. It's $16, it's optional, and it's all you can eat and it's served at Whitehaven Beach, otherwise you're most welcome to bring your own lunch and we can keep it cold for you for the day.

What kind of training do your guides receive and how experienced are they?

So with our guides, every three months they go through product training, also safety training on board the boats while they're there, and their first days, they get some CPR and O2 training. Shipboard safety is done every year or two years, depending on which course they're doing.

What type of vessel does your company offer the guests and how many people usually travel on the tour?

We've got six rib raft inflatables, they're 12 metres in length, and they range from 25-people to 32-seater boats as well.

Can you run me through an itinerary of what the client will experience on the tour?

We pick them up from their front door of their accommodation, hotels, and then Airlie Beach. We then head down for a check-in service, where they sign their lives away. They get a boarding pass, and then they'll jump on one of our vessels. Head out to snorkelling, depending on if they're north or south tour, and then they'll head up to Tongue Bay for the lookout, then spend time at Whitehaven Beach, and then make their way home.

Do you visit Hill Inlet Lookout?

Yes, both north and southern tour both go to Hill Inlet Lookout. We have the ultimate access, at the very front, that lets us pull into the inlet. We own four of the five permits, which makes it a very exclusive activity.

Are there any extra costs? Do customers have to pay for stinger suit hire or any other extras?

Yes, we do have our optional stinger suit and wetsuit hire. Wetsuit hire we recommend in the winter times, obviously, depending on how cold you get. In summer, we do strongly recommend our stinger suits, cause it is stinger season in the Whitsundays. These are $8 to hire for the day. We also have prescription masks, so there's people that need a bit more eyewear, vision in the water, and they're $15 to hire, and then you do both those on check-in.

And what is the best time of year to travel on Ocean Rafting?

We operate every single day of the year except for Christmas day, so my personal favourite time is September, between sort of August and September, you've got the beautiful whales up there as well, and the water temperatures are getting warmer and warmer, and you don't have to wear those lovely stinger suits like you do have to do all summer.

Do you have a high and low season? If so, how far in advance should you be booking a spot on the tour?

Being a day tour operator, we're open to most demographics, ages, and times. School holidays are obviously busier for us, due to the fact that obviously a lot of families come out with us too. So any of those school holiday times is going to be a peak time, so we recommend two to three days in advance to book. The majority of other time, you can just book a couple days in advance is fine.

What qualifications, certificates, or awards has your company obtained?

We've won a few in our time. I think there's about 32 in total, off the top of my head. We're an Australian Tourism award winner this year, 2016, for major tour and transport. We won the Queensland major tour and transport as well, and we've also won the local Whitsundays tourist awards. We've won that many times, they've told us to stop entering. We're now in the hall of fame.

What safety systems and procedures are in place for travellers?

What happens is the guests are actually briefed before they get in the water for snorkelling, also when we depart. So we do a bit of a play with the boat at the start to make sure the guests are comfortable, and they actually see how the boat actually operates and how it works. Cause at times, if something pops up in front of us, we've got to do a quick maneuver, and get around that object, and if the customers aren't holding on and paying attention, it can turn a bit funny.

Why should travellers chose Ocean Rafting over another day trip in Airlie Beach?

We offer a fast, fun, safe experience. You're out there within an hour to Whitehaven Beach, one of the fastest vessels out there. You're guaranteed the ride of your life with us. Having six vessels and three boats going north and three boats going south, we have a bit more fun with our boats, makes you play cat and mouse, tag team, get the boat up on its side. Also, you don't get seasick. That's the best thing about it as well.

Is there any other tips, or any other advice that we missed or that you'd like to suggest to travellers when they're coming up to Airlie Beach and going on Ocean Rafting?

Make sure you've got your sense of adventure with us. We have a lot of fun on our boats!

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