Reef Sleep

Kym was lucky enough to experience sleeping on a Pontoon in the Whitsundays; a truly unique experience she will remember forever. She tells us what it was like sleeping in a swag under the stars…

“I wasn’t sure what to expect travelling with 8 other people so I wanted to ensure I had enough activities for any down time (after all when you think of 30 hours on a pontoon you might need to do other things than swim especially as there is no swimming after dark). I packed snacks, Cards Against Humanity and dinner party conversation cards just to be safe.

We boarded the Reef Boat like a celebrity, getting escorted on before the rest of the day trippers and was even given a special designated table near the captain for our journey to the reef. Our host with the most Kerrie was amazing, a true gem and ensured that we were looked after.IMG_0870

It was a bit rough getting to the reef with swells quite high.  Once we got past the protection of the island it was only about an hour of rough seas and as soon as we got to the reef, the water was calm.

We knew we were in for a great day after finding out about the extra activities available from the pontoon…  Massages, Heli Flights, Diving and Guided snorkelling tours.

Upon docking we were taken straight up to the sun deck and were given a section of the deck for our use during the day. As we weren’t restricted by time we let the day guests rush for their wet-suits and fins and goggles while we took it easy. Before we knew it lunch had rolled round, which was served from the boat and was quite tasty, fresh and filling – a selection of salads and cold meats.

After lunch we did the underwater sub and explored the pontoon.   We had no certified divers but the resort dive option was taken up by 1/2 the group and they absolutely loved being at one with the fish.


It was then time for the day guests to leave, which left us alone on the pontoon.  It was a little eerie yet exciting to be left behind.  We took this opportunity to have a quick tour of the only cabin on the pontoon, that had an actual bed instead of swag with air-conditioning!

We then started to to explore the reef again, without the hustle of the other day tourists. It was an amazing experience to have only 10 people around the reef/pontoon instead of 280 other people. After our swim we had a nice warm shower, put on warmer clothes, got a drink and prepared ourselves to watch the sunset. We set up the tunes to play through the pontoon speakers and life couldn’t have been better.

We couldn’t believe how quickly the day went.  Before dinner we got out the cards and had a quick game.  Next thing we knew, the crew were out with a BBQ cooking up a delicious dinner. Whilst we were watching the sunset little angles came and set up our swags for the night on the sundeck.


After a 2 course dinner we were so keen to try the swags out we abandoned any games and prepared for bed. It was like we were on school camp; staying up, chatting looking for falling stars and tell stories. The swags were amazing they kept the wind out and were so cosy and there was no need for warm clothing in a swag.  We were warned about the birds mating season however we didn’t have any problems with loud birds. We all slept very well and woke up with the sun!

Soon after waking we had a BBQ breakfast (those same Swag fairies came back and packed the swags away) and then had plenty of time for more swimming. One of the group packed a boom box and we had a dance on deck before the day tour guests came back.  We were all a little sad watching the boat come towards us knowing our peaceful environment was about to be invaded.

IMG_1593Even though we had no mobile phone reception/contact with the outside world we could have definitely stayed another night.  We hardly needed the pre-planned activities as I think when surrounded by the physical beauty of the reef just sitting and watching the water and the sky and the fish including turtles was enough to keep us entertained.

We again enjoyed lunch, swimming, semi sub rides and diving and then with a heavy heart we boarded the cruise for the journey back to the mainland; it was again a bit rough as we crossed the open seas. 

We returned to Hamilton Island having had the night of our lives, a truly unique experience we’ll remember forever. Not long after getting back into phone reception our social media was bombarded with amazing photos of the experience.

We would all return in a heart beat & it was a awesome reminder of why we are in the industry, to be able to discover, experience & promote these amazing stays we are blessed!  Reef Sleep recently won best unique accommodation and it’s not hard to see why.”

Written by Kym Crawford, Infinity Holidays Consultant