Camping under the stars on a pontoon at the Great Barrier Reef is a real adventure. Moored at the outer Hardy Reef, the pontoon feels like it's perched on the edge of the world. The Whitsunday Islands are dots in the distance, sometimes disappearing altogether depending on the moody clouds. It's strangely quiet except for the wind, which pokes into every corner.
When the crowds of day trippers head home on the regular boat, the pontoon changes from a giant marine playground to a quiet working outpost. My daughter and I are lucky to be the only guests staying overnight, sleeping in a swag on the top deck – as long as I don't chicken out and ask to be switched to the one bedroom below.