Aug 31 – It's the characters wot make it
…what you thought of your oceanswimsafari with us... Click here
Heron Island, June, 2021
As always a superb, well run adventure… Paul and Suanne did everything right. Brilliant hosts, they took care of everyone while also giving everyone their own space. The boat trips were excellent and allowed the group to swim off the island, along bomboras and reef drop-offs which meant coral and manta rays and potentially other Big Things. The level of swimming was perfect for me - I could push myself a little while also having opportunities for photography and taking in the stunning underwater world that is the unique Great Barrier Reef. As far as I could see the non-swimmers never felt excluded and also enjoyed themselves.
I'm very much looking forward to my next Ocean Swim Safaris trip.
… Heron is not a luxury resort and in terms of comfort I definitely feel I got value…
The dive shop employees were excellent. Special kudos to Diego who is a brilliant dive leader.
Reef guides Rachael and Katie were extremely knowledgeable and passionate and always ready to share their deep knowledge
Anne, Dee Why
Heron Island, June 2021
Fantastic, wonderful adventure. Well organised. Everyone was made to feel welcome. Paul and Suanne went out of their way to ensure everybody felt welcomed and included. I would highly recommend this to anyone
Heron Island, June 2021
It was a really good trip. Thanks very much for your care and guidance.
Excellent that it was not too organised, plenty of time for people to do their own thing.
… I think attention to the ethical sourcing of produce would have been good, eg why farmed salmon when we know it's wrecking Tasmanian waterways and creating sound pollution throwing whales off course?
Boat, rangers and resort staff generally great. Thanks again.
Heron Island, June 2021
OSS did a very good job organising and managing the whole event…
The Resort was generally well run but they certainly dropped the ball at the end, which could have been disastrous for some guests and left a very bad impression - not something the resort can afford.
On Friday morning I told the island reception desk that we needed taxis for 14 to the airport… The island receptionist said they would convey that requirement to their staff at the Gladstone marina.
Somewhere the ball was dropped… I am somewhat amazed that the resort had no one at the Gladstone Marina when the ferry arrived. It’s a once a day event that could be handled by having one person there for an hour (no big deal)…Their role would be to help guests make connections and also to simply point out where taxis arrive as there are multiple car parks. That is one point I’d certainly make to the resort.
Heron Island, June 2021
Overall, this was a very well organised tour. The timing was perfect with regards to both tides and seasons (arrival of Manta rays and whales, while the last turtle hatchlings were still around). The activities were well balanced, not too much and not too little; and with plenty of opportunities/activities also for non-swimmers. Arranging the daily boat trips to different parts of the reef nicely complemented the swimming in the lagoon and harbor.
The ability of Paul and Suanne to engage and the overall very positive attitude of everyone involved made me feel most welcome in the group. A truly memorable and most enjoyable holiday - can't wait to join the oceanswimmers again!
Heron Island, June 2021
Another excellent outing with team Sparkle. Despite a wisp of Winter, Heron was a very pleasant break from the chill of Sydney. Water, company and organisation excellent. Accommodation good and food uneven.
Great swimming and ocean life, with as much or as little to do on land as you like.
A highly recommended program and looking forward to the next Pacific offering.
Patrick, Bondi Junction
Heron Island, June 2021
It was a great time on Heron Island, thanks for organising it.
I thought it worked well having a swim in the morning before breakfast (allowing us to have breakfast after 8:30 would be beneficial, not sure why that is the cut off time when people are on holidays). The boat trip each day was also good, and just the right amount of swimming to keep everyone satisfied.
From a resort viewpoint: the food is an issue; perhaps more healthy options and not so much fried food. Lunch a bit more variety, and more simple and lighter meals, eg sandwiches, quiche/frittata using breakfast leftovers, salads etc
The accommodation was fine. Maybe using bulk washing products instead of individual tubes of body wash/shampoo etc. It creates so much pollution
Overall, a great time away and ticked nearly all the boxes. Thanks again
Heron Island, June 2021
This was my 1st ocean swim and after the 1st day I felt more comfortable. I look forward to doing more ocean swims with you again. I very much enjoyed the experience, it was great & lots of fun. Thank you, Paul & Suanne
Costa Brava, September 2019
Thanks for an amazing trip. I have never done a guided tour before because I always thought it would be a bit stifling to be with a group of people that I didn't know and having to work to a schedule. But the group was lovely and for me it hit the right note between having enough time to do my own thing, and then also experience some amazing swims.
I'll never forget the swim to the border on the first day - it really pushed me, but I got there!
Some quite challenging swims from my point of view - being someone who can go for a long distance in the pool, it's so very different to swim in open water. I had a great time and totally fell in love with that part of the world. What you offer is the ability to get underneath the skin of a place very quickly.
Thanks - and see you on the next one.
Costa Brava, September 2019
I had a wonderful time. The group was cohesive and fun… I was surprised that (Suanne and Paul) spent so much time with the group in the evenings, and that was really great…
The swims were pretty tough. When I couldn't get my goggles working, it would've been helpful if I could have hopped onto some sort of small water craft (not necessarily a boat) to sort my goggles out. Swimming with my eyes closed wasn't ideal…
All in all - the whole trip was a hoot. Loved every minute.
And thanks both so much. You're really great!
Tonga, Swim with the Whales, August 2019
It was an amazing trip! Paul and Suanne have orchestrated a breath taking adventure vacation! To actually swim with whales is an overwhelming thought. It was so beautiful and peaceful to watch these magnificent creatures in their native environment.
I also enjoyed our swims on the non-whale days. The 3k swim was at an extremely casual pace because we were so busy observing the coral with all the colorful fish!! I felt as if I was in the world's largest saltwater tank - so many varieties of sea life in every direction!
I also found our group to be very enjoyable. It was fun to work on group dinners. In the end, I not only had a trip of a lifetime, but I also made so many new lifetime friends. Thank you!
Janet (Minnesota, USA)
Philippines, June 2019
Our trip to Atmosphere Resort in the Philippines was easily one of our best holidays. Suanne and Paul had all the details sorted, while still being flexible about times and activities. The ocean swims were such a pleasure, and well managed. It was clear that a thorough recce had been done on this location.
The resort was an excellent choice: luxurious comfort without being ostentatious, and the staff were accommodating, friendly and helpful. Swimming with the whale sharks was breathtaking, although not the highlight of the trip for us - that is reserved for the ocean swims with a fabulous group of people over pristine coral, turtles, clownfish galore, and at times in exciting semi-rough seas.
Thank you for a heavenly week. We would do it all again!
Philippines, June 2019
Yet another fabulous holiday with oceanswimsafaris! The swimming was sensational - healthy, colourful coral, abundant sea life and warm, clear water. Frolicking with the whale sharks in Oslob was absolutely a highlight.
Our stay at Atmosphere Resort in Dumaguete was faultless - the food, rooms and staff were exceptional.
Thank you, Paul and Suanne, for such an enjoyable holiday. What sets you apart is that we leave each OSS feeling as though we have had a holiday with friends. Can’t wait for the next one!
Philippines, June 2019
For those punters who have never been on a swim safari with Suanne and Paul, then the Philippines is a must. Not only is the resort beautiful, you can see some of the best coral straight from the resort beach in warm shallow water. The food and wine is delicious, the staff so friendly and helpful that you can't stop smiling. The whole ambience is relaxed and calming not to mention the spa treatments which are sublime. Not only will you swim with whale sharks on this safari but in some of the clearest water on the planet. Every day is a new adventure and every evening a time to swap stories and pictures with new friends.
The whole experience was just fantastic and I can't wait till the next one.
Philippines, June, 2019
This was an amazing trip.
Atmosphere Resort was a perfect and relaxing place to stay - accommodation, meals, staff, amenities & day spa were all first class.
Daily swims, snorkelling and scuba diving were excellent.
I especially liked that any free time could be enjoyed choosing an activity at the resort, or swimming & snorkelling at the Resort's marine reserve, directly out the front.
Swimming with whale sharks was a fantastic experience I will never forget.
French Polynesia, April 2019
For me it was just the best. There was 99 reasons for NOT going. But 1 very important reason to go. Tahiti has been on my wish-list for 25 years.
Moorea oceanswimsafaris was the 1st time I've been with Suanne & Paul. Both are very professional & complement each other. I can & will highly recommend them to all.
Travel arrangements, accommodation, eating out & shopping was all organised for each & everyone. The 3 swim days were just the best. Great way to start the day, being pick up on our beach by boat, taken out to the reef, lagoon & ocean to experience all that Tahiti has to offer in her beautiful warm clear blue water.
Our day tour of Moorea island in the open back trucks added to our knowledge of Tahiti culture, and Moorea island had so much to show us. I could not have been in better company.
Thank you both for letting me do my own thing, don't think I interfered with anyone's activities & enjoyment.
Tahiti was more beautiful then beautiful.
French Polynesia, April 2019
I throughly enjoyed my time in Tahiti with Ocean Swim Safaris and would definitely recommend it to other swimmers. This was my fourth Safari and by far the best in regards to location, activities and experiences. I am not a strong ocean swimmer but my hosts and fellow guests supported and encouraged me when needed.
Tahiti (Morea) is an extremely beautiful location and I highly recommend a visit once in your life time.
Dear Suanne and Paul, thank you for your patience, your daily enthusiasm and 'triffic organisation. It t'was indeed a great swim trip, delightful islands, wonderful sea and landscapes. You are to be congratulated,.
Just one thing, can you make the sun less hot :) in the middle of the day?
David (Sydney), French Polynesia, April 2019
You two keep lifting your game. Gorgeous location, excellent guides, brilliant swims - you look after everything so we punters need only show up. Perfect for an underwater voyeur like me.
If I was to critique anything I might suggest slightly more challenging swims to counter the effects of the fine French cuisine, but I guess I don't really have to partake of it.
Anne (Sydney), French Polynesia, April 2019
I thought the yasawas trip was fantastic. It was very well organized and both Suanne and Paul were friendly, organized and informative. The swimming was definitely the highlight of the trip and I am so happy we chose your tour company. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Thanks again Suanne and Paul!
Michelle (Sydney), Yasawas, October 2018
We went on the Costa Brava trip 2018. This was an absolutely wonderful trip on every level. The swimming was extraordinary, wonderful conditions, exciting & interesting swims & exploration !! From swimming in caves, swimming in a peloton, to coastal exploration in boats. The accommodation was very good & the company & fellow swimmers extraordinary! The organisation & engagement for Suanne & Paul was first class. Finally the food & wine we experienced on the trip was magnificent, with the final night in Madremanya unbelievable & a standout. A memorable trip, with memories my wife & I will treasure for a long time.
Glenn (Sydney), Costa Brava, September 2018
This trip was so meaningful to me and so much fun! Paul and Suanne did such an excellent job accommodating a large group. This was my fourth trip to San Sebastián, but my first with OceanSwimSafaris. This experience in the Basque Country was by far the most informative and satisfying, culturally, culinarily, and in terms of the Ocean Swims, the most challenging and captivating. Paul and Suanne had something wonderful planned everyday, but left enough free time for us to explore the city, beaches and surrounding areas on our own. San Sebastián has something for everyone. So if you love excellent swimming, food, drink, and people, then this is the trip for you!
Paul and Suanne, Thank you very much! Muchisimas gracias! Eskerrik asko!
Brian (Austin, Texas), San Sebastián, August 2018
Well organised and fun trip, I have recommended this trip to many people. Such a lovely experience with the whales, swimming around some beautiful coastlines and islands of Vava'u. The guesthouse is a welcoming resting place after a busy day of adventuring.
Christina (NSW), Tonga, July 2018
Loved it!!! What a fantastic experience - the whale swims, the ocean swims and the land time! Suanne & Paul are great hosts and the whole tour was well run. Accommodation in Vava'u and the swim boats/crews were all great! For a novice ocean swimmer, I was a bit unsure how I'd go with the ocean swims but I felt at ease the whole time and knew I could take my time if I needed to. Only constructive feedback would be to get people to pack their essentials in their carry-on luggage on flights both in and out of Vava'u … just in case!! Looking forward to swimming again with you - just need to pick a destination!! Malo!
Louise (Qld), Tonga, July 2018
Thank you for a wonderful experience Suanne. It was good for the soul. I spoke to 2 women this morning and tried to explain the feeling while swimming with the whales. I played the whale singing. They were close to tears. I was happy with all that you organised and would highly recommend your company. Hopefully I will be back to swim again.
Paul (NSW), Tonga, July 2018
This was my second adventure with Oceanswimsafaris (the first being Fiji a few years ago which was sensational but that’s feedback for another time).
This trip with Paul and Suanne to the Coromandel was an absolute delight. Having never been to NZ before, the whole experience was wonderful. Paul and Suanne were at the airport to greet each one of us as we arrived into the terminal. Mostly all strangers to each other, we were promptly whisked away on our own private bus to what I can only describe as a small, secluded and picturesque pocket of sheer paradise. What followed was 4 superb days of swimming (in a very pleasant 21-22 degree ocean), delightful accommodation, sensational food, wine and beer, a very scenic and informative glass bottom boat trip, a great afternoon of kayaking, a hot water beach experience and some great walks around the cove. Sadly our time together concluded, but the friendships made and the memories shared will last a lifetime.
With my hand on heart, I highly recommend everybody at least once (if not more) to join Paul and Suanne at Oceanswimsafaris for brilliant experience.
Gina (NSW), Coromandel NZ, April 2018
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Having a chance to swim some of the coast before the big swim on Saturday was really helpful. Found this an excellent comp to enter for a first time ocean swimming comp participant - learnt a lot from everyone on the trip and how not to loose your goggles in big surf! Accommodation was excellent and food at the limited venues was fantastic too. Ambiance for the whole weekend was terrific and the activities that were scheduled were just right for the weekend. We were a very lucky group that weekend for the weather, good company, and wonderful swims. Organisation felt seamless - many thanks. Hopefully a longer trip to an interesting destination next time with OSS.
Freida (Qld), Coromandel NZ, April 2018
Fabulous as usual. Interesting swims and other water based activities. All the logistics really well arranged. Accommodation was lovely, and a very pleasant group. Just what I needed after a very full on month at work.
Anne (NSW), Coromandel NZ, April 2018
I just loved this trip and the swim, the ocean and the land forms are spectacular. I also liked the swim time of the morning swim and then the afternoon to ourselves to relax or sight-see. I felt it was a great balance of mixing with the other tour people for HH as well.
Great trip. Thanks.
Annie (NSW), Costa Brava, Sept 2017
Pete & I would like to give a big shout of thanks to Paul & Suanne for organiising an amazing & safe set of swimming experiences for us. We had a brilliant time with a friendly bunch of people, in a stunning location. Swimming & snorkelling in the warmest water ever, among an abundance of brightly coloured fish was a super treat! Highly recommend.
Val (NSW), Mana Fiji, Oct 2017
My son and I (swimmer and non-swimmer) just returned from Mana. What an amazing experience. A thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting holiday. Beautiful location and fantastic people, all sharing a passion for open water swimming. A great mix of ages and experience, all with their own story to tell. I would recommend the trip for families, couples or solos who love an active holiday linked to their passion for swimming. Thank you Paul and Suanne.
Naomi (NSW), Mana Fiji, Oct 2017
My husband and I took part in the Mana Island swim on Saturday. We live in Fiji and we've considered doing it for the past 3 years and finally gave it a go! Thumbs up for such a great event. Thank you so much to the organisers for the great job they did, the fantastic support out on the water, hospitality etc. it really was a great day and we will be back next year.
Sheryl (Fiji), Mana Fiji, Oct 2017
"First of two trips with Team Sparkle, but not the last. Swimming adventures were interesting and varied. As an average ocean swimmer, prone to cramping, I appreciated the emphasis on safety, green caps front and back.
I enjoyed the balance with the land content especially the destinations, the history, culture and cuisine.
Paul and Suanne have an obvious passion for and knowledge of all things swimming and travel. They make good connections with the key providers, the hoteliers, barmen, boatmen and drivers and this ensures smooth and comfortable travels.
Great trips and strongly recommended."
Patrick (NSW), San Sebastián and Costa Brava, Aug-Sep 2017
Paul and Suanne organised our trip so well. Their knowledge of the local area and swim locations meant that we could safely explore places that we wouldn't have ventured to on our own, and everything flowed very smoothly.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the company of the rest of the group. We found there was a perfect mix of time with others and on our own. Our accommodation was excellent.
Overall the trip was even better than we hoped for. We would love to do another OceanSwimSafari with them in the future.
Kim and Colin (NSW), Costa Brava, Sep 2017
"I can't fault this tour, it was everything I hoped it would be. Beautiful swims, excellent variety, fabulous accommodation, hidden gems, food and culture. I will remember the last night for a long time.
Thanks. You haven't seen the last of me."
Anne (NSW), Costa Brava, Sep 2017
"I loved that this tour's swim components were well informed/prepared/flexible to conditions, incredibly safe - with support boat, lead & follow up and regular regroupings - and took in great locations around a variety of headlands and bays in the area.
I found the accomodation of the range of swimmers' levels fantastic. Additionally, the non-swim components were a great mix of cultural, gastronomy and environmental activities, with a healthy dose of free/down time. I especially like the 'tren touristic' to Cap de Creus, Dali's museum, tips for restaurants and the short coastal walk to/from swim to secret spot.
Paul and Suanne are knowledgable, respectful, gracious and fun hosts who made this tour a great way to swim Costa Brava.
Sally (Qld), Costa Brava, Sep 2017
"I thoroughly recommend this trip with Paul and Suanne. In fact, the best way to do this trip is to also do the Costa Brava swims which follow a couple of days after San Sebastián, I still remember the relaxing evenings at the 3 Pines hotels on the hill at Llanfranc.
Thanks, Paul and Suanne."
Bill (NSW), San Sebastián, Aug 2017 (and Costa Brava, Sep 2016)
Still buzzing from our Whale encounter this week in Tonga!
Hey all you swimmers, ocean lovers, adventurous humans! If you want an adventure that will leave you buzzing, and tingling all over: join an Ocean Swim Safari!
Best trip ever...
Great accomodation (tick)
Fabulous company (tick)
Swimming in warm, delicious salty water (tick)
Friendly, caring and helpful safari leaders - Paul and Suanne (tick)
Encounters with whales (tick)
Experiences of a lifetime (tick)
Under and above water photos on offer (tick)
AND a free t-shirt to boot- Bonus!
Join an Ocean Swim Safari....but book soon, cause spaces fill up!
Thanks Paul and Suanne!
Genie (NSW), Tonga oss, July '17
"Suffering Tonga withdrawal symptoms. #needtogobacktotonga #missmytongabuddies #ohfortongatime #lifeisbetterontonga"
Greg, (Qld), Tonga oss, July '17
"Can we ever top this experience?"
Jan (NSW), Tonga oss, July '17
"I recommend it 1000%!"
Robby (NSW), Tonga oss, July '17
"Thank you both for a terrific trip. Only with time and trying to explain in words what we experienced am I truly appreciating what a unique experience I had..."
Judy (NSW), Tonga oss, July '17
"Thank you so much for a truly lovely swim safari. I enjoyed (the resort) tremendously – what a beautiful place and the other guests were great fun... The swimming was great – beautifully warm and stunning scenery – I especially love swimming along the drop off, and the white water rafting was a real highlight for me."
Kate (NSW), Sulawesi oss, June '17
"Just a quick note to let you know how much (we) enjoyed our Sulawesi trip. It was a great adventure and the group worked well, something which you contributed to in no small measure."
Mary (NSW), Sulawesi oss, June '17
"I just wanted to thank everyone involved in last weekend's Heron Island event! I had a ball and managed to learn a lot about my swimming in the process! The organisation was top notch at every level, the service fabulous, the venue- amazing, staff- super!
I am already planning my next swim with you guys and cannot wait."
Lyndal, Heron Island, Nov '16
Sitting here in our south temperate eyrie, it’s difficult to conceive of what it must be like with 360kmh winds whooshing past outside your window. People who live in Vanuatu know, though.
To get the most out of travel, you must be prepared to get lost. This is how you make those unexpected discoveries that make travel so interesting...
One of the glories of travel is to return to a familiar place that you remember fondly to find that it is as you remember it, only better, and that people you knew there remember you and are glad to have you back.
Sitting on the ferry heading out to Chateau d'If for the 5km Escape from Monte Cristo Swim, I had to pinch myself, as I never imagined ocean swimming would have taken me on such an adventure... Jane Taylor's personal journey through ocean swimming...
The French like a gadget. If they perceive that it might help them swim faster, they'll be in it. Especially monofins. Snorkels. Wetties. Two wetties at a time.