helicopter ride and the great barrier reef!

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it’s most definitely an experience i’ll never forget! while on hamilton island, we took a helicopter one morning out to the great barrier reef to go snorkeling! taking a helicopter ride has been on my bucket list since i was little. i have literally dreamed of this for ages, and when we realized they had the option on the island AND that the kids were allowed to ride, i could not contain myself.  every time i watch the bachelor or the bachelorette and they take a helicopter to some romantic spot (yes, i love that show. ben, you better pick lauren b. ps!), i am always jealous.  in fact i seriously feel so stupid saying this, but i felt like i was 5 the night before we went, because i couldn’t sleep i was so excited.

anyway, the helicopter ride was incredible. the section of the great barrier reef where we landed to snorkel was unfortunately not that great.  we had heard nothing but incredible things, but sadly the reef area was pretty grey and we didn’t see much color or wildlife (we did see some fish and sea turtles close up by the boat!) however, just to be at the great barrier reef was blowing my mind! and to see eleanor and samson be brave and put on the gear and get in the water and look under was so amazing. josh and i took turns in the water while the other one held conrad who was too small to snorkel, but there was a huge sea turtle hanging out by the boat, and the kids got to stand in the water and feed the fish which would make them swarm all around their legs and feet! this is most definitely a trip of a lifetime for us and one we’ll never forget.

some photos!


by the helicopter! (this was taken after our snorkeling adventures right before we took off to head back to hamilton island! conrad was ready for his morning nap, which he took in the helicopter!)


the pilot and co-pilot were the sweetest, letting eleanor and samson chat with them through the headsets (not sure if you remember, but they asked for and got these headsets for christmas last year because they are obsessed with them! i think it’s part astronaut part pilot?) so it was fun for them to get to feel the action in real life!


photo courtesy of mister samson. ;) i feel like it looks like i am literally nursing conrad in like, every picture this trip. honestly, it helped keep him calm (and i swear it helped his ears) when we’re flying. especially since he didn’t love keeping the headset on.


these views were truly unreal. i felt like a broken record as i kept saying, “wow!” and “look!”


do you see the heart shaped reef?!


samson’s face here! haha. he could.not.wait.


eleanor knelt here by the fish for maybe ten minutes just watching them!


out of focus, but still love it, because we are on a helicopter.


truly the trip of a lifetime for us, and i just can’t even believe it happened!

ps. my one piece swimsuit i’m wearing here from the whitehaven beach post is back in stock! only a few left, but this one is also adorable!

  1. Tammy

    this is definitely on my bucket list- what an adventure!
    the picture of eleanor and samson smiling in their scuba gear warms my heart. so cute!!!


  2. Jenn

    I can’t believe how cute E & S are in those wet suits! I didn’t know they made them that little. Did they charge you a kid price to take the kids or was it a family package deal?
    The Pepper Express

  3. Heather

    First of all, these pictures are SO CUTE! Second on all, my husband and I went to the Great Barrier Reef over Christmas this past year with his family and it was by far the best travel experience I have ever had. We did this snorkeling thing on a ‘sea bob’ that was like a jet ski you laid down on and it powered you through the water… I can’t describe it very well, but it was unreal! I felt like I could have stayed at the reef forever, with my snorkel mask pressed to every inch of coral.

    Thank you for this sweet reminder of all the beauty in the world- and I love how you take your kids on such wonderful adventures! I lived overseas as a child in England, and I greatly appreciate all the time and care my parents took to show us the sites, even though they had to lug around a stroller and deal with 3 little kids. You guys are an inspiration!

  4. vicky

    LOVE Samson’s face!! can feel the excitement from Texas ;)

  5. Allison


    Thank you so much for sharing all these great photos from your trip! I’m loving seeing what you guys got up to!

    – Allison

  6. Rachel

    You are seriously a boss mama. This looks like so much FUN!

  7. Anne

    WOW. What an experience Naomi. I LOVE the photo of Elanor and Samson together in their wet suits. They look too adorable. Reminds me of me and my sister when we were small, and had our photo taken together. Just the sweetest.

    I do not know if it is a foolish question, but how did Elanor and Samson swim in the open ocean? Or did you and Josh hold them while they swam around?

    Awesome kids and so brave!

  8. Katrin

    Look at these happy kids :) This is so cool! You guys always do the coolest things!
    I bet that’s the turtle from Finding Nemo haha x

  9. Kelsey

    Oh my gosh. E and S in those wetsuits is SO priceless!

  10. rach


  11. Kate

    Your pictures are wonderful – We were on Hamilton Island just before you (how good are the golf carts?!) and we did a Reef trip too. However we did it on the boat – and I would definitely do helicopter next time, it was SO choppy but the snorkelling was worth it!
    Your pics are bringing back some great memories, and I’m so glad I can say I’ve seen the reef.

    Love the blog, am saving every one of your NYC posts for recommendations when we go there hopefully later this year, been three times but recommendations from a local are way better than tourists!

  12. Carey

    Love how your kiddos are always game for anything. Do you prep them ahead of time? My oldest is very cautious and wouldn’t easily do anything outside of her comfort zone, maybe just a different natured child?!

  13. Megan

    AMAZING!! This looks so fun and how cute are E & S in their scuba suits?!

    Happy Friday // http://lifeplusbe.com/

  14. Emily

    These photos look amazing and you are making me want to go to Australia! My husband’s aunt is serving a mission there and we have been debating whether or not to go! What camera lens did you use on this trip? The 24-70mm? Or the 50mm?

  15. Ellen

    Your trip looks amazing! How long did it take for your kids to adjust to the time zone and do you have any tips to help them adjust?

  16. Rachel

    That view is amazing!!!! I mean WOW! And I can’t get over how cute your kiddos look in their diving gear! :)

    Simply Rachel Nicole

  17. Jane

    I’ve never been on a helicopter, and looking at your photos makes me want to go on a helicopter ride one day! Thank you for sharing! Your photos, as per usual, look completely adorable! <3



  19. Kelly

    Just beautiful! What a wonderful experience! I went on my first helicopter ride two summers ago while at the beach (though in South Carolina, not Australia!!) and I was as excited as you described, isn’t it just unbelievable?

    I love how under the heart shape reef there is one that looks like a goldfish cracker ;) Thanks so much for sharing these!

    • TAZA

      haha, i didn’t notice that until now. so funny. and you are so right, that helicopter ride is going down as one of the coolest experiences for me, for sure!

  20. hanna

    Your family is perfect! –Hanna Lei

  21. Tikvah

    I love seeing your adorable little family & all your adventures. Do you mind sharing where you bought your denim shorts in the beginning pictures? They’re so cute!

    • TAZA

      thank you! i actually borrowed them from my little sister. haha! i don’t know the brand, i’m sorry!

  22. It’s been such a dream of mine to visit the Great Barrier Reef! Your photos are absolutely breathtaking, and you all look so happy!

  23. Julie

    What an amazing experience for the little ones and for you guys! I am yet to go on a helicopter ride but I have said to husband that when I next hit a big birthday I want to do it! I can totally understand your excitement Taza!! I hope the kids remember this amazing trip for a long time – at least they will have your fab pictures to look at:) xx


  24. Jodi Daily

    This looks amazing! What color/Brandon’s your nail Polish?

  25. sarah

    i seriously can’t even with the kids in their snorkel outfits! cutest thing ever!

  26. Kelly

    Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds like a truly once in a lifetime experience, wow!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  27. Erin

    I am living vicariously through your wonderful adventures in Oz x

    Erin | http://beingerin.com

  28. Michelle

    E is blessed with the best eyelashes ever! Looks like you all had so much fun! :)

  29. MEL

    Don’t ever apologize for all your nursing photos! I love seeing pics of you nursing your littles in so many different environments and situations–it’s inspiring and beautiful! it is unfortunate that we still have to feel somewhat guarded in feeding our babes in public, so these images play a much bigger role in society than you may think. Keep it up! You are portraying the role of strong powerful blessed mother, and it’s exactly what we need more of these days! xo

  30. Rachel

    These pictures are amazing! The water looks absolutely breathtaking and the kids look adorable in their snorkel gear. I have to say that a helicopter ride is also a bucket list item for me, but one that drops me in a stunning ocean to snorkel in….that’s life goals right there. It’s so fun seeing all of your adventures!


  31. Katie

    What a cool experience! I’m also super impressed that the kids got all geared up and into the water! I can imagine a lot of little ones I know (and maybe even myself!) crying and refusing to even get in the helicopter in the first place!

  32. Emily

    This is so cool! What company did you go through?!

  33. Kate

    What adorable photos, and what an ADVENTURE! You provide inspiration to the rest of us mamas who attempt trips and adventures with our kiddos.

    Can I ask where your navy (or black) and white top is from? Super cute.

  34. Liezl Veiga

    What company/organisation did you fly out and snorkel with? We are visiting Australia in June/July and plan to go to Cairns so would love any tour operator recommendations :)