Saturday, April 21, 2012

Great Barrier Reef. Rainforest. Koalas.

CAIRNS. [pronounced  "Cans"]

Megan and I spent the past couple of days in Cairns which is along the east coast in Queensland. It is a super fun, beach town. While there we went out to the Great Barrier Reef, explored the Rainforest and cuddled a koala. It was a trip full of some of Australia's best things.

We arrived late Tuesday night so the fun didn't begin until Wednesday morning. We left our hostel at 7:20am and headed to the boat that took us out to the reef. The tour was great!! The boat took us 50 km offshore where we stopped for our first scuba diving and snorkeling adventure. After a quick briefing of things to do and not to do while diving, they gave us our equipment and sent us off with our guides. I was PUMPED to scuba dive but little did I know that it would be the scariest moment of my life.  My goggles weren't on right so I couldn't see, I kept forgetting to breathe out of my mouth and all I could think about was how my life was controlled by a backpack full of oxygen. It was like every nightmare I have ever had of drowning coming true. So after 10 minutes of being 10m under the sea my goggles popped off and I signaled for my guide to send me up. I felt like my life made sense again when I reached the water surface! It was a good experience and I am glad I did it. Maybe one day I'll give it another try.

We had lunch after diving and then the crew took the boat further out on the reef where Megan and I spent the afternoon snorkeling. I did LOVE snorkeling!!! It was one of the most incredible things I have ever done. The fish were such bright, neon colors and the actual reef was insane. It blows my mind that it is a living organism! The reef has over 1500 species of fish living in it. So crazy. We saw honeycomb rockfish,  knobby black cucumbers, a giant clam and many other types of sea creatures.

The crew of the reef tour made the trip even better. They provided us with an Aussie BBQ for lunch and then the ride home included wine and live music.  Most everyone on the boat was from 20-30 so it was a super fun group to be with. We pulled up the marina singing Bob Marley. A great way to end the day.

 Thursday we headed out to the Rainforest. Megan and I took a skyrail over the rainforest which was wonderful. I loved how everywhere we looked we saw trees and mountains. It was so intense!

The gondola stopped at different spots where you could get off and walk through the rainforest. On one of the walks we saw the Barron Falls. It was beautiful.

And at the other stop, we saw this not so beautiful, creepy crawler. AHHH!

The last stop was at a village called Kuranda. It was such a cute place. There were tons of shops and cafes and wilderness places. We definitely took advantage of all of them. The three wilderness places were Butterfly Sanctuary, BirdWorld and Koala Gardens.  We had great experiences at each one.

Butterflies landed on us.

This pesky bird tried to steal my ponytail.

However, the best part by far was cuddling this sweet little koala named Maya. I think my life is a little better from this moment:).

Our last day there, Friday, we laid out at the free, public pool. This is probably one the best parts of the actual town, Cairns. So many people were there swimming, laying out in the sun and enjoying the fantastic day.

Although it was a short trip, I have come back much tanner and much happier. As many of my friends here have said, "Cairns is just a magical place." I would have to agree.


1 comment:

  1. Looks like you're having a blast Abby. So much fun stuff to see. I've always wanted to go to Australia! Maybe one day!