January 21st (Saturday): Arrive in Cairns (pronounced Cans). We head out to walk the Esplanade, the remaining CBD (Central Business District), grab dinner and pick up some groceries for the remainder of our stay in AU.
January 22nd: Full day of sailing and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. We go snorkeling in two different locations, once before lunch and once after. In total, we were snorkeling for about two hours and the remaining time was spent sailing to and from the outer reef.
January 23rd: Rest and relax day in Cairns. We visit the pool (both holiday park and city pool) three different times throughout the day.
January 24th: Checkout and head to the airport for our next destination (Bali!!).
The city of Cairns and the surrounding area is more beautiful than I expected. Surrounded by hillsides, forests and of course the Pacific Ocean to the east, there is no shortage of adventures in the area. In addition to the beautiful scenery is the sweltering heat and humidity. I had no shortage of t-shirts completely drenched in sweat. Lastly, the bats (flying foxes) here are epic. They are massive and in great abundance. All that to the side, the main purpose for the trip was snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. There are a lot of outfitters that provide snorkeling/diving/sailing trips around the reef, and all come with a nice price tag. We chose an affordable outfitter that took us out on an 8 hour trip. They gave us two locations to snorkel, lunch, tea time and snacks on the way back. They put together a great trip for us and the snorkeling was great. First of all, everything was very safe (no sharks, jellies, bad weather, etc.) and the water temperature felt like you were in a warm bath. The coral was beautiful, but not as exotic as expected, and there was an abundance of tropical fish (but limited “nemo’s”, “Dora’s”, and no turtles as they like to hype up). At the end of the day it turned out to be a fantastic trip and another item checked off our bucket list!
Whoa, momma! It is hot! The second we step off the plane it was as if we walked into an oven. The sun is so strong here! I am not usually one to mind the heat but there is no way I could survive in Cairns. All of the “rumors” that Cairns is the hottest is definitely true. Before heading off to Cairns I drew a picture in my head of what it would look like and once we arrived that image was the complete opposite. I expected a surf town on the beach but got a rainforest. It was absolutely beautiful! The mountains covered in greenery, the wild life and small town vibes were all perfect! To my surprise there is no beach in Cairns so definitely no “beach town surfer vibes” but there is a large recreational area with grills and beautiful pool on the water. My favorite part of Cairns was the large community of Flying Foxes that live so freely there. It was absolutely amazing watching them hang all day and fly at night. I worked with the bats at the sanctuary in Brisbane but it was much more exciting to actually see them in large numbers living their lives in the wild. Of course we came here for 1 thing, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef which we did despite my extreme fear of open waters *I have now snorkeled 2 reefs but my fears are still just as strong*. So check it off the bucket list! Would I come back? No. Why? I expected the reef to be bright colors with sea creatures every where like you see in photos & advertising but got coral & a few fish. It was better than the reefs off of Key West, FL but very comparable. We did see parrotfish here and I really like them so there’s that.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein