I’ve finally left the cold claims of Melbourne and whilst I will miss the beautiful city, I am so excited to start my East Coast adventure.
First stop was Port Douglas and a meet up with my Dad and his partner Gill after 8 months away. Boy, was I excited. All visions of a Love Actually style airport scene however were completely dismissed after we managed to walk straight past one another in arrivals. Smooth.
We were staying at Oak Lagoon Resort in a self catering apartment which had queen size beds and patio doors which opened right onto the pool. Not bad at all.
Home to the some of the great natural wonders of the world, we had plenty of trips planned during our time here in Queensland. My favourite and possible most memorable was a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef. A first attempt to the Low Isles was slightly under-whelming. With cloudy skies hiding the sun, it meant that we were caught in blustery weather and poor visibility. Not quite what we had in mind. Therefore we decided that we simply had to see the Great Barrier Reef again on a sunshine filled day. Now this trip, was amazing. We went with Silver Sonic which took us to three different points in the outer barrier reef. The snorkelling was magical. With close up views of colourful corals, reef sharks, multicoloured fish and silvery clams, it literally is another world hiding underneath a torqoise sea. On the boat ride over to the outer reef, we even saw a group of whales which caused the whole boat to stop and stare as we waited for a flick of their tails and spurt of water. On a side note, what do you call a group of whales? A herd? A clam?
The 10 day reunion also involved a trip the the Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulatuon which included a river cruise on the Daintree River. A brilliant boat trip with a informative and chatty guide, we caught glimpses of some small crocs and some not so small crocs and even some tiny little baby crocs! We also had a trip on the Skyrail. Flying over the rainforest in a cable car was a truly amazing way to see the rainforest – with its brocilli trees and vast greeness, it’s a unique way of seeing a tropical masterpiece.
After bidding farewell to my Dad after a brief pit-stop at Palm Cove, it was time for me and my travel buddy to move onto Cairns and back to the budget hostel lifestyle. Sigh. My days in Cairns mainly involved lounging around the lagoon as Beth saw the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. In all honesty, I am not impressed with Cairns. It’s a fairly unattractive place with not a lot to do….a muddy marshland makes the sea look grubby so the only place to really hang around is the lagoon. Which to be fair, is quite a nice place to chill. Not for 3 days straight though. Gets a tad boring is all.
My time in Cairns also involved a trip to the waterfalls. We went with On The Wallaby and lucked out with a super friendly and informative and generally fun tour guide called Bart. Stops included the Cathedral Fig Tree – also saw my first snake here which was pretty exciting, Lake Barrier equipped with a rainforest walk, Millaa Milla waterfall (Herbal Essances anyone?) where we enjoyed a toe numbing swim (so awesome though to swim under the waterfall and look up. It was almost worth the potential frostbite), McHugh viewpoint and Mount Hypipamee with its crater lake and Dinner Falls. At Dinner Falls we saw 2 tree kangaroos which pleased our tour guide a lot as he explained they are actually very rare with only 2000 of them left in the wild.
Not a bad start at all to our East Coast trip. Incredible fish, deadly snakes, rare kangaroos, massive crocs, whales, snorkelling in torqoise seas, walking through rainforest and even seeing it from above. Phew, all this sightseeing is exhausting.
Whats next East Coast? You best keep the good stuff coming…