Once all my major papers had been completed I decided it was time to see the Great Barrier Reef up in Cairns Australia. Since it was much cheaper to fly from Thursday to Saturday I got up bright and early Thursday morning determined to fill my day and a half with everything possible. I went on my own, but when I got off the flight I immediately met this French girl, Marie, who was game to do all the things that I had planned for my shot gun trip. The hostel that we stayed at thought we were together so they put us in the same room. As soon as we got in we booked things to do for that day and the next. We dropped our baggage and headed on a bus that brought us driving through the rain forest to get to a little town which housed a great animal park and a butterfly sanctuary. I got to hold a koala bear.
Generally they are no that friendly but these bears were so energetic, just jumping around everywhere. The butterfly sanctuary was also really fun, they were everywhere and one even landed on Marie's camera as she was taking a picture. That night we went back to the hostel and met the guys who live in the room next to us, they were from Holland. We ended up staying up late and chatting on the balcony. The weather was beautiful and it felt like summer again. That night I went to bed anticipating a big night of checking out the Reef, but I couldn't sleep. My pillow felt like it had a terrible form of cancer, it was lump and moldy and there was no blanket. I probably slept for an hour the whole night, which let me tell you, usually results in a very grumpy Molly... I stayed strong though since the next day was so busy.
These crocadiles are real, don't they look like statues?
We left the hostel and 7AM and headed down to the boat Seaspray which we would spend the day on seeing the outer part of the Great Barrier Reef.
The day was absolutely gorgeous... it was really nice to feel warm again since Sydney has gotten a bit cold. When we arrived at the outer reef it was time to do our free introductory SCUBA DIVE! As I got under the water I was really excited, but once down there I started freaking out and motioning to the instructor to come up. I got to the surface and told the instructor I didn't want to do it, it was too claustrophobic... he told me that I would miss so much if I didn't. I'm not sure I was exactly convinced of that, but he held my hand for the whole dive and I was able to see all the coral and fish. The afternoon we went snorkeling at a different part. The fish were colors that you can't even imagine... rainbow fish, spotted fish, stripped fish... its incredibly how animals can take on such color. The coral itself was also really cool, you forget that it's alive and can move.
(stolen picture) - this is the reef from above
There was this one really cool coral that was different colors, it looked like a mouth and when you swam over it the mouth would close to protect itself.
At the culture show - playing a Digeriedoo
That night we went to an Aboriginal Culture show held at the Aboriginal Culture Park... It actually turned out to be very disappointing. I had been to a similar thing in NZ and they did such an incredible job with it, but this one just seemed fake like they were making fun of themselves and their culture. There also was very few cultural pieces it was more just a dinner, which was useless for me because I wasn't feeling good (I think I was just deadly overtired) so I didn't have any appetite.
The next morning I left for the airport at 6AM only to find out that they had moved my flight to the international terminal (for a domestic flight?) and that I had to have my passport to enter (you don't need your passport for domestic flights here).
.. therefore they couldn't let me get on my flight and had to put me on one 4 hours later... Jet Star is a terrible, terrible, airline, if you ever come here, don't fly it!
The boat we took, on the way home they gave us a glass of wine as we sailed home, very classy.
Overall, though, the trip was really great... and just long enough that I was able to come home and sleep without getting too overtired and grouchy!