Last leg of the trip takes us to Cairns. Not a usual choice for most but for a family of Scuba Divers, we were here to tick off the Great Barrier Reef from our Life List. Cairns is known for having the most diverse eco-systems. Yes, we love diversity, adventure and getting all dirty and wet.
We took a day tour that included the Mossman Gorge which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The gorge had rare and endangered species that gave us quite a surprise plus a unique set of flora for enthusiasts and nature lovers. My favorite was the Cassowary – only in Australia where a bird can kill you with their feet.
This same tour also took us to see some pissed off crocs at the Daintree River Cruise and lunch at Cape Tribulation. At this cape, the Rainforest meets the Reef. This is actually where two World Heritage sites meet – the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Totally enjoyed the signs on the beach that said – “Crocodiles inhabit this area, attacks may cause injury and death. Cape Tribulation is called as such because of the way it was discovered. In 1770, Captain James Cook and his ship ran aground the reef, the ship was severely damaged. Due to the challenges and tribulation, the cape was named that way. He also named one of the mountains Mount Sorrow. Safe to say, Captain James Cook was having a series of misfortune. This tour, admittedly, was very educational and fun… even if at first, I didn’t want to do it, I now actually recommend that people take it when they visit Cairns.
The Great Barrier Reef
Next day, we were up bright and early for our Great Barrier Reef dive. The family was getting giddy as we were all avid divers and water babies. For me, I’ve been hearing about this reef since I started diving in the early nineties and I was really looking forward to it. Our tour operators were very professional and our Dive Masters were fun and entertaining. The sites… well, they were good. I think I set the standards too high in my mind, but as long as we were underwater, we’re happy. It was still a great bonding experience for the family. And we got some pretty cool photos too.
Overall, Australia was an amazing trip for us. The first leg which includes Melbourne and Sydney have a feel for city slickers but they also had amazing beaches for us mermaids and mermen. The second leg, Gold Coast and Byron Bay was really to cheer up and chill out. And the last leg, Cairns was definitely for adventure.
Exploring down under, Australia, is definitely top of my favorite places on my life list.