Helen and Doug's Round the World Trip travel blog

Cairns Esplanade


Our boat to the Reef

The Reef from above

We have spent three nights in Cairns and contrary to what we had heard this wasn't enough. On our first night we walked along the Esplanade which is packed with cafes, bars and people! We visited Peter Lik's gallery, he's the guy who takes all the photos on the postcards a lot of you have had. We found a great restaurant for dinner and sat outside for a drink.

On Tuesday we went out on a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef which to be honest was only ok. There were about 60 people on board and we were a bit crushed in, we think we were a bit spoilt by our Whitsundays trip!

We sailed out to two different reef locations, first was Hastings Reef. We were loaded up with very heavy weight belts, tanks and other scuba paraphenalia to do our Introductory Dive. We jumped off the back of the boat and hung onto a bar for dear life while our instructor made us do silly things like fill our mask with water and take our air supply out of our mouths to check we could cope! We swam down to about 14 feet and sat on the sandy ocean floor where we saw a turtle and a sea cucumber. There weren't that many fish around and it was all over very quickly. There was so much to think about with all the equipment that we couldn't relax like we could when we snorkelled so I think we missed out on seeing some things.

Next we went on to another part of the Reef where Doug was brave/foolish enough to go for a snorkle. The water was clearer and I saw plenty of fish, but not as many as we saw in the Whitsundays. There were lots of different types of coral to look at though! The only saving grace came at the end when I was actually able to stroke a sea turtle. It was kind of like stroking a big fingernail! Odd, but cool! Sadly Helen was too traumatised after the dive and fairly fed up of coral and more coral so she missed out and is now kicking herself!

Safely back on dry land we enjoyed our last night in Cairns. Sadly we have a schedule to keep to so we can't stay and feel a bit like we've just used the town as a base rather than really exploring it in its own right. Perhaps we'll have to come back one day?!

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