|We reached Cairns (pronounced cans) where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. We had planned on staying here for three days but ended up staying six days as this place has a lot to do and the weather was superb! Plus, we both needed a city “fix” as most of our trip to this point has been in outback and rural areas with only small towns. We hiked, went bicycling, toured a super interesting botanical garden, went to a great aquarium, and best of all we snorkeled two different sites on the Great Barrier Reef.
The reef is farther from the shore than we expected and it took 90 minutes on a very fast boat to reach the reef. We suited up in wetsuits as the water temperature this time of year is about 72 degrees. We saw so many beautiful and exotic looking fish. We saw fish that were fluorescent pink, green, blue and just about every color. We saw a big grouper that was used to people and would come right up to your face and stare at you. We even saw some reef sharks that were, thankfully, not the least bit interested in us. The reef itself was just as amazing as the fish. All different colors and shapes. It was an absolutely amazing experience and it ranks as one of my top experiences ever.
The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair was happening while we were here so we got to to see some creative art works and performances. We especially enjoyed watching traditional dances with performers in body paint. What a great time we had in Cairns. Leaving Cairns we will continue south following the coast line.