Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Our Exploration of The Great Barrier Reef

Yay I have Internet! So I can finally document all of our amazing adventures we have had here in Australia so far.  It will probably take me a while to catch up, but I want to make sure I document it for my family to remember.  Especially since the boys are so young I want them to have something to look back at.

I am not going in any specific order and chose one of my favorite experiences visiting The Great Barrier Reef.

Travel Dates: April 21st-22nd 2016
Location: The Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas, Cairns, and Kuranda.
Accommodation: Bay Villas Resort, Port Douglas

While we were preparing for this trip I read that the Opal reef was one of the most beautiful reefs to see.  So our first day we went with Wavelength Reef Cruises and stopped at 3 Snorkel sites including the Opal reef.  We were lucky because this was by far the best day for weather during our entire trip. We were also lucky enough to find a babysitting service and a wonderful woman came to our hotel with laundry baskets full of toys for the kids. The Opal reef did not disappoint.  I have never seen anything like it.  Sadly the evidence of global climate change was definitely there and I am very sad to see what will happen in the next few years, but grateful we got to see what we did.  Giant Coral fans were literally a couple feet from our faces, and the colors were so beautiful.  I would highly recommend Wavelength Reef Cruises.  They were very informative and wanted you to have the best experience possible.

A short video of some of the footage we took.  Sorry if it seems like it is so close in your face but that is what it was really like there.  We had to pull off some interesting shimmy type swim moves trying not to touch it!

The second day we went out on Quicksilver tours which was a little more family and kid friendly but also much more crowded and you only stop at one reef.  We really wanted the kids to be able to experience the GBR as well and this was a good way for them to see it.  Quicksilver has an underwater viewing platform as well as a submarine that goes around the Reef. 

Mom and I also got a chance to do a short dive, something we haven't done in years.  

Looking good in our Stinger suits.  If we went back we would definitely try to avoid stinger season which I believe is in the summer months.

We also did a half day trip to the Low Isles and the weather was terrible, but it was still worth it.  There was some great snorkeling right off the beach, and it is a really beautiful little island.  

Heading back into the marina surrounded by beautiful mangroves.

We also took a day to explore Daintree Rainforest, specifically Mossman Gorge. 

It was gorgeous.  Crystal clear waters with small waterfalls you can swim in.  It was nice being able to cool off in the water during the hike, and the scenery is beautiful.

We took a half day to visit Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas and had some great animal Encounters.  Below is a picture of a Cassowary, they are native to Australia and endangered.  They are really beautiful unique birds.

 On our last day we caught a train from Cairns to Kuranda an aboriginal town, or so we thought.  It is more like an actual developed town and really caught us off guard.  We were expecting more of a small village, but it was still really cool place to visit and we would go back.  The train passes some gorgeous scenery and waterfalls and we would highly recommend it on the way up and catch the sky safari on the way down. Also make sure you stop at the Petit Cafe in Kuranda, they serve some of the best Crepes I have ever tasted!

 On our way back down on the Sky Cable Safari. 

This was one of the most memorable trips and places I have ever visited.  So happy I got to do it with these wonderful people.