Sunday November 18th, 2007
We arrived in CNS, got a taxi (about the same cost as the bus), checked in at the Rydges, and went to P.J. O’Brien's Irish Pub for dinner. It wasn't anything special, but at least it was a little lively.
Monday November 19th, 2007
Today was our boat trip for snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. We went with the Silver Swift company and they were very good. It was about $140 each, but we went out on a high speed boat and had time to hit three different dive sites. There were tons of fish! We first hit Milln Reef where we stopped at Whale and Fishtown. Whale is a spot that got that name because the reef comes up to the surface and causes a vortex, which looks like a whale spouting water. Fishtown got its name in an obvious fashion; it has lots of fish. Last we went to Flynn Reef for a stop at Tennis Courts. I am not quite sure how this got its name. Each spot we were given around an hour to dive, which is quite a long time. The last spot had very strong currents which made it extremely tiring, especially at the end of the day. We were quite tired by the end of it all. They served some muffins, coffee, and tea for breakfast during the one hour ride out. Although highly encouraged to take the free motion sickness medicine, nearly every one got sick off the back of the boat (and some didn’t make it to the back in time). Kacey was close, but just sat and relaxed to get through it. Coming back was the exact same thing; you really think people would have learned their lesson! It was a great day though. We didn’t get to see any sharks, which I really wanted to, but we did see some giant clams.
Pictures from Monday can be found here.
Tuesday November 20th, 2007
Today we rented a car and went north to the rainforest. We first stopped in Barron Gorge National Park at Lake Placid. We watched the ducks and ate a little food. We then drove up to the Hydro Station. There were some nice views of the Gorge along the way. After this we headed to Kuranda. This was a mountainside road that was very curvy with a steep elevation change. We stopped at a lookout about half way up for some views of the ocean and towns below. Once in Kuranda, it was obvious this was a little tourist stop. We stopped only for some information and moved on to the Barron Falls Lookout. Barron Falls feeds in to an enormous gorge. There was a nice hike through the rainforest to get down to the lookout. Next we drove over to Wrights Lookout.
From here we decided to drive inland (west) to Mareeba and drive south down highway 1 to Atherton, and then head back east to Gordonvale. We stopped in Atherton and looked for some information and Kacey ate some Greek food. Next we headed to the Curtain Fig Tree. This was a pretty large display of a Curtain Fig Tree. We also snapped many pictures of an Australian Brush Turkey, but only a couple came out any good. Our next stop was at Lake Eacham which is park of Crater Lakes National Park. Here we saw a few more Brush Turkeys and got a look at some turtles in the lake. We then stopped at Lake Barrine, just down the road, and got a view of several pelicans feeding. As it started to rain (as it was on and off all day), we ran to the car and headed over the Great Divide toward Gordonvale. Near Gordonvale, we snapped a few pictures of the natural Pyramid, a hill naturally shaped like a pyramid. There was not that much to see of it, so we headed north back to Cairns. We stopped at Adelfia for some good Greek food and called it a night (after buying a half liter of gelato for dessert).
Pictures from Tuesday can be found here.
Wednesday November 21st, 2007
We bummed around this morning. Ate lunch at La Pizza (nothing special here) and walked the boardwalk.
Pictures from Wednesday can be found here.