As our time in Australia was ending we began to feel the push to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We needed to get to the Great Barrier Reef.
Along the Eastern coast of Australia the weather from the South Pacific was hampering our opportunities to get underwater. After the huge waves stopped us at Byron the swells grounded us at Agnes Water. If we were going to dive on the GBR we would have to fly to Cairns!
The small airlines in Australia are perfectly suited for weekend flights across this big country. We used JetStar to jump from Melbourne to Tasmania and we would use Quantas to get from Sydney to Cairns. It is a fairly short flight, at a great price (if you buy in Australia with US to AD conversion rates)
We booked rooms at a cute place we found on AirBandB
and set out to explore the town. After booking dives we found a geocache and dipped our toes in the local public swimming pool.
Our friend enjoyed the mall that we passed through each time we left and returned to our rental. But we had a lot of fun as we walked around the city center.
We found the storage lot for the infamous Wicked Vans (search it, you can read the stories)
and we walked through the street market.
Diving day was great. Our boat was a large catamaran with a friendly crew and all the services. The trip included breakfast, lunch, snorkeling and up to two full-service dives. We finally made it to the Great Barrier Reef.
On our dive we saw amazing colors of corals; all shapes and sizes. We also met a large humpback that was a camera-ham and we saw huge sea cucumbers. There were colorful fish in schools and in singles. The variety of sea-life was unlike any dive we have taken. Although it took some time to get adjusted to buoyancy, it was great to get underwater again. Geneva is already pushing the envelope with every dive (diving pneumothorax; blah blah blah) so when she goes under, it has to be worth it! This one was.
Just in case you were unsure, if you get to Australia…… you gotta check out that reef.