Continuing on from my previous post… we had finally arrived in Cairns and straight away got speaking to the concierge to pick out the best Great Barrier Reef trip! After flicking through many brochures and listening to her recommendations, we went with the Silverswift Tour which departed 8:30am giving us breakfast on the boat, all the equipment and suits, takes us to three different snorkelling sites on the Great Barrier Reef and also gave us lunch and then refreshments at the end of the day! The trip cost $220 per person but we wanted to splash out a little for this as it was the main part of the trip. There were more budget options for around $95 if you’re looking for something a little less pricey but they didn’t offer as much!
Anyway, that afternoon we spent an hour or so by the hotel pool before we got changed for dinner that evening. I was feeling something Australian for dinner and after a quick look online, made a reservation for a place called Dundees. And boy it did not disappoint. With a waterfront table by the marina, we sat down and scoured the menu, and from the Bush Tucker page I ordered the kangaroo and crocodile skewers and they tasted unbelievable!! Every time I’m in Aus now I will for sure be ordering Kangaroo, it tastes SO good!
Walking back through the city I wasn’t feeling brilliant and wanted an early night before our big day, so left the girls for drinks and headed to bed. Waking up the next morning, I was beyond excited for our trip. We first had to head down to the Ferry Terminal to check in to our boat (kind of like checking in for a flight), before heading on board for breakfast. When checking in, you each pay $6.50 for marine conservation to help protect the UNESCO World Heritage site.
After my last boat trip in Phuket (read all about that here) where I had the worst sea sickness, my friend Katie gave me a travel sickness tablet to help with the motion of the boat against the waves, except the only thing that made me feel, was dizzy and nauseous whilst completely still – the complete opposite of what it was meant to do! So for the first hour, I felt absolutely terrible. Note to self: Just suck it up and power through next time haha.
After eating breakfast, the boat pulled out of the harbour and it was an hour and twenty minutes over to the first site. Having a briefing on snorkelling and getting into our gear, it was finally time to jump into those beautifully crystal clear waters.
All I’m going to say is that I have never seen anywhere quite like it in my life. The blue waters and the multitude of different coloured fish was like something your mind could never even dream of. We were pointed out the different “characters” of Finding Nemo whilst we had around an hour at each different site swimming in and around the reefs.
At one point, a sea turtle swam right up to the surface of the water and right through us to take a breath, before heading down to the bottom of the sea bed again. Up until seeing these animals in their natural environment, right in front of your face, you don’t realise how beautiful and truly remarkable they are.
After a long and tiring but absolutely phenomenal day of snorkelling, we pulled back into the harbour at 4:30pm and made our way back to the hotel.
Changing for dinner, we headed out to a german restaurant where I managed to not only order the worlds biggest portion of ribs, but actually eat them all. I must have worked up a real appetite with all that snorkelling.
The next day we headed out to breakfast in a different suburb of the city called Edge Hill, we’d seen great recommendations for breakfast/brunch at a cafe called Ozmosis and saw there was a Sunday market right next by too.
After this it was a chilled out more relaxed day of wandering around Cairns and checking out the city, before we headed back to Cairns Airport to fly back to Sydney. Not before stopping for lunch at a restaurant called Prawn Star. For anyone in Cairns, I highly recommend you going here. Set on two conjoined boats in the marina, you step aboard to a selection of the most amazingly fresh sea food served to you by the bucket load. We opted for a seafood selection of prawns and bugs between the three of us as we sat and admired the view of our last hour or two in Cairns.
And then sadly it was airport time, and the holiday was beginning to come to an end. We flew back down to Sydney with JetStar on an Airbus 321 and to say its a low budget airline I was pleasantly surprised with the airline and much preferred it to Qantas, the more expensive carrier!
Stay posted for how I finished my holiday in Sydney and feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more daily updates: