Great Barrier Reef- Cairns, QLD, Australia

Great Barrier Reef- Cairns, QLD, Australia

One of the most special and wonderful adventures we have had in Australia is going to the Great Barrier Reef!  This really was a once in a lifetime experience, and I encourage everyone to make the trip- it is an amazing, living thing that is hidden just below the ocean’s surface.

We went to the reef while on our South-Pacific cruise.  It was my Mom’s dream to snorkel the reef for her 60th birthday, so we planned to do that excursion right away!  The ferry picked us up from our ship and we jetted to the outer reef for a little over an hour.  It was (luckily) a smooth day at sea and we all fared well!

Once out at the pontoon/floating dive site, we geared up and headed into the water.  Due to the time of year we visited, we had to wear stinger suits to protect against jelly stings.  If you want to know more about the risks involved with a box jellyfish sting…check this out.

Since Emmylou was along for the day, we took turns going into the water.  We also hired a snorkel guide, which was REALLY worthwhile!  Fish and coral all look alike unless someone who understands it can tell you more about it.

After our time in the water, we boarded an underwater-viewing boat for a quick float over the reef.  I have to say, that was the BEST way to see the reef!  The boat got you much closer to the coral and fish than floating on the surface.  It minimized the water between you and the reef so everything was much easier to see.  Being in the water was really fun but if you’re not a swimmer, the boat gets you up close and personal with the reef.

We also made a point to dip Emmylou’s toes in the water before we left.  She saw the reef and clown fish on her glass-bottom boat ride and touched the sea but surely she’ll have to come back again to truly remember this incredible place!

We all thought that visiting the reef was really incredible and felt like visiting a natural aquarium.  It’s a must-see if you make the trip Down Under.  It was also an amazing way to celebrate 60 years!


K, J, EL & P

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