South-Pacific Cruise (Part 2)- Cairns, Airlie Beach and Brisbane
Welcome back! If you haven’t already read about the first half of our trip cruising around New Caledonia, you should, it was AMAZING! This is a recap of the second half of our cruise, along Australia’s Eastern coast, visiting Cairns, Brisbane and Airlie Beach.After our time in New Caledonia, we spent a few days at sea heading back to Australia and arrived in Cairns (pronounced Cans, just FYI). For this stop we planned to take an excursion out to the Great Barrier Reef (so we didn’t actually go into Cairns). Our time at the reef was absolutely spectacular! You can read more about that excursion here.From Cairns we went to Airlie Beach, which is a very small, port city. Once again, we wished we had booked a shore excursion for the day but enjoyed the small town offerings of Airlie. We walked around, shopped, ate and enjoyed the beach town.The funny thing about Airlie Beach is that we couldn’t utilize the beach due to the jelly fish! Unless you wear a stinger suit you cannot swim in the ocean during jelly season (local summertime). You can read more about the (deadly) Box Jellyfish here. Instead, we enjoyed the man-made lagoon! It was free, clean and very beautiful. I was impressed and Emmylou had fun splashing around. I also never want to forget those epic thigh rolls!!!Airlie Beach is known as the “Gateway to the Whitsunday Islands,” and is used as a launching point to access the beautiful islands. After we left Airlie Beach, we spent the evening on deck as we sailed because the scenery was SO stunning! These two aren’t too hard on the eyes either! 😉From Airlie Beach, we sailed to Brisbane. In Brisbane we took and excursion to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and it was really great!We were able to meet Merlin the koala, saw tons of his friends snoozing away and also got to see some other Australian animals up-close (Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Dingos, Platypuses, Bats, Birds, Roos). We also saw a Huntsman spider, the size of my hand, but he was not on exhibit…just crawling on the sidewalk- eek!
We then set sail for our final sea day back to Sydney.
This cruise and itinerary was nothing short of spectacular (we sailed on Norwegian Cruise Line). We really enjoyed the cruise-ship, food, entertainment and itinerary. We would definitely recommend this cruise to locals and visitors, alike!
We did learn a few things about cruising along the way. If you do cruise, be sure to research each port city for what you want to do and book excursions through the ship for any must-do or see places and activities (for us, this was the Great Barrier Reef). I will also be posting about cruising with a baby soon!
K, J, EL & P