Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sharks, Crocodiles, and Cassowaries, OH MY!

We went on a six day adventure up to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. We had a lot of fun and got to see a lot of cool, yet scary things. Our first day we just settled in and went to the beach. The weather was beautiful! It was in the 80's everyday and was nice and sunny. Our second day we took a cruise to Green Island. We spent about 2 hours there, walking through the rain forest and chilling on the beautiful beaches. We then went out to the Great Barrier Reef. We went to a section they call Norman. Our boat hooked up with a pontoon there. We started off by going on a semi-submersible to see all the fish and coral from there. It was nice because Annabelle got to see everything that way. She fell asleep, so we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and head out to do some snorkeling. My Mom watched Annabelle while Dave and I snorkeled. The water was surprisingly warm and we saw really cool fish and coral. We also saw a shark! We were swimming with sharks!! They were just reef sharks, so they won't hurt you, but they are still large and scary. I traded places with my Mom. When Annabelle woke up we all walked down to the underwater observatory before taking off back to Cairns. I loved the trip, even though it was the first time I've ever felt nauseous on a boat. The water was pretty choppy, but I was very glad I didn't get sick as I watched others spewing their breakfasts.

On the third day we took the longest sky gondola ride in the world. It was beautiful! It took us over the canopy of the rainforest. There were a couple of stops along the way where we got to take short hikes and see beautiful wildlife and waterfalls. We spent a few hours in the mountain town of Kuranda. We had lunch, shop at the markets, and went to the Koala Gardens. There we got to hold koalas and hand feed kangaroos. We then took a train back through the rainforest. That was Dave's favorite part of the day.

On the fourth day, it was my birthday, so we went to 4 mile beach. Annabelle, Mom, and I played in the sun for a while. It got to be pretty hot though, so we left and went out to lunch in Port Douglas. We went to the markets there as well. We went into downtown Cairns for dinner. We ate at a great little Italian place and the food was actually pretty good.
On the fifth day we woke up at 4 AM and drove to the Daintree River. There we took a sunrise river cruise through the rainforest. It was a little early and cold, but it was beautiful! We then took a short hike through the Daintree Rainforest before heading back. We spent the rest of the day resting and swimming.

On the last day we went to Hartley's Crocodile Adventure. We got to take a cruise on a river full of big crocodiles! We also got to feed cassowaries (big, mean Australian birds) and see other wildlife. We then went to Cairns and swam at the free outdoor pool by the beach. It was great! We flew home that night and Annabelle slept the whole way. It was a great trip and definitely recommend seeing the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest and all the incredible wildlife and beauty they hold!

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