Australia-Cairns: The Great Barrier Reef
Well, to say Australia is amazing would be an understatement. The blogs haven’t been coming in because every day has just been so busy exploring this beautiful country and soaking up the sun. We started out in Cairns where we picked up our home for the next four weeks- a Britz campervan equipped with space enough for two to sleep, a fridge, a steering wheel and off we set!
Of course, we spent a little bit of time enjoying Cairns before we hit the road and one of the biggest highlights of all of our travels so far had to be the fabulous trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. I was really excited to have signed up for a beginners dive, if a little nervous, so we booked it just a day in advance so I didn’t have time to chicken out! As soon as we got to the quay we felt totally safe and comfortable in the hands of the diving instructors and I totally set my mind on successfully doing my first dive- to make things even better the reef for dives was called ‘Briggs Reef’- I took it as a sign!
It was very very choppy on the 90 minute ride across to the reef so we were glad we were in one of the later diving groups so we had chance to put our stomachs back in place. After lots of instruction we popped on our gear and got ready to explore the ocean. Sitting on the side of the dive deck waiting to go under was rather nerve wracking, especially whilst battle waves and flippers! Our lovely instructor took us by the hand and took us down just two metres at first and we went through the skills we had learned to make sure we were safe to dive. We had to do a range of things including dropping our regulator and keeping calm to re find it and re insert it properly. That was scary! Taking the piece of equipment out of your mouth whilst submerged is frankly freaky, but I did it after watching Matthew seamlessly and calmly drop his regulator and find it like an old pro- I had to get my act together when he was so sorted really!
So down we went.
It was surreal. The choppy nature of the ocean on the surface was a thing of the past and we were just surrounded by fish, peace and tranquility. Being able to breath under water is so liberating and exciting. It has to be one of the most wonderful experiences of my whole life- I get goosebumps just thinking about it and I would absolutely love to do another dive. Sitting on the floor of the ocean surrounded by glorious coral, looking up and just seeing blue- it’s unimaginable and something everyone should try.
Once I had finished gushing about how extraordinary our dive was we grabbed some lunch before heading to another area of the reef for snorkelling. Many sea turtles are released in the area so we had our hopes high, and we were certainly not disappointed. One turtle was completely comfortable with us, and I was fortunate to be the last person back to the boat so the turtle popped up for air right in front of me- I couldn’t believe it! It was beautiful.
So, after one of the best days of our life our next step is northward towards the rainforest and the Tablelands! Let’s go!