It’s been a while since I last posted to the blog, which is probably a good sign because we’ve been busy. Last weekend, however, we took a trip up to Queensland to check out the Great Barrier Reef and a few other sites, and I couldn’t let that experience go by without sharing it here.
For those of you who don’t know, Queensland is the state directly north of New South Whales. It’s big. Really big in fact — about 2.5 times the size of Texas. It’s also known as the sunshine state, though I don’t think we saw the sun once the entire time we were there. It’s alright though, considering it was winter and still a balmy 80 degrees every day.
We flew into Cairns (it’s about a three-hour flight) and spent two nights there. I’ll be honest, Cairns definitely isn’t one of Australia’s gems. There’s not much to see in the city itself and it’s not a place I’d rush back to. It is, however, a good base to explore some of the local natural sites. We used it, for example, as a jumping off point to check out the Atherton Tablelands and the Daintree. At the risk of sounding like a hater, these were both a bit underwhelming as well. One early observation about Australians is that they’ll call any old piece of preserved land a national park, even if it is in no way, shape, or form remotely comparable to the majestic beauty of some of the national parks back in the US. A lake surrounded by a forest ain’t anything to get excited about, folks! Just saying.
Nevertheless, the highlight of our trip was going to Port Douglas (a lovely town) and checking out the Great Barrier Reef, which is nothing short of spectacular. I’ve gone snorkelling a fair number of times throughout the Caribbean and all I can say is that everything I have experienced prior to this is, in retrospect, average at best. Snorkeling around the Great Barrier Reef you get to see such a rich, vibrant, and colorful array of flora and fauna. It was truly amazing. Sadly, I didn’t have an underwater camera to take pictures with. You’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s something you should try to experience if you ever get the chance.
Here are a few pics of the trip. Enjoy!