Well, my flight into Cairns was an experience - was a slightly bumpy ride I must say, but I made it in 1 piece!
The weather in Cairns is amazing - it is soo hot, I'm not used to it as the red centre wasn't really all that hot surprisingly!
I spent a day in Cairns before heading up to Cape Tribulation - I didn't see much of Cairns but it seems like a really nice city.
Cape Tribulation was amazing - I got to see my first crocodiles on a cruise of the Daintree river which was really cool. I also did a walk on the Marradja boardwalk on the way up to Cape Tribulation which was quite short but interesting to wander through the rainforest.
The first thing I noticed at my hostel were the giant (and I mean GIANT) spiders that were everywhere (I even had to walk under them to get to my cabin in the rainforest where I was sleeping!!). Other than that the hostel was amazing, right on the beach with the rainforst running right up to the beach, the view was just like nothing you have ever seen - amazing!
At night I went for a guided walk through the rainforest, and it was literally a case of climbing through the rainforest and down on creek beds etc rather than following a well laid path. It was brilliant but a little scary as it was soo dark when we turned the torches off. We didn't see too much - quite a few spiders, a couple of lizards and loads of ants as well as a water snake (it was actually a fish but it looked like a snake) and some prawns!
The following day I went to Port Douglas which is a small town an hour north of Cairns. It was beautiful, I loved it there, and I timed it right as Carnivale was just starting so the first night I was there I went to watch the parade, fireworks and some bands with some girls from my hostel.
The beach at Port Douglas was fairly similar to that at Cape Tribulation with it being bordered by rainforest. It was just amazing, and the weather again was perfect, if not a little on the hot side!
On the Sunday I headed back to Cairns (I didn't really want to leave) and got prepared for my trip to the Great Barrier Reef the next day.
The Reef was amazing!!!! I went with Passions of Paradise and we left at 8am, arriving at Michalemas Cay (its not an island as you need at least 2 trees for an island - you learn something new everyday!) where I decided to do the glass bottom boat trip out to some of the deeper reefs and learn a bit about the reef which was really interesting!
We then got dropped off on the beach to snorkel back to the boat. I was surprised that there were fish swimming around my feet only a few feet from the beach (it also scared me a bit as I wasn't expecting it!). I snorkelled a direct path back to the boat across beautiful corals and fish and especially the giant clams which was something else - they were massive and their insides were a stripy purple colour!
The next stop after lunch was to Paradise Reef. When we arrived 2 of the crew went out on a small boat to check the area and then announced that the hammerhead was back - GREAT! As if I wasn't scared of the sea already!! I therefore decided to join a snorkelling tour so I was in a group and we went round the reef which was more beautiful that the last place. I even got to see some parrotfish which was really exciting!!
After Paradise Reef it was time to make our way back to Cairns so we had another 2 and a half hours to relax on the journey home - all in all an awesome day - can't wait until my next reef trip on the Whitsundays now!