Cairns9th May - 12th MayAfter a full day on two planes to Cairns (via Melbourne) we finally landed and took up residence in the early hours of the morning in the airport Best Western, which left a lot to be desire considering the price.The following morning we got to see Cairns from the balcony of our eighth floor room for the very first time and something looked very familiar.It was Thailand!! No … not literally, but as good as.I'd never seen a place that looked so similar to Northern Thailand, with its huge lush rainforest covered mountains, humid air and loads of birds.However, we were expecting temperatures of 30 degrees, but it only seemed a little hotter than Perth, but definitely more humid!That morning Mark and Niels popped off to get the Campervans that would be our homes for the next 2 weeks.Sue-Ellen almost lost her passport, but it was found very quickly.Thank God!After the campervans arrived to pick us up we set up residence in our first caravan park of the trip.The following morning was a very early start for us both (Mark and Sarah were not joining us for this adventure).We got up to meet the bus that would be picking us up at 6:20am for an extreme white water rafting experience through the rain forests of nearby Tully.The journey involved passing a LOT of sugar cane and banana plantations.During this day not only did we raft, but we cliff jumped and went down waterfall slides and swam down rapids.It was a fantastic albeit slightly scary day.Our group and guider were great.We had such a good time.(No pics - camera would have gotten wet!) This trip was again reminiscent of our two-day white water rafting experience through the jungles of Thailand.The landscapes were so similar it was surreal.I cannot believe that different parts of one country can be so different! There aren't any flies over here on the East coast either - bonus! Came back knackered, as I'm sure you can imagine!The day after that the four of us headed off for a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling trip that we had booked.Sue-Ellen felt a bit sick travelling out to sea on the boat as usual, but that soon passed once we arrived at the final destination.Funny moment: Whilst travelling on the front of the boat to look at the horizon, Sue-Ellen's hat blew away and as she reached out to catch it, her cup of ice cold water flew with the wind straight over the girl sitting sunbathing behind her. Never mind. Hehehe! Good thing was somebody caught the hat before it flew off the side of the boat. Yey!The snorkeling was great.Saw many interesting types of fish and coral and the scale of it all is phenomenal.We even had a reef shark swim below us on two occasions! Scary! Luckily we didn't actually see it otherwise we would have bottled it and swam back to the boat amidst a lot of underwater screaming.Other people around us including the divers told us about it afterwards.The reef was amazing and I could see why it's one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but it wasn't as colorful as we imagined it would be.(Gosh we have high expectations!)That evening we went all cultural and attended an aboriginal night called 'Tjapukai by night', provided by the Tjapukai tribe.This evening included some history, cultural dancing and singing (which included the entire group), food and a performance.It was great to learn more and experience aboriginal culture, but the whole experience started to feel very 'Alton Towersy' when the pictures we had taken with some aboriginals were shown on about 6 TV screens with a number for our purchase. Oh, did I mention we had our faces painted aboriginal style?