G'Day from Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

The Travelling Series

We flew from Auckland to Cairns via Brisbane in order to begin our Aussie adventure down the east coast. 

We had a bit of a culture shock when we arrived as Australia is quite different from New Zealand! Some things that I learned in a mere few hours after our arrival include: the tap water tastes disgusting, Red Hot Chilli Peppers are overplayed everywhere and people ask you ‘how you going?’ instead of ‘how are you?’ (I found this totally bizarre!) 

In addition, the weather is warmer, the people are more in your face and I have never seen so many beaches in my life! 

It’s also quite common in the North for cities to have a ‘lagoon’ adjacent to the beach; this is basically a large outdoor pool for the public to swim in so that they don’t get attacked by the marine stingers in the sea at this time of year.

In the few days that we were in Cairns, we visited a beach called Kewarra. We got the bus there and, as we hopped off, the driver remarked: ‘have fun and watch out for the crocodiles!’ We laughed along thinking it was a joke, but soon later realised that he was being deadly serious due to the posters plastered everywhere warning the public about the jellyfish and sharks in the water, as well as the crocodiles. It’s crazy – we’d never have these kinds of problems in England! 

As well as visiting Kewarra Beach, we also went to Green Island off the coast of Cairns to see some inner parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

After my unfortunate diving experience in Thailand, I decided I wanted to stay dry for this one – so we got the ferry to Green Island and then sailed over the Great Barrier Reef in a glass bottom boat. We saw turtles, eagle rays and Dory from Finding Nemo, amongst plenty of other fish. 

When we hopped off the boat, we were absolutely buzzing! Then Kane spotted something colossal in the water. ‘Katie, look! A wild dolphin.’ No, Kane – that doesn’t look like a dolphin. Try again. ‘Katie, look! A shark!’ 

That’s right, we saw a shark – just casually swimming in the sea. I’d never seen a shark in it’s natural environment before and the scary thing about it was that there were snorkelers ten feet away from it pleasantly minding their own business. I never thought I’d be in a situation where I legitimately had to shout ‘SHARK’ at people in the water! 

It hovered for a bit then luckily decided to swim in the opposite direction without hurting anybody. 

We found out afterwards that it was probably only a reef shark, which is pretty harmless. But still, a shark is a shark to me! 

After Cairns we headed down the east coast to a lovely little town called Airlie Beach.

To be continued…


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