As I continued to work my way up the East Coast of Australia my next stop was Cairns. I was so excited to check out the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. I knew that this stop would be filled with adventure and new experiences.
Cairns is a very small and walkable city. I relished this because I could avoid eating out and do a little grocery shopping. Plus, my hostel, Mad Monkey Backpackers had a fully equipped kitchen for those who wanted to cook. It was also conveniently located right on the waterfront which made for easy access to the Esplanade. I definitely took advantage of the man-made beach/pool area because it was so hot! A dip in the water was a must in an attempt to cool off. I also had some delicious pad thai around the corner from my hostel and had to stop into Grill’d for my last Aussie burger. There are so many restaurants, cafes and grocery stores – you won’t go hungry. So grab a snack and start exploring this great city!
Up next: The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef has been on my bucket list since I was a child. I dreamt of seeing all of the colourful sea life up close. My dream became a reality as I headed out to the reef on a day trip with a couple friends I had met while on the Gold Coast. (They also happened to be Canadian!) I love meeting new people when I travel and it’s always so exciting to meet fellow Canadians abroad. Anyway, we enjoyed a full day excursion with plenty of diving and snorkelling opportunities. I chose to stick with snorkelling and thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw Nemo! I also saw a ton of beautiful, colourful fish that completely blew my mind. Our planet is filled with so much beauty and we really need to protect it. My brain is filled with mental pictures from this underwater experience.
I highly recommend snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. There are so many different tours and most of them include lunch. I had an absolute blast! They provided me with a stinger suit to prevent any jelly fish from trying to sting me. I felt extremely safe in the water and the crew was absolutely fantastic. If swimming isn’t your thing, they have life jackets and instructors willing to take you on a little swim to see the fish. These tours are set up for all levels, all ages and are guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget.
I chose to do another day trip up to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest during my stay in Cairns. They picked me up just around the corner from my hostel and provided all transportation throughout the day. Uncle Brian’s tours are geared to young adventurers and they do not disappoint. The small group sizes, and friendly, informative guides are incredible. I had a lot of fun exploring the forest, checking out the four mile beach and even taking a dip in the creek. As a group we went on a crocodile cruise as well and managed to catch a glimpse of some crocs in the wild. It was a day I won’t soon forget!
I really enjoyed my time in Cairns. It’s a great starting point for many different day trips, plus the city has a wonderful charm to it. I highly recommend spending a couple days in this part of Australia.