This past weekend we traveled to Cairns, Queensland home of the Great Barrier Reef. We brought our bags to school and headed to the airport at the end of the school day. Whites Hill was going to provide free transportation through their mini bus, but something occurred and it was no longer possible. The school then arranged for Deanna, Jess, and I to be picked up via taxi (as well as the other girls at Camp Hill) and paid for the trip. It was a very kind gesture and we were extremely thankfully that we didn’t have to pay for a taxi ride! We left at 6:40 and landed in Cairns around 9pm. We made it to our hotel, The Cairns Colonial Club. We arrived in what Deanna, Jess, and I called a “mini rainforest.” We unpacked; explored a little, and then headed to bed fairly early—Saturday was going to be a big day: THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!
Saturday was spent at the one and only, Great Barrier Reef. On the way there, I was still in shock that I would be visiting such a renowned place and one of the Seven Wonders of the World…it was just unfathomable, until, of course, I arrived! We had about an hour bus ride and an hour and a half boat right before we got to the reef. Along the way, we were informed of some pretty cool Great Barrier Reef facts:
1. The Great Barrier Reef is 2,300 km long.
2. It is considered one organism.
3. The Great Barrier Reef was formed over half a million years ago (CRAZY!)
4. The current state of the Great Barrier Reef is, roughly, 8,000-10,000 years old.
5. Reefs grow 3 cm every 100 years! (Just think: that’s very little progress made in just 100 years and the Great Barrier Reef is 2300 km long…AMAZING to think of God’s handy-work and creation.)
|The Great Barrier Reef is out there somewhere! :) Simply Beautiful!|
|Just me on the Quicksilver! Such a lovely day!|
Once we arrived at what they guides called the pontoon, we slipped into some protective wear: full body suits (we paid 5 dollars for these very attractive suits). The guides highly recommended them because it was jellyfish season. Deanna, Jess, and I were not going to take the risk of being stung, so we opted for the lovely suits! I’m glad we opted for those suits though, I felt safer! After a complimentary lunch, Deanna, Jess, and I decided to venture out on the reef prior to a group tour some of us had signed up with. Jess and Deanna had never snorkeled before, so I took them out for a little mini lesson and help comfort them on their first experience! Turns out the waves were fairly rough and made it a little difficult but they were troopers; Deanna went back out on her own and Jess joined the group on the “Advanced” snorkel tour!
|Looking good! :)|
|With all of our gear!|
On the tour we saw TONS of fish: small, big, skinny, fat…all types! I learned that butterfly fish always travel in pairs. They meet their “mate” fairly early in their life and travel with them always. When one dies, the other then travels alone the rest of his or her fish life. CRAZY! I also learned that clown fish undergo sex changes; they often change from male to female. I held a mushroom coral, a sea cucumber, and a bright blue starfish. I also got to touch a clam on the reef. It was crazy to touch it and then see it close…AMAZING. This experience was definitely a once and a lifetime one. I was completely amazed at God’s marvelous creation. The fact that He could create something so unique, so beautiful…I was in awe of the beauty surrounding me and completely humbled by the fact that I witnessed such a magnificent place. It was breathtaking and it was amazing…I definitely fill blessed to have had experienced the Great Barrier Reef and all of its inhabitants!
The next day we took a bus into Cairns and explored the city…found a casino (in which we did NOT gamble…we were already spending too much money!)…a dome filled with a rainforest and saw the beautiful
harbour! We (Jess, her roommate Lauren, Deanna, and I) went to a great restaurant on the Harbour and we all ate burgers and fries! It was a great lunch! We spent the rest of the day walking around and exploring! Lauren and I found a mall and more importantly a nail salon. We decided to get manicures and pedicures; it was a nice treat and I was able to relax! After that we headed back to the hotel, killed some time, and then headed to the airport and headed back to Brisbane! Cairns
|My roomie and I :)|
|The harbour at Cairns!|
It was quite an eventful weekend and memories were definitely made; these memories will last a lifetime! It’s now time for the last week of school and camp with my year 9 students! We leave Wednesday…time is sure flying by here in the Land of the Aussie!
Until next time,