The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.
~ Jacques Yves Cousteau
Having spent 9 days in the big city of Sydney, we were ready to move on. A quick ride on the Airport Link had us back at Kingsford Smith International (Sydney) airport on our way to North Queensland, the second largest state in Australia. With a plane filled with folks on holiday (and one very rowdy footy team) we touched down in the tropical resort town of Cairns.
Having been to Miami and several beach/resort towns in Mexico, this one certainly held it’s own. While not nearly as big as some of the more popular US and Mexican destinations, it was easy to see that this area is a sought-after destination for a splash about in the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. We’ve scubaed and snorkeled off the coast of Mexico, Belize and Curaçao so the idea of experiencing the largest reef in the world was an absolute must-do and our sole purpose for our trip north.
I spent hours scouring the Tripadvisor reviews, but eventually we settled on a cruise with the Ocean Freedom for our Great Barrier Reef excursion. A 9 hour adventure including morning and afternoon tea, lunch, glass-bottom boat and snorkeling on 2 separate reefs had us bounding 90 minuets from shore chatting with folks from all over the globe and enjoying the antics of the crew. Although the crew seemed way to young (yes, we’re getting old) they were professional, courteous, helpful and fun!
I have to say that while rw2 was in awe of our under water surroundings, I was not blown away. Perhaps we could not fully enjoy them as divers do but I truly felt that we’ve experienced much better coral reefs elsewhere. It was awesome, but I did feel it a rather anticlimactic experience. I do not wish to down-play the glory of the Great Barrier Reef and will always encourage people to visit for I am thrilled to have seen it up-close and in person.