Great Barrier Reef Vacation

Trip Start Oct 13, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hi Everyone--

Well, this may be our last big trip before we come home.  And it was a doozey (as my Mom used to say).  I guess we saved the best for last and finally got up to see the Great Barrier Reef.  I won't give the geography lesson this time, but suffice it to say that the closest place that you can travel to see the Reef is about a 16 hour car ride from Sydney.  That's the southern most part of the Reef.  We went more towards the northern end of the reef, which was a 3 hour plane ride to Cairns.  We then drove an hour to a lovely town called Port Douglas.  I won't bore you with a lot of words; the pictures do sum it up, but here are the highlights:

- We met the Australian Idol winner, Wes Carr in the Syndey airport on the way up.  Fortunately, that was NOT the best part of the trip for the kids.
- Saw a python hanging out in a tree in the middle of Port Douglas.
- Had breakfast with the birds at a wildlife sanctuary
- Hand fed the roos at the sanctuary
- Jim and I had a romantic dinner at a restaurant called nautilus--it's in the middle of the town, but you walk up this path and all of a sudden, you're in the rain forest.  Very cool.
- Took a skyrail cable car from Cairns over the rainforest to a town called Kuranda--lots of little shops
- Took the not-so-scenic railway down from Kuranda to Cairns (due to rain and clouds which rolled in)
- Watched Cane Toad Races at the Iron Bar
- Made 2 trips out to the reef for snorkeling.  The first boat trip out was to the Low Isles, and island about 15 km from Port Douglas.  The second was to the outer reef--about 75 km from Port Douglas--where we stopped at three different areas to snorkle.  The boys did great, loved it and at one point said it was "better than video games."  Of course, that's all changed now.
- A shark sighting--by Sam!  I believe him as others on the boat said they saw sharks.  Okay Grandmas...don't worry.   These are reef sharks and we were told that they are more afraid of us than we are of them.  Still, I don't feel like I missed out on not seeing one.

I'm sure I'll have more random pictures before we come home.  Kids last day of school will be 7/10 and then we'll come back probably a week or so after that.  Jim may stay longer due to additional work maybe being sold here--still iffy.

Until next time,
Barb, Jim, Max and Sam

P.S.  To my facebook friends, a lot of these pictures are the same ones that I posted on FB, but there are a few new ones. 
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