Great Barrier Reef

Trip Start Dec 28, 2010
Trip End Apr 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
By The Sea Port Douglas
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, February 14, 2011

We flew from Singapore to Darwin, and then Darwin to Cairns. To which we were very lucky, as the next day Darwin airport was closed due to the cyclones and storms.

We got in the taxi and made our way an hour north of Cairns, to Port Douglas. The scenery on the ocean road was fantastic, although after the full night of flying, and my inability to sleep on planes, I was unable to keep my eyes open!! It was Tuesday morning and I'd not slept since Sunday night!! But I knew I had to fight it, can't bugger up my body off the beach we went!!!!

Port Douglas itself is a gorgeous little town, a proper little holiday spot right next to 4 Mile Beach. Our apartments were gorgeous too, a stones throw from the beach, a little pool and whirlpool, and they think of everything – you can borrow deck chairs, cool-boxes, sun-loungers for the beach, you can even borrow laptops, iPod chargers, DVD's, it was well good!

Shell and I were very happy....we found some cheap wine!! All through Asia the wine is so expensive, so we've had none, but here we got a bottle each and enjoyed every fact we were both leathered – the mix of no sleep and cheap wine was not good!! As we had a kitchen we'd been shopping, so cooking in this state was not so good!!

Our first full in in Australia was spent on the beach....shocking hey!!! Then the evening was a quiet one with a couple of DVDs and only 1 bottle of wine for me! As the next day was the much anticipated Great Barrier Reef trip.

We had paid extra for a boat that would take us to a further part of the reef, and one that had a smaller group – this sort of thing you got to do properly! It took us about an hour and a half to get to our first site, and we were advised to wear a stinger suit as it was jellyfish season. They were hilarious, skin-tight Lycra suits – we looked gorgeous!!!!

We were told all about the different types of coral, and the sea life we would be seeing down there. So we got to the back of the boat and one of the crew was throwing food into the water and was feeding some grey reef sharks, and then we all got in. The sharks were only small, about a foot and a half, so weren’t dangerous. It was well cool to swim with them. Then we all went off snorkelling around. The fish were all so colourful, and they swam really close to you, you could reach out to them. I saw a school of squid swim past, and a few little jellyfish brushed past me so I was definitely glad of my suit!

We had lunch and 2 more dive sites, it was amazing. We saw dolphins swimming next to the boat, a small whale was spotted too but we weren't quick enough to see it, and there were huge turtles swimming by. We paid for an underwater digital camera, and we got some good pics, but it was quite hard to follow the fish and see in the view-screen! But there was a really shallow bit of reef where we got some good shots. I saw a barracuda too, but didn't have the camera with me to snap it.

What a fantastic day out, and we were so lucky with the weather!!

I think Shell and I had our masks on too tight, as for about 4 hours after we took them off we still had marks on our faces – we looked ridiculous!! In fact, I think I have nerve damage from the top of my nose I have a numb patch of skin still (it's now 3 days later!!)

We were leaving Port Douglas the following day, and could definitely have stayed longer. We decided to spend the day by the beach, and leave for Cairns late in the afternoon. 4 Mile Beach was nice, but you could only swim in a small netted area, known as a stinger net. This was due to the jellyfish and crocodiles in the waters....honestly! The lifeguard has to sweep the net every so often, and he came over and showed us what he'd found – a baby Box Jellyfish - inside the bloody net, the net we were swimming in just minutes before!!! He said is was too small to close the beach, and wouldn’t kill you, just give you a nasty sting, but he said the big ones will kill you in 2 minutes!! A paddle inside a stinger net is all I will be doing in this country I tell you!!!
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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