Australia - simply amazing

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
Trip End Feb 24, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hanting Express Fuzhou Railway Station
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
Barefoot Tours, Falla Reef Tours

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So, we all know about Australia's dangerous snakes, spiders and other animals, but I really hadn't got my head around this aspect of Ozzie life.

During our time in Brisbane my friend Cath was telling us that her dog had a tick so they had to take him to the vet.   "Oh, our dog get's ticks" I reply.  She then goes on to tell us that her dog got the Paralysis Tick that can kill an animal in 6 hours and they were lucky to get him to the vets in time.

On our first day in Cairns we headed down to the sea front and I was looking for a place to swim. The main town of Cairns does not have a great beach, but Terry spotted a small area of sand that looked good.   Thankfully we noticed the small crocodile warning sign before I hit the water - I didn't even know there were salt water crocs. This place is dangerous.

Two reasons for visiting Cairns were to see the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.  The trip to the rainforest was brilliant, we went with Barefoot Tours as it was described as a very different day out, not your average coach trip.  We were picked up in the morning by Captain Matty who greeted us with a big bear hug.   We were a small group of 20 and Matty kept us amused all day with commentary on the area, the history, the animals (butterflies and crocs in particuar) and discussions on how we managed our toilet paper.  Interesting!   We visited four amazingly beautiful areas in the rainforest and got chance to swim in each location.  It was brilliant.  It was difficult to discern which of Matty's warnings were genuine but when he had to help one lady remove a leach from her leg I realised the leach warning was for real.   

Today was our day on the Great Barrier Reef and we had selected an old Pearl Lugger called "Falla" for the trip.  We were so pleased we had chosen a small and historic boat, and did not envy any of the more modern boats which were much larger and with people packed on.   We were on 8 on Falla which was great when you are snorkelling over the reef as you're not bumping in to each other.   We decided to take up the offer of an Introductory Dive as a Valentine gift to each other.   The water was very choppy and I was beginning to get a bit spooked about handling all the gear and the breathing but the dive coach Matti was brilliant and very patient.  Unfortunately Terry was suffering a bit from the rough sea so couldn't complete the dive - infact he was rather unwell for the rest of the day.  I did manage a 25 minute dive and it was A M A Z I N G.   Being able to get so close to the coral and the fish was just mind blowing.  I feel a new obsession coming on and am already thinking about a proper dive course and holiday.   

We're back to Brisbane tomorrow to meet up with Cath and the girls for a weekend on the Sunshine Coast.  We have had a lot of rain in Cairns (we realised quite late that you get more rain in a rainforest - duh!) and so looking forward to getting some sunshine as we enter the last week of our trip. 


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