Cairns. Oh. My. Goodness.
It is perfect there. And it is warm. And the people are nice. And the ice cream is phenomenal. And the water is warm. And I could go on forever!
Cairns was a vacation from a vacation. It was the best and warmest little getaway trip for us! We flew into Cairns early in the morning. After our arrival we all suited up and headed to the beach. The entire afternoon was spent laying out, relaxing, swimming, listening to the live band, and pretty much just hanging out in beautiful 80 degree summer weather. And to top it all off, as a group we had a BBQ together for dinner while we watched the sun set on the beach.
Honestly this day was the best day I’ve had on the trip. Taking time to relax without the stress of business visits and homework was perfect. It felt like a perfect summer day.
The next day in Cairns we started early traveling to go on a Daintree River Cruise. The Daintree River is known as home to many different species of crocodiles and other rainforest animals like snakes. While on the river cruise we saw a wild crocodile and a baby crocodile as well as other birds, snakes, spiders, etc. It was cool to finally see my first Australian wild crocodile! And I actually kissed a baby crocodile! Kinda frightening to though…
Following the river cruise we headed over to the Gallo Dairyland. The Gallo Dairyland is a popular dairy farm near Cairns. I wasn’t expecting too much from this business visit but it turned out to be one of my favorites. Being at a farm was a slight, emphasis on the word slight, reminder of Idaho. It especially reminded me of the Reeds Dairy Farm! While at Gallo we were able to see how the cows are milked, the cheese is made, and the animals are nursed. In addition we were able to try some bomb homemade chocolates and cheeses. The Gallo Dairyland cheese was incredible. This was one of those moments when I wished my mom were here with me so that she could be apart of the experience! She for sure would have been drooling over the gourmet cheese with me – seriously divine.
After the Gallo Dairyland we headed home. The night was spent out on the town to grab some dinner. Except Madison and I didn't get dinner. We got our nails done and we are so not mad about it.
The next day was The Great Barrier Reef! I have been dreaming of going to The Great Barrier Reef ever since my 5th grade world geography class. And yes, it lived up to every expectation. I will admit that the boat ride from the coast out to the reef was a bit rough. There were high waves which made for a rocky 1 ½ boat ride. And although lots of people on board got sick, it was nothing compared to the ferry ride mentioned here.
Once we arrived to the reef location we suited up and jumped into the water. Guys, the fish were So vibrant and stunning! The fish were colorful and big, big, big! I have never seen such large and variety of brightly colored fish! We were able to get pretty close to the fish and even touch a few!
I absolutely loved being in The Great Barrier Reef for the day. The fish were beautiful, the sun was shining, and the water was warm. Perfect day I’d say!
The next day in Cairns we journeyed up to the Rainforestation. The Rainforestation is an aboriginal cultural park. Again think along the lines of the Polynesian Cultural Center at BYU – Hawaii. While at the Rainforestation we were able to hop on an Army duck and ride through the rainforest. We were able to learn more about the plants and wildlife. Again, so interesting! I loved learning more about the different ferns. After the Army duck tour we met up with a native Aborigine to learn more about their culture. He taught us how to throw a boomerang and play the didgeridoo, and showed us traditional Aboriginal dances.
Following we were able to walk through the wildlife park where I saw a gianormous 8 foot long crocodile named Jack the Ripper. When I saw the crocodile I screamed, it is so big and it took me by such surprise! While in the wildlife park I was also able to touch and feed a kangaroo as well as hold a koala bear! Koala bears are so dense and have thick thick fur! I seriously wanted to take it home and cuddle the bear for the rest of my life. Also I tasted a citrus ant. Guys this study abroad has me doing things I never thought I would!
That night we jumped back on a plane to head to Sydney once again.
Thoughts about Cairns. I loved it. Like I said it was a mini vacation from this huge long vacation I’m on! Cairns took me by such surprise but was exactly what I and the group was needing, especially that relaxing day on the beach.
Sydney here we come!