Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 4 North Qld - Great Barrier Reef

the osprey
So it was time to say goodbye to Mission beach (for now anyway) and head further up North to Cairns to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef! It was one of my favourite things I did last time I was up here so made sure to go back!

As we were waiting in cue I had judgments on the operator we choose as they were straight out rude to some Asian travellers to whom English was obviously a second language. That made me sad to be Australian, especially when travelling to Japan when I had no Japanese and yet I was made to feel so welcomed!

So yeah I wouldn't recommend the Osprey charter purely for that reason alone....anyhoo, people suck but nature doesn't and it wasn't too long before we were out on the reef!
great barrier reef


Great Barrier Reef

Our first reef was Normans reef, they tell you to stay in a certain area so they can keep an eye on you, which is good for me because I'm a really poor swimmer.  I made sure to wear every safety precaution they could give me. I watched the first few peeps jump into the water, they seem to struggle a bit with the current, so I made sure to try and get off to a good start and swim in the opposite current direction. I obviously swam to far.  Apparently (though I didn't know this at the time) the lookout man kept blowing his whistle at me to tell me I was too far out..opps!

The last time I'd been to the Great Barrier Reef it was a beautiful fine day, which made swimming conditions perfect. Today's swimming conditions, were quite scary for me, so I went back to the boat and hoped on the "safety ring ride" lol. I think this was only meant to be for kids, but the guy pulling the ring, seemed happy enough for me to hop on with the others! Ben and I eventually found out later that there was a huge storm in cairns whilst we were out.  Causing a shopping centre to be evacuated because of flooding.  That made me feel slightly less weiner like!

norman reef

despite the conditions, it was actually very pretty beneath the water!

snorkellers

hastings reef

coral 2

Whilst I snorkeled like the weiner I am, Ben went scuba diving for the first time and loved it!
divers

coral
Pretty Coral!

Great Barrier Reef colourful fishes
So many colourful fishes, I think this was taken at our second reef for the day, Hastings reef, much calmer so no need to be pulled along :P

Our brochure promised us Elvis playing didgeridoo. Well the man' name was Elvis, but unlink my visions he wasn't in costume, though he didgeridoo skills weren't bad. His jokes were though and that combined with some weird arrogance/meanness rated him low on the tour guide rating system!

We got back into cairns late in the arvo, wandered around
ok gift shop cairns
cute shop!

and then found our accommodation for the night at Traveller's Oasis, which I would definitely recommend!

travellers oasis

travellers oasis
cute decor, reasonable prices and friendly staff made it a win win!

travellers oasis painted walls

travellers oasis kitchen

travellers oasis

travellers oasis gecko

they recommended we head to the woolshed for dinner, clearly a backpackers dream, but it suited our old people-ness just fine :)

woolshed cairns

cairns
Cairns was good to us!

4 comments:

  1. Ahh boo to "elvis" guy being a let down, and dodgy tour people being rude to tourists - they kind of wouldn't have a job if not for tourism!!

    Some nice shots of snorkelling! I'm far more weiner-ey than you could ever be fee, I'm petrified of the ocean probably wouldn't even stay in the safety ring thing :P

    Like the look of that shop too :)

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  2. Yeah I was all excited for an elvis impersonator who played the didge!

    Totally right, they would be jobless, grrr, he was sooo patronising. They actually had a good enough grasp on English to stand up for themselves though so that was nice :)

    The ocean is scary but it's nice to see whats underneath, less scary than the imagination builds!
    well until you see a shark :P even if they are completely harmless the reef sharks!

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  3. WORD! i'm sick of australian tour guides being really really patronising to poor little asian tourists. tour guides around the rest of the world aren't assholes to me when i can't speak french/portugese/a million other languages. POOR CUTE LITTLE TOURISTS!

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  4. terrible hey! All they wanted to know was if this particular tour went to green island but their accent pronounced it a bit differently and the guy was like "greenland? you're in the wrong part of the world" but instead of just being funny once and letting it go he pretended he had no idea what they were saying and kept making them repeat it and being a big a-hole about it :(

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