This week was my first visit to Queensland, and the Great Barrier Reef. Because I had so much fun, I thought I would break it into parts. This one will focus on Palm Cove, and later I will write about the rainforest, and Cairns itself.
My holiday base was just north of Cairns in a small but very pretty area called Palm Cove. I was very blessed to stay in a lovely room right across from the beach in the beautiful Reef House. I had a with a lovely porch to sit on and listen to the sea to read. Blissful. The disadvantage was that it was right next the restaurant, and the road and therefore a pretty noisy spot. (especially when the council decided to use a blower right outside the window at 7:00 am. Seriously Cairns Regional Council, what the heck were you thinking!?!?) One particularly noisy group was dealt with very quickly and effectively by the management after a midnight call to reception. By my last night I realised I should have music on. I have no idea why I didn’t do that earlier! And that problem was solved!
The service at Reef House was lovely, friendly and helpful. In fact I scarcely met a grumpy or cranky person there. (An awful lot of South Australians though… ) And why would you be cranky, when you get to look at this all day?
I spent a bit of time swimming, sitting by the pool, reading books, and drinking punch (supplied complementary with canapes at sundown, and delicious!) but…
16° 45′ 32″ S, 145° 58′ 26″ E
Well, I couldn’t go all that way and NOT visit the reef! I took a cruise to Green Island. There are quite a few providers from what I can tell, you just choose by the time you want to be there. They don’t have free sea sickness pills for nothing. It wasn’t too bad on my way out and although the ride back was actually better I felt it more. (More on that later.) Anyway arriving at a picture perfect tropical island really did help! It almost made up for the way every. single. person. seemed to be exist with the single-minded purpose of extracting money from you.
This was the first ever time I had snorkeled, except with toys in pools, but honestly it was much easier than I and my decidedly below average swimming ability were expecting it to be! And WOW! The Great Barrier Reef was actually like the pictures! I was amazed and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, even when I was thoroughly exhausted on the beach. Pity my camera wasn’t waterproof. But that’s OK I’ll get photos on the glass bottom boat ride…
After a very uninspiring lunch, it was time for the glass bottom boat ride. Hmm, I reckon I have had better ideas. I loved what I saw of it, but honestly I couldn’t look at much because the sea sickness through me ever time I looked down! Noo! That’s why this shot is so bad, I couldn’t even look long to aim the camera!