We have a good time in Cairns (which seems to be pronounced ‘Cains‘ – like the economist.) Getting here is fun, too.
(Note: because WiFi is difficult to come across in Australia – unless there’s something we’re missing – we’re a bit late in our blog entries. We’re already halfway across Queensland. To avoid confusion, we’re adding posts as WiFi becomes available. So we may be a week or two behind.)
Some of the inhabitants of our caravan park have a sense of humour.
We continue up the coast to Cairns. This is the beach at Flying Fish point.
This is typical countryside in the north of Queensland. Lots of sugarcane. Sweet!
Like most places in this part of Queensland,there are crocodiles everywhere.
Cairns boasts a flashy new aquarium.
I remember Cairns as being rougher and more frontier-like. Now it’s a very civilized place.
We visit the excellent Botanical Gardens.
In the conservatory is a beautiful selection of orchids.
Of course, most people come here for some sort of Great Barrier Reef experience. We book a snorkeling tour for the day.
Among the youthful, international crew is a professional underwater photographer. She does a good job of snapping GoPro-deprived punters like us.
The experience is very unlike our idyllic snorkels in the Togian Islands. There, the water was like glass. The sea was calm, with a temperature like bathwater. The coral was spectacular, the fish teeming. In the two locations we visit here, the sea is much rougher than we expect. The water is kind of cloudy. And cold. We’re tossed around like corks. I’m sure there are many places in the thousand-plus kilometers of the Great Barrier Reef with amazing snorkeling; we’re happy to have had our time in the Togian Islands.
Still, it’s a grand day out.
We’re happy we went to the aquarium in Cairns, too. Like reef viewing from the comfort of dry land.
We enjoy a ride in a glass-bottom boat – our first.
This is our non-glass bottom boat.
Sight or Insight of the Day – Cairns
In our earlier travels, several times we find ourselves near famous whale-watching locales, such as Husavik, Iceland, and Hermanus, South Africa. We ask each other if we want to go watch whales and inexplicably say ‘Meh… no thanks.’
Despite being jaded cosmopolitans, we’re pretty chuffed when, on the return trip, the captain announces our boat is slowing down because there’s a whale between us and another vessel.
Our resident marine biologist – yes, our boat had one – informs us it’s a juvenile humpback whale.
Now that’s cool!