Sunday, May 11, 2014

GBR Do-over & Kuranda Area

The four of us unanimously decided that if we were all the way down under, we needed to visit the great barrier reef more than once, so off we went, this time, with Tusa Dive. We met up with the boat at the Cairns marina at 7:40.
Wanda, Todd & Brent opted for the intro dive session, with 2 dives and Jill took over Wanda’s job of Snorkel Queen and photographer! We donned our gear and all got in the water. 
The intro divers had to prove their training through a few simple tests. 1. Regulator out of mouth while blowing bubbles and return to mouth 2. Regulator recovery 3. Clearing mask in water.

Wanda was first in these tasks and panic ensued! “there is no frickin’ way I can do this!” Elise (the dive instructor), tough loved Wanda by grabbing her and ordered her “you ARE doing this!”. As a result, wanda passed her test with flying colors and they went down into the reef abyss…
Needless to say we all had a great time and were amazed at all the sites we saw! 

Our last day in the Cairns area involved a scenic train ride up to Kuranda and the Skyrail back down overtop of the rainforest area.
This was pretty cool. The train was built in the mining era (1800’s) and built by immigrants by hand, in fact they could only get hired on if they brought their own tools. There were amazing views, 15 tunnels, and waterfalls along the way. The train ride was about 2 hours and took us up over 400 metres and 37 km to Kuranda. The passenger cars were all over 100 years old.

Kuranda was a very hippie/artsy fartsy type town (aka big tourist trap) but had cool things to look at.

After a short little walk, some coffee, shopping, lunch and touring, we headed back down via the skyrail.  This was a Poma gondola ride (without ski's and snow of course!) overtop of the rainforest canopy with 2 pitstops of scenic lookouts and boardwalks. Its hard to describe the rainforest, it is so thick and dense, you can’t see the floor. And the vast different colors of green, it is truly amazing.

That ends our week in the Cairns area (I hope you are saying it correctly in your heads “caaaans”) and the last of extreme heat and sweating for us cool Canadians. We are headed south to “acclimatize” ourselves slowly back to Canadian spring temperatures on Kangaroo Island (20C)

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