Day 2: November 1oth
First off: The Great Barrier Reef! This is the reason I added Cairns to my travels plans. I had never even heard of Cairns before, but I started looking at locations near the Great Barrier Reef, and this was it. This day’s activities were booked through Expedia. Had to pick up the tickets from the Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises (<– Link) desk at the main tourist/bus pick up location. They actually gave me the itinerary and tickets for each activity all at once, so that was cool. They also allow for you to select which activities you’d like to partake in while near the Great Barrier Reef. I chose to ride on the glass bottom boat to get a good view of the reef while we passed over it, and then also snorkel once this vessel returned to dock.
The boat over the reef was cool, but it did reduce the amount of time I had to snorkel at/by the reef. While it was still plenty, I wish I had not gone on the glass bottom boat and had chosen just the snorkel. Oh well, lesson learned. Nevertheless, snorkeling by the reef was an amazing experience. I had my GoPro with me, so I got some really awesome photos and videos.
Once we got the boat back to Cairns, I boarded the bus to the Skyrail (<– Link). I’ve gone on some gondola rides before, but none with the views offered by riding the Skyrail. There are two stops along the way up where you can exit the gondola and explore the rainforest. Again, the views offered here are spectacular. So amazing! Take some time to enjoy a nice walk, take some pictures, and just enjoy the scenery. If you’re on a schedule (i.e. having the catch the Kuranda Scenic Railway at an assigned time), keep that in mind so that you don’t miss it. Still, there’s enough time to enjoy the sights.
At the top of gondola ride, I arrived at Kuranda Village. I recommend walking around and exploring the village, checking out the shops, looking at/buying souvenirs, and, if possible, check out a restaurant or pub. After buying some souvenirs, I went to the Kuranda Railway station to catch the train (<– Link). The ride is a very informative and picturesque ride. There’s an audio tour informing us of several important sights and historical facts about areas along the railway. The train makes about 2 or 3 stops along the way, allowing visitors an opportunity to walk and explore briefly, and have some photo ops. My final stop along the railway was at the Freshwater Station. This is where the shuttle was waiting to take me back to the hotel.
And there you have it folks. Two days in Cairns, Australia. Bungee jumping, snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, riding the Skyrail, and last but not least, taking a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Quite an action packed 2 days. If I’d had more time, I may have gone skydiving. Maybe next time. 🙂