Our adventures didn’t stop in Bali! We had been looking forward to visiting Australia for years and we finally were counting down the hours till we landed in Cairns, Australia! Excited would be a complete understatement. Australia being one of the largest countries in the world has so many neat things we wanted to see for ourselves, like the worlds largest coral reef system, the oldest rainforest in the world, kangaroos and so much more!
Cairns was a great starting point to exploring our first week in Oz. Our hostel was a complete and total disaster (another story all by itself) but we were so busy exploring each day that we basically just slept there anyway! The first thing we wanted to mark of our bucket list was The Great Barrier Reef. For years we had dreamed of exploring the natural wonder but now we were actually on our way there! We found a tour company that took us out to two different reefs where we swam about with clownfish, sharks, turtles, parrotfish and many others beautiful sea creatures. The clarity of the water was amazing at about 40-50 ft, we could clearly watch the divers below as they explored the lower depths of the reef system. The two hours we spent snorkeling the waters we were both in awe and complete disbelief. The reef was absolutely amazing but you can definitely see how it is being affected by climate change resulting in the reef becoming bleached and damaged.
While in Cairns we also had planned to visit the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest continually growing rainforest in the world, as well as Cape Tribulation, the area of the National Park where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. I know what your thinking, Cairns sounds pretty cool right?! We thought so too, so we booked another tour to do these few things and come to find out it came with a few surprises like a crocodile cruise in which we spotted a 15ft crocodile! We also had the chance to eat a kangaroo burger which was amazing and we were even served homemade ice-cream made by a cute 90 year old lady. Our day was slammed packed during our 12 hour tour but we took in every moment we could because it was truly an amazing experience.
Once our time in Cairns was up we headed down to Wollongong, a city an hour south of Sydney to visit a few friends Lucas had made while he was a tour guide on Kauai. They invited us to stay with them while we traveled and explored the area. Wollongong has a pretty neat history dating back to 1815 and had some pretty impressive views from the top of Bald hill overlooking Stanwell Park.
You can’t go to Australia without visiting the magnificent city of Sydney! Our time in Sydney was extremely short (1 day to be exact!) but boy did we slam pack our day there! We did a city tour walking around to all the historic sites, including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as well as the Queen Victoria Building and Hyde park where we saw a life size chess game going on. We could have easily spent a week in Sydney but sadly our time didn’t allow us to.
At the end of our city tour our jaws dropped as we saw our friend Jess, running towards us! We met Jess during our time in Northern Thailand and had planned to visit her during our time in Australia but last minute our schedule didn’t allow for it. She lives a few hours North of Sydney but she just so happened to be in Sydney right at the Harbour as our tour ended. We grabbed a bite to eat and celebrated her boyfriends birthday as we took in the night life of Sydney. A completely perfect ending to our time in Australia! With our fifth country down we still have one more to go… New Zealand!