After our exams were done, my friends and I went to Cairns which was quite an adventurous trip for us. Cairns is located north-east of Australia in the state of Queensland about 3 and half hours flight from Melbourne. When I arrived in Cairns in mid November 2015, I thought the place gave a very similar feeling to my home country, Indonesia. It was hot, humid, and filled with green vegetation.
Why was this trip adventurous? Well, within the 4 days and 3 nights there we did activities that were almost completely new to all of us. We did water rafting at Barron river, dove in the Great Barrier Reef and also visited the Kuranda forest.
On the noon of our arrival, we first did the water rafting at Barron River. Luckily, the day was bright and the river condition was normal. None of us had ever done water rafting before, we went with a RnR Half day white water rafting which cost AU$135 per person. The price includes pick up to and from our accommodation, the rafting boat, gears and also a guide. We bought the pictures below from the photographer of the company for $15 I think.
There was 5 of us, a couple and also the professional guide. We were lucky to have a great guide, and the couple we were with looked like they exercise a lot (unlike us), so we were relieved. Honestly, it was super fun, so thrilling, we were excited all the way. We got the chance to also dip inside the Barron River and I hardly managed to get back on the boat ;’D thanks to my two strong friends, Juri and Yoanna + the guide who pulled me back to the boat. Almost like fishing a whale LOL
The following day, we did the Kuranda Scenic railway towards the Kuranda Village and we went back with a cable car to look over the forest from above and also stopping down to go inside the forest briefly. It costs $125. It was the longest cable car I have taken. I did not know that one of my friends were afraid of the height. We only realised later when she did not speak much and was looking tense, we touched her palm and it was sweaty, poor girl! She did it till the end!
The next day, we went for diving trip with Seastar Cruise to Michaelmas Bay and Hastings reef. It costs $195 to be on the cruise and you can snorkel for free too. For introductory diving, it cost an additional of 75$. For more info, visit their website at http://www.seastarcruises.com.au/prices
Just after a few minutes the boat made its move, I suddenly felt super dizzy and nauseous. I was not worried at all prior to leaving because I have been on many boat rides for my dive. I quickly asked for paper bag and also anti-nauseous pill from the counter. All of my friends felt dizzy too except one! She was the champion! The rest of us were almost dead wanting to vomit. We all ended up going to the back of the boat for fresh air which help relief our nausea. However, my friends and I still ended up vomiting, at least we felt slightly better afterwards.
On the first stop at Michaelmas cay, there was plenty of fishes. The second stop at hasting reef, I did my dive while the rest of my friends snorkel. I saw their pictures, and compared to the Michaelmas cay, I think the snorkel was much better, the coral reefs were prettier. Also, even compared to my dive, I think the snorkel view were better (It was different sides for snorkel and dive). It was great day, even my friend who were initially scared and only planned to stay on the boat, I think got addicted to snorkelling. It was tiring and on our way back, most of us slept for at least 2-3 hrs until we arrive at the dock.
We asked for seafood recommendations from the boat crew and they recommended a place which sells on a boat parking at the dock. I had initially thought, the prawns would be hot but it was served cold. I thought it would be so-so, but man I was completely wrong. I think it was the BEST prawn I have ever eaten in my whole life. I was not sure what they did with the prawns, but it seems like it was only boiled and salted. It was super fresh, juicy and delicious! I wish we had bought more! Even I am craving right now as I am writing this. I wish I have taken photo of the prawns, but by the time I dig in, my hands were all dirty and I was just enjoying every bite of the prawns.
On the last day before our flight, we decided to just visit a cafe for some coffees. Cairns is a very small place, we took taxi to and from our accommodation – airport and also to get from our accomodation to city centre and it was cheap. We even walked once from the city centre to our accomodation 2.5km but unfortunately for that night, in the middle of our walk it started raining and we were running for shelter.
As you could calculate, it is definitely not cheap to travel and do the activities. There may be cheaper options but as for the tour we got, it was not a let down and our safety were looked after well which are important to us. I enjoyed the trip very much and I m missing my friends dearly ;,[ when we were on the cruise we met a group of grandmothers, and we admired them so much, I said we should make promise that we all should go again for another adventurous trip when we are old 😀 I was lucky to dive in part of the great barrier reef. I hope I can come back to Cairns to do longer days of diving and explore the vastness of Great barrier reef!