5days, 6 nights
Me and Tommy went diving in the Great Barrier Reef with 'Passions of Paradise'. I really recommend this company - super friendly, lunch buffet to die for (Tom went up for tenths), spacious boat with loads of areas to get that tan on inbetween diving locations. This company also offer intro dives for those who have never dived before. (You can also snorkel if you'd prefer!)
Cost: You pay for one dive at $75 and if you want to dive the second time, you pay an extra $45. (head to day five to discover a more remote area to see the Great Barrier Reef in an even more beautiful way).
Stayed: Gilligans Backpacker's $24-120 - A very loud, party-hard, rugby lads kinda vibe.. wasn't my preference so moved to Globe Trotters which was way nicer! A very chilled hostel with a chill out area, pool, modern kitchens and free (basic) breaky in the morning - coffee very good mind!
We spent a full day exploring all the gorgeous waterfall wanderers in the rainforest. We visited Wooroonooran National Park waterfall, the Millaa Millaa waterfall (where the herbal essences advert took place!) and the Mount Hypipamee National Park waterfall.
We stopped off to see the huuuuge Curtain Fig Tree in East Barron - one of the largest in Tropical North Queensland. To finish off, we visited the Crater Lakes National Park lake where you can walk around or enjoy a lovely swim and picnic.
We ventured to Fitzroy Island which is absolutely stunning - highly recommend! We went on a walk to the summit to see the whole view of the Island (take water - we failed to bring enough water in 45 degree heat which was a rookie error!) We walked to the lighthouse and visited the turtle hospital. Nudi Beach and the secret garden trail are recommended to do but unfortunately it was a too rainy for us to complete by this point (crazy to think it stormed despite how sunny it was in the picture!).
Cost: It was $74-84 for return boat trip over from Cairns to Fitzroy Island (45 minute one way) - a bit pricey but so worth it!
We got a bus up to Cape Tribulation where we stayed over night in the Daintree Rainforest (2 days, 1 night). We got a boat across the Lower Daintree river to reach the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. This lake is where many hungry, sea water crocodiles are found so keep your fingers inside the boat is all I'm saying... You could visit Cape Tribulation in one day, but I would recommend booking a hut to stay in overnight in the Daintree to make your experience of the rainforest more 'Bear Grylls' style - watch out for the snakes and tarantulas!
The Bech House (where we stayed) had it's own private beach... private for a reason... We walked along this deserted beach (at your own risk...) which was the most eerie experience with nobody but ourselves on this long stretch of sand - very beautiful though! The water is infested with sea water crocodiles and sharks so no swimming or even paddling by the edge of the water unless you want to be someones yummy dinner. (On a serious note, we weren't putting ourselves in danger by walking on the sand so that is allowed - just no swimming/paddling and have your wits about you!)
Stayed: The Beach House $29 - a hut in the middle of the Daintree rainforest which has a lively bar/restaurant and a swimming pool (not infested with crocodiles!)
FYI: There aren't many resources here, just one supermarket quite far out.. so make sure you go to the shops for food/essentials before heading to Cape Tribulation.
FYI: look out for the Cassowary birds (a bit like emus but prettier) which are found in the Daintree. We spotted one crossing the road which is apparently very common! Such peculiar, funny looking birds.
Today was one of the best days! We took a smaller speed boat of around 20 of us to the Great Barrier Reef to do some snorkelling (diving wasn't necessary as the reefs were so shallow). This snorkel was honestly incredible, seeing rays, white-tip sharks, jellyfish, eels, puffer fish, hammerhead parrot fish, clams.. basically the whole of finding nemo! but the highlight was definitely swimming with turtles for around 45 minutes. I highly recommend doing a snorkel from the Daintree Rainforest as there is only one boat that goes out from this location (unlike the trip from Cairns), so the places you go are a lot more remote and therefore the reefs are more beautiful and you see a lot more! We headed back to Cairns via Port Douglas.
Company/Cost: Ocean Safari $139. It is pricy for a 1/2 day snorkel but I can't emphasise enough how amazing it was - money well spent.
Eating in Cairns:
- The Lillypad Cafe. $. Directly opposite Gilligans serving yummy crepes, cooked breakfasts with veggie options available and refreshing fresh juices.
- Pineapple Cafe. $. Healthy breaky spot serving acais and smoothie bowls.
- Night Markets. $10-15. Cheap, asian-style food, and incredibly tasty.
- Prawn Star. $$. Everything served has been freshly caught that day, alongside beautiful harbour views.
- Bayleaf Balinese Restaurant. $$ might not be the prettiest of restaurants but the food is incredible - make sure you indulge in the starters.
- Three Wolves. A fab selection of cocktails with a Melbourne feel to the place.
- Conservatory Bar. A relaxed, tropical, wine bar with great cocktails and craft beers too.