For our first official stop in Australia, I was glad that it was in Cairns. I felt as if we were in a location similar to Myrtle Beach or Florida. I was amazed at how friendly and helpful all the people were.
The day after our arrival we visited the Tjapukai Aboriginal Centre. The day was filled with learning about their history, traditions, and way of life. During the tour I couldn't help notice the similarities between the Aboriginals and the Native Americans. One of the major differences that I noticed was how these people have adopted the surrounding culture. They continue to live their way of life even in the 21st century. While this may not be true for all aboriginals it is still amazing to see. At one point the guide mentioned “Apology Day” which is when the Australian government officially apologized to the Aboriginal people for denying them of their rights.
The following day we visited the Great Barrier Reef; which in my opinion wasn't so great, mostly due to weather and sediment in the water. The first jump into the water was an absolute disaster for me. I had inadvertently ingested a litre of saltwater and later on went to puke in the water because of all the salt. None the less I still had fun.
All in all Cairns was a great place to start the trip. I just wish we had another day to explore.