The travel time to Australia totaled over 24 hours, making it by far the longest amount of time I’ve travelled in a single sitting. The travel began on Monday, May 13th, around 11:15am with a bus ride to the Montreal Airport. We then flew from Montreal to Vancouver and after a four-hour layover, flew to Brisbane, Australia. After a 14.5-hour flight to Brisbane, we had one last short flight to our final destination in Cairns.
My initial thoughts on Cairns were that it reminded me a lot of Myrtle Beach in terms of the town. It is set on the ocean and the main roads boast many tropical themed shops and restaurants with store fronts which are completely opened the streets. The apartment hotel was awesome as well. It was located on a road with many shops and places to eat and has a great view of the ocean (below).
Upon arriving to Cairns, we went as a group to Rattle & Hum for cocktails and appetizers to get a briefing on the city from professor Ormsbee and Amber. After this, we rounded out the first night in Cairns by exploring the city.
The second day was taken up primarily by a visit to the Tjapukai Aboriginal village tour. We learned about their creation story, their foods and medicine, their cultural music and dances, their weapons and tools and more. We had the chance to paint boomerangs with their cultural symbols and learned how to throw spears and boomerangs. Pictured below is a bridge in the village crossing over a big pond which we followed to go watch a cultural music and dance show.
After the Tjapukai tour, we went to the wildlife dome and learned about Australian nature and got to take a picture with a koala.
The third day consisted of a tour and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. We had an hour and half boat ride to get to the reef from Cairns. The views of cairns with storms coming in and out (Pictured Below) made for some amazing views on the way out. Snorkeling on the reef was awesome. The colors and wildlife were vibrant and unlike anything id ever seen. The whole group loved the experience and the crew on board made it even better. After the tour, the whole group did some more exploring of the city.
In all, the experience in Cairns was awesome. I think we did a great job of using all the time we were given to make the trip here memorable. Three days here seems short, but I think it really is the best way to do it. Spending just a few packed days here will leave me with a super fun, memorable experience here in Cairns.