6th May 2012 - 10th May 2012 - And so we headed back to where it all started- Cairns. We used our free meal voucher from TravelBugs and then had some drinks at the infamous Woolshed.
The next day we were up bright and early to go on our scuba diving trip with 'Pro Dive' on a 3 day/2 night trip to the Outer Barrier Reef. Now we splashed out on this trip as we knew it looked very professional, the cost was around £400 each! We met up with our friends Rob and Rochelle who we'd met in Noosa, so it would be lovely to spend more time with them. The boat was large and done to a very high spec. There was 32 of us and a mix of young and old and we all had private double rooms. All our food was included and we ate very well, and the dive instructors were friendly.
We sailed around 4 hours out to sea and then spent our time going to different reefs. We got our gear set up and were in the water straight away. In total we did 11 dives, including 2 night dives. As we are now qualified we just go and do our own thing, we are given a briefing and told points of interest then we navigate ourselves there and swim around. We seen everything we could possibly want to, including a black tip reef shark which was just lazing on the coral bed, a grey reef shark which we seen on our 2nd night dive, a few turtles and stingrays and we even found nemo!
The dive sites were amazing and the coral so beautiful. There was vivid pinks and purples, and rich blues and greens in the soft, hard, spiky and floaty corals. The barrier reef has been nicknamed the underwater world and it really is out of this world. If we had more oxygen in our tanks we'd still be down there! We swam alongside schools of fish, tried to catch huge maori fish and got maybe a little too confident near the shark, even if it was only 2 metres long and not interested in our flesh.
Nemo was a tricky one to see though because they are actually one of the most aggressive fish in the sea, because they are very territorial. So when something is near their home they come out guns blazing ready for a fight, then they realise we are 600 million times bigger than them, dressed in scary black with lots of bubbles so they get scared and swim back home, 3 seconds later they have forgotten (fish brain) and come out fists flying again, and so on. A very interesting fact that we didn't know- Nemo the clown fish is actually a Clownfish Anemonefish (see where nemo comes from?) The night dives were a little eerie, you get a torch to swim around with but whatever your not lighting up is pitch black, so you aren't necessarily scared but you just don't know what's lurking around.
We had an awesome time and are so happy we have been to the great barrier reef and also done some serious amounts of diving. We now have amazing photos always to remember our time on the barrier reef!
Back in Cairns we bumped int Conor and Jade from our Fraser Island trip and invited them out at night, we also met up with Rob and Rochelle and went to The Woolshed for dinner, we ended up staying past our bedtime, drinking lots, dancing on the table, taking part in a fish race contest, and watching girls in the wet t-shirt competition. Back at our van we good a good earful of some drunken aboriginals shouting/slurring at each other, we peeked out the window and could see two men pushing a woman around saying she was a witch, we couldn't do anything about it, and also she could well have been.
The next day we set off for a day trip to Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest. We were going to do a tour but realised we could drive it and save money. We caught a barge over croc infested waters to get to the Daintree and there we drove around stopping at view points and then went to a beach where two world heritage sights meet- the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef so that was pretty cool to experience. The Daintree is Australia's largest rainforest and the worlds oldest!