Cairns and the great barrier reef

So we made it to Cairns after a long 4 day marathon drive! It's definitely gotten more touristy than ever before since the last time I came. There seems to be a lot more travellers coming from Asia as we saw more than a few Asian specific travel agencies here. There's also an influx of Asian cuisine in the city center so that's probably a good indicator of the rising number of Asian visitors.

The boardwalk along the esplanade was a nice place to take a stroll. You can take a dip in the lagoon nearby that overlooks the waters. If you're hungry, the restaurants are right across the street. The pricing is what you expect to pay for those locations. But you can eat a little cheaper if you chow in the food court at the night market.

The night market is nested inside the building of the food court which is also on the esplanade. I was kind of surprised that what I saw was basically an Asian night market. Selling the same type of knick-knacks you see back at home. There's also a full aisle dedicated to cheap massages! $15/40min. That's a really good deal considering the standard is $50/hr in Australia.

You can practically walk around the city center in a day. We passed by some trees that were filled with fruit bats. Hundreds of them. They were all constantly shrieking so you can't miss them.




The main reason we came to Cairns was to scuba dive. Last time I scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef was 5 years ago. It was great to do it again the second time around. Let's get to it!

Using the anchor line to descend


Viv's turn



Big fish! Probably close to a meter long






Videographer doing his thang



Nice corals







Sea cucumber


Felt like velvet


A large dome shaped coral


As I got closer I saw a lot of openings where some clown fish call home


Hello Nemo



After the first dive we had another 20min to snorkel before lunch so we took advantage of that.



View of the divers from the surface



Coral looks a bit more vibrant under shallower areas





















The mouth of this huge clam shell was pretty luminescent in the light. Beautiful.



One of my favourite pics



Cool patterns!




See the puffer fish?



During the snorkel I came face to face with one of the monsters of the sea…a giant 2 meter moray eel! I was excited as it was the first time I've seen one of these eels in the wild. But I was definitely intimidated with the way it looks you with those big hypnotic eyes and open jaw. It was about 10 feet below me. I swam back a bit and told one of the staff members who was also in the water. I tried to lead him back to the same area but seemed to have lost the location of it 😦 However, I got lucky and saw a second large moray shortly. This time, the moray was probably no more than 6-7 feet below me. That was intense!




The second moray I found


That is one creepy dude


We went to another location for our second dive which offered a different look.


Touch it!



A swim through


Nice sea fans



Another one of my favourite pics. Viv swimming through with the guide.


Looking up as we pass


This would be my top choice for a postcard πŸ™‚



The mouth looks like a bird beak



That was another great diving trip. Viv wanted to get certified so we can dive more without having to keep doing the intro diving course every time. Plus it's cheaper to dive once you're certified and your license lasts forever. Out next stop is Bali so we're planning to do the PADI open water course there.

Diving in Indonesia? Sign us up!