We flew from Alice Springs to Cairns, arriving late in the evening, so didn’t tour very much while there. In the morning, we walked to Jucy car rentals and picked up our little Toyota and headed downtown to research outfits for snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. We came upon a French woman in one of the tour shops who gave us some great advice on different tour companies as well as what reef to snorkel in and when to go as the weather forecast was increasingly getting worse. She also pointed out some sights to take a look at going north from Port Douglas. So we booked a tour out of Port Douglas through her as the tours there tend to snorkel reef areas less frequented than out of Cairns ; in this case the one of the further outer reefs called Angincourt. The corals were terrific, but the variety and quantity of fish was a little lacking (compared to Ningaloo on the West coast). Despite stiff winds, choppy seas, and half the tour group joining in a barf-fest just before the last dive/snorkel (we were fine as we bought some anti-nausea pill), it was a terrific day with off and on sunshine.
Below: great barrier reef shots The next day, as predicted, the rains came so we caught up on the blog, did some grocery and window shopping, and then drove to the town’s viewpoint to see its iconic 4-mile beach. Not that striking due to the weather having churned the sea.With persistent rain and gray skies the next morning, we drove to Daintree National Forest and on up northward to Cape Tribulation. Along the way, we hiked a few boardwalk type rainforest self-tours and also found the “Blue Hole” that the French woman had told us about. It rained on us quite a bit but we were in the rainforest after all! Above: one of the weirdest spiders we’ve encountered. Below: Cape Tribulation beach after stormAbove: blue hole. Below: one of its inhabitantsAlthough we had been told that there were many Cassowaries (think big bird) in that area, we unfortunately didn’t see one. We did see many road signs warning us of crossings along with bumps, and even one that someone managed to combine the two:We went back to Port Douglas wet and a bit disappointed we didn’t see the iconic cassowary but knew we would have a second chance later in our trip along the coast.