Weekend in Cairns

Studying abroad in Sydney allowed me to cross one thing off of my bucket list – seeing the Great Barrier Reef. Going to the Great Barrier Reef has been a dream of mine since I was a child, partly influenced by one of my favorite childhood movies, Finding Nemo.

Going on this trip was extremely spontaneous of me, as I booked everything only a week in advance. I prepared for this trip by researching which town to go to (which one is closest to the Reef) and figuring out which travel tour to book my day trip with. However, an obstacle that I faced was how far away my AirBnB was to the city, I probably should have put more effort into researching near by accommodations. For future travelers, thorough research into the town and location of your trips planned is surely necessary!

During my time there, I stayed in a small beach town called Cairns, which is a common spot for most people to travel to when visiting the Reef. On my first day there, I spent most of my day at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Almost everyone in the area doesn’t go to the beach due to the high volumes of jellyfish near the shore, so most people head to the Lagoon on nice, sunny days. I spent most of my time in the town walking around and exploring. Towards the beginning of the evening, my friends and I headed towards our accommodations, which was a little far from the town, but it was definitely worth it! We stayed at a resort type hotel near the beach. Around dinner time, we walked down to the beach to have dinner. It was really serene watching the sun set on the beach while I ate my dinner. I went to bed early that day because I knew that my day at the reef would be extremely long, but eventful.

I started off my exciting day early in order to get to the boat that would be taking me out to the Reef. When I originally signed up for the trip, I had only listed that I wanted to go snorkeling in the reef, but I changed my mind to diving when I got there. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef was something that I couldn’t miss. On our way out to the Reef, we were all given a crash course on marine life in the Reef, then afterwards, a lesson about scuba diving. I was really excited and nervous to go scuba diving. The thought of being that far out in the ocean made me a little on edge because I have a small fear of water that isn’t clear, but after my trip, I was able to overcome that fear just a little bit. Being in the water did make me a little nervous, but I started to relax once I saw the Reef. It was absolutely incredible to see the Reef and all of the fish swimming and living around it. My scuba trip lasted about thirty minutes long, but it went by so quickly. My trip to Cairns was life changing! Scuba diving was amazing, and I definitely want to do it more often!