I have been in Australia for almost 3 weeks now and I am finally getting my blog set up! So for my first post I am going to do a highlight run down of what I have been up to so far, starting with the first week in Cairns.
Week 1 Cairns, Australia:
My first week in Australia was an orientation week with my study abroad program, AustraLearn. The first full day in Cairns we went up to the Kuranda Rainforest and held a Koala, pet/fed kangaroos, learned about the native plants, saw both fresh water and salt water crocodiles, watched an aboriginal tribal dance and heard them play the didgeridoo, and threw a boomerang. It was quite a day!
The next day I went on a “Jungle Tour” with a few other people from my program. The tour took us up to the Daintree rainforest where we took a dip in a mountain river gorge and sun bathed on the boulders along the river. After a picnic lunch we headed back down to sea level for a salt water crocodile watch river boat ride. We spotted a baby croc and a humungous spider, nothing too vicious. When we got back on dry land I got to try to play a didgeridoo...which is harder then it looks! On the way to our last stop on the tour, Cape Tribulation, we pulled over to a scenic overlook and our tour guide pointed out the island where Steve Irwin was killed by the sting ray. Once we got to Cape Trib we were advised not to go in the water because it was home to sharks, box and Irukandji jellyfish (two of the most deadly), and salt water crocodiles. Looking at the beach you would never imagine it to be as deadly as it is because it was so beautiful. I risked it and waded into the water a little, it felt like bath water! Its official I love this country!
Day 3 in Cairns AustraLearn had arranged for us to go back up to the Kuranda Rainforest to help a lady name Jax with a environmental conservation project. We spent the morning planting trees and other plants that were vital to the survival of wild life in particular the cassowary bird. Later that day I tried my first Crocodile burger! It was like chicken with a slightly fishy taste...pretty good!
Day 4 in Cairns was by far my favourite. (They use England’s spelling in Australia so I have set my computer to that spell check so words like favourite and colour is spelled with the ou). Anyways...day 4 we went to the Great Barrier Reef. After a two our boat ride to the reef we got off the boat and snorkelled then scuba dived. The reef was beautiful and on my dive I saw a sea turtle, clown fish, and got to put my hand inside a clam the size of a shopping cart...it was AMAZING! Scuba diving the reef has definitely been the high light of my trip so far!