A Travellerspoint blog

Great Barrier Reef

Or why there are waves breaking in the middle of the ocean

semi-overcast 75 °F

snorkeling was so much fun. i got to see tons of fish and even a reef shark, up close and personal. When you got close to the coral, you could actually see some of it moving. Some people even saw a fish that was as big or bigger than me!

Word of the day:greenie=environmentalist


The weather in Port Douglas has been windy and today was no exception. Reef_00000.jpg The hour and half boat ride out to the reef was choppy and even on the reef there was evidence of wave action. It was the most unusual weather for the Great Barrier Reef. Reef_00001.jpgBut no worries mate, we had wet suits (water temp was about 24 degrees C) and so hopped in for a morning snorkel. The fish and coral were brilliant.

As with the tour yesterday there was a steady supply of tea bik-kies followed by lunch followed by more tea bik-kies. This snorkeling business is hard yakka and you need all that tucker to keep going.

The afternoon snorkel was not as brilliant as clouds had moved in during the day but it was still spectacular seeing the coral and multitude of fish.

High point of the day was when our on-board marine biologist explained that more people die each year from toppling vending machines than from shark bites. So watch out for those Coke machines!!

WOTD: No worries = Easy or no problems

Posted by AnneAuntie 04:18 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

The rainforest

Daintree Tropical Rainforest

overcast 75 °F

Annie: today i am just posting pictures because i am to tierd to think about what i want to write

Word of the Day: smoko=coffee break

If yesterday was all about Australian fauna, today was focused on the flora of Australia. The Daintree Tropical Rainforest is a World Heritage Site and the oldest continuously existing rainforest on the planet. Some of the plant species within the rainforest are said to date back 110 million years! Of the 19 primitive flowering plant families on this planet, 12 of them are found in the Daintree rainforest. The landscape is one of complex and striking diversity; mountain ranges, fast-flowing streams and waterfalls, deep gorges and dense rainforest.

Our driver/tour guide, Greg, kept up an informative yabber (talk, conversation) for the entire day. We also had a morning tea, delicious barbequed lunch and the avro (afternoon) smoko (break) so we never were hungry. Annie was introduced to bik-kies, damper (bush bread) and vegemite!

We visited the Daintree Discovery Center where a trained botanist guided us through a small pocket of the rainforest pointing out unique, interesting and ancient plants. We both licked a Green Tree Ant (asked us about the taste!) which was a bit different. Climbing the 23 meter high Canopy Tower put us up in the treetops.

Cape Tribulation was visited just before lunch and we heard a bit about Captain Cook's exploration of the coast of Australia. Most amazing was that even after sailing around Australia he still did not realize that he had actually found Australia so he kept on looking; sounds far too familiar!

On the tour of the Daintree river we were able to look into the dense mangroves and see two crocodiles, numerous sulfur crested cockatoos, blue heron, wild pigs, white ants, and other small birds (whose names I have forgotten in a senior moment).

Annie_Trip_00054.jpgLastly we visited the Mossman Gorge, a favourite spot for the locals to swim during the summer season. The fish were easy to spot in the crystal clear water but since it was a National Park, safe from fishing.

WOTD: Bik-kie = Biscuit, which actually looks and tastes like a American cookie

Posted by AnneAuntie 08:14 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Roo Zoo aka Rainforest Habitat

kangaroos, wallabys and thousands more

sunny 75 °F

Today was so much fun! i actually got to hold a koalaKoala.jpg and i got to feed a joey that was still in its mothers pouch. They were so sweet. We also went to the beach and the water was actually WARM. you could go out about 100 feet from the beach in the water and you would only be knee deep in water

Word of the Day: crisps=potato chips

This day was one of those magical days when everything was better than expected. Breakfast with the birds was held at the Rainforest Habitat and was just what the title says. We entered an extremely large netted enclosure where the birds were free to fly. There were brightly coloured Lorikeets flying everywhere. You had to stay alert to prevent the birds from poaching your tucker (food). After our breakfast we set off with sacks of roo food to feed Skippy (kangaroo) and all his rellies (relatives). Many of the kangaroos had joeys in the pouch so we could feed two roos at once. Time for more roo food!

At 10 am Annie finally got to hold a koala for a photo session. According to the gameskeeper, the koala belongs to a union that restricts his working time to no more than 30 minutes a day, no more than three days a week. HA!

After the all the feeding of the animals we decamped to Mango Jam’s for a little tucker ourselves.

For me the sweet spot of the day was frolicking in the ocean with Annie. Forgot my camera so mental pictures will have to suffice. Clear blue skies with occasional passing fluffy clouds. Annie outfitted in her new striped cossie, me in capris rolled up pass the knees. Kids of all ages jumping over the waves as the surf swept into shore. A small cluster of surfers were hanging further outside the designated swim area waiting for the right wave to show off their skills at wave riding. There were lots of hoots and laughs as the waves splashed and sprayed us both with warm 24 degree C water.

WOTD: Tucker = Food

Posted by AnneAuntie 14:24 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (4)

It's Sunday, already!

The Day of Rest

sunny 73 °F

After all the hard yakka of the past week we decided it was time for a bit of spine bashing what with it being Sunday and all. We started the day by attending Mass at the local church in Port Douglas. The musicians were unavailable so it was a “quiet” Mass, fairly common in Australia. What was not common was the priest reminding the congregation that many of the attendees were tourists, the local bus stop was a fair walk from the church and taxis often did not show up to collect people after services so to look around and see who could use a ride back into town. Nice to see the concept of we are all one people put into action in a small but appreciated manner.

The rest of the day was spent strolling through town, checking out the wares at the Sunday Craft Market and eating our way through the local cuisine, including the infamous “Violet Crumble”.

WOTD: Spine bashing - resting, loafing.

Posted by AnneAuntie 08:21 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Bondi and bikinis

trip to Bondi Beach

sunny 0 °F


Bondi Beach was amazing. This afternoon we have to leave to get on a plane to fly to Cairns and then ride in the car for an hour to Port Douglas. We decided that it would be the perfect time to go to Bondi. All of the shops are lined up along the street that faces the ocean. All of the surfers were out on the water. They were all wearing those super warm wet suits. Of course the temperature was completely comfortable for me, it was freezing for them. Bikini_00007.jpgBikini_00002.jpg
I forgot to mention the pizza place that we stopped at. They had the thinnest crust but it was still delicious. So far in the running for best food:
chips(french fries, they call potato chips crisps)=the Marriott in Sydney
pizza=pompei's(pizza and ice cream place)

Word of the day: cossie=a swim suit it comes from swimming costume, take off the swimming and take off the tume and add sie. you have cossie!


We started this morning as we have each morning in Sydney with brekkie (breakfast) at the hotel buffet. We had fresh fruit, including passionfruit, melon and strawberries, Italian inspired (olive, cucumbers, and baby fresh mozzarella balls), English (baked beans, crispy back bacon and scrambled eggs), and a wide assortment of breads and pastries accompanied by juices and hot chocolate for Annie and a long black (coffee) for Auntie.

With ourselves suitably fortified we headed out to Bondi beach on a quest for the perfect cossie. Bondi Swimwear turned out to be the shop of choice where the kindly Irish saleslady understood that "sales help" means more than standing behind a register and taking our money. She had numerous suggestions on which suits would highlight our good body features (assuming we have such which she assured us we did) and disguise the not so good features. She also was a color consultant suggesting which colours complemented our skin tones and which made us look like bleached-out, washed up whales. Cossies flew back and forth between the dressing rooms and we emerged in the end with a perfect set of cossies for each of us. Amazing! It is such a treat to have a sales person who knows their stock help you finish up with a satisfying purchase.

The beach was directly across from the shops so it was a short stroll to the beach to dig our toes into the warm, soft sand. The water was, amazingly enough, WARM. The surfers were out in numbers as well as a couple of games of beach soccer were going on. Ozzies love the out of doors and being active, both as individuals but also as families.Bikini_00006.jpg

We grabbed a small pizza at a local Italian place, as we would be on the plane to Cairns during the normal dinner hour, and then it was back to the hotel to collect our bags and then off to the airport. Three hours later we landed in Cairns and and hour after that we ended up in Port Douglas. Since it is winter here the sun sets about 6:30 pm so it was dark, and we were nackered (dead tired). Shopping and traveling is hard work! Quick dinner, being sure to have our veggies and then lights out for the duo.

WOTD: veggies= vegtables, especially the green ones Mom wants us to be sure and eat lots of.

Posted by AnneAuntie 09:36 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

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