The final two days of our trip were spent in Cairns, Queensland Australia.
There were two different activities that we enjoyed. Going out to the Great Barrier Reef, and taking in the beauty of the rainforest. Some of our group went to Green Island on the first day. It was a REALLY hot day! The temps on the island were reported to be at just over 100 degrees, and by our calculations, the humidity was almost as high! We enjoyed a glass bottom boat ride where we saw a variety of fish and learned a bit more about reef life.
Others spent their day above the Great Barrier Reef on a boat that took them out to snorkel.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park gave us a chance to learn about the history and culture of the indigenous people. We learned about food in the bush, watched them in a native dance, including a fire-making demonstration. We also learned how to throw a boomerang, and a spear!
The Skyway Rainforest Cableway offered us an Ariel ride over the rainforest to Kuranda, where we lunched and shopped…again in VERY HOT HUMID weather! We boarded the Kuranda Scenic Railway for our return trip to Cairns, meandering through mountain valleys with spectacular views of waterfalls and gorges!
We enjoyed a very nice dinner out at a restaurant on the waterfront last night. The menu offered some Australian specialties such as Crocodile, Kangaroo, Emu, and Barrimundi, a delicious local fish!
We are traveling home today, Thursday, and after a day of flights over the international dateline and airport layovers, we should arrive back to the US on Thursday evening, gaining back the day we lost on the way over. Our total travel time from Australia to the US is about 24 hours, with a time difference of 18 hours for most of us. Our bodies will need time to recover, but as you can see, we leave this trip with memories to last a lifetime!