An Oz-ysseyTwo women explore the tropics and Great Barrier Reef of Northern Queensland, the Outback and dense and arid Centre, the wildlife and spectacular scenery of Kangaroo Island and the Great Coast Road, and the civilization and sophistication of Adelaide and Melbourne.
Great Barrier Reef Photo Slide Show
Uluru Slide ShowIn five weeks, one would think one could see a bit of a country, but Australia is a vast continent with a nearly impenetrable interior. All the population centers are on the coasts. (Would it surprise you to learn that this country, which is almost as large as the continental US, has only some 20 million citizens? It did me.)
I took the time to savor the tropics of Queensland, its beaches, islands, rainforests and highlight of highlights, the Great Barrier Reef; to drive to the center to see the Rock, as some call it, Uluru, as the Aboriginals call it … to explore the country town of Adelaide (which is really a small, delightful city full of green space), the wildlife and vistas of Kangaroo Island, the magnificent Great Coast Road between Adelaide and Melbourne ... and points in between. I had to leave Tasmania, Perth and the harbour delights of Sydney for another trip.
The Reef. No saving the best for last … I dove right in, so to speak. I flew into Cairns, where my cousin,Phoebe joined me – she had come over for a semester of college (“uni” they call it here, short for university) – and we toured around a bit … seeing the Daintree Rainforest, getting a taste of Aboriginal Culture at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Park and Cultural Centre (reportedly the finest exploration and exhibition of Aboriginal culture in Queensland) … walking the trails near Kuranda village.
A few days later, we boarded a plane for Lizard Island, where we were to board our liveaboard dive vessel for the next few days …
< Previous Great Barrier Reef
The trip was mostly about the glorious reef ... but we also made some wonderful new friends ... among them: Paul and Nols, and Martin, whom we would see later on the trip, and Bella and Jimmy ...
After we were back on land, we made the best of an unfortunate event: Phoebe got a case of decompression illness from a too rapid ascent so for three days between sessions in Townsville’s hyperbaric chamber we enjoyed the beaches, restaurants and views of Magnetic Island. From there we headed to Airlie Beach and took a day trip by ocean raft to the Whitsunday Islands to experience Whitehaven Beach. The getting there was easily half the fun , as the antics of the crew from Ocean Rafting kept us highly amused on the trip out. There is nothing quite so breathtaking as Whitehaven Beach, with its white silica sand; it must be one of the loveliest beaches in the world.
On to Uluru and the Centre:: Adelaide & Kangaroo Island
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