Trip Report: Australia

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Australia is a country synonymous with endless sunshine, a laid-back lifestyle, and iconic scenery.  Its natural splendor captivates visitors with promises of grand adventures and its multicultural cities are bursting with a vibrant, youthful energy.  From the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef to the man-made Sydney Opera house, there was lots to do and see. It’s no wonder this country is one of the most popular travel destinations. Here is the cost breakdown of our trip to Australia: Continue reading

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Cairns: Diving the Great Barrier Reef

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View of the reef from our plane

When we planned our trip to Australia, the number one, top thing we all wanted to do was go diving in the Great Barrier Reef, a living structure so massive it can be seen from outer space. The Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2,000 km off along the Queensland coastline in north-eastern Australia.  This rich and diverse ecosystem is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands where the world’s largest collection of corals, colorful fish, and countless other species thrive. Continue reading

Whitsundays: Whitehaven Beach

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Close your eyes and imagine a tropical paradise. With fine white sand and clear blue water as far as the eye can see, Whitehaven is probably as close to paradise as you can get. I’ve been to my share of beautiful beaches, but nothing holds a candle to Whitehaven.  It’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the world’s most unspoiled and beautiful beaches.  The area is uninhabited and can only be accessed by boat or helicopter from the surrounding islands.

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Whitsundays: Hamilton Island

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After five days in the city, we were ready to fly to beautiful Queensland.  We decided to stay on Hamilton Island, one of the 74  tropical islands at the heart of the Whitsundays.  The island is situated between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef, making it the perfect base for exploring the surrounding areas. Even though it’s the largest of the inhabited Whitsundsay islands, it’s less than 2 square miles in area.

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On the Road: Day 11 in the Great Barrier Reef

Today we finally made it out to the Great Barrier Reef for some scuba diving and snorkeling.  The Great Barrier Reef is massive, stretching almost the entire East coast of Australia. We only visited a few sites near Port Douglas.  The day was beautiful and the water was calm; it was the perfect condition for diving.  Even if you don’t dive, there is plenty to see as you snorkel around the shallower reefs.

On the Road: Day 10 in Daintree Rainforest

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Today we left the Whitsundays behind and headed up north to Cairns.  Upon leaving the airport, the first thing we noticed is how unbearably hot it is with the sun beating down on you relentlessly. Driving towards Port Douglas, the landscape was a mix of rainforest and sandy beaches, separated by a road in the middle.  With the mountain ranges in the distance, it made me feel like I was in Hawaii again. 

We spent the afternoon hiking around the Daintree rainforest.   This is my favorite picture of the day because of the soft glow created by the afternoon sun filtering through the forest canopy.  The ferns growing on the vine almost looks like hairs standing on end. 

On the Road: Day 9 in Hamilton Island

We woke up excited this morning ready to go out to the Great Barrier Reef to do some scuba diving, but unfortunately our trip was rained out.  The sky was dark and ominous as thunderstorms rolled in. We spent the whole morning indoors, wallowing in the fact that we came all the way across the world, not able to see the reef.  In the afternoon the clouds cleared up and we made it to the beach for some snorkeling instead. Here is a GoPro video that Fausto recorded of the fish and coral around Hamilton Island.