So you’re going on vacation, and aren’t sure if you should be going snorkeling, or making that extra effort to scuba dive. Snorkeling is so much easier, doesn’t require the extra training you’ll have to do (and keep doing), and costs a lot less. But everyone makes it seem like you’re missing out if you don’t scuba dive! Well, we went to the Great Barrier Reef, and went snorkeling and scuba diving for almost a week; here is our experience!
We went snorkeling and diving in the Great Barrier Reef for a week in Australia and it was fantastic! This is our snorkel footage. There are so many underwater wonders in the coral reefs! The GIANT CLAMS were AMAZING! They grow up to 300 pounds!! One of our bucket list dream vacations and we had an amazing time. We did multiple dives at a few dive spots. We started at a Ribbon Reef, then a couple of other spots, and another Ribbon Reef. We hope you enjoy this video of our snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 4K! We have another video with our scuba diving in the channel as well if you want to compare the experiences!
The Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney is pretty great. It had some unique sea life that we hadn’t seen in other aquariums we’ve visited and we enjoyed our afternoon there. We particularly enjoyed the penguin exhibit, the dugongs, saw fish, sharks, and stonefish!
Birdworld Kuranda Bird Sanctuary Cairns is the largest single collection of free flying birds in Australia. Parrot, cassowarys (which is some sort of dino-bird??!!), cockatoos and wide variety of herons. We had a nice time walking around and seeing all the different varieties of exotic birds.
The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas, Australia, is an interactive zoo featuring guided encounters with koalas, kangaroos, birds, reptiles & more. There were lots of cute koalas and birds. We especially enjoyed feeding wallabies and kangaroos. It’s a great wildlife habitat. The black necked stork was very beautiful.
The Daintree Rainforest is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest in Australia. It is one of the oldest rainforests in the world. The Daintree Rainforest contains 30% of the frog, reptile and marsupial species in Australia, and 90% of the bat and butterfly species. We saw lots of animals on this tour including several crocodiles.
We went to rainforests in the Atherton Tablelands at night (there’s just so much to do in Australia!). The tour started in the afternoon in Cairns, included dinner and went into the night so we could see nocturnal animals. We saw several Kuzu, which resemble possums but are not related. We had a lot of fun hiking, and the guide was very knowledgeable when it came to the flora and the fauna.
We went to Kuranda Rainforest by Skyrail in Australia. We took the full roundtrip on the Skyrail to go to and come back from the Kuranda Rainforest. The views were great–especially of the waterfall on the shiny coal-like rocks. We also enjoyed seeing the butterflies and the birds in Kuranda. A great place to spend the day! We saw so many different butterfly and bird species. We hope you enjoy this video from our Australia 4K series!
We went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and it was fantastic! One of our bucket list dream vacations and we had an amazing time. We did multiple dives at a few dive spots. We started at a Ribbon Reef, then a couple of other spots, and another Ribbon Reef. We hope you enjoy this video of our scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 4K!
We saw so many amazing animals at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. Amongst them, we saw a cassowary (they are like dino birds!), platypus, echidna, comodo dragon, tree kangaroo, and many more. We had a great time and definitely recommend a trip over there if you have time on your trip. We were told that this was the best zoo in Sydney, and we weren’t disappointing!
In looking for a multi-day tour of the Great Barrier Reef we found that the majority of cruises are designed for scuba divers, so we were thrilled when we discovered Coral Expeditions and their ship the Coral Expeditions II, which offers itineraries that cater to snorkelers.
This was our first cruise on a small vessel (the ship holds around 50 passengers), and we were pleasantly surprised with the amenities and level of service onboard. The common spaces, including a lounge, dining room and sundeck, were clean and well-maintained. Our cabin on Deck C featured two fixed twin beds with drawers for our belongings, a small closet, and a built-in writing desk. The bathroom was our least favorite part of the room, as we struggled to alleviate the humidity and moisture that would build up after showering.
We would definitely travel with Coral Expeditions again, although next time we’d probably choose a larger room with a double bed.
After a week of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, we were excited to spend a day on land at the Cairns Botanic Gardens. We took a self-guided stroll along several of the walking paths, and appreciated the easy-to-follow map and plant markers. We weren’t surprised that our trip didn’t coincide with the rare blooming of the garden’s giant Corpse Flower, but would have loved to catch that! In all, the gardens are meticulously maintained, full of beautiful and rare tropical plants and flowers, and definitely worth a visit.
Kuranda’s Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly exhibit in Australia, and a wonderful spot for nature-loving kids and adults alike. You’ll find 2,000 butterflies (give or take) in the sanctuary, including the iridescent blue Ulysses and the brightly colored Cairns Birdwing. The butterflies and moths in the main aviary seemed to be most attracted to guests wearing white, so if you hope to have any land on you, white clothes seem like the way to go!
We’ve been whale watching before, but our tour in Sydney with Ocean Extreme was an entirely different experience. Ocean Extreme’s zodiac boat sits low in the water and provides an unobstructed view of the whales from every angle, which brings you much closer to the action than a traditional whale watching vessel. We were even lucky enough to get some underwater footage on our GoPro!
We would recommend this tour to any animal lover who doesn’t mind a bumpy (but exhilarating!) ride.