Tour of the Coral Expeditions II

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.


Cairns Botanic Gardens in 4K

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.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in 4K

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!

Whale watching on a zodiac boat

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.

Powered by

Up ↑