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Trip Report Cairns, Darwin-Kakadu, Sydney in October

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My husband and I had 2 weeks from Oct. 16-30 for our Australia trip from the US. We had 5 nights in Cairns, 4 nights in the Top End and 3 nights in Sydney.

Cairns--
We stayed at the Breakfree Royal Harbour. It wasn't fancy, but the location in town was perfect. It was close to everything- souvenir shops, places to eat, pharmacy and a grocery market. Our unit had a washer/dryer in it which we loved. After the first week of our vacation we had a suitcase full of fresh clean clothes.
After nearly 30 hours of travel we arrived in Cairns on Sunday afternoon. It was a 14 hour time difference for us so we were ready for bed early at around 6pm.
Day 1-- we had the Kuranda Skyrail/ Gold Class Train booked in advance. I thought this was a perfect way to start our time Cairns. We just spent the day walking around Kuranda shopping and went to the Koala park. We took the 3 pm train back to Cairns in the Gold Class. I found the train to be rather boring. Not much to see with all the foilage grown up. The gold class snacks and drinks were the only thing that made the train enjoyable for me. I think the Skayrail both ways woud have been better.
Day 2 -- Great Barrier Reef with Sea Star. I really wanted to scuba dive in the GBR but we aren't certified so we did the introductory dive. I'm not sure how the other tour groups do the intro dives in the GBR, but the one we did was terrible. I should have just done the snorkling. I had scuba dived in Jamaica so thiis wan't the very first time I did it. In Jamaica, we spent an hour in a pool learning skills before they took us in the ocean. Once in the ocean, they had a leader and a couple of other divers to watch the group (about 10 ppl) so you could swim freely. With Sea Star, they explain a couple things to you on the boat and then you jump right in. Then, my husband,me and one other diver locked arms and the instructor basically pulled us around. It was difficult to see the reef and very ackward. For me, it was not an enjoyable experience. I didn't do the second dive but my husband did and he said it much better and they let them swim freely. I will say too, that at the age 41, I have never had a problem with sea sicknes on ferries, pontoons, high speed boats or anything, but I did start to feel a little sea sick on the ride. So you may want to take some motion sickness pills even it you have never had a problem before.
Day 3- Morning at leisure and afternoon tour with Wait-a-While Rainforest Tours,wildlife watching in Atherton Tablelands. This was a decent tour. We got to see a platypus, the Cathedral Fig Tree (which I thought was really neat), and other assorted wildlife after dark in their natural habitat.
Day 4-- to be continued

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