Friday, July 16, 2010

Week 1: Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

My adventure began last Sunday when I arrived at Cairns. Before going to Brisbane (where I'm studying) I had the opportunity to go to Cairns with the program I am going through. We stayed at a hostel which was definitely an interesting new experience. This one, in particular, was pretty nice. Once we got settled we went to this place called "Rainforeststation." There, we were shown various things that are native to Australia. First, I got to hold a koala! He was absolutely adorable. I also got the opportunity to pet kangaroos and hold a snake. It was pretty terrifying but awesome. We watched an aboriginal Australian dance performance and afterwards, the aboriginal people taught us all how to throw boomerangs.

The next few days I got the chance to white water raft through the rainforest. It was an adrenaline rush! Later on I learned to play Cricket back at the hostel which was super fun.
As the week came to an end, our entire group took a boat out to the Great Barrier Reef. There I got the chance to snorkel and scuba dive. The Great Barrier Reef is absolutely breathtaking. The pictures I often saw within books became real underwater. I was lucky enough to spot a huge sea turtle. I even got to touch its shell. I spotted a sting ray, eel, cucumber fish, many large fish, and Nemo. No matter how cheesy this all sounds it was truly unreal.  

There was definitely time at night to go out to the various bars around the downtown area. Australians definitely know how to have a good time :)

Today I left Cairns and just moved into my apartment. My apartment is right near the downtown area in the city and not too far from campus. It will be fun to take a boat to campus everyday across the river. Classes don't start for another week and a half, so a few friends and I might travel to the Gold Coast to sight see more.
I'm starting to feel more comfortable here and I am very excited for whatever is next to come!


  1. Is there anything left to do there? If not we should switch places for a week using an instantaneous transport. I don't suppose you have one of those on hand, do you? Maybe at the hostel?

  2. Love reading about your adventures!!! I told you the minute you step off the plane, you will be having the time of your life!!! We miss you but look forward to keep reading about your journey! Love, Bonnie, Jess and Sam

  3. Hey Lauren! Sounds like Aussieland is treating you well. Great blog - I love the picture out on the water! Stay cool and have fun :)

  4. Wow, so many animals and so little time. Sounds like you are having a blast. Hope your first day of school is going well. love you