The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

 This past week was one of the craziest, most memorable weeks of my summer. I traveled up north to Queensland and spent a week vacationing in the city of Cairns. Some people believe that Australia is a country where every city is a “vacation spot,” now I can assure you, that is not the case. Right now I am sitting in my Sydney apartment looking out seeing only rain and clouds...kind of depressing, I know, but Cairns was completely different. The sun was shining when I landed and the scenery was unlike anything I had ever seen. This whole time I have been living in Sydney, the largest city in Australia. Now don’t get me wrong, Sydney is pretty awesome, but it is very similar to every other large city that I have ever visited…New York, Boston, San Francisco etc., but Cairns was a city where you truly felt like you were in Australia.

When I arrived in Cairns I immediately thought of Crocodile Dundee, the Australian movie that I enjoyed as a child. With the tall sugar cane fields, swamp land and hot weather, I felt as if I was in a completely different country. The first day was just a day of exploration and relaxation from the stressful work environment that I had become accustomed to back in Sydney. But the next morning was going to be one of the coolest experiences of my life--scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef!

It was 7 am, and time for an early departure from the hostel in which we were staying, my friends and I grabbed some breakfast and headed to the boat for our excursion. Once we reached the GBR, which was about an hour off shore, we suited up and headed down into the open waters. Now if you have ever seen the movie Open Water you would understand why I was nervous about heading under water for over 20 minutes, but I didn’t care, It was AMAZING!! At first, it was difficult to breath, but after a couple minutes you just get used to it. We traveled down about 25 feet and just looked at the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. It was insane to think about, and even cooler to experience!! The colors that were reflecting off the water made it look like a whole new world…like Aladdin…but underwater, so I guess it was more like the Little Mermaid. Actually, that is not a bad description. If you can remember the part of Little Mermaid where they are singing “Under the Sea”, it was just like that…just without the actual singing part. The colors were vibrant, and the aquatic creatures were everywhere.

The images that I captured with my underwater camera do not show the true awesomeness of what I experienced. The best way for you to know is to travel to Cairns, just a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles, or a short 4-hour flight from Sydney…totally worth it. 




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